01 Nov 2005

Industry Location and Climate Change Policy-Making in the United States

Thomas L. Brewer

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Within the United States, the locations of carbon-intensive industries have important implications for climate policy. This paper examines the state-level and regional patterns in the distributions of key industries – coal, oil & gas and autos – and their implications for US climate policy-making. It concludes that the coal industry has a disproportionate impact on climate policy because of the distorting effect of the role of a few key coal states in national elections. The analysis is presented in the context of a ‘pluralistic political economy’ analytical model of the US economy and political system.