Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Governing Energy Innovation: The Case of New York State

Author:W Henry Lambright, Sarah Pralle and Jessica Widay
Date: October 2006
Publication:in Dianne Rahm (ed.), Sustainable Energy And the States : Essays on Politics, Markets And Leadership, McFarland

Certain states are playing a policy leadership role in sustainable energy technology. Among these is New York, a state with a tradition of strong central government. New York has expressed a commitment to transitioning from the use of traditional fossil fuels to renewable sources that will provide for a greater level of energy independence. Using a policy innovation approach, this paper analyzes the state’s role as an energy policy entrepreneur. It uses three cases as a basis for analysis: wind energy, hybrid electric buses, and regional greenhouse gas mitigation. The first investigates state interaction with private enterprise. The second deals with the state in relation to local government. The third examines the state of New York in partnership with other states. The three cases cover a range of policy innovations that utilize different policy instruments and are in various stages of implementation. This paper analyzes New York’s energy policy infrastructure, as well as the presence of individual entrepreneurs and the use of policy mechanisms. The paper draws lessons learned from the New York experience, identifying those factors that aid in effective policy innovation and those that limit success. These findings will suggest implications for energy policy transformation in other states and the country as whole.


W Henry Lambright
Sarah Pralle
Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 06/14/2006 18:23:31