Administration of Sustainability: A Case Study on Public Versus Private Provision of Energy Services

 This project will develop a new case study that will help political science students better understand the sustainability implications of complex decisions facing local governments when considering renewable energy programs that are publicly and privately owned. Policy courses commonly address whether cities should choose public, investor-owned, or cooperative provision of energy services solely from a price-of-service perspective. The political science curriculum largely does not address whether public or private utilities can best promote sustainability in terms of environmental and social outcomes, in addition to price. This case study for use in POLS103: State and Local Government and Politics and other University courses will combine interviews of energy managers with analysis of energy data to facilitate student-generated recommendations on how ownership structure can impact adoption of sustainability goals and economic, social, and environmental outcomes. The information will be provided in data and narrative forms, allowing for use across undergraduate and graduate curriculum, and across a variety of CSU courses that discuss management, uncertainty, and sustainability.

Ryan Scott

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science