Graduate Project


The Social Construction of the Deserving Poor within Renewable Energy Policy Public Deposited

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  • Renewable energy policy serves as a tool to combat the hazards that fossil energy sources pose to human health and the global environment. It is also being used to achieve additional social and economic goals alongside environmental policy, namely, bringing equitable liberation to populations disproportionately affected by increasing global temperatures. Legislation such as the Green New Deal serves to bring awareness to the United States’ obligation to create a future of zero emissions energy sources, clean water, air, and healthy food for all citizens, and high-wage jobs within the green jobs sector. Likewise, Oregon’s Green Jobs Growth Bill and Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Bill aim at doing away with coal-fired energy and growing the green jobs sector within the State by providing unskilled, prevailing wage jobs through the growth of renewable energy manufacturing and production. The analysis looks at the language employed within the Green Jobs Growth Plan, Coal Transition Plan, and Green New Deal to examine how the working poor and the coal industry are represented within the current debate over renewable energy. Using the Social Construction Framework, the analysis addresses the manner in which these legislative efforts have adopted an approach that not only describes, but helps to construct, the idea that different actors impacted by renewable energy policy are deserving of government action to provide support and prosperity.
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