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Accepted Paper:

Energy Capitol: The Waning of Regulatory Form  
Arthur Mason (NTNU)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper examines the transformation of Global North energy systems in natural gas and electricity at the end of the twentieth century from a structured risk environment to less regulated ways of procuring energy for commodity markets.

Paper Abstract:

Throughout the twentieth century, large-scale energy systems in North America/Europe were highly regulated by a national political community whose decision-making authority relied on positions of bureaucratic- and capitalist-led industry organization. After restructuring in energy markets during the 1980s, the culture of power surrounding political decision-making began to wane. The avant-garde knowledge of regulatory institutions became less prestigious when contrasted to new forms of market-driven information focusing on near-term future interactions of supply and demand. This paper explores the waning of regulatory politics surrounding large-scale energy systems in the United States at the turn of the millennium by illuminating key aspects of federal-state political decision-making processes on energy transportation infrastructure. By highlighting the activities of regulatory intellectuals whose accumulated work begins to impede Arctic pipeline proposals, I demonstrate a reliance on judgments that no longer reflect the conditions in which large-scale projects are now determined. Thus, the waning of regulatory politics reflects the diverse feelings and practices associated with a culture of power whose decaying relevance increasingly lingers as distinctions of an earlier rationalizing principle.

Panel P146
Doing and undoing regulation
  Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -