In this presentation, Sanya Carley introduces a framework for conceptualizing vulnerability and then provide an illustration of its potential application using the case of the renewable portfolio standard. March, 2018.
00:00: Good afternoon and welcome everyone. My name is Barry Rabe. I'm a professor here at the Ford School and director of CLOSUP, the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, which is hosting this event. I also want to acknowledge our co-sponsors, the Energy Institute, the Environmental Law and Policy Program, the Herb Institute, the CRAM sustainability Institute, the Program in the Environment, the school for environment and sustainability. Everyone wanted to co-sponsor this lecture. This really is a nice opportunity to welcome, Sanya Carley back to Ann Arbor. As some of you may recall several years ago when Michigan was putting on the ballot a proposal to amend the state constitution to make major changes in renewable energy policy an expansion of an existing policy to mandate increases in the production of renewable energy. We wanted to do a pre-election discussion and panel and turn to a preeminent scholar in this field. Sanya indeed answered that call. And, again, as some of you may recall gave a really, really terrific talk. It was one of the most thoughtful overviews of that particular policy instrument that I certainly heard in the state during that deliberation. So we're really pleased to welcome her back from Bloomington where she's an associate professor in The School for Public and Environmental Affairs in Indiana University.
01:31: Since Sanya left us, she has only continued to burnish a reputation as a leading national scholar, really a national treasure, on a range of issues that call for significant policy research related to energy transition, renewable energy. And there are so many themes and areas and issues in which she has touched upon. I don't wanna kinda take you through paper by paper. I would only just begin by noting that this topic of portfolio standards, which we were talking about five years ago, there's a reasonable chance that we are gonna be talking about this again in Michigan through the ballot in 2018, is really a topic where her work just continues to stand out, it was well as other areas. And would call to a lot of those publications to your attention as we begin to think about these questions. This also fits in beautifully at a point in the life of the center, where, with my colleague, Sarah Mills, we're beginning to expand questions of state, local, and urban engagement on a range of renewable energy issues. In fact, after Sanya's talk, Sarah will be coming up and overseeing the Q&A process. So with that, I'm delighted to welcome Sanya and also really hear some very interesting samplings from work that she's been doing with some of her co authors on the US Energy Transition and Vulnerable Populations. Please join me in welcoming back, Sanya Carley.
03:00: Stuck to my chair. Thank you, Barry. Thank you very much to everybody who's come out today. I really appreciate it and I always enjoy the opportunity to come here and speak with you all. Thank you sincerely to Barry and Sarah for hosting me and for the very kind introduction, it's a great pleasure. What I will be speaking on today is a somewhat new project that I've embarked on with collaborators at The School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Indiana University at large. And it's on vulnerability and the energy transition that we, within the United States, and one could say, more broadly across the world, we are experiencing currently. So my collaborators are David Konisky and Tom Evans. And we're also working with a PhD student, Michelle Graff, who's in her second year and has been a wonderful contribution, or a wonderful contributor, rather, to this project. So let me begin just by setting the context, and the context is that we in the United States are embarking on, or we have embarked on, a large scale energy transition. And this is a transition from heavy reliance on fossil fuel generation towards reliance on lower carbon or no carbon energy resources. So as this graph demonstrates, we can see that coal generation over the past few decades has declined while we see the increase of natural gas and renewables over this time period.
04:19: Now, projecting forward as this graph does, we can see that not only have we started to retire our coal generation units and add a lot more natural gas and renewable units, as I just showed you, but projections into the future demonstrate that we will continue to add a lot more wind and solar generation, natural gas, and continue to retire coal. So this is all setting the pace for the energy transition. Now, there are a variety of different policies, climate and energy policies that are facilitating this transition. They may not be the only players, market dynamics are at play, but there are a variety of different policy instruments. Now, what this timeline shows you is that these policy instruments have some things in common. The main thing is that most of them are set to expire in the next five to 10 years. Something else that they have in common is that they are all these kind of gradual requirements that ratchet up over time. Such as greenhouse gas emission standards in the transportation sector, Renewable Portfolio Standards in the electricity sector, and all of these gradual requirements are actually gonna ratchet up in the next five to 10 years. Now, of course, the benefits of these policies could be significant.
05:35: Could be great. Hopefully we'll see a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these policies. We will also see a reduction of other sources of pollution. Hopefully we'll see a diversification of energy sources and we should see more renewable energy and a variety of other benefits. But what I'm focused on in this paper, and this project at large, is some of the adverse effects or the negative effects of this transition.
06:00: And specifically I'm interested in how the adverse effects from these policies that are facilitating the energy transition are unevenly borne across the population within the United States. Now one possibility for the adverse effects is a price effect. So for example as a result of electricity policies we might see the price of electricity rise as this graph demonstrates this is a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory graph showing that the price increase in electricity is disproportionate across different states and in fact we know that within States there's disproportionate effects as well. We might also see price effects in the transportation sector as well. Another form of an adverse effect that we see is a loss of certain kinds of jobs. So here I show the majority or I show how coal jobs have declined in recent decades and we can see that the majority of these jobs are disproportionally in the Appalachian region.
07:00: So there are these disproportionate effects. And we know that already, as a result of the transition, these effects have been borne differently across the population. The work that I'm presenting on plays to a body of literature, actually plays to two bodies of literature. It plays to the energy justice literature as well as the just transitions literature. And these bodies of literature really encourage us to ask questions about who are the haves and the have-nots as part of this transition, who controls access or has access to the new technologies that will be made available, such as smart meters and other kinds of technologies that will be made available through this transition, and who benefits or who's at risk. And we know that we need to continue to ask these kinds of really important, fundamental questions about the distributions of the benefits and the burdens of this transition. Now, the literature on energy justice and the just transition is really starting to blossom. By and large, it's been primarily normative or conceptual to date. In this project, one of our objectives is to start to push this literature a little bit more in the empirical direction.
08:08: But so far what we know from this literature is that we've established three basic tenets one is the right of everyone to have access to energy technologies and services. A second is the equal distribution of the impacts of this transition and the third is fairness in procedure or the opportunity for everyone to be involved in the decision-making processes surrounding the energy justice transition. So that's the the beginning and that's where we start with this project and our objective was to continue to explore these themes of energy justice and the just transition to but really to think about this disproportionate adverse effects and how there might be hotspots across the country of populations that are feeling these effects so what we did is we essentially we chose on the dependent variable. We we decided April our that there are probably places that exist within the United States that are already feeling the effects of the transition.
09:06: And we chose three different locations. These three locations are various places within Appalachia, Detroit, and St. Louis. Now, the justifications for why might be a little obvious. Of course, Appalachia is a region where many individuals have lost their jobs. Detroit and St. Louis have high concentrations of poverty and high rates of segregation. They are also home to major energy industries. Of course, Detroit is obvious. St. Louis is the home of many coal companies. So we went to these locations, and over the course of about six months, we conducted a variety of expert interview, s for a total of 46 people across these three sites, and we also had focus groups. We conducted a total of four focus groups. I'm sorry, we had 46 people in the focus groups, 51 interviews total. And this was in 2016.
10:00: We then subsequently followed up after the election most recently by re-engaging those experts and asking them follow-up questions to get a sense of how things have changed since the election, and I'll come back to that point later on in this presentation. Now, what I'm gonna present on today is three different research questions, and these align with three different papers that our team is working on. The first question is, are communities or individuals vulnerable to these adverse effects of the energy transition? The second is, how are the communities, the three communities in which we conducted our work, conceiving of and adapting to the energy transition? And in particular, I'm going to focus very specifically in the Appalachian region and some of the findings that we that we made there that were somewhat surprising to us. And third, I'll ask the question of, have perceptions about the energy transition actually changed since the 2016 election, and what is the role, the short-term role, of politics? So let me begin with the first, and that is on defining and measuring vulnerability.
10:58: Now what our team wanted to do was define the concept of vulnerability as it relates to the energy transition, and then we wanted to measure it and look at some kind of geographic dispersion of vulnerability. So we begin by borrowing from the climate change adaptation literature this concept of a vulnerability scoping diagram. So this is what's here up on the screen vulnerability is the core concept and it's broken down into three different components. The first is exposure that is how an individual or a community might actually be affected by a certain thing in the case of climate change it would be some kind of weather-related event. In the case of energy policies in the energy transition the exposure could be something like the price effect that I showed you or a job displacement. The second category is sensitivity and sensitivity is how likely you are to be affected or your proclivity towards towards that exposure.
11:51: So there are certain types of populations certain demographics for example that might make a community more likely to be affected. And then finally there's the Adaptive Capacity Component. And Adaptive Capacity is really the sense of how an individual or community can cope or adapt, or you think of this as a resiliency kind of concept. So it's really nice about this vulnerability, scoping diagram is it allows you to kind of scope out or think through the concepts that are involved in vulnerability. But then if you move to the outer ring you can actually think about how to operationalize these concepts. So this is the exercise that we embarked on in the case of the energy transition, and what we came up with is here on the screen.
12:32: So this is a fully completed vulnerability scoping diagram based on both our interviews and our focus groups, as well as an extensive review of all associated literature. So here, we have different dimensions of exposure, such as the price effects or the job displacement. Which kinds of demographics are more sensitive to these exposures. And then measures of adaptive capacity. And here primarily, we're able to pull from national programs such as the Weatherization Systems Program or the low Income Energy Assistance Program and the money that is actually funnel to communities for these different programs. Now I'll come back to this image in just a second, but let me explain that what's bolded here is a very specific case of a very specific policy. In this policy is the Renewable Portfolio Standard. So let me just make sure that we all understand what this is. A Renewable Portfolio Standard is, essentially a goal or a mandate that a certain jurisdiction, it's usually a state must increase the percentage, of renewable energy over a certain amount of time.
13:32: So here I've just given a kinda basic schematic where you might have a heavy proportion in the early time period of coal generation or fossil fuel generation, where you have an objective to over time, diversify your portfolio and increase the amount of renewables that you have in your marketplace. So this is a schematic of what it might look like to force the electricity industry to increase the amount of renewables that they have. So coming back to this vulnerability scoping diagram, what's bolded here are the concepts within the vulnerability scoping diagram that pertains specifically to the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
14:09: Now, our next objective then is to create a vulnerability score, based on this information that we have. So here I have calculation for a proposal of how we can create a vulnerability score. Now, let me walk us through this. This is measuring a score, and we do so by county level. Of course, you could do it at any level that you have data available for. So this vulnerability score essentially says that, as part of the transition, you have a variety of different policies in place. Let's say you have five policies or 10 policies. For each one of those policies, there's a set of exposures. So in the case of the Renewable Portfolio Standard, what I'll measure today is the exposure of a price effect. But there are other kinds of exposures that could be associated with that very specific policy, such as with the Renewable Portfolio Standard, we might also see a decline of coal jobs and an increase of other kinds of jobs, such as solar or wind jobs, for example.
15:05: So for any given policy, you have a set of exposures. For every exposure that you have, you have a degree of sensitivity who is actually sensitive, for example, to the price effect. And for any given exposure, you also have a set of adaptive capacity measures, for example, the national programs or even the bottom up kind of community level programs that aim to target that very specific exposure, in the example that I'll show you that exposure again, is the price effect from the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
15:36: So think of this as a, you have your exposure times your sensitivity, minus your exposure times your adaptive capacity. One is going in one direction, presumably, the other is going in the other direction. So what we do is we take this equation, but first we go one through one through each step. So we have our exposure, our sensitivity, and our adaptive capacity. So I'm gonna show a map for all three of those. This map is the exposure to the Renewable Portfolio Standard. Now, I had to go out and get data somewhere on the adverse effects of the Renewable Portfolio Standard. It turns out there aren't a lot of studies out there that actually measure the adverse effects of energy policies. The majority of them measure how well these energy policies are achieving their objectives, more of the efficacy kind of policy evaluation, program evaluation kinds of studies.
16:26: But there's a study that was published recently in Energy Economics by Upton and Snyder, and in this study, they use a synthetic control method. And a part of what they do is they come up with a marginal effect for every single state. So we are able to take that marginal effect for every single state that has this policy. And it's normalized and mapped here. So this is the exposure based on a scholar, or a set of scholars, findings about the marginal effect or the exposure effect of a Renewable Portfolio Standard...
16:56: We then take our full suite of sensitivities. So these are the various variables that we have found, based on our field work and the literature review, make one highly sensitive to the exposure of a price effect. And that's mapped here, normalized between zero and one. Here, I have mapped adaptive capacity, and this is based on two different national programs that I mentioned before, that LIHEAP and the LAP program. So these are two national level efforts. We really ran into challenges coming up with data for other kinds of adaptive capacity programs, which I'll come back to in a minute, as, I think, a limitation of our work and a limitation of the field at large. So what we do is we take all of those three different components, we enter them into our vulnerability score calculation, and we come up with this map. So this is our final map of vulnerability. Now, you may look at it and think, "Well, that's strange. Why, for example, are some say it's highly red and some states are green? I would think that, for example, West Virginia would be highly vulnerable."
17:58: Well, just bear in mind that again, this is for one policy, that is the Renewable Portfolio Standard for one exposure, which is the price effect. Once we start to layer on top of this, all of the other kinds of exposure, such as job displacement and all of the other kinds of policies such as greenhouse gas emissions policies or let's say even the clean power plan, if it has a life ever beyond this. And then you would actually see a different map. So, one of the things that we call for is an extension of this work to continue to compile and to add on to this concept of vulnerability. Now, how could this actually be used? How could this vulnerability score be used? And we think there's a variety of different applications. We think that it could help policy makers or practitioners actually identify places across the country that are hot spots of vulnerability or have high concentrations of a population that are more vulnerable. It also might help one identified or think through the difference between how sensitive a region is and how much help or assistance or coping or resiliency they actually have. So, going back to that equation and thinking about the difference there.
19:03: I think it could also be extended and added to other kinds of literature. So for example, if we know what vulnerability is in the energy policy sense, what about vulnerability in the climate change sense? Are there certain regions across the country, for example, that might be doubly vulnerable or doubly exposed? And what do we do about those regions? And we might also think about voting behavior. Is it possible that those places that are the most vulnerable don't actually vote in their best interest towards helping themselves through the energy transition? But I think, really, fundamentally, the most important next step, besides adding to what we have so far with our map and with our score, is to go out in the field and ask people whether this is actually a useful tool, and how it can be modified, and how it can actually be used by practitioners and policy makers. So, this is our path going forward, but just a call for future research, this is a call for ourselves, but of course, this is a call for the broader scholarly community.
19:58: We need a lot more information. In particular, we need information on the effects, the adverse effects, of these policies across space and at geographic units that actually match reality. And we also need more information about the adaptive capacity programs and component. We just measure the national programs, but there's so much more that's happening. There's more that's happening at the community level, at the utility level, at the state level, at the individual household level. All of these things are very rich and complicated and dynamic, but we don't have good information on them currently. So, I'm gonna move on then to the second aspect and second research question, and this is really thinking about vulnerability and, specifically, adaptive capacity, in rural Appalachia. But before I zoom in on Appalachia, allow me just to give you an overview of what we found and to think through the differences across the three different regions. Earlier, I gave you the three different tenets of a just transition. And here, I'll just say that what we found in the three different locations that we went is that these aspects, or these issues, were very prominent.
21:05: So, here, the first one, a right of everyone to have access to energy technologies. Somebody that we interviewed in St. Louis said, "Yes, solar panels, electric cars, they're great. I can't afford it. It's not about me. It's not for me." The idea that these people... Not everybody will benefit from these technologies. The second idea of an equal distribution of the environmental and social impacts. Well, here's a quote from somebody in Appalachia, "I think there's a moral obligation on the part of the country to help mitigate and to help us live through the transition. We've provided the nation with cheap energy, never clean energy. It was cheap energy, and coal has a huge cost." The idea of that it's time for the country, because there's been this disproportional burden on one community, it's time for the country to help these communities through the transition.
21:48: And finally, the notion of fairness and procedural justice. One individual talked about political leadership at the state and federal level continuing to refuse to engage in promoting clean energy and to engage these individuals in the process. So these aspects came out, and they also came out in a way that was very predictable. I told you that we chose on the dependent variable when choosing the different locations. Well, we found by and large what we expected in Detroit and St. Louis there are a lot of discussions about paying one's electricity bill and paying for transportation, the tradeoffs that one needs to make when they're thinking about how to get to a job versus feeding their family. There's a lot of discussion about inefficiency of housing stock, and how the houses that one lives in, they're so inefficient, they're so drafty and that cost these individuals that are already lower income individuals so much more disproportionally more than others. And in Appalachia the story was very much focused on jobs, and not just the loss of one's job, but the loss of the economic vitality of entire communities as a result of the coal industry being in the decline.
22:49: So, I'm gonna focus in a little bit more specifically, however, on Appalachia, due to what I noted before as being a somewhat surprising result that we found, and a very consistent result that we found across our sample. Let me just give you a little bit more detail about the sample that we have here in Appalachia. So, there's 23 individuals that we consider experts that are essentially working on the front line of the energy transition to help these communities within Appalachia, and they span across a variety of different kinds of different programs. And on the right hand side here we have the focus group participants, you can see that they're, by and large, generally male. Many of them are either unemployed or in training programs, either educational or some kind of technical training programs. A lot of these individuals are former coal miners. So, one of the primary things that we found in these interviews that coal is culture. Coal defines these regions very carefully.
23:45: So here, this individual talked about how there's this sense of grief that comes along with losing one's job and losing the coal industry and coal mining at large and thinking about the identity, and how the identity of not only the individuals, but the entire communities, are wrapped up into coal. And so losing coal and losing coal mining is associated with losing one's way of life and the piece of culture that defines them. When asked about whether or not these communities or these individuals thought there was a future for coal, the majority of them said no. Coal industry, the coal industry is declining. This one person said, "I can tell you what my grand-daddy always said, no matter how many times you beat and kick that dead horse, it's not gonna get up and plow again." So these individuals are very mindful of the fact that the coal industry is declining along with their jobs.
24:32: However, what was surprising to us was a discussion of new opportunities, and the excitement that came along with this new opportunity, and the new opportunity to not only define oneself, but to define their communities. So here this individual talks about this phenomena that's been really good to observe, how these communities have begun to collaborate and seek out new opportunities, and how these small, positive successes can grow and accumulate into even larger successes. You might think that this is one isolated quote, but I actually have several more, many more. Here's another one of somebody who's talking about this kind of excitement and this possibility that now coal is gone and we can rebuild our economy into what we want. And here's yet another one, when somebody talked about some real enthusiasm. "We're beginning to look for something beyond, something beyond coal." So thinking about how to reshape the image, how to reshape the culture, and how to reshape the economic opportunities that they can pursue within these communities.
25:34: Now again, these quotes were not isolated experiences. Here, I have a table of a lot of these kind of key terms, and the counts, and the percentages of the respondents, both the focus groups and the expert respondents that talked about this kind of revived sense of opportunity or excitement. So this actually got us thinking, and thinking in real time, about some of the circumstances that were playing out in our political arena, and thinking about some of the environmental regulations that were being repealed in real time by the Trump administration. And we started to wonder, "Well, is it possible that repealing environmental regulations will actually bring coal jobs back?" So the majority of those that we spoke with said, "Well, coal jobs probably aren't coming back." So we first asked ourselves, "Well, is it possible the coal jobs could come back?" So let me present a few graphs. This first graph is wind energy, the price of wind energy going down significantly, and the deployment of wind energy going up significantly, over the past several decades. This next graph is of solar, and the price of solar going down significantly, and the deployment of solar going up. The same story is true for natural gas as we've advanced a variety of different technologies that help us extract natural gas at a much cheaper rate than we were able to before.
26:50: And if we look at the levelized cost of electricity mapped across county, across space, this is a map, and this is a tool, actually, that you all can go use through the Energy Institute of the University of Texas at Austin. And if you look at the levelized cost of electricity, the cheapest sources available, if we were to build today, across every county is either natural gas, a combined cycle unit, wind, or solar. So the answer to the first question of, "Will removing the environmental regulations actually bring coal jobs back?" Our answer is no. It's really the case that market forces have developed in a way that there are other resources that are more technological efficient. Or, economically efficient, rather.
27:32: So then we ask the question of, "Well, will promising to return coal jobs actually help Appalachian coal communities?" And this is something that we've published on recently in Energy Research & Social Science in a kind of perspectives argument piece. And so what we argue in this piece is, no, and this is based on four things. One, environmental regulations are less responsible for the loss of coal jobs over the past few decades. Two, repealing these environmental regulations will not actually significantly alter these market forces, which hopefully just those few graphs provides enough evidence of. But this is nothing new, you guys have heard this on NPR plenty of times, in the last several months. Plain to our interviews in particular, we argue three, parts of Appalachian coal country have actually begun a transition of their own. And this is a transition, as I've argued, that's based on cultural identity but also new economic opportunities. And finally, providing false hope and a certain degree of uncertainty can actually stall the progress that's being made within these communities towards reestablishing their sense of identity and the sense of their new economic opportunities.
28:43: So I'll turn now to the third part, and this is thinking about perceptions of the energy transition post 2016 election. So I've already now brought in the influence or the role of politics. Of course, our objective when we started was not to play to the role of politics. But as I noted as we're working on this project in real time, there have been a variety of pretty strong political shifts, which has raised questions about the role of politics in the energy transition. So in this paper, we asked the role of, "Does politics matter in the energy transition?" This is thinking about the pace of the transition, what it looks like, how individuals are coping with it. So what do we know about the role of politics in energy transitions? Well, there are two studies that have come up very recently that argue that the role of politics and political institutions as it relates to technological progress and policy design and policy evolution is still significantly unexplored. There's a call for more research within this domain, but we know from a long range of research in the past that, particularly the long-term effects of political institutions and political change has a really important effect on energy, energy markets and energy transitions.
29:53: So of course we should expect that there is a role for politics in the energy transition, but we ask in this paper, and this is a working paper, we asked whether or not the short-term effects of politics matters, and particularly we're interested in the short-term effects on these front line energy transition communities. So, could a sharp change in political priorities for energy affect the US energy transitions specifically in these front line communities? Now here's a table that I put together just showing some of the contrasts between the last two administrations when it comes to environment and energy priorities. So you can see that across a variety of different topics including the clean power plant, corporate average fuel economy standards, the social cost of carbon, and others that there is a very sharp difference between the Obama and the Trump administration. So this is really playing to that pendulum swing if we go from one set of values when it comes to environmental regulations to another, should we see a difference in these front line communities?
31:00: So here's our research question once again. So what we do here is we actually go back to our experts. I noted before that there are expert respondents that we conducted interviews with in these three different locations. And so this all happened before the elections, we then later on came back to these exact same set of expert respondents and asked them very similar questions. So some of our questions, as in a survey, so we went from interviews to surveys, some of our questions matched the original question perfectly, some of our questions were different asking like, in follow-up from the presidential election for example, how have things changed? You can see here that pre-election respondents and post-election respondents, it's not a perfect match, we lost some respondents. We have no way of knowing whether the respondents that we lost was due to some kind of missing at random or not missing at random. This is, I will note, a limitation of this analysis.
31:58: Another limitation is that this is a very small sample size, of course. So I'm gonna show you graphs and percentages, but please remind yourself routinely, and I will do the same, that this is a pretty small sample. So here is our sample, we have a pre-election interview pool and a post-election interview pool. You can see that in the pre-election time period we have a disproportionate number, or a higher number, of Appalachian respondents, and that number came down almost by half between pre and post. Some of this was actually individuals who lost their jobs or who are no longer in their jobs, so this is a missing not at random situation. Detroit, we lost a significant number of respondents as well. In St. Louis, we held on to the majority of our respondents. So again, bear these numbers in mind as we go through these results.
32:45: So one of the questions we asked was about evidence of the energy transition in one's community. "Do you actually see evidence of the energy transition in your community?" The majority, both pre and post, say yes, they see evidence, so before and after the election. A very small percentage says no, they don't see any. Now if we break this down by location, the story is slightly different, but it's also more nuanced. In Appalachia, we can see that we went from 83% to 67%, so we had a decline of those that said that they actually see evidence of it within their community. But this, coming back to the small sample size, this was actually only four individuals that switched their position. One switched from yes to no, one switched from no to other, one switched from yes to other, and one switched from other to no. So there are very small shifts, and I would say four shifting is not necessarily extreme. We also see a few other differences, we see Detroit at 35% saying yes, to an increase of 63%, but again, these are small numbers, small shifts. In St. Louis, staying pretty similar across.
33:50: Generally, I would say that people see evidence of the energy transition within their community, and that perception doesn't drastically change, though it might be slightly bigger in Appalachia, more to the kind of, well it depends, the other category. We asked whether or not the pace of the energy transition has changed, and you can see here that two within Appalachia say that it's slowed down a little, only three total say that it's slowed down. The median is at stayed about the same, so the election really hasn't changed the pace according to the majority, or according to about half. And about a third say that it sped up in some way. Most think that the energy transition, the pace of it, has either stayed about the same or it sped up. We then asked two other questions, "Have federal political changes affected the transition?" Following up on that, we asked whether federal political changes have positively or negatively affected the transition.
34:46: So you can see, looking at the upper part, whether or not the political shifts or changes has affected the transition. The majority think that it has, in fact, affected the transition. Now recall, that the questions previously were on the ground. In your community do you actually see evidence of the transition and the pace of the transition? And most people said, "Yeah, I do see evidence of it." So, this says on the ground, there's evidence of the transition still here and the pace is speeding up, but in the abstract, I think that the political shifts are actually gonna fundamentally affect the energy transition. Then asked whether this is a positive or a negative thing, we can see that the majority think that this is a negative thing. About 20 people said either really negative or slightly negative. So in the abstract, there are these perceptions that the election will shift the energy transition in a way that's quite negative.
35:37: Now, you might be asking yourself, What exactly is negative? What exactly is positive? The follow-up question that we asked was open-ended, "Please, could you explain more about what you just told us? Could you explain more about the negative or the positive?" I'll walk us through some of these quotes just to set a bit of context. Here's somebody from Detroit that said extremely negative, and this person said, "The political changes have dramatically weakened the enabling environment for the energy transition. So this justifies one of the negative use. Here we have somebody from St. Louis that was extremely negative and this person talks about Federal developments including a variety of things, withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement or accords, the slowing down of the clean power plant, withdraw all the clean power plants, the decision of the investment tax credit and for solar panel imports. So all of these things together have been extremely negative. These developments threaten thousands of jobs and billions in economic development.
36:33: Here's some quotes on the positive side. This is somebody from Detroit who said slightly positive. Groups and programs focused on energy transition have experienced a sense of local resistance to retrenchment at the Federal level and has emboldened local action. So some of the individuals that actually said positive said, "It's positive because what we've seen on the ground is that it's emboldened either the local government or the state government, or sometimes even the utilities," which I think plays to this last quote. This is somebody within Appalachia that said positive. This actually put more pressure on the utility industry to do something to shift to a clean energy economy. So there's been greater momentum since the withdrawal of the Paris Agreement and has had the opposite effect in terms what their concerns are. People are now more motivated than ever to push, to demand clean energy.
37:23: Hopefully, this sets a little bit more context on the positive or the negative. I can't say that all negatives were the same and all positives were the same. Of course, there's variation, there's heterogeneity across our responses. But I think that these quotes provide a bit more context as to what's going on here. To summarize the findings of this last piece in particular, we find that politics, at least a very short term, specifically in this single election, has not yet led to changes of the general nature of the energy transition. It's still occurring on the ground. It's still perceived to be occurring, rather. The pace of it is either staying the same or speeding up, according to our respondents. While these respondents perceive this kind of disruption to the energy transition at the abstract, on the ground they still see the energy transition evolving, and many actually believe that state and local government, even electric industry, involvement has increased as individuals and local organizations have become emboldened to do something.
38:25: Let me end with this slide, and this is just concluding thoughts. I'd like to come back to the idea of the just transition and energy transition. And I think it's really important for this work, this body of work at large to continue to evolve, and for us to push this body of work beyond just the conceptual and the normative and to really ask some difficult questions within the space, difficult questions about who benefits and who does not benefit from the policies as well as just the general dynamics that are occurring within the energy transition. We also need to ask questions about what kinds of programs we have in place, what kinds of institutions community level, individual level, as well as national, state and other that we have that are available to actually help these communities that might be more vulnerable to these adverse effects help them through the transition. So as we design all of these policies that aim to achieve these great goals such as reduced air pollution, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and so forth we need to create a set of policies that are targeted on these most vulnerable communities and help them transition with us. So, with that I'll open up to questions.