Events

Upcoming Events

2024 Spring Speaker Series


In defense of the utility: Neoliberalism and the bifurcation of electricity politics in the United States


Dr. Matt Huber (Syracuse University)

Thursday, February 29, 3PM ET

Click here to register

 

Abstract: 

If the climate movement in the USA agrees on anything it is that electric utilities are the enemy. They are corrupt, too vested in fossil fuel assets, and funders of climate denial. But, what is a utility? This talk traces the historical roots of public utilities (including electric utilities) as institutions early 20th Century progressives argued were essential services too important to be left entirely to the market and capital. It shows how the neoliberal restructuring of the electricity sector took its aim at utility's totalizing or monopoly control over the electricity sector in favor of "unbundling" electricity into new "competitive" markets in electricity generation and retail. Because solar and wind generation almost entirely thrives on this model – controlled by capitalist "independent power producers" – anti-utility climate campaigners have often welcomed these neoliberal reforms. Yet, labor unions – who struggled to win secure union contracts in the traditional utility sector – have been some of the loudest opponents of electricity deregulation and restructuring. The result is yet another bifurcation of the left between climate and environmentalists on one side and labor on the other. Out of this impasse, I argue for a labor-centered electricity politics that would attempt to resurrect the model of public utilities for the 21st Century challenges of decarbonization and the return of massive "load growth" in the electricity sector. 

Past Events

Fall 2023 Invited Lecture Series

Kirsten Jenkins,  Senior Lecturer in Energy, Environment and Society,

University of Edinburgh


Seminar Title: Undertaking Energy Justice Research in Practice: Benefits, challenges and opportunities

Recorded on October 26th, 2023

Fall 2023 Invited Lecture Series

Christina Hoicka,  Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor,

University of Victoria


Seminar Title: Linking Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research with Energy Geography

Recorded on September 29th, 2023

AAG 2023 EESG Plenary

Tony Reames, Deputy Director for Energy Justice, US DOE & Associate Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Plenary Title: Exploring Community, Place and Justice Across the Clean Energy Transition Recorded on March 52, 2023

Fall 2022 Invited Lecture Series 

Benjamin Sovacool, Professor, Boston University, University of Sussex, and Aarhus University


Seminar Title: From Half-Baked Ideas to Publication: Launching and Structuring New Research Projects
Recorded on October 26, 2022

2nd Annual Energy Geography Futures and Directions Panel Session

Discussant

Julia Haggerty (Montana State University) 

Panelists:

Andrew Curley (University of Arizona)

Carelle Mang-Benza (University of Western Ontario) 

Elena Louder (University of Arizona) 

Elvin Delgado (Central Washington University) 

Recorded on March 1, 2022

Community-Engaged Scholarship in Energy Geography

Discussant: 

Marissa Bell (Cornell University) 

Panelists:

Elvin Delgado (Central Washington University)

Michael Dunaway (Syracuse University)

Kelli Roemer (Montana State University)

Roopali Phadke (Macalaster College)  

Recorded on March 1, 2022

Fall 2021 Energy Seminar Series


Dustin Mulvaney, Professor, Environmental Studies Department, San José State University

Seminar Title: Labor, Land, and Waste and the Political Ecology of Solar Power Commodity Chains Recorded on November 5, 2021

Engaged Energy Geography Teaching

Panelists:

Tom Ptak (Texas State University)

Julia Haggerty (Montana State University)

Andrew Curley (University of Arizona)

Heather Bedi (Dickinson College)  

Recorded on February 26, 2022

Fall 2021 Energy Seminar Series

Silvia Grandi, Adjunct Professor, Department of Statistical Sciences , University of Bologna


Seminar Title: The European Geographies of Energy Transition: policies and complexities
Recorded on October 8, 2021