Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Kaya C. Salem '18

Environmental Studies
Research Mentor Timmons Roberts


Over the past decade, Rhode Island legislators, regulators, and policy makers have embarked on a series of policy initiatives to help the state transition to a modern, low-carbon electrical system. Some of these policy initiatives, like the Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency, and Affordability Act of 2006, have successfully transformed the way Rhode Island reduces carbon emissions. Others have become bogged down in bureaucracy or haven't produced the results that environmentalists hoped. Salem theorizes the variances in effective implementation correspond to contrasting policy design, stakeholder input processes, and activist action. To test this theory, Salem is conducting research by comparing four different case studies of energy policy in Rhode Island. Salem’s hope is that conclusions drawn from this research will aid local advocates and policymakers in their efforts to transition Rhode Island to a more sustainable, just electricity system.