State policies shape firms’ incentives to lobby in the United States, but the existing lobbying literature mostly ignores these incentives. Using lobbying records for all electric utilities in the United States from 1998 to 2012, we examine how state policies affect federal lobbying by both proponents and opponents of federal support for the renewable energy policy. Our theory predicts that supportive state policies reduce the returns to lobbying by both proponents and opponents. Empirically, we show that when the federal production tax credit for renewable energy is about to expire, electric utilities from states without renewable portfolio standards become more likely to lobby than those from states with these policies. Because the timing of the expiration of the production tax credit is quasi-random, these findings carry a causal interpretation. Using text analysis techniques, we also show that the lobbying efforts are focused on energy and environmental issues while lobbying on unrelated topics remains unaffected.
- energy and environment
- federal and state policies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Political Science and International Relations