What We Do

IEJ conducts research, provides policy analysis, and facilitates dialogue to advance concrete policy pathways towards energy justice. We partner with frontline organizing groups and allies who are striving for universal access to affordable, renewable, and democratically managed energy.

Policy Research and Resource Development

Conducting research to inform the development of a range of resources, such as policy tools and best practices, accessible to both policy advocates and policymakers

  • Core Law, Policy, and Regulatory Research: Conducting research in partnership with a diverse set of scholars, frontline energy justice leaders, social justice advocates, and civil rights organizations
  • Resource Development and Translation: Translating core research into a range of resources, accessible to advocates and policymakers

Engagement and Capacity Building with Advocates and Policymakers

Collaborating with stakeholders to design and apply IEJ research, resources, and model policies

  • Workshops & Convenings for Advocates: Working with frontline organizations and leaders to collaborate on and co-design the translation of movement goals into IEJ’s resources and tools
  • Train the Trainer Program: Building legal and technical capacity in frontline organizations for engagement in legislative and policy activities at the local and state levels
  • Workshops & Trainings for Policymakers: Convening key policymakers, in collaboration with allied leaders and organizations, to share best practices and model policies

Energy Justice Leadership Development

Building the field of energy justice professionals and leaders

  • Legal & Policy Fellows Program: Delivering a full-time legal & policy fellows program to employ and train top law school graduates, as well as graduates from other programs, to support IEJ research and engagement efforts
  • Student Program:  Training students on energy justice by engaging them in research and policy projects

Partner 

We cultivate and sustain partnerships with frontline organizing groups and allied advocacy organizations, staying in sync with their organizing and advocacy priorities.

Research

We use a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods, such as community-based participatory research, that value genuine and meaningful relationships with frontline communities and organizing groups.

Engage 

We facilitate dialogue among frontline organizing groups and allied advocacy organizations to coordinate strategy, share policy analysis, and build capacity for energy justice advocacy.

Policy/Issue Areas

Community Benefits and Governance

To advance policy that centers on energy justice, it is critical that communities experience material benefits from the energy system and have decision-making authority over energy infrastructure. Benefits can include monetary payments, pollution remediation, infrastructure investment, jobs programs, and health improvements; policy interventions that account for, track, and allocate benefits are key to policy change. Some countless strategies and structures attempt to center community decision-making and benefits, with as many successes, failures, and lessons learned. IEJ researches and evaluates these structures to supply our partners with the necessary tools and knowledge to design policy interventions and apply best practices in community benefits allocation and democratic governance structures.

Utility Justice

In the U.S., the primary model of electricity provision is to carve up geographic territories and allow one utility to operate a regulated monopoly in that region. The existing utility system has proved to be a consistent barrier to advancing universal access to affordable, renewable, and democratically managed energy. IEJ advances alternatives to conventional utility business models, such as community choice aggregation, municipal utilities, public power policies, and other policy solutions to advance energy justice.

Clean Energy Policy Implementation

Clean energy policies can advance energy justice through the equitable deployment of renewables but also have the potential to promote false solutions to climate change that embed inequity and existing power structures. IEJ focuses on long-term state and federal energy policy evaluation projects to highlight best practices/energy justice wins in the policy realm and identify opportunities for policy improvements. IEJ creates and applies evaluation frameworks in collaboration with partner organizations to analyze existing clean energy and energy justice policies.