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Leah Stokes

University of California, Santa Barbara
United States
Email lstokes [at] ucsb [period/dot] edu

Leah Stokes is the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics and affiliated with the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She works on energy, climate and environmental politics. Her book, “Short Circuiting Policy,” examines the role that utilities have played in promoting climate denial. Leah also contributed to the anthology, “All We Can Save.” She completed her PhD in Public Policy at MIT, received a masters from MIT’s Political Science Department, and an MPA in Environmental Science & Policy at Columbia University.

Leah C. Stokes’s website.


Emily L WilliamsSydney A BartoneEmma K SwansonLeah C Stokes. 2022. “The American electric utility industry’s role in promoting climate denial, doubt, and delay,” Environmental Research Letters (September 2022).

Parrish Bergquist, Matto Mildenberger, & Leah C. Stokes. 2020. “Combining climate, economic, and social policy builds public support for climate action in the US,” Environmental Research Letters (May 2020).

Leah C. Stokes. 2020. “Short Circuiting Policy: Interest Groups and the Battle Over Clean Energy and Climate Policy in the American States,” Oxford University Press (April 2020).

Matto Mildenberger & Leah C. Stokes. 2019. “North American Energy Politics,” The Oxford Handbook on Energy Politics, Oxford Handbooks Online (April 2019).

Hanna L. Breetz, Matto Mildenberger, & Leah C. Stokes. 2018. “The Political Logics of Clean Energy Transitions,” Business & Politics (2018).

Leah C. Stokes & Hanna L. Breetz. 2018. “Politics in the U.S. energy transition: Case studies of solar, wind, biofuels and electric vehicles policy,” Energy Policy (February 2018).

Leah C. Stokes & Christopher Warshaw. 2017. “Renewable energy policy design and framing influences public support in the United States,” Nature Energy (June 2017).

Noelle E. Selin, Leah C. Stokes, & Lawrence E. Susskind. 2017. “The Need for Climate Science Education to Build Policy Literacy,” WIREs Climate Change (June 2017).

Leah C. Stokes. 2016. “Electoral Backlash against Climate Policy: A Natural Experiment on Retrospective Voting and Local Resistance to Public Policy,” American Journal of Political Science (October 2016).

Matto Mildenberger, Peter Howe, Erick Lachapelle, Leah C. Stokes, Jennifer Marlon, Timothy Gravelle. 2016. “The Distribution of Climate Change Public Opinion in Canada,” PLOS ONE (August 2016).

Media Coverage

Leah Stokes quoted on the Senate’s climate actions in “History’s Greatest Obstacle to Climate Progress Has Finally Fallen,” The Atlantic, August 2022.

Will the energy crisis in Texas become the new normal?” Leah Stokes tackles the question in a conversation with the New York Times. February 26, 2021.

Leah C. Stokes quoted on fossil fuel companies’ impact on communities of color and low-income families by Sammy Roth. The fossil fuel industry wants you to believe it’s good for people of color,” Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2020.

The Trouble with Carbon Pricing,” Matto Mildenberger & Leah C. Stokes, Boston Review, September 24, 2020.

Leah C. Stokes interviewed on energy bailout payment. Is Trump Behind $60 Billion Utility Bribe? Thom Hartmann Program, August 7, 2020.

Our Racist Fossil Fuel Energy System,” Nikayla Jefferson & Leah C. Stokes, The Boston Globe, July 17, 2020.

Racial Justice is Climate Justice – and It Can’t Wait,” Nikayla Jefferson & Leah C. Stokes, Drilled News, June 19, 2020.

Protestors want justice – including on social, economic and climate demands,” Parrish Bergquist, Matto Mildenberger, & Leah C. Stokes, The Washington Post, June 12, 2020.

Leah C. Stokes interviewed on the lockdown’s effect on our carbon footprint. Greener Living Post COVID-19,” The Agenda, TVO, May 20, 2020.

Leah C. Stokes interviewed on the lockdown’s effect on our carbon footprint. Global quarantine not enough to curb emissions as CO2 levels hit record high, CBS News, May 15, 2020.

Upend the political power of carbon polluters,” Leah C. Stokes, The Boston Globe, April 19, 2020.

Leah C. Stokes interviewed on utilities’ opposition to clean energy policies. Short-Circuiting Policy: Reckoning With Utilities’ Resistance to Change,” The Energy Gang, April 18, 2020.

Leah C. Stokes featured in annual list of Top 50 Fixers working on the environment. This prof will school you on climate change,” Grist, March 2020.

Cleaning up the Electricity System,” Leah C. Stokes, Democracy Journal, February 20, 2020.

A Plan for Equitable Climate Policy in the United States,” Leah C. Stokes & Matto Mildenberger, Washington Center for Equitable Growth, February 18, 2020.

Leah C. Stokes’ talk on climate change in California. Climate Change in our Backyard: Impacts, Policy and Politics,” UCSB Pacific Views: Library Speaker Series, January 28, 2020.

Leah C. Stokes interviewed on the California wildfires. Fueled by Climate Change, California’s Raging Wildfires Are Threatening Vulnerable Communities First,” Democracy Now!, October 29, 2019.

Leah C. Stokes’ talk on the politics of climate policy. On the politics of climate mitigation,” MIT Climate Symposium, October 29, 2019.

While the planet overheats, Ohio’s coal industry gets a bailout,” Leah C. Stokes, The Guardian, July 28, 2019.

No to New Oil Drilling,” Leah C. Stokes, David Pellow, & Emily Williams, The Santa Barbara Independent, March 6, 2019.

Congress Has No Clue What Americans Want,” Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Matto Mildenberger & Leah C. Stokes, The New York Times, October 31, 2018.

Trump’s giveaway to Big Oil will accelerate climate change,” Leah C. Stokes, CNN, August 7, 2018.

No, we didn’t almost solve the climate crisis in the 1980s,” Matto Mildenberger & Leah C. Stokes, Vox, August 6, 2018.