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David M. Konisky

Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Bloomington
Chapter Member: Indiana SSN

About David

Konisky's research and teaching expertise are in the areas of U.S. environmental and energy policy, with particular emphasis on regulation, federalism and state politics, public opinion. His current projects examine enforcement of federal environmental laws, environmental justice, and public attitudes toward energy and the environment. Konisky formerly worked as a Research Associate at Resources for the Future, and he has consulted for various public and nongovernmental organizations.


What the U.S. Government Can Do to Address Energy Insecurity

    Sanya Carley ,

The Clean and Efficient Energy Future Americans Want

  • Stephen Ansolabehere

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Research discussed by Rebecca Thiele, in "IU Study: Renewable Energy Negatively Affects Some Populations," 89.1: WBOI, May 11, 2018.
Quoted by Claudia Geib in "Green Energy: Good for the Planet, Bad for Fossil Fuel Workers," Futurism, May 9, 2018.
Research discussed by Kevin Stark and Winifred Bird, in "Higher Risks, Fewer Protections for America's Immigrants," Pacific Standard, May 2, 2018.
Opinion: "Air Pollution from Industrial Shutdowns and Startups Worse than Thought," David M. Konisky (with Nikolaos Zirogiannis and Alex J. Hollingsworth), The Conversation, February 14, 2018.
Quoted by Steve Hinnefeld in "'Excess Emissions' Make Significant Contribution to Air Pollution," EurekAlert!, February 14, 2018.
Opinion: "Air Pollution from Industrial Shutdowns and Startups Worse than Thought," David M. Konisky (with Nikolaos Zirogiannis and Alex J. Hollingsworth), The Conversation , February 14, 2018.
Research discussed by Jim Hanchett-Indiana, in "Polls Suggest Less Environmentalism Among U.S. Christians," Futurity, February 1, 2018.
Quoted by in "Being Religious Does Not Make You Greener," The Economist, January 26, 2018.
Quoted by in "US Christians Turning away from the Green Light," The Fifth Estate, January 25, 2018.
Quoted by Emily Hopkins in "Are Christians Becoming More Environmentally Conscious? A New Study Says No.," Indy Star, January 17, 2018.
Research discussed by Cody Fenwick, in "3.2 Million More Americans Were Uninsured in 2017 Than 2016," White House Patch, January 16, 2018.
Research discussed by Niina Heikkinen, in "Christianity is Not Getting Greener," Scientific American, January 16, 2018.
Quoted by Julia Conley in "Trump's Insistence on Coal Revival Finds Pushback Even in Coal Country," Common Dreams, November 28, 2017.
Quoted by in "Efforts to Revive Coal Industry Unlikely to Work, May Slow Job Growth," Science Daily, October 27, 2017.
Quoted by Tom DiChristopher in "Trump is Still Pulling out of Paris Agreement, Despite Chatter of a Reversal, Experts Say," CNBC, September 19, 2017.
Quoted by Denisse Moreno in "Severe Weather Events Have a Limited Effect on Support for Climate Policies," International Business Times, September 8, 2017.
Quoted by Javonte Anderson in "Climate Report Validates Global Warming Warnings; Indiana Experts Weigh In," Chicago Tribune, August 10, 2017.
Opinion: "Will We Reverse the Little Progress We’ve Made on Environmental Justice?," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, April 16, 2017.
Guest on Northeast Indiana Public Radio, March 3, 2017.
Guest on Indiana Public Media, March 3, 2017.
Opinion: "Will a Weakened EPA Set Environmental Justice Back?," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, December 7, 2016.
Opinion: "Clinton Seizes on Environmental Justice but Progress Requires Deep Reforms," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, June 8, 2016.
Opinion: "Flint Isn’t Alone," David M. Konisky (with Manuel P. Teodoro), The Hill, February 8, 2016.
Opinion: "Will Extreme Weather Events Get Americans to Act on Climate Change?," David M. Konisky (with Charles Kaylor and Llewelyn Hughes), The Conversation, February 5, 2016.
Opinion: "Delayed or Killed, Keystone Pipeline Will Live On as Political Touchstone," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, November 4, 2015.
Opinion: "Is Lagging on Climate Change a Political Liability?," David M. Konisky (with Matto Mildenberger), The Conversation, October 22, 2015.
Research discussed by "Climate Strategy Focused on Local Impacts is Most Effective with Americans," MIT News, October 1, 2015.
Opinion: "Clinton Stance on XL Pipeline Reflects Muscle of Climate Activists," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, September 24, 2015.
Opinion: "The Weight of Future Presidents," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, August 4, 2015.
Opinion: "Hillary Clinton Stakes Out Safe Political Ground with Energy and Climate Plan," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, July 30, 2015.
Opinion: "The 2016 Candidates Aren’t Talking about Climate Change because Voters Don’t Care," David M. Konisky, New Republic, May 13, 2015.
Opinion: "Will the Presidential Candidates Have a Substantive Debate on Climate Change?," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, May 13, 2015.
Opinion: "Environmental Justice: Big Ambitions, Little Action," David M. Konisky, The Conversation, April 22, 2015.
Opinion: "Energy: What Americans Really Want," David M. Konisky (with Stephen Ansolabehere), Boston Globe, September 14, 2014.
Research discussed by Danny Hayes, in "Air Polluters Like to Send Their Emissions across State Lines," The Washington Post, June 9, 2013.
Opinion: "State of the Nation: Who Cares about Climate Change," David M. Konisky (with Steven Ansolabehere), Boston Review, July/August 2014.


"Racial, Ethnic, and Income Disparities in Air Pollution: A Study of Excess Emissions in Texas" (with Nikolaos Zirogiannis and Zhengyan Li). Plos One (2019).

Examines the environmental justice implications of industrial air emissions in Texas. Finds that the percentage of Black population and median household income are positively associated with industrial air emissions.

"The Greening of Christianity? A Study of Environmental Attitudes over Time" Environmental Politics 27, no. 2 (2018): 267-291.
Failed Promises: Evaluating the Federal Government’s Response to Environmental Justice (MIT Press, 2015).
Evaluates environmental justice policy as it is has been implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the past twenty years. The central finding is that the federal government has largely failed to incorporate environmental justice considerations in its decision-making in areas ranging from permitting and enforcement to rulemaking and economic analysis.
"Cheap and Clean: How Americans Think about Energy in the Age of Global Warming" (with Stephen Ansolabehere) (MIT Press, 2014).
Examines Americans’ attitudes toward energy sources and energy policy, using ten years of original public opinion surveys. The book demonstrates that the U.S. public wants the country to rely less on fossil fuels and more on renewable technologies, and that these preferences are driven primarily by their perceptions of the economic costs and environmental harms – especially local environmental harms – of energy sources.
"Compliance Bias and Environmental (In)Justice" (with Christopher Reenock). The Journal of Politics 75, no. 2 (2013): 506-519.
Provides an explanation of how community demographic characteristics influence compliance bias or the failure of regulatory officials to detect noncompliance. We find that while some poor and minority communities are vulnerable to compliance bias, such bias attenuates in the presence of either politically-mobilized communities or decentralized enforcement authority within the implementing agency.
"Inequities in Enforcement? Environmental Justice and Government Performance" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 28, no. 1 (2009): 102-121.
Analyzes patterns of state enforcement of three federal pollution control programs – the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act – and finds that state administrative agencies performed fewer inspections and sanctions at facilities located in poor and minority communities.
"Regulatory Competition and Environmental Enforcement: Is There a Race to the Bottom?" American Journal of Political Science 51, no. 4 (2007): 853-872.
Examines the degree to which state government agencies are engaged in a race to the bottom in environmental regulatory enforcement. The analysis shows that, while states’ environmental regulatory actions are influenced by the regulatory behavior of the states with which they compete for economic investment, states do not respond in the asymmetric manner suggested by the race to the bottom theory.