Regulatory policy, something Georgia Barnes ’25 calls the “unglamorous side of public policy,” is often misunderstood by the public and overshadowed by the drama and intrigue of legislative politics. This summer, Barnes, through her Chuck Green Fellowship, got to see this side of the policy process. She worked at the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), a Twin Cities-based sustainable energy nonprofit where she “ensured that Minnesota’s gas and electric utilities complied with state and national legislation.”

A political science and environmental studies double major, Barnes says her time at CEE helped her find impactful work in both areas of study. A typical day included meetings with stakeholders, regulatory research, and a lunchtime run with her boss. 

“Over our lunch break, my supervisor and I would head down to the locker rooms in our building, change, and head out for a run along the Mississippi,” Barnes says. 

In her time at CEE she dug deep on the behind-the-scenes work that goes into ensuring new environmental protection and energy laws are being obeyed and implemented as legislators designed it. 

“This side of policy is critical because no matter what policy is passed, real change will only occur when stakeholders are held accountable,” Barnes said. 

September 7 2023

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