Energy Supply, Risk and Justice: Regulatory Strategies for an Era of Limited Trust
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Abstract: Regulatory organisations responsible for implementing safety in the civil energy sector must address a triad of factors. Namely, the risk tolerance of the community, the methodology used to measure and enforce risk levels, and the resources available to the regulatory agency. Attempts to balance these factors have often focussed on attempting to align public perceptions of risk with those of government personnel, technical specialists and industry. This “information deficit” approach has been largely unsuccessful because the shortfall, particularly in respect to dread risk, has not been one of knowledge, but of trust. Trust may be viewed as an expectation of just or fair treatment by others. To retain legitimacy, any government must act with justice. Justice has two related elements – distributive and retributive. This paper explores novel approaches to the achievement of both aspects of justice in order better to ensure the just apportionment of risk in energy safety regulation.
Keywords: Energy, justice, regulation, risk, trust