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Discussion

Critical Minerals: The Achilles Heel of America’s Clean Energy Future?

Author(s): Morgan D. Bazilian
Director, Payne Institute and Professor of Public Policy
Colorado School of Mines
Date: November 4, 2019 at 10:37 AM

In 2017, the Trump administration issued Executive Order 13817, which states “The United States is heavily reliant on imports of certain mineral commodities that are vital to the Nation’s security and economic prosperity. This dependency of the United States on foreign sources creates a strategic vulnerability…” Of the 35 critical minerals designated in a 2018 Department of Interior (DOI) report, the United States is 75-100% reliant on 24 of them. Many of these are essential inputs to clean energy technologies such as lithium-ion batteries, solar modules, and wind turbines. We can expect that the tremendous growth and innovation in resource-dependent… [more]

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Climate RFI: Decarbonizing Electricity with Standards,Taxes, and Transmission Lines

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 22, 2019 at 12:18 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is requesting information around policies that Congress should adopt to solve the climate crisis and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Committee staff told us they would welcome feedback from OEP experts. Four specific questions from the committee’s request for information are outlined below. We will compile and send to the committee substantive comments posted to this discussion by November 11.     U.S. electricity generation from wind power is more than 7 times higher today than it was in 2017, and U.S. solar power generation is 100… [more]

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A Framework for The Green Real Deal

Author(s): Ernest J. Moniz
President and CEO
Energy Futures Initiative
Date: October 8, 2019 at 9:00 AM

I recently unveiled the framework for a “Green Real Deal” on behalf of the Energy Futures Initiative at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Innovates conference in Washington, D.C. Building upon several months of analytical work, the Green Real Deal framework offers broad principles that are based on a commitment to realistic, actionable, and meaningful progress towards a low-carbon economy.  The Green Real Deal must be a very pragmatic program data-driven, science-based, and analytically supported. Principles like innovation are at the core of the solution. A wise and just transition to a low-carbon economy, moving as fast as is technically… [more]

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But First, Energy Efficiency

Author(s): Sabrina Cowden
CEO
Milepost Consulting
Date: September 3, 2019 at 11:42 AM

New and emerging innovations in renewable energy suggest the real possibility—probability even—of a future where everyone has access to abundant clean energy. While supporting these advancements is vital to a sustainable future, it is perhaps more crucial that our legislators create and codify solid energy efficiency standards that can reduce our carbon emissions. In 2018, roughly 69% of energy produced in the United States was lost, most often in the form of waste heat, such as exhaust from cars and furnaces. As we shift to new sources of power generation, policy work around minimizing energy waste will help to show… [more]

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The Need for Restructured Electricity Markets

Author(s): Robert Dillon
Executive Director
Energy Choice Coalition
Date: August 8, 2019 at 2:45 PM

The rapid evolution of the electricity sector in the United States can offer numerous benefits to consumers while also addressing society’s environmental concerns. The rise of independent energy suppliers and the advancement of information technology are transforming the way we generate and manage our electricity use, allowing consumers to access more affordable, diverse, efficient, and cleaner sources of energy. More than a dozen states have restructured their electricity markets to some degree in order to give consumers, large and small, a greater say in the type of energy they use every day to power their homes and offices. Proper policy… [more]

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Reducing the Energy Burden on Low-Income Americans

Author(s): Marilyn Brown
Professor of Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: August 5, 2019 at 10:30 AM

In an era of U.S. energy abundance, it is troubling that many low-income Americans are persistently paying high energy bills. Even after decades of weatherization improvements, which protect buildings from the elements to reduce energy costs, and bill payment programs to make energy bills more manageable, families with modest incomes still spend a higher percentage of their income on their energy bills than more advantaged income groups. Energy burdens (the ratio of energy bills to income) are especially high in the South, rural America, and minority communities. For instance, among the largest cities in the U.S., the three with the… [more]

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Building Emissions in New York City and The Recent Retrofit Bill

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 23, 2019 at 12:43 PM

The New York City Council passed legislation in April 2019 to mandate that all existing buildings 25,000 square feet or larger must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. This retrofit bill (Local Law 97) was part of a package of bills called the Climate Mobilization Act. There are 50,000 buildings in New York City that the law applies to, and they are responsible for about 30% of New York City’s total greenhouse gas emissions—”a big number for a small subset of buildings,” said Costa Constantinides, the New York City Council Member who… [more]

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Unleashing Corporate Sustainability

Author(s): Jeffrey Moe
Global Director, Energy Policy and Advocacy
Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand
Date: July 8, 2019 at 12:00 PM

While some companies associate sustainability with added costs, sustainable business practices actually deliver value to society and can be a growth engine for business. The United States’ experience over the last decade shows how a country can reap the benefits of increased private sector sustainability efforts. With the right policy support, the corporate sector can do even more to expand and accelerate these practices. Though companies may have different experiences, our efforts demonstrate that it is possible for the industrial corporate segment to integrate sustainability into its strategy while still delivering strong returns to shareholders. At Ingersoll Rand, we made… [more]

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The Need for a Diverse Approach to Energy

Author(s): Laura Nelson
Executive Director
Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development
Date: June 24, 2019 at 3:31 PM

As new and cleaner energy options are deployed, our national energy portfolio is transforming faster than ever before. Facing changes occurring across our power, transportation, and resource systems, Utah has chosen an all-of-the-above state energy policy. Embracing energy diversity and focusing on efficient markets, technology, infrastructure, and new partnerships will create an energy economy that supports our state’s economic and environmental goals. As discussed at Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s recent energy summit, the Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) has worked to advance Utah’s energy agenda with smart and innovative solutions. Among the OED’s significant initiatives are projects that invest… [more]

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Discussion

Aspen Institute Science & Society Program

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 11, 2019 at 3:38 PM

Launched in 2019, the Science & Society Program (SSP) was established to address critical gaps in public trust in, and understanding of, advances in science, as well as the potential impact of those advances on America’s diverse society. Through its various activities, SSP will seek to raise awareness and inform targeted audiences about present-day challenges at the intersection of science and our national community. SSP will endeavor to explain, connect, and maximize the many benefits of science, technology, and innovation, while striving to expand the audience of individuals who embrace the value and contribution of science to improving the human… [more]

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