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Getting Sustainability on the Agenda of Our Dysfunctional Federal Government

November 10, 2015 by Steven Cohen

Last week I participated in a very timely panel discussion at Columbia University on the impact of climate and the environment on the 2016 elections. The panel was moderated by Chuck Todd, the brilliant and politically savvy moderator of NBC's Meet the Press.[read more]

Three Reasons Why New Flood Protection Standards Are a Good Idea

May 7, 2015 by Peter Lehner

Federal Flood Policies

President Obama recently updated federal flood protection standards. These are the criteria government agencies use when building their own facilities, as well as when they decide whether to finance large public projects, such as train or bus terminals, electric transfer stations, or wastewater treatment plants.[read more]

The Emergence and Importance of President Obama's Climate Policy

March 25, 2015 by Steven Cohen

President Obama recently signed an executive order directing federal agencies over the next decade to cut their emissions by an average of 40 percent compared with their levels when he won office in 2008, and to increase their use of electricity from renewable sources by 30 percent.[read more]

New Poll Finds 73 Percent of Voters Support Crucial Tax Policy for Wind Energy

November 28, 2014 by Shauna Theel

Wind Energy and Tax Policy

A new poll found that wide majorities of different political affiliations, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, support keeping the renewable energy Production Tax Credit, which is perhaps the key federal policy support mechanism for wind energy.[read more]

Federal Energy News: Senate Finance Talks Energy Tax Reform, EPA Extends Comment Period, and No Review for Demand Response Ruling

September 22, 2014 by Tom Carlson

Federal Energy News

the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on energy tax reform, the EPA extended the comment period on its proposed Clean Power Plan, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review a ruling on a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission demand response regulation.[read more]

Solar Could Grow Faster if We Had a Functioning Federal Government

August 27, 2014 by Steven Cohen

It is obvious that the United States federal government is struggling to perform basic governance functions and, it is incapable of leading the transition to a renewable economy. Nevertheless, one of the key elements of that transition, the adoption of solar power, is well underway in the U.S.[read more]

Our Dysfunctional National Government Is Incapable of Building a Sustainable Economy

August 5, 2014 by Steven Cohen

Trends in American politics lead away from democracy, moderate demands for change, and inhibit working with the private sector to bring about a sustainable economy. These include unlimited money in politics, gerrymandered congressional districts, and the media environment we now experience.[read more]

Strong Federal Endorsement Could Spur First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm to Begin Construction This Year

July 6, 2014 by Kit Kennedy

Federal Wind Project Support

News out from the federal Department of Energy suggests a promising future for U.S. offshore wind power. The agency announced it is backing the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts—long expected to be the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm—with a $150 million loan guarantee.[read more]

Obama Administration Starts the New Year with More Climate Action

January 11, 2014 by Frances Beinecke

Obama Administration and Climate Change

2014 has kicked off with welcome progress in the fight against climate change. On Wednesday, the Obama Administration published limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. This step confirms the President’s National Climate Action plan is on track to deliver climate solutions in 2014.[read more]

Power Africa or Power Oil and Gas Profits?

September 12, 2013 by Justin Guay

Africa and Energy

Slowly but surely one of the most pressing development issues facing the international community, energy poverty, is getting the recognition it deserves. President Obama announced a signature initiative, Power Africa, to address the issue with $7 billion in US Taxpayer dollars.[read more]

Action on Climate Change Will Still Be a State Affair

June 27, 2013 by Katherine Tweed

As many who work in cleantech or environmental circles probably noticed, a warm, fuzzy feeling was palpable on Tuesday as Obama delivered a long-awaited address about how his administration plans to tackle climate change.[read more]

Ethanol Biofuels Mandate On Alert

May 16, 2013 by Kristopher Settle

Texas Rep. Pete Olson, along with more than a dozen cosponsors reintroduced legislation this week that would permit natural gas-based ethanol to compete with corn-based ethanol for a federal biofuels mandate.[read more]


Which Government Policies and Other Factors Have Reduced U.S. Carbon Emissions?

April 17, 2013 by John Miller

US carbon emissions

Clean energy supplies have reduced U.S. carbon emissions by levels greater than most Developed countries. Which Government policies and other factors have contributed most towards reduced U.S. carbon emissions?[read more]

Can Federal Gov't Achieve Obama's Energy Efficiency Goal?

February 18, 2013 by Comly Wilson

There are some inherent difficulties that the federal government will have to overcome to achieve Obama's goals of energy efficiency.[read more]

Terry Engelder on the Federal Role in the Shale Gas Revolution

January 6, 2012 by Breakthrough Institute

As a part of the Breakthrough Institute's in-depth investigation of shale gas extraction and the role of the federal government in the development of many of the key enabling technologies, we interviewed Terry Engelder, professor at the University of Pennsylvania and one of Foreign Policy's 100 Global Thinkers. Dr. Engelder has authored...[read more]