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New Congressional Discussion
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. Read the discussion prompt and respond to one or more of the questions below:
  1. What policies should Congress adopt to decarbonize the electricity sector, consistent with meeting or exceeding net-zero emissions by med-century? What analysis demonstrates that the recommended policies achieve that goal?
  2. If you recommend a Clean Energy Standard, how should it be designed?
  3. How could policies to decarbonize the electricity sector complement a carbon pricing program?
  4. How can Congress expedite the permitting and siting of high-voltage interstate transmission lines to carry renewable energy to load centers?
OurEnergyPolicy staff will provide responses from this discussion to the committee. We contacted the committee, and they said they would welcome feedback from
OurEnergyPolicy experts as part of this request for information.
October Discussion
A Framework for Achieving a Deeply Decarbonized Economy, The Green Real Deal, p. 8 .
This is the third week of our October discussion on Dr. Ernest Moniz's " Green Real Deal ." Last week, twelve OurEnergyPolicy experts responded to the call for comments. Various participants expressed support for keeping existing nuclear power plants open , electrifying all energy sectors , passing carbon fee and dividend legislation , using climate solutions as an opportunity to address environmental justice and social equity , and the developing carbon removal technologies. Several stated the importance of decarbonizing all energy sectors and not just electricity.
OurEnergyPolicy experts also spoke to the importance of Moniz's point of building broad and inclusive coalitions and/or had critiques as to how the Green Real Deal contributes or inhibits broad-based support for practical climate change solutions. Others discussed Moniz's point on innovation, with disagreement as to whether and to what extent our ability to tackle climate change requires that we develop and scale new technologies first. See some comments on coalitions and innovation below. See the discussion for all comments, and log in to join the discussion!
Broad and Inclusive Coalitions Must be Built
From the discussion prompt: " Finding common cause among businesses, consumers, governments, and advocacy groups, proactively addressing conflict , and ensuring all members of society benefit from a transformation to a low-carbon economy will put wind in the sails of meaningful action."
 Ernest Moniz , President and CEO, Energy Futures Initiative
"On building broad and inclusive coalitions: We have to truly embrace the idea of 'broad and inclusive,' and move our conversations and engagements beyond our usual group of supportive suspects. Continuing to work with those who are already in philosophical alignment with us is not going to get us the advances we need. This will be very challenging work, but we must reach out to those who aren’t in our comfortable group and begin engaging them in conversation. This is how we will create meaningful, wide scale change...."
Sabrina Cowden , CEO, Milepost Consulting
"Of the five principles, I would argue that the most important is #2: Broad and Inclusive Coalitions Must be Built. In order to have any chance of passing a meaningful carbon price, or getting people to make significant changes in their energy use, or pressuring companies to adopt sustainable practices, there needs to be a set of shared goals and sustained energy to achieve those goals. That will only happen when we have built coalitions who represent the majority of citizens, states, countries, businesses, governments and other institutions. Building strong coalitions will enable us to pass good policies, ensure that social equity is kept in the forefront, and address all sectors of the economy and society."
Jason Dedrick , Professor, Syracuse University, School of Information Studies
" The biggest barrier will be getting the consensus needed. With the Cortez proposal and the unfortunate naming of the Energy Futures Initiative proposal, this debate has turned to a heavily partisan political discussion. Those in the Cortez faction want to eliminate all fossil fuels regardless of cost (Moniz is not so draconian). Those who do not believe climate change is human caused see no need for dramatic action compromising our economic competitiveness. This chasm will be hard to overcome. Although the public is getting more sympathetic to the issue of climate change, they do not appear willing to pay for the solutions. Compromise and consensus by the opposing parties will be difficult if not impossible. Politicians have made it worse. As an example, Hillary Clinton’s plan to eliminate coal was extreme. Clinton could have proposed a 'clean coal option' having taxpayers support the needed modifications to plants as taxpayers subsidize solar and wind. Without such compromise–the Green Real Deal is not going to work despite its idealistic principles and elements."
- Andrew C. Kadak , President, Kadak Associates, Inc.
"Once again, as he did as Secretary of Energy, Ernie Moniz has hit the nail on the head. All five bullets succinctly capture the essential elements for reducing America’s carbon footprint. Having said that, I have two criticisms of his portrayal. The first is the name; readers will not grasp the difference between his Green Real Deal and AOC’s Green New Deal, which Republicans have cast as a new rise of socialism. Let’s get the word 'deal' out of the program. There are many other words, too numerous to list, that would be far better...."
Michael S. Lubell , Professor of Physics, City College of the City University of New York
How specifically can coalitions focused on climate change solutions become more broad and inclusive? Read more about coalitions in the Green Real Deal document , and feel free to reply to any of the comments above.
Innovations are Essential
From the discussi on prompt: " Technology, business model, and policy innovations are essential.  Incremental and breakthrough innovations must be developed to meet the challenges of deep decarbonization, including the rising marginal costs of abating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions."  
 Ernest Moniz , President and CEO, Energy Futures Initiative
"Of your five principles, Innovations (in technology, business, and policy) are by far the most important.... Without timely, meaningful and productive innovations in technology, business and policy (and the essential leadership), the principles of coalitions, social equity, inclusiveness and flexibility can’t do much at all . The last existential threat of WWII was defeated by innovations in the exact same sectors through superb leadership and the unified will of our people so we can certainly do it again. The technology part was hugely successful including the Manhattan Project leading to nuclear energy, possibly the greatest (and most awesome) technology innovation of all time in an amazing short period. Perhaps an expanded super NSF [National Science Foundation] type of grant program would help in developing great innovations...."  Brian Gallagher , President and CEO, Energy Futures Initiative
"I agree with the importance of innovation, but that’s like being in favor of apple pie. Everyone loves innovation. But I’d argue that waiting for radical new innovation to solve the climate problem is dangerous. There are plenty of proven technologies that are not being widely adopted or integrated into our economic and social systems. We need people to trade in their SUVs on high mileage hybrids, which they can do without any charging stations (which means we need strong CAFE standards). We need utilities to integrate renewables with storage and demand response to squash the duck curve, rather than wait for a new generation of advanced nuclear plants or economical CCS to be ready. We need companies to make it easy for distributed employees to meet virtually rather than hop on a plane to meet face-to-face every time there is a problem. We need to change our diets, quit using bottled water, and stop wasting food. None of these actions requires new technology—just improving, deploying and integrating existing knowledge and changing practices in creative ways. While we’re investing in big new technologies we need to get everyone who’s not wearing a lab coat to get busy and do what they can next week and next year." Jason Dedrick , Professor, Syracuse University, School of Information Studies
"Innovation is at the core of the Green Real Deal." It recommends developing a national energy technology innovation program portfolio, analyzing alternative funding mechanisms, advancing new flexible business models to improve the effectiveness of the energy innovation process, fostering regional innovation ecosystems, and accelerating market deployment through transformative regulatory and financial policies. Read more in pp. 16-20 of the Green Real Deal document . Comment with your feedback to these details or reply to one of the comments above.
What do you think?

If you are an energy professional, register for a free account or log in to comment on any of these comment threads or add your own comment to the discussion.
  1. Which of the principles do you see as the most important in terms of fostering meaningful progress towards a low-carbon economy?
  2. Which principle(s) are likely to represent the greatest barrier in terms of creating and adopting meaningful legislation? What options are there to mitigate these barrier(s)?
This is our featured discussion for the month of October. Read more about the change to the frequency of our discussions and other updates in our October 2 newsletter . There are still two more weeks to comment!
Congressional Discussion
In April and May, many of you commented in an OurEnergyPolicy online discussion about Congressman Paul Tonko's (D-NY-20) Framework for Climate Action in the U.S. Congress .

Staff from his office have since told us that they found your discussion comments useful and have integrated ideas from a few of the comments into their climate legislative efforts. They are now focusing their efforts on the zero by 2050 climate initiative that is in development in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Thank you to everyone who submitted thoughtful and constructive feedback! We are undertaking an extraordinary challenge as we engage this legislative process, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Please continue to offer your best ideas and raise your voices in the name of strong, science-based climate progress in this and future Congresses!" 

Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) , Chair, Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change, U.S. House of Representatives
New Publications
 American Council on Renewable Energy, Wilson Sonsini
Goodrich & Rosati
October 16, 2019
Atlantic Council Global Energy Center
October 14, 2019
Find these new publications and others in the OurEnergyLibrary.
Podcast Spotlight

Details on the agency's proposed supplemental blending rule for the RFS have both biofuel groups and oil refineries fuming. Eric Wolff discusses the details of the supplemental blending rule in this podcast from Politico's new energy podcast series. Plus, the administration considers allowing logging to reach the last frontier. Also, how did energy and the environmental issues play out on the fourth Democratic presidential debate?
Update from Congress

New Legislation

Source: Energy Futures Initiative, The Green Real Deal: A Framework for Achieving a Deeply Decarbonized Economy , 2019, p. 21, compiled using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2017.
Featured Events
This Week
Our readers in the Washington, D.C. area are invited to join OurEnergyPolicy and Young Professionals in Energy DC for a fall happy hour at Hawk ‘n’ Dove (329 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, Washington, D.C. 20003) on November 5, 6–8 p.m. App etizers will be provided and there will be a cash bar. We look forward to seeing you there! Please RSVP via the Eventbrite page.
Anaheim, CA
  • When: Tues-Thurs, Nov 19-21
  • Where: Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802
  • Special Offer: We have a special offer on the ticket price from our partner, the American Energy Society. If you are interested, please contact

To see more upcoming energy events across the country, visit the OEP Events Calendar .
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