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Request from Congress
responses to 13 specific questions about policies that Congress should adopt to solve the climate crisis and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Since its creation in January , the committee has been holding meetings and hearings in Washington, D.C. and around the country and has been receiving recommendations from policy specialists, state and local officials, and young climate leaders. In this request, the committee is seeking additional detailed input from a broad range of stakeholders to supplement this ongoing work.
Participate With OurEnergyPolicy
OurEnergyPolicy checked in with the House Select Committee, and the staff said they would welcome feedback from our community.

We are planning to support this request for information with a series of two online discussions, each focusing on a different subset of questions from the committee.
We will compile your comments and submit them to the committee by the committee's deadline of November 22, 2019. We will also be sending relevant comments from our past online discussions to the committee.

If you are interested in writing a piece to lead off one of these discussions , please choose one or more (energy-related) questions from the committee's list, write a 150-250-word piece directed to the committee that explains your recommendation in response to that question(s), and submit it to Alicia Moulton ( ) by October 1 with subject line "RFI Discussion." We will choose two pieces to lead off the discussions. You will receive a reply from us letting you know if we'd like to have your piece lead off the discussion. The other pieces we receive will still be included in our submissions to the committee.

You are also free to respond to the House Select Committee's request for information independent of OurEnergyPolicy. See the committee website for submission details.
Ongoing Discussion
Energy Efficiency , Storage, Renewables
Last week, experts continued to discuss energy efficiency challenges and policy solutions, as well as related issues with energy storage and intermittent renewable energy generation.

Sabrina Cowden, CEO of Milepost Consulting, who lead the discussion (" But First, Energy Efficiency "), replied to many comments from last week and shared a Milepost Consulting blog post on tackling energy waste in low-income, multifamily buildings , responding to Marilyn Brown's comment .
Below, see some of the newest comments from the discussion:
Brent Nelson and Sabrina Cowden discussed the difficulty of valuing energy efficiency in property assessments:
"Another big issue (for the building sector) is the difficulty to value energy efficiency in property assessment. As a result, efficiency upgrades become difficult to implement when their payback time is longer than the expected ownership or occupancy horizon of the occupants.
There are a few approaches to addressing this, including working with property assessors, requiring utility data to be made available to buyers and prospective and tenants, and publicly benchmarking data. But each of these approaches encounters challenges associated with logistics or information reliability."
- Brent Nelson , Senior Energy Consultant, Ascend Analytics
Reply to Brent: "Brent – absolutely. Your comment about the challenge associated with information reliability is spot on. I’m aware of some utilities that provide home energy assessment scores, which are great so long as the utility has the trust of its customers."
- Sabrina Cowden , CEO, Milepost Consulting
Sabrina Cowden replied to Charles Forsberg's comment about 69% energy losses and low-income families.
"Sabrina Cowden’s statement that we waste 69% of our energy is false. Power cycle efficiency is controlled by the laws of thermodynamics (Carnot cycle) that forbid 100% conversion of heat into work. The other factor is that heat transfer involves heat losses that are impossible to eliminate. The first requirement to determine what improvements in efficiency are possible within the unbreakable laws of thermodynamics and engineering reality...."
- Charles W. Forsberg , Executive Director, MIT Nuclear Fuel Cycle Project, MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering
Reply to Charles: "Charles – I understand your point that a goal of 100% energy conversion is unreasonable, and your observation that some heat losses are presently unavoidable. The policy work I would like to see addresses the losses that can be avoided, and there is so much low-hanging fruit in this area. I also appreciate your comments about low-income families. I believe that stronger codes can increase the capacity of local expertise and availability of products, which eventually can drive down prices. Not necessarily in the short term, but I think we have to commit to some long-term investments while we make short-term accommodations...."
- Sabrina Cowden , CEO, Milepost Consulting
Roger Arnold and Jane Twitmyer discussed the outlook and challenges for energy storage and intermittent renewables.
Reply to Jane : " The statement that utility scale solar and onshore wind are less costly than fossil generation is at best misleading. Yes, the cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated is now less than it is for fossil generation. However, a kilowatt-hour of electricity has no value if it’s not available when needed. Solar PV [photovoltaic] and onshore wind do not deliver the power-on-demand capability that utility customers rely on. Wind and solar can be components in a system that does deliver that capability, but the cost of everything needed to deal with their intermittency has to be taken into account..."
- Roger Arnold , Systems Architect, Silverthorn Engineering
Reply to Roger: "There are several approaches to the intermittency issue, but most importantly we need to acknowledge that storage is coming online fast. Here is a Bloomberg report about the latest study from the Rocky Mountain Institute concerning the future economics of natural gas plants." 
- Jane Twitmyer , CACW|Watts
Reply to Jane: "Sorry, but overall, I have to disagree. The storage now being added to the grid is overwhelmingly battery storage. To expect that batteries will soon solve the intermittency issue is to misapprehend the nature and magnitude of the problem. Like the mantra that grid-scale wind and solar energy are now cheaper than fossil-fueled generation, it’s a half-truth that stands in the way of real solutions.
I’m not dismissing the remarkable progress that is being made in the cost-performance of battery systems....That said, It’s important to understand that these systems do not address the main part of the intermittency issue...."
- Roger Arnold , Systems Architect, Silverthorn Engineering
Want to reply to any of these comment threads or start a new one in this discussion ? Register for an account if you work in the energy sector, and log in to comment.
New Publications
Smart Electric Power Alliance
September 5, 2019
International Council on Clean Transportation
September 12, 2019
Find these new publications and others in the OurEnergyLibrary.
Podcast Spotlight

Democratic presidential candidates covered a lot of ground over the course of the seven-hour climate policy talkathon on September 4 — from fracking bans to a new CarbonStar program, coal worker retraining programs to a major environmental justice fund. While there was widespread consensus on the need for climate action, some key differences also emerged between the contenders.

Who stood out at the CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall? How did conservatives react? Did general voters even care? This episode of Political Climate discusses the top takeaways from the town hall, as well as the latest candidate climate plans.
Update from Congress


Three bills that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week will go next to the Senate:

  • Wed, Sept 11 - Two bills passed that would ban new offshore oil and gas drilling:
  • The Protecting and Securing Florida's Coastline Act of 2019 (H.R. 205), sponsored by Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL-19), passed 248-180 (226 Democrats and 22 Republicans voted in favor). It would ban offshore drilling in eastern areas of the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast.
  • The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act (H.R. 1941), sponsored by Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC-01), passed 238-189 (226 Democrats and 12 Republicans voted in favor). It would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
  • More info: The bills are not expected to have enough Republican votes to pass in the Senate. Read more from CNBC and the Washington Examiner.

  • Mon, Sept 9 - The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act (H.R. 1420), sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18), passed 384-23 (220 Democrats and 164 Republicans voted in favor). The vote was taken under the "suspension of the rules" House procedure that usually means a bill is non-controversial. The bill would amend the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to promote energy efficiency via information and computing technologies.
New Legislation

  • Wed, Sept 11 - Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), leaders of the Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, introduced the Low Income Solar Energy Act (S. 2462). Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04) introduced the companion bill (H.R. 4291) in the House.


Source: American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) with data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Explore the share of wind energy for different years in the i nteractive version on AWEA's website .
Featured Events
There will be two official public events in Washington, D.C. as part of National Clean Energy Week:

- Thurs, Sept. 26, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- National Press Club, 529 14th St NW
Tickets $265.79 until Sept. 23, $319.89 (Late Tickets) afterward

- Tues, Sept. 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
- The Dubliner, 4 F St NW
Drink tickets & food will be provided; tickets free but space limited and registration required

OurEnergyPolicy is a promotional partner for National Clean Energy Week. Although we do not advocate for or endorse the opinions or policy positions of the event organizers and speakers, we applaud the opportunities for constructive energy policy discussions that National Clean Energy Week will provide.
September 23-27, 2019 | #NCEW19

National Clean Energy Week celebrates clean and readily abundant forms of energy that are strengthening America’s national security and preserving our environment.
Confirmed speakers for the Policy Makers Symposium include -
Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) Mitt Romney (R-UT)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1)
This Week
  • When: Sun-Wed, September 15-18
  • Where: Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs, CA 92262

  • When: Thurs, Sept 19, 9-11 a.m.
  • Where: Aspen Institute, 2300 N St NW #700, Washington, D.C. 20037

  • When: Thurs, Sept 19, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Where: World Resources Institute, 10 G W St NE, Ste 800, Washington, D.C. 20002

  • When: Fri, Sept 20, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Where: Resources & Conservation Center, 1400 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

  • When: Fri, Sept 20, 9-11 a.m.
  • Where: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
  • When: Mon, Sept 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Bracewell LLP, 2001 M Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

  • When: Tues, Sept 24, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Where: 2168 Rayburn House Office Building

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