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About a year ago, President Biden laid out his climate agenda. That agenda has since been roughly split into two Congressional actions: An infrastructure bill that passed last summer with bipartisan support, and the Build Back Better Act that still sits with the Senate. Recently, EPIC Policy Fellow Heather McTeer Toney, vice president of community …
 
After half a decade of low oil prices, things have changed pretty dramatically in recent months. Global benchmark oil prices are touching $120 a barrel this week, and gasoline prices in parts of the U.S. are topping out close to $7 a gallon. High prices have become a massive headache for policymakers already worried about rising inflation as the ec…
 
Developing countries represent a large source of potential future carbon emissions as they seek to rapidly industrialize their economies. Yet, if the world is to hold future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, these countries must identify a cleaner model of growth that relies on low- or zero-carbon fuels instead of fossil energy.This tension between m…
 
Energy demand continues to rise amidst impacts from geopolitical events. Yet, the United States remains committed to scaling up action at home and abroad to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Faced with energy security and climate concerns, could now be the time for a price on carbon?Carbon pricing has received considerable bipartisan pushback, wi…
 
Last November, the international community concluded its 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. Reviews were mixed. Among its successes, COP26 concluded the Paris “rulebook,” adopted a consensus decision on next steps, and produced a series of multilateral commitments on limiting methane emissions and defores…
 
The federal oil and gas leasing process plays a critical role in deciding whether, where and when oil and gas resources on public lands are developed, the revenue the government takes in, and the extent to which the local environment is protected. But the process is due for an update. Recognizing the need for reforms, President Joe Biden temporaril…
 
Air pollution is the single greatest threat to human health globally, having a more devastating impact on life expectancy than communicable diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, behavioral killers like cigarette smoking, and even war. According to recent data from EPIC’s Air Quality Life Index, or AQLI, people living in the most polluted regions…
 
Climate change is a top priority for President Joe Biden as he prepares to meet the world at the next international climate summit, COP26, in November. But how big of a priority is it for the American public? How much would they pay out of their own wallets to confront climate change? And, where do they stand on key issues?On October 26, EPIC hoste…
 
You’ll be hard pressed to find a climate agenda that doesn’t include policies to encourage energy efficiency. It makes sense. Reducing energy consumption while lowering households’ electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions at the same time—a win for everyone, right? While the concept of doing more with less energy is appealing, research is pil…
 
Meeting the Biden administration’s goal of transitioning to a carbon-free power sector will mean accelerating a shift away from coal that is already on its way. In our fourth episode in the series, Rob talks with Mark Templeton, the director of the University of Chicago Law School’s Abrams Environmental Clinic, about the many levers that could be u…
 
In our third episode in this special series, The Atlantic's Rob Meyer talks with Steve Cicala and Michael Greenstone to take a hard look at the barriers that today’s fragmented grid imposes on the growth of renewables, and what steps the government can take to remove those barriers. But taking those steps will likely not be enough, and many in Wash…
 
Where does climate and energy policy go from here? In the new podcast miniseries The Roadmap, The Atlantic's Rob Meyer joins EPIC scholars to take a deep dive into timely climate and energy issues and the evidence behind needed policy changes, as described in the U.S. Energy & Climate Roadmap. For our second episode, Rob talks with EPIC Executive D…
 
Episode 1 : The Case for a Carbon Price and How to Prevent LeakageFor the first episode, Rob talks with EPIC Director Michael Greenstone and UChicago Law’s David Weisbach about one of the most important and political issues in climate policy: carbon prices. They also discuss one of the biggest questions surrounding carbon pricing, which is how to i…
 
Over the coming months, The Atlantic's Rob Meyer will join EPIC scholars to take a deep dive on timely climate and energy issues and the evidence behind needed policy changes laid out in the U.S. Energy & Climate Roadmap. Up first, David Weisbach will talk more about border tax adjustments and his recommendations to prevent carbon leakage. He'll be…
 
Having served in several senior energy and environmental policy positions in the House of Representatives, Senate, EPA, and the White House—including most recently as special assistant to President Trump on energy and environmental issues—Michael Catanzaro knows both energy policy and the complicated politics behind it. The Atlantic’s Rob Meyer, a …
 
As the former chief economist for the California Air Resources Board, Emily Wimberger has spent her career at the intersection of critical energy and environmental issues, ranging from air pollution to fuel economy to carbon markets. The Atlantic’s Rob Meyer, a journalism fellow at EPIC, recently interviewed Wimberger, who is now a climate economis…
 
On November 6th, EPIC and The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts convened a conversation about energy geopolitics and their economic implications, with a specific focus on the lessons learned from the Abqaiq attack. The event featured Robert McNally, the president of The Rapidan Group and a former senior director for…
 
In an era of divided government, there has been concern over Congress’s ability to reach compromise and pass legislation. With Democrats in the majority in the House of Representatives and Republicans in control of the Senate and the White House, progress has been limited. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is one of only five women Republican Senat…
 
The U.S. energy landscape is rapidly changing. As the cost of wind and solar power drops, allowing these energy sources to compete against coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, pressure is mounting to develop an electric grid that can sustain more renewables and deliver their power to more homes and businesses throughout the country.In the book…
 
As director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and senior climate advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Kate Gordon spends a great deal of time thinking about how states can build climate resiliency into their growth plans. We talked with Gordon about mitigation, adaptation, and resilience in one of the country’s largest, most div…
 
Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently announced a roadmap for the state to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. At the same time, he signed a suite of legislation to decarbonize the electricity sector, expand energy efficiency programs, and more. Much of the responsibility for delivering these goals will fall on the sho…
 
A series of extreme weather events, reports warning of the dire consequences of unmitigated carbon emissions and grassroots activism have propelled climate change to a level of importance in Congress not seen in nearly a decade. Axios Energy Reporter and inaugural EPIC Journalism Fellow Amy Harder sat down with freshman Congressman Sean Casten (D-I…
 
To explore the ability of non-federal actors in the U.S. to mitigate climate change, the Phoenix Sustainability Initiative hosted a conversation with Chris Wheat, director of strategy and city engagement for the American Cities Climate Challenge at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to a packed auditorium in the Saieh Hall for Economics o…
 
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)are perhaps the best-known state-level policy for addressing climate change, requiring that a certain percentage of a state’s electricity come from renewable sources. New research by EPIC Director Michael Greenstone on the cost and effectiveness of RPS served as the catalyst for an expert panel discussion with EPI…
 
Climate change is a complex subject to cover at any time, let alone at a time in history when basic science is undermined and criticized. How have reporters and media organizations changed how and how often they cover climate change? To what extent are those shifts reflective of changes in policy and politics, science and society’s perception of th…
 
Innovation in clean energy is often said to be a critical component to successfully reducing greenhouse gas emissions. History suggests, however, that more R&D spending doesn't always result in lower emissions. How can policymakers make the most of every R&D dollar? What's politically possible in Washington? And what technologies should we be watch…
 
U.S. climate policy is in a state of significant uncertainty. Over the past year, federal policy has lurched backward through a series of regulatory rollbacks aimed at easing emissions limits on power plants, vehicles, and industry. Yet, in spite of this shift at the national level, policy in California—the world’s fifth largest economy—has grown m…
 
In this two-part episode, host Jeff McMahon explores a pair of University of Chicago studies on consumer energy behavior. First, McMahon sits down with EPIC’s Koichiro Ito, an assistant professor at Harris Public Policy, for insight on what motivates consumers to conserve energy. Does simple encouragement work? Or do prices need to rise for them to…
 
From lead pipes in Flint, Michigan, and toxic sites in East Chicago to severe hurricanes and flooding in Texas, Miami and Puerto Rico, environmental and climate disasters pack a hard punch on low-income communities and communities of color. Earlier this year, EPIC’s Mark Templeton, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and director of…
 
Over the past 15 years, Jennifer Granholm has played an outsized role in U.S. energy policy and politics. From 2003 to 2011, she served as Governor of Michigan, a period during which she navigated her state through the worst U.S. economic crisis since the great depression, and one that she saw as an opportunity to diversify Michigan’s industrial ba…
 
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has touted a “back-to-basics” agenda for the agency – giving states more control over their air quality compliance, and prioritizing cleanup of toxic Superfund sites, lead-tainted drinking water systems and abandoned mines. He’s done this while attempting to roll back efforts from the previous administration such as f…
 
As China prepares to introduce a national emissions trading program this year, what can global leaders learn from other carbon markets? 'Off the Charts' host Jeff McMahon discusses the United States' first mandatory carbon market, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), with Sue Tierney, who served as assistant secretary for policy at the U.…
 
Hydraulic fracturing is perhaps the most important innovation in the energy system in the last half century. As a result of this innovation, U.S. production of oil and natural gas has increased dramatically. This has led to abruptly lower energy prices, stronger energy security and even lower carbon dioxide and air pollution emissions by displacing…
 
As we move towards a smarter electric grid that incorporates more renewable energy sources, the importance of an intelligent transmission network is becoming increasingly apparent. Why isn’t it happening faster? What role do storage and microgrids play? ‘Off the Charts’ host Jeff McMahon talks with Ed Krapels, the CEO of the transmission and microg…
 
America’s hydraulic fracturing boom created a need for more ways to transport oil and natural gas around the country. But as the need for more energy infrastructure has increased, so has local opposition. While most are familiar with the battles surrounding the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, there is opposition to new projects in many states…
 
The United States is producing more oil than ever before and starting to export it abroad, all thanks to the shale oil boom. This boost in production has led to greater economic payoffs for the United States than energy independence ever would, wrote Harris Public Policy's Ryan Kellogg recently in Forbes. Kellogg sat down with 'Off the Charts' host…
 
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has played an important role in the Trump administration, rejecting a proposal from the Department of Energy to subsidize coal and nuclear plants and largely staying true to its independent roots. Recently, EPIC’s Steve Cicala, an assistant professor at the Harris School of Public Policy, got the chan…
 
On the heels of the Trump administration’s call for massive infrastructure spending, EPIC hosted three experienced leaders in government and industry to talk about the future of energy infrastructure.Former FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff, CEO of the transmission developer Anbaric Ed Krapels, and a VP from pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Allen Fore d…
 
One year in, President Trump’s climate policy agenda has largely focused on rolling back any progress started by his predecessor—from suspending a rule to limit methane leaks from oil and gas operations on federal land to beginning the process of repealing the Obama Administration’s signature climate change regulation, the Clean Power Plan, and wit…
 
What is the conservative case for confronting carbon emissions, and the path forward in the current political climate? What environmental achievements are possible under the Trump administration? Our host Jeff McMahon talks with Jim Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and director of the White House Office of E…
 
The Trump Administration has undertaken efforts to expand fossil fuel development on federal lands by lifting a moratorium on new coal leasing, scaling back certain protections on federal lands, and moving to open up new areas for offshore drilling. At the same time, the Administration is moving to alleviate regulatory burdens on industry operation…
 
EPIC Director Michael Greenstone talks with former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz for an insiders look into his life, the climate threat, and the need for energy innovation in this special edition podcast.By Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago & UChicago Podcast Network
 
Over the past two decades, rapid economic growth powered by cheap, conventional energy had fueled an incredible increase in Chinese living standards lifting millions out of poverty. Yet today, China is grappling with a new challenge: the environmental costs of that growth, most commonly experienced through dangerously high levels of air pollution t…
 
The U.S. Department of Energy recently proposed a rule that would subsidize the ailing coal and nuclear industries, arguing that these sources of electricity are needed to ensure grid reliability as renewable fuels gain market share. Critics of the proposed rule say it is an unnecessary bailout of uncompetitive and dirty energy sources, and that re…
 
As India, Niger, and the southern United States grapple with historic flooding, new research is illustrating the inclusive costs of climate events and whom they affect the most. A changing environment – via floods, droughts, or storms – affects residents indiscriminately, yet it is the economically disadvantaged who struggle to adapt and recover. T…
 
A new study by EPIC's Fiona Burlig is the latest of several studies to show the projected savings from energy efficiency investments far outpace the actual returns. 'Off the Charts' guest host Jeff McMahon talks with Burlig to unpack the challenges.By Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago & UChicago Podcast Network
 
During the campaign, Trump promised to roll back regulations that reduce carbon emissions in the power sector and put laid-off coal workers back on the job. Can he meet those promises?For more, read these Forbes pieces by EPIC's Steve Cicala and Mark Templeton:Who's Waging The War On Coal? Not The Government: www.forbes.com/sites/ucenergy/20…ent/#2…
 
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