A group of more than 100 CEOs, energy experts and academics led by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and his Center for the New Energy Economy have delivered President Obama a report containing more than 200 ideas on how he can act on global climate change.
The report, which Ritter called a “comprehensive menu of options” for the President, was developed over eight months with the help of the experts who participated in a series of roundtables last year. Ritter emphasized that not all of the participants agreed with all of the ideas, but the report, titled Powering Forward: Presidential and Executive Agency Actions to Drive Clean Energy in America, reflects the recommendations that received the strongest support.
Among its many recommendations, Powering Forward urges the President and his administration to:
- Carefully compare the full life-cycle benefits and costs of each energy resource as his national energy policy is implemented. The report points out that additional opportunities exist to distinguish carbon-rich and low-carbon resources consistent with the President’s goals for minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions most responsible for climate change.
- Direct the Environmental Protection Agency to issue clear preliminary guidance to states as early as possible in the regulatory process to encourage early adoption of new energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, and to explain how they will be credited in state implementation plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants.
- Direct the Energy Information Administration to review and if necessary improve its methods for projecting the growth of renewable energy technologies in years ahead. EIA has been criticized for underestimating renewable energy’s contribution to the nation’s energy mix.
- Direct federal agencies to work with the nation’s electric utilities and utility regulators to update regulations that are getting in the way of clean energy technologies. Utility executives told CNEE that outdated regulations are making it difficult to accommodate new energy resources and technologies such as wind energy and rooftop solar systems.
In May, the CNEE launched an online database of energy-related legislation pending in all 50 states. The Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker, which was created in partnership with Advanced Energy Economy, is available to the general public.