Feb. 2, 2021 by Hannah Wiseman

The Hill Op-ed: Localizing the Green Energy Revolution

As President Biden continues to roll out executive orders prioritizing climate change, it is increasingly clear that there will be a relatively rapid U.S. shift toward renewable energy from the sun, wind and other sources.

Indeed, many states are already pushing ahead with ambitious renewable and clean energy policies. These policies will reduce air pollution, spur extensive economic development in rural areas and make progress on the climate front.

This “revolution,” as Biden calls it, is critical. But the bulk of renewables that have been built in the United States are large, centralized projects requiring thousands of miles of transmission lines — primarily in rural communities. A revolution that continues to prioritize these projects risks failure. It threatens to create an infrastructural path dependence like the one that “master builder” Robert Moses sparked in the 1950s. The federal highway network inspired by his plan led the United States to rely primarily on cars rather than trains and other public transit. This substantially divided communities, particularly along racial lines.

A primarily large-scale energy approach could also broaden rural opposition to Democratic policies. In most states, local governments control large and small renewable energy …

March 18, 2020 by Alexandra Klass

This post is part of a series related to the March 12 Conference on Public Lands and Energy Transitions that was hosted by the George Washington University Law School's Environment and Energy Law Program.

Our vast public lands and waters are both a major contributor to the global climate crisis and a potential solution to the problem. The extraction and use of oil and gas resources from public lands and waters produce 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If the public lands were its own nation, it would be the fifth largest global emitter of GHGs.

The scale of this problem has been exacerbated by the current administration. Since the start of the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of the Interior – the primary federal agency charged by Congress with managing the use of public lands and waters – has used its statutory authority to …

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More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Feb. 2, 2021

The Hill Op-ed: Localizing the Green Energy Revolution

March 18, 2020

Public Lands and Just Energy Transitions