Colorado State University - Center for the New Energy Economy Report: Powering Forward: Presidential and Executive Agency Actions to Drive Clean Energy in America

Posted: January 23, 2014 - 10:39 / Colorado / Reports

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama told Congress that if it did not act to curb global climate change, he would. 
And he did. Five months later, the President issued a comprehensive climate action plan that does not require congressional action. Many of the items already have been implemented or put in motion.
The President’s plan adds to the long list of initiatives his administration has accomplished since 2009, ranging from historic vehicle efficiency standards to the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Are there additional steps the President can take in the next three years to mitigate climate change and move America closer to a clean energy economy? The answer is yes. But they will require considerable work by the administration and support from the American people. They will also require steps by the President to unleash enterprise and investment across the country.
In March 2013 President Obama met with 14 energy thought leaders, representing a variety of stakeholder groups, to discuss how he could further pursue a clean energy agenda using his lawful authority. Following the meeting, the leaders asked the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE - the Center I founded in 2011 at Colorado State University) to undertake a deeper examination of the President’s options in five discrete areas. In response, CNEE launched an eight-month initiative to gather ideas for additional presidential action on climate and clean energy. In dialogues, roundtables and peer reviews, CNEE engaged more than 100 participants, including chief executive officers, chief financial officers and other top executives from industry, academia, research institutions, NGOs and state and local governments. We asked them what new actions by the President and his executive agencies would help our nation be more effective in meeting our climate and our energy goals.
The five areas of focus are:

  1. Doubling energy productivity
  2. Financing renewable energy
  3. Producing natural gas responsibly
  4. Developing alternative fuels and vehicles, and
  5. Enabling electric and gas utilities to adapt to the new realities of the 21st century