Energy & Environment

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Access to affordable energy is a key driver of economic growth and quality of life for American businesses and families. However, our current energy sources impose concealed costs on society from adverse health impacts, constrained foreign policy objectives, and environmental damages that reduce our quality of life. Indeed, the environmental and health costs alone amount to over $240 billion a year. The Hamilton Project explores innovative policies to more appropriately price the use of energy to compete on a transparent and level playing field, advance research, develop new energy technologies, and improve long-run well-being.


Related to Energy & Environment

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The Hamilton Project Policy Response to the 2014 State of the Union Address

Papers • January 2014

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke of a “breakthrough year for America” and foreshadowed a “year of action.” He focused on ways to expand opportunities for Americans by enhancing employment and education options for low-and middle-income citizens, developing more robust worker training programs, investing in America through infrastructure investments and energy innovation, the importance of making progress on immigration reform, and more. Since its launch in 2006, The Hamilton Project has released a range of targeted policy proposals that provide innovative, evidence-based approaches to addressing many of the policy priorities set forth in the Presidents address.

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Reforming Federal Support for Risky Development

Papers • February 2013 • David R. Conrad, Edward A. Thomas

David Conrad and Ed Thomas explore how the National Flood Insurance Program and other federal disaster relief programs could be reformed to better align the costs and benefits of living in disaster-prone areas and help put the budget on more sound footing. This proposal aims to reduce budget costs of natural disasters and reduce risk to life and property of Americans living in disaster-prone areas.

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The Many Benefits of a Carbon Tax

Papers • February 2013 • Adele Morris

Adele Morris proposes a carbon tax as a new source of revenue that could also help address climate change. She suggests that a carbon tax would reduce the buildup of greenhouse gasses, replace command-and-control regulations and expensive subsidies with transparent and powerful market-based incentives, and promote economic activity through reduced regulatory burden and lower marginal tax rates.

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Eliminating Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Papers • February 2013 • Joseph E. Aldy

Limiting subsidies for fossil fuels could raise revenue for the federal government while also benefiting the environment. Joseph Aldy proposes eliminating twelve subsidies to help level the playing field among fossil fuel producers relative to other businesses, and lead to potentially lower global fuel prices by providing the United States with increased leverage in negotiations over eliminating fossil fuel subsides in the developing world.

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The Hamilton Project Policy Response to the State of the Union Address

Papers • February 2013

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama outlined an ambitious second-term agenda focusing on policies to help strengthen America’s middle class through broad-based economic growth. Since its launch in 2006, The Hamilton Project has released a range of targeted policy proposals that provide innovative, evidence-based approaches to address many of the priorities set forth in this year’s address, which we offer as a resource to policymakers in response to specific ideas mentioned by the President this week.

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Modernizing Bonding Requirements for Natural Gas Producers

Papers • June 2012 • Lucas Davis

To ensure funds are available for clean-up when natural gas accidents occur, Lucas Davis of UC Berkeley explores new approaches to bonding requirements for producers, including increasing federal minimum bond amounts and encouraging states to adopt similar minimum bond amounts for drilling on non-federal land.

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Leveling the Playing Field for Natural Gas in Transportation

Papers • June 2012 • Christopher R. Knittel

Domestic natural gas is both cleaner and more affordable than oil, making it an attractive and practical alternative. In a new Hamilton Project paper, Christopher R. Knittel of MIT proposes a series of steps to promote natural gas in transportation.

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A Strategy for U.S. Natural Gas Exports

Papers • June 2012 • Michael Levi

Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations poses a framework for regulators to determine if exporting natural gas is in the public interest, arguing the upsides of exports outweigh the costs as long as the government acts to mitigate risk.

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Energy Policy Opportunities and Continuing Challenges in the Presence of Increased Supplies of Natural Gas and Petroleum

Papers • June 2012 • Michael Greenstone, Adam Looney

A new Hamilton Project framing memo summarizes recent changes in the energy sector, and lays out five principles for shaping energy and environmental policy. 

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The Role of Oil and Gas in Driving Job Growth

Papers • June 2012 • Adam Looney, Michael Greenstone

The Hamilton Project explores what increased domestic natural gas and oil production means for the American energy sector, the environment, and employment.

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Private and Social Costs of Electricity Generation by Source

May 18, 2011 • Charts

When energy sources are priced, including the social costs – environmental degregation and health risks, different winners and losers come out than when prices are simply those shown at the pump. 

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Counties Not Meeting Clean Air Act Standards

May 6, 2011 • Charts

The map above shows counties designated “non-attainment” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because their pollution concentrations of specific contaminants exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

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The True Costs of Alternative Energy Sources: Are We Unfairly Penalizing Natural Gas?

April 26, 2012 • Michael Greenstone

Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on America's energy choices, and how social costs mask the true costs of some of our energy choices.

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The Importance of Research and Development (R&D) for U.S. Competitiveness and a Clean Energy Future

July 27, 2010 • Michael Greenstone

Michael Greenstone's recent testimony before the Joint Economic Committee on the importance of Research and Development (R&D).

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Liability and Financial Responsibility for Oil Spills Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and Related Statutes

June 9, 2010 • Michael Greenstone

Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone’s testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Threat to Free Trade Posed by Climate Change Policy

September 19, 2008 • Jason E. Bordoff

Hamilton Project Policy Director Jason Bordoff’s remarks to the Geneva Trade and Development Forum.

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Auction vs. Allocation: Distributing Emission Credits Under a Cap-and-Trade System

April 9, 2008 • Jason E. Bordoff

In a presentation before the Select Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence, Hamilton Project Policy Director Jason Bordoff discussed the economic costs of various approaches to Cap-and-Trade.

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An Economic Strategy for Addressing Climate Change in the United States

February 1, 2008 • Jason E. Bordoff

Jason Bordoff's prepared remarks in Tokyo, Japan.

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Casting the Net: A More Efficient Approach to U.S. Fisheries Management

September 10, 2014 • Washington, DC

The fishing industry contributes about $100 billion annually to the U.S. economy, and over one and a half million jobs for American workers. Many coastal communities depend on the fishing industry to sustain their local economies. On September 10th, The Hamilton Project will release new papers and host a forum to explore opportunities for improving the economic prosperity and long-term sustainability of the U.S. fishing industry.
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Real Specifics:  15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II:  Addressing Entitlements, Taxation, and Revenues

February 26, 2013 • Washington, DC

On February 26th, The Hamilton Project hosted a forum featuring a diverse group of experts from around the country who discussed 13 targeted policy proposals that were released that day on reforming entitlement spending, tax reform, and how to create new sources of revenue and efficiency. The proposals provide specific strategies on how lawmakers can address many different areas of the budget, and address options to reduce both mandatory and discretionary spending.

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New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy: A Hamilton Project Forum at Stanford University

June 13, 2012 • Stanford, CA

The U.S. energy system is benefiting from an unprecedented increase in North American supplies of natural gas and petroleum.  These changes are strengthening our economy and altering the relationships between our energy choices and health, climate change, and national security.  On June 13th, The Hamilton Project at Brookings held an event at Stanford University to explore how to best manage these opportunities while achieving our long-term energy and environmental goals.
 

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America’s Energy Future: New Solutions to Fuel Economic Growth and Prosperity

May 18, 2011 • Washington, DC

America’s current energy system poses long-term threats to national security, health, and the environment. On May 18, The Hamilton Project hosted a forum on America’s energy future, focusing on strategies to give all energy sources equal footing in the marketplace and expand America’s opportunities to utilize cleaner, low-cost sources of energy. 

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A Climate of Change: Economic Approaches to Reforming Energy and Protecting the Environment

October 30, 2007 • Washington, DC

The Hamilton Project hosted a forum highlighting a new strategy paper and two new discussion papers on how to best design market mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including proposals to expand the federal R&D program to better promote the development of new greenhouse gas-reducing technologies.

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 1: An Enduring Social Safety Net

February 28, 2013 • Video

President of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association Edward Thomas; Professor of Health Care Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School Michael Chernew; Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Jonathan Gruber; Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Jeffrey Liebman; and Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Paul Van de Water participate in a roundtable discussion on the nation's social safety net moderated by S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the University of California--Berkeley Haas School of Business Laura D'Andrea Tyson.

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 2: Innovative Approaches to Tax Reform

February 28, 2013 • Video

Vice President and Co-Director of Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution Karen Dynan; Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Alan Viard; Senior Fellow and Policy Director of The Hamilton Project Adam Looney; Chief Economist at Pew Charitable Trusts Diane Lim; and Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Joseph E. Aldy participate in a roundtable discussion on innovative approaches to tax reform moderated by President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Robert Greenstein.

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 3: New Sources of Revenue and Efficiency

February 28, 2013 • Video

Senior Research Associate at The Urban Institute Benjamin H. Harris; Fellow and Policy Director of Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution Adele Morris; Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Pia Orrenius; Professor of International Economics at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy Phillip Swagel; and Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company Tyler Duvall participate in a roundtable discussion on new sources of revenue and efficiency moderated by Senior Fellow and Director of The Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution Michael Greenstone.

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 1: An Enduring Social Safety Net

February 27, 2013 • Audio

President of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association Edward Thomas; Professor of Health Care Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School Michael Chernew; Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Jonathan Gruber; Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Jeffrey Liebman; and Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Paul Van de Water participate in a roundtable discussion on the nation's social safety net moderated by S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the University of California--Berkeley Haas School of Business Laura D'Andrea Tyson.

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 3: New Sources of Revenue and Efficiency

February 27, 2013 • Audio

 

Senior Research Associate at The Urban Institute Benjamin H. Harris; Fellow and Policy Director of Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution Adele Morris; Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Pia Orrenius; Professor of International Economics at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy Phillip Swagel; and Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company Tyler Duvall participate in a roundtable discussion on new sources of revenue and efficiency moderated by Senior Fellow and Director of The Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution Michael Greenstone.

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New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy: A Hamilton Project Forum at Stanford University - Event Photos

June 13, 2012 • Photo Galleries

The U.S. energy system is benefiting from an unprecedented increase in North American supplies of natural gas and petroleum.  These changes are strengthening our economy and altering the relationships between our energy choices and health, climate change, and national security.  At the same time, there is tremendous hope that innovation in the energy sector will identify new solutions to these problems. On June 13th, The Hamilton Project at Brookings held an event at Stanford University to explore how best to manage these opportunities while achieving our long-term energy and environmental goals.

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New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy - Welcome: Sheryl Sandberg and Introduction: Robert E. Rubin

June 13, 2012 • Video

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, give opening remarks at the New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy: A Hamilton Project Forum at Stanford University event.

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New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy - The Future of U.S. Natural Gas: David J. O’Reilly

June 13, 2012 • Video

Former Chairman and CEO of the Chevron Corporation David J. O'Reilly gives an overview of the energy landscape at the New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy: A Hamilton Project Forum at Stanford University event.
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New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy - Panel 1: The Future for U.S. Natural Gas

June 13, 2012 • Video

Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone moderates roundtable discussion with UC Berkeley Professor Lucas Davis, MIT Professor Christopher R. Knittel, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Michael Levi, Weston Solutions Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Strategic Growth Kathleen McGinty, and Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman at the New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy: A Hamilton Project Forum at Stanford University event.

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New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy - Panel 2: Investing in Clean Energy Innovation

June 13, 2012 • Video

Managing Director of General Catalyst Partners Hemant Taneja moderates roundtable discussion with Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford University Sally M. Benson, Co-Founder and CEO of NGP Energy Capital Management Kenneth A. Hersh, former Chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems Vinod Kholsa and Chairman, President and CEO of Duke Energy James E. Rogers at the New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy: A Hamilton Project Forum at Stanford University event.

Hamilton Project Updates

A periodic newsletter of events, policy briefs, and working papers from The Hamilton Project.