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Building clean energy infrastructure: Roadblocks, tradeoffs, and solutions

Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM ET
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The Hamilton Project (THP) at the Brookings Institution and the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability will host an event exploring the roadblocks and tradeoffs that policymakers need to confront in order to create a resilient and clean electricity grid. Even as the federal permitting process has become more efficient, the fragmented governance of the grid has slowed projects and needed investments. Solving those issues is not enough: Utilities must also act to mitigate the increasing risk of wildfires from climate change and the aging grid.

The event will feature two fireside chats, the first with U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and the second with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner Allison Clements.

In addition, the event will include two panel discussions. Panelists include Wendy Edelberg (Brookings), Suzi Kerr (Environmental Defense Fund), Maria Pope (Portland General Electric), Mark Toney (TURN-The Utility Reform Network), Michael Mastrandrea (Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability), Shelley Welton (University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School), and Catherine Wolfram (MIT Sloan School of Management).

The event will coincide with the release of two new policy proposals focused on the governance of the electricity grid and the intersection of wildfire risk and utilities. The Hamilton Project will also release a facts document highlighting permitting reform.

For updates on the event, viewers can follow @HamiltonProj and join the conversation using #CleanEnergyFuture to ask questions or email [email protected].


1:30 p.m. | Welcome 

Robert E. Rubin, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary; Chairman Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations

1:35 p.m. | Fireside chat with Senator Padilla

The Honorable Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), U.S. Senator

Moderator: Evan Halper, Energy Reporter, The Washington Post

2:05 p.m. | Panel discussion: Clean energy transition and the trade-offs required to move quickly and efficiently 

Michael Mastrandrea, Director of Policy, Sustainability Accelerator, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

Shelley Welton, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Law and Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Catherine Wolfram, William F. Pounds Professor of Energy Economics, MIT Sloan School of Management

Moderator: Sanjay Patnaik, Director, Center on Regulation and Markets, Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution

2:55 p.m. | Break

3:05 p.m. | Fireside chat with Commissioner Clements

The Honorable Allison Clements, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Moderator: Michael Wara, Senior Director of Policy, Sustainability Accelerator, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

3:35 p.m. | Panel discussion: Challenges and solutions to clean energy infrastructure trade-offs 

Suzi Kerr, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Environmental Defense Fund

Maria Pope, President and CEO, Portland General Electric

Mark Toney, Executive Director, TURN – The Utility Reform Network

Moderator: Wendy Edelberg, Director, The Hamilton Project, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution

4:30 p.m. | Event adjourns

Event Forum

The Brookings Institution

Cohosted By

Stanford Doerr logo






Follow @hamiltonproj and see the conversation using #CleanEnergyFuture


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