• Program 2012-13

Alternative Energy in Obama's Second Term: Proposals and Predictions


March 27, 2013


6-8 pm


NYU Stern - Social Enterprise Association Save-the-Date


NYU Stern / Social Enterprise Association – Kaufman Management Center, 44 West 4th Street NYC NY – 11th Floor Conference Room 11-185

In February's State of the Union (SOTU) speech, President Obama called for renewed efforts to advance alternative energy. He urged Congress to "pursue a bipartisan, market based solution to climate change" and to develop "every available source of American energy." For Obama this includes wind and solar power as well as fossil fuel reserves, namely, a clean energy standard where utilities would be required to obtain 80% of their power from non-petroleum and coal sources by 2035.

The speech also highlighted the complexity of the energy transition facing our economy with calls for accelerated natural gas exploration to boost energy independence and reduce emissions from more polluting fuels, combined with innovative financial efforts to reduce building energy use and to wean cars off fossil fuels.

Obama urged that we be competitive in the international clean energy markets, "as long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we." But even as Obama touted alternative energy, he also made it clear that natural gas production --with stronger environmental protections -- was also on his list of initiatives. His administration will speed up new oil and gas permits, he said, as well as research ways to burn natural gas in a cleaner manner.

The most interesting proposals came towards the end: an Energy Security Trust funded from gas and oil royalties to "support research into a range of cost-effective technologies" aimed at shifting cars and trucks off oil. Lastly, Obama called to "cut in half the energy wasted...over the next twenty years" with an energy efficiency race to the top," the states with the best ideas for more efficient building would receive federal support.

There's plenty of room for debate around America 's energy future. Is expanded gas drilling and use truly a transition step toward a carbon free future? What measures will be taken to increase wind and solar production and drive down costs? Has the natural gas boom hindered the spread of alternative energy? Will the EPA be directed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions? Will the Energy Security Trust receive Congressional approval and if it does, will it be effective? Which states are best positioned to receive energy efficiency funding?

Join representatives from the solar, wind, and energy efficiency sectors to discuss these and other questions and Obama's SOTU energy proposals during a panel on alternative energy in Obama's second term.




Russell Tencer, CEO, Wind Analytics; David Roe, VP of Energy Solutions at Hess; Cai Steger, Energy Policy Analyst, National Resources Defense Council; Anthony Fiore, Director, Office of Energy NYC Department of Environmental Protection; Ricardo Gotla, Legislative Director, New York League Of Conservation Voters