BCO 58 - June 2009


June 2009

Policy Updates

Research and Technology Updates

Events


Democrats Strike Deal With Agriculture on Climate Bill

On June 23, Democrats in the House of Representatives announced that they had reached a deal on several key agricultural concerns in the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) (H.R. 2454), clearing the way for a planned floor vote on June 26. Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) had previously threatened to torpedo the legislation, claiming that he had as many as 45 Democrats lined up to vote against the bill if his concerns were not addressed. The deal, struck with Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and bill sponsor Henry Waxman (D-CA), included the following key provisions:

1) The agricultural and forestry sectors will be fully exempted from carbon emissions caps.

2) Oversight of the domestic agricultural and forestry offsets program would be moved from the EPA to the USDA. Under these provisions, farmers could sell carbon credits in exchange for practices that reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions or store carbon in the soil and vegetation. Supporters believe that the USDA is in a better position to implement such a program effectively, while critics fear that the USDA will be more lax than the EPA in determining which practices actually reduce carbon emissions. For the time being, the role of the EPA in implementing the offsets program will remain undefined, subject to future guidance from the Obama administration.

3) The renewable fuel standard in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires the EPA to conduct a life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions attributed to indirect land use changes around the world caused by the production of biofuels in the United States. Under the agreement, this assessment would be put on hold for the next five years while the National Academy of Sciences conducts a study of the scientific basis and methodologies used in conducting such assessments. The ethanol industry and many agricultural groups had strongly opposed EPA’s assessment as being unscientific, over-stated, and unfairly applied, while proponents of incorporating emissions due to overseas indirect landuse change remain concerned that the total, life cycle carbon footprint of biofuels made from crops such as corn and soybeans is greater than that of petroleum-based fuels.

4) The definition of renewable biomass would be expanded to include a much larger portion of available woody biomass on both federal and non-federal lands, and the definition of renewable biomass would be similarly amended for purposes of implementing the renewable fuel standard.

President Obama spoke in favor of the bill on Tuesday, saying it “will spark a clean energy transformation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and confront the carbon pollution that threatens our planet.” With the concerns of agricultural interests largely addressed, both Waxman and Peterson predicted that ACES would have the votes to make it through the House on Friday. “I think we will have the majority to pass the bill,” said Waxman, in a press conference held with Peterson on Tuesday.


Bioenergy, Agriculture, and Forestry Provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

On June 5, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce reported out the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES, H.R. 2454), often referred to as Waxman-Markey after the two Congressmen who introduced it, Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), Chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. The bill would establish a comprehensive system of energy and climate policies calculated to reduce nationwide emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% below 2005 levels by 2050.

The core of the bill is a cap-and-trade program that would establish mandatory limits on emissions that would decrease over time. Power plants, fossil fuel producers, and other ‘capped’ entities would be obligated to obtain and submit sufficient emissions allowances each year to cover the extent of their emissions. Bioenergy generated from renewable biomass (as defined in section 312) would be exempt from this requirement, as sustainably produced biomass is assumed for the purposes of the bill to be a carbon-neutral feedstock. Bioenergy producers using feedstocks that do not meet this definition, however, would be treated as capped entities and would be required to submit emissions allowances like producers of fossil energy.

Agriculture, forestry and other land management activities are not included among the capped sectors, despite being significant sources of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Instead, the program would encourage farmers and land managers to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations by allowing them to sell carbon offsets (as described in sections 731-743). In order to be eligible, offset projects must demonstrate verifiable reductions in emissions (such through methane capture at livestock operations) or actively sequester quantifiable amounts of carbon in soils or vegetation (such as through conservation tillage and long-rotation forestry). Capped entities would be able to purchase these offsets and submit them in place of a certain quantity of emissions allowances. At the outset, the program would allow two billion tons of carbon offsets, half of which could come from projects in the United States.

Beyond the cap-and-trade program, ACES includes a number of provisions promoting the capacity of biological resources in the United States to produce biomass, store carbon, and reduce emissions as part of a holistic climate mitigation strategy. One of the most widely-discussed programs, the combined Efficiency and Renewable Electricity Standard (section 101) would require utilities to derive 6 percent of energy production from renewables in 2012, increasing to 20 percent in 2021. Energy efficiency can be used to meet up to 25 percent of the target, and distributed sources of renewable energy would be counted at triple their actual energy output. The definition of renewable biomass included in the legislation contains a number of important feedstocks: crop waste, animal waste, algae, energy crops, separated yard waste, food waste, and woody biomass from private and federal lands (although municipal solid waste is not included in the definition, waste-to-energy is separately defined as a ‘qualifying energy resource’ and could therefore be used in meeting the mandate). This definition of renewable biomass is identical to the one that would be used to determine exemption from the cap-and-trade program, as mentioned above. Section 126 of the bill goes a step further, and would substitute this definition for the one enacted in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140) as part of the Renewable Fuels Standard. The EISA definition does not include federal forests, and is narrower in several regards than the ACES definition.

Section 218, the Certified Stoves Program, would provide authority to the EPA to establish a woodstove change-out program to replace inefficient, polluting woodstoves with EPA-certified high-efficiency woodstoves and pellet stoves. In addition, the bill directs EPA to leverage existing authority, as well as state/local programs and private partners, to encourage additional woodstove change-out programs across the nation. The program is authorized at $20 million for each of 2010-2014.

ACES would authorize the National Bioenergy Partnership (section 193). This partnership is a collaborative effort between the DOE Biomass Program and five regional offices to nurture state and regional biomass activities and to coordinate federal, state, regional and private sector biomass activities. The partnership also provides a forum for sharing technical information and policy ideas, as well as providing DOE with a regional perspective, in order to facilitate the production and use of bioenergy and biobased products across the nation. The program currently has no congressional authority and no dedicated source of funding, and instead depends on periodic funding at the discretion of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. ACES would authorize this program at $7.5 million for each of 2010-2014.

The Open Fuel Standard (section 127) would grant the Secretary of Transportation the authority to require manufacturers of light-duty automobiles to produce a minimum percentage of ‘fuel choice-enabling automobiles’, if it is determined that doing so would be a cost-effective way of achieving the nation’s energy independence and environmental objectives. Fuel choice-enabling automobiles are defined as light-duty vehicles that can run on E85, biodiesel, or a fuel comprised of 85 percent methanol (M85).

The bill would also authorize a grant program (section 205) to help retail power providers establish strategic tree-planting programs, to reduce energy demand and decrease air pollution. In addition, ACES contains a number of programs that broadly support the development and commercialization of renewable energy, including bioenergy, such as the Clean Energy Innovation Centers (section 171), the Centers for Energy and Environmental Knowledge and Outreach (section 173), and the State Energy and Environment Development (SEED) Accounts (sections 131-132).

Title IV, subtitle E of the bill is concerned with adaptation programs and funding. Climate change will effect society broadly, but many of the most immediate and dire impacts will be on water resources, soils, forests, and wildlife. Much of the funding available under this subtitle would be made available to bolster adaptation efforts in the realm of natural resources management, assisting state agencies, farmers, and land managers to preserve land productivity and critical ecosystem functions in the face of a changing climate.


House Agriculture Committee Gathers Views on Pending Climate Bill

On June 11, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), convened a hearing on the pending House climate bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), soliciting views from the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and various agricultural groups.

Secretary Vilsack reiterated the Obama administration’s view that Congress must enact comprehensive legislation to address climate change quickly. He observed that agriculture and forestry have important roles to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon, and he stated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is well equipped and ready to implement a cap and trade program that includes agricultural and forestry offsets. However, to the consternation of many committee members, he was not prepared to offer either administration views on the specific provisions in the bill (the administration, in general, has not taken a position on this bill) or USDA analysis of the specific impacts that the bill as it is currently written would have on U.S. agriculture or USDA programs.

Testimony from the various agricultural groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Corn Growers Association, and the National Milk Producers Federation, offered little to no support for the bill as it is currently written. A top concern was that the agriculture and forestry sector, while offering significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon at less cost than many other alternatives, is given only a limited role in the bill. Panelists argued that the amount of domestic offsets should not be capped arbitrarily at one billion tons. Committee members and many of the panelists were emphatic that the USDA – not the Environmental Protection Agency – should be responsible for implementing the agricultural and forestry offsets program.

Various panelists argued that agricultural producers who took early actions to reduce or sequester emissions should be fully recognized and rewarded. Producers should be allowed to “stack” environmental credits from climate, soil and wildlife conservation, and other programs that protect the environment. And any assessment of “leakage” in the domestic offsets program (e.g. if an approved offset in one place leads indirectly to increased emissions elsewhere) should be limited to the jurisdiction of the United States.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee reported the bill out of committee on May 21, and the Speaker of the House reportedly has told the chairs of other committees with jurisdiction (such as Agriculture) to complete work on their portions of the bill by June 19, 2009. Rep. Peterson has made clear his concerns about the bill, and The Hill reported June 10 that Peterson believes as many as 45 Democrats, many of them from rural, agricultural districts, may vote against the bill if it is not amended when it comes to the floor at the end of June.


House Committee Narrowly Rejects Limiting EPA’s Biofuels Rulemaking

On June 18, the House Appropriations Committee chose by a single vote not to intervene in an EPA regulatory process which is assessing the effects of indirect land use change when calculating the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels. By a margin of 29-30, the committee rejected an amendment from Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) that would have barred funding for any regulation that included these emissions, which can add significantly to the calculated carbon footprint of corn ethanol and a number of other biofuels. The amendment was targeted primarily at the development of EPA rules determining the eligibility of a number of biofuels to be included under the Renewable Fuels Standard of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140). In the Act, Congress required the EPA to include carbon emissions due to indirect land use change as part of its lifecycle assessment of various biofuels. This could cause a number of biofuels to not meet the minimum carbon reduction standards set by Congress.

"There is a huge negative effect here," argued Emerson (according to Planet Ark), who worried that the proposed EPA rule "could stop U.S. ethanol production in its tracks." According to a Platts news story, Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) urged committee members to oppose the amendment, saying that members of the Energy and Commerce Committee had assured him that the matter would be addressed on the House floor during negotiations for the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. The draft 2010 Interior and Environment spending bill, to which Emerson had attempted to attach the amendment, was approved by the committee later in the day.


Administration Releases Funding for Biofuels and Bioenergy Programs

On May 5, President Obama issued a directive requesting USDA to make available additional funding for advanced biofuels development and commercialization with one month – Obama’s so-called 30-Day Biofuels Directive. In answer to this request, USDA has issued funding notices for a number of biofuels-related provisions and programs established in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246).

One such program is the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP, Section 9011 of the 2008 Farm Bill). BCAP will provide financial assistance for farmers seeking to establish new energy crops, as well as payments to cover the cost of collecting, harvesting, storing, and transporting renewable biomass. Environmental review of the portion of the program dealing with the establishment of new crops is still pending. On June 11, however, USDA released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFA) for the portion of the program relating to collection, harvest, storage, and transportation. Qualified entities are eligible to receive a matching $1 payment for each $1 they receive from a qualified biomass conversion facility, up to a maximum of $45.

Further information, including instructions on providing comments and applying for payments, is available in the Federal Register Notice.

On June 12, USDA released a NOFA for the Repowering Assistance Program (Section 9004). This program was established to provide financial assistance to re-tool existing biorefineries to use renewable biomass (agricultural residues, byproducts, wood, etc.) as the primary source of process energy in the facility. By reducing fossil inputs in biorefineries, the overall carbon footprint and climate impacts of biofuels can be greatly reduced. The number of awards and size of payments under this NOFA will vary depending on applicant response, but individual grants will not exceed 50 percent of project costs or $5 million, whichever is less.

Applications are due between July 1, 2009 and November 1, 2009. More information on the application process is available in the Federal Register Notice.

In addition to these programs, USDA is reviewing additional applications under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003) and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP, Section 9007). USDA is also expected in the near future to release a NOFA and/or proposed rules for the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels (Section 9005), a program established to support and accelerate the production of advanced biofuels.

In addition to the farm bill programs and the President’s 30-Day Biofuels Directive, USDA continues to support woody biomass utilization as an important source of renewable energy and a key component in meeting national objectives for forest restoration. On June 11, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced $49 million in awards for wood-to-energy grants and an additional $8 million for other woody biomass utilization projects. This funding was made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). In total, 30 projects in 14 states received awards.

USDA is not the only federal agency that is accelerating efforts to promote bioenergy and support the President’s emphasis on renewable energy. The IRS recently published long-awaited guidelines on a federal tax credit for ‘qualified biomass fuel property’, a term that includes pellet stoves, wood stoves, biomass-fueled furnaces, and units that use biomass to produce hot water. The tax credit, first established in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (110-343) and expanded in ARRA, is worth 30 percent of the cost of qualified biomass stove or furnace, up to a maximum of $1,500. Qualified units must be at least 75 percent efficient.


USDA Announces New Renewable Energy Funding Through REAP

On May 26, the United States Department of Agriculture announced it would begin to accept funding applications through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The program, budgeted at $55 million for FY 2009, provides grants, loan guarantees, and funding for feasibility studies to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses. USDA will award funding up to the following levels:

  • Grants for renewable energy systems—25% of eligible project costs up to $500,000
  • Grants for energy efficiency projects—25% of eligible project costs up to $250,000
  • Loan guarantees—75% of eligible project costs up to $25 million
  • Feasibility studies—25% of eligible study costs up to $50,000

To ensure that small community farms benefit from the program, USDA is setting aside 20% of all REAP funds for small-scale project grants of $20,000 or less. The application deadline is July 31.

For more information and application instructions, please see the Federal Register Notice


Can Biochar Answer Both Climate and Energy Challenges?

Centuries ago, Amazonian farmers created some of the world’s most fertile farmland by converting biomass to charcoal in their fields. Much of the carbon they buried hundreds of years ago remains sequestered there today. Today, researchers seek to use a similar method to create a “carbon-negative” energy source with the potential to make a huge difference in the fight against global warming.

The most promising approach utilizes a process called pyrolysis, in which biomass from forests, agricultural waste, or animal waste is heated at 350-450 degrees C in an oxygen depleted chamber. This produces three outputs: syngas, a liquid fuel called bio-oil, and biochar (a charcoal-like solid). Most frequently, biochar has been viewed as a mere byproduct of the creation of bio-oil, which can be utilized in a variety of industrial applications and has been successfully converted into both diesel fuel and petroleum. Syngas, another byproduct of bio-oil production, is generally burned to provide heat for the process.

New research, however, is showing biochar to have practical applications of its own. Not only is it excellent at sequestering carbon, but it has also been found to improve soil quality when used as a soil amendment. Biochar reduces soil pH, increases water retention, and makes it easier for plants to take up nutrients from the soil (by increasing cation exchange), which significantly increases crop yields. In addition, a study by Johannes Lehmann of Cornell University has shown that biochar can reduce nitrous oxide emissions by 50% and methane emissions by nearly 100% on affected cropland. Lehmann believes that biochar, along with associated biofuel programs, has the potential to sequester up to 9.5 billion tons of carbon a year—more than the sum of all global carbon emissions from fossil fuels today.

While little doubt exists about the potential of pyrolysis for providing a renewable energy source or about biochar’s ability to effectively sequester carbon, research into its effects on soil is still at an early stage. According to an analysis by Almuth Ernsting and Deepak Rughani, there is some uncertainty over how effective biochar is at improving cation retention capacity in the short run, and there have been few studies testing its effectiveness outside of the laboratory. Pyrolysis may also release dangerous carcinogens (including very small amounts of benzo(a)pyrine) with clear implications for public health, although early work indicates that these chemicals are not produced in large enough quantities to be hazardous. More work is also needed to determine the mixture of biochar and fertilizer that will best improve crop yield (biochar requires some fertilizer present before it is effective). And there is little current knowledge on how to produce and distribute the material on a global scale. Still, biochar has already garnered enough support that a consortium of African governments has pushed for the inclusion of biochar in the December UNFCCC talks in Copenhagen.

Private companies have begun to demonstrate interest in the field, and are examining ways to make the process cost-competitive. The largest barrier to producing biochar and bio-oil cost-effectively has always been the high price of transporting biomass, which is bulky and not very energy-dense, to a central production facility. To overcome this, many are considering creating a network of small-scale, local pyrolysis plants where biochar and bio-oil could be produced. Companies could then transport the concentrated bio-oil to a central refinery, and the biochar could be applied to the soils closer to where the biomass was collected. This approach would not only help overcome the challenging logistics of a large-scale operation, but could provide a simple, practical biochar production model adaptable for use in local communities and developing nations. UOP, an arm of industry giant Honeywell International, Inc, is one company getting involved in creating such a locally-based distributed production model, although with more of a focus on liquid fuels than biochar. The company announced in fall 2008 a letter of intent with Ensyn Corp to form a joint venture to research and produce biofuels from pyrolysis. According to UOP Director of Renewable Energy and Chemicals Jennifer Holmgren, the partnership expects to be producing commercially viable products within three years.

Private investment is also helping to rapidly close the gaps in scientific knowledge. In a just-released study, industry leaders Dynomotive Energy Systems Corp. and BlueLeaf Inc. found that application of their biochar could improve crop yields by up to 17%. The study, which can be found on the Dynamotive website, also provides evidence that biochar reduces nutrient depletion in soil, increases the number of plants per area, and increases plant root length.

Dynomotive is currently in talks with the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas to construct a new, $40 million plant designed to produce both bio-oil and biochar. After putting the bio-oil through a two-stage refining process, the company believes it can produce ethanol-equivalent fuel at a cost of under $2 per gallon. The company has already signed a contract with Springhill Land and Timber for the delivery of 220,000 tons per year of sawdust, and expects to start production by 2011.

The implications of bio-oil and biochar range from improving energy security to dramatically reducing and storing billions of tons of harmful carbon emissions. While current production incentives are small, a campaign is underway to give it recognition as a viable carbon offset in trading schemes. “Reducing emissions isn’t enough,” said chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council Tim Flannery in a recent Time article, “we have to draw down the carbon stock in the atmosphere. And for that, slow pyrolysis biochar is a superior solution to anything else that’s been proposed.”


Can “White Biotechnology” Help Create a Green Chemicals Industry?

For decades, chemical manufacturers have relied on complex and often environmentally damaging processes to synthesize a wide array of products from petroleum and natural gas, from plastics and process chemicals to vitamins and nylon. But recent innovations have pushed biotechnology into the industrial sector, creating a new field referred to alternately as “white biotechnology” or “green chemistry”. Pioneers in the sector are investigating methods to synthesize chemicals from renewable biomass without relying on traditional chemical methods. Instead they plan to use specially designed microbes and new molecules to create products from biomass feedstocks. They hope to reduce costs by reducing energy consumption, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions, effectively aligning economic incentives with broader social and environmental goals.

A number of companies, including DuPont, Novozymes, BASF, and DSM, have already begun using biotechnology to replace old production processes. In one application, DSM plans to begin producing succinic acid, a widely used industrial chemical, from biologically derived starch rather than from the traditional inputs, natural gas and crude oil. By putting the biological feedstock through a microbial production process, the company believes it can cut energy use by 40% while achieving a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. In addition, DSM expects the simpler production process to achieve major cost reductions over current practice, leading to rapid adoption throughout the industry. The first step, a demonstration facility in Lestrem, France, will begin producing bio-succinic acid by the end of 2009. If the operation is successful, DSM plans to begin commercial production by 2011.

In a bid to support the emerging biomaterials industry, the U.S. government created the BioPreferred procurement program in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171). Expanded under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246), the bill gives federal procurement preference to bioproducts, including those derived from white biotechnology. In addition, the legislation creates a voluntary labeling program, set to be unveiled in 2009, to identify items that meet USDA-determined thresholds for the inclusion of biobased materials. To date, BioPreferred has identified 2541 products across 33 item types that meet the required threshold.

Applications of white biotechnology have already begun achieving reductions in carbon emissions and fossil fuel use. Production of plastics with biobased innovations already stands at 1 billion pounds (out of an 80 billion pound market). A 2004 industry report projected that if all plastic production were met using biotechnology, U.S. oil consumption would decrease by 90-145 million barrels per year. DSM estimates that a shift to biobased chemical production across the industry could account for up to 20% of the global Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. This dramatic carbon reduction potential, coupled with its ability to reduce costs for chemical producers and cut dependence on fossil fuels, marks white biotechnology as a promising option in efforts to harmonize economic goals with climate goals. A key question remains whether this new chemical industry will help advance additional, key environmental and public health and safety goals, as well.


Resources for the Future Models EISA Impacts on Timber Market

In a recently released issue brief, Resources for the Future presents a new economic analysis projecting the effect on timber markets of the renewable fuel mandates in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The model compares a base case scenario against one in which EISA-mandated increases in cellulosic biofuels are met entirely with woody biomass.

The major findings include:

  • The mandated increases in cellulosic biofuels will raise wood prices by 15 percent in 2015 and 20 percent in the early 2020s over the base scenario.
  • There will be a 60 percent increase in the consumption in raw wood by 2022. This number would be even higher, but the corresponding price increases will cause consumption of wood for non-cellulosic uses to fall.
  • Under the baseline scenario, the United States will move from being a $250 million net exporter of wood in 2010 to being a $1.2 billion net importer by 2050. But when cellulosic biofuel mandates are factored in, the model projects net imports to balloon to $4 billion by 2050. Domestic and global wood demand will be met with a corresponding increase in offshore wood production.

The report’s authors believe forests in the United States could most likely sustain this large of a change in harvest size. However, the scale of the increase, as well as Congressional limitations that prevent significant amounts of land from being used, could lead to both supply shortages and forest sustainability problems down the road.


State Energy and Climate Actions: Agriculture, Forestry and Waste Management

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
385 Russell Senate Office Building

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) and the Office of Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) invite you to a briefing to learn about state climate actions related to agriculture, forestry and waste management, and how they can inform the current Congressional debate on energy and climate policy. States have developed a range of approaches for promoting bioenergy and biobased products as well as managing agriculture, forestry and other land use to enhance carbon sequestration and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these approaches are “win-win” solutions that simultaneously address employment/economic stimulus, energy security, climate mitigation and other environmental objectives while garnering broad consensus among diverse stakeholders. At this briefing, agriculture and forestry experts from the South and Midwest will share experiences about policy development and implementation in their states, and offer perspectives on how the federal government and states can best partner to implement effective policies. Speakers for this event include:

  • Joe James, Chief Executive Officer, Corporation for Economic Opportunity; Member, South Carolina Climate, Energy and Commerce Advisory Committee
  • Richard Leopold, Director, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Dennis Hazel, PhD, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University
  • Tom Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for Climate Strategies (CCS)

Over the past six years, more than 30 states have addressed climate change through comprehensive development of mitigation measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while also creating jobs and addressing energy needs within their states. This includes a full suite of policies in the agriculture, forestry and waste sectors and specific actions that support land protection, conservation practices, renewable energy and products, and waste recovery. Some states have developed adaptation plans as well to respond to climate change impacts on natural resources and other systems.

The Center for Climate Strategies is a nonprofit that supplies technical and analytic services to states. This briefing is the second in a series co-sponsored by EESI and CCS. Information from the first briefing, which provided an overview of state energy and climate actions across all sectors, is available here. Future briefings will address topics including the economics of climate change, transportation, land use, and adaptation, and residential, commercial, and industrial energy use.

This briefing is free and open to the public. No RSVP required.
For more information, contact EESI at (202) 662-1892 or climate [at] eesi.org.

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Writers: Brian Glover, Ned Stowe, and Jesse Caputo

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