May 12

Past Event

Energy Challenges for the Next President

Event Materials



  • Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels

    Senator Lamar Alexander compares the nation''s need for quick action in reducing its dependence on fossil fuels to the Manhattan Project, which hastened America''s effort to split the atom.

  • How Candidates will Frame Positions on Climate and Energy

    William Antholis says the candidates will frame their positions on climate change and energy around a few key points; including methods to help developing countries shape their energy programs.

    William J. Antholis

  • Both Parties Need to Address Energy Issues

    Carlos Pascual says both Democrats and Republicans need to work around some basic tenants of their respective parties to really address our energy issues.

    Carlos Pascual

  • Need a Carbon Fee

    When speaking of subsidies to alleviate the impact of the nation''s carbon footprint, David Sandalow says we need to have a system that exacts a fee for the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

    David B. Sandalow

  • Implement a Carbon Pricing Plan

    Jason Bordoff says the most important thing we can do to reduce the demand for fossil fuels is to implement a carbon pricing plan. Carbon pricing, he says, would encourage fuel substitution.

  • Recommended Climate Actions can Save Money

    Jonathan Elkind says the way to encourage consumers to save on energy is to make it clear that taking recommended actions can help them save money without diminishing their quality of living.

    Jonathan Elkind


Energy issues are central to the most important strategic challenges facing the United States and the world. And in the presidential campaign, they are increasingly central to the discussion of how the next president will approach America's environmental, economic and security policy. From the idea of a gasoline tax "holiday" to ethanol subsidies to trade policy, energy issues may well dominate policy and political discussions this summer.

On May 12, the Opportunity 08 project at Brookings hosted Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) for a discussion of energy issues facing the next president. In December of 2007, Alexander was elected by his peers to chairman of the Senate Republican Conference—the third-ranking Republican position in the U.S. Senate. Senator Alexander has recently proposed that the U.S. launch a new, bipartisan Manhattan Project, “a 5-year effort to put America firmly on the path to clean energy independence.”

William Antholis, Brookings managing director, provided introductory remarks. After the program, Senator Alexander took audience questions. A panel discussion followed.

Watch event clips »
Read Senator Alexander's remarks »

Opportunity 08 aims to help presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, providing ideas, policy forums and information on a broad range of domestic and foreign policy questions.

Event Agenda


May 12, 2008

10:15 AM - 12:00 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Saul/Zilkha Rooms

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105