President-elect Barack Obama has repeatedly listed energy security and climate change as a top priority—second only perhaps to addressing the economic crisis. Following through on that rhetoric will be easier said than done. It combines economic costs felt directly by most voters, foreign policy considerations affecting our key allies and less reliable nations, and environmental policy, particularly catastrophic climate change.
On November 11, Brookings held the second of 12 events to provide timely policy recommendations and political advice to the incoming president and his transition team. Managing Director William Antholis and Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings, presented their recommendations to president-elect Obama, including major “cap-and-trade” legislation, a reshuffling of the federal bureaucracy, cooperation with state and local governments and diplomacy with a range of nations across a matrix of complicated issues. Antholis and Ebinger were joined by Saban Center Senior Fellow Suzanne Maloney. Senior Fellow E.J. Dionne, Jr. provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, the panelists took audience questions.