May 18

Past Event

America’s Energy Future: New Solutions to Fuel Economic Growth and Prosperity



  • Energy Consumption Is Vital to Our Well-Being

    Michael Greenstone: Energy consumption is vital to our well-being. And this reliance on energy fuels economic growth on a global scale.

    Michael Greenstone

  • Technology Transfer Restrictions Constrain Growth

    John Deutch: Technology transfer restrictions and ambiguity, with barriers to investments, constrain wider possibilities for growth.

    John M. Deutch

  • U.S. Should Lead on Energy

    Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): We need an energy policy that puts the United States in a leadership role. Opportunities for clean energy technology may surpass the Internet.

    Michael Greenstone, John M. Deutch and Ted Gayer

  • Changed Framework in California

    Thomas F. Steyer, Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs: We changed the framework for this conversation in California so that environmentalists could win.

    Michael Greenstone, John M. Deutch and Ted Gayer


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The recent climb in gasoline prices to $4 per gallon is the latest headwind facing the U.S. economy. In addition to this threat to economic growth, America’s current energy system poses long-term threats to national security, health, and the environment. On May 18, The Hamilton Project hosted a forum on America’s energy future, focusing on strategies to give all energy sources equal footing in the marketplace and expand America’s opportunities to utilize cleaner, low-cost sources of energy.

A panel of economic experts, moderated by Hamilton Project Director and Brookings Senior Fellow Michael Greenstone, presented three new proposals to improve the regulations governing energy consumption and environmental quality, create a new clean energy standard and improve the federal government’s efforts to deploy new energy technologies. The Hamilton Project also released a new paper outlining principles to help level the playing field for all energy sources—moving away from a system that favors energy sources with low prices at the pump but higher costs to society through health impacts and our ongoing reliance on foreign oil.

A second panel, moderated by former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, discussed the future of energy and climate change policy in the United States. Participants included Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers; Farallon Capital Management Founder Tom Steyer, co-chair of Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs; The Nature Conservancy President and CEO Mark Tercek; and former U.S. Senator John Warner (R-Va), currently an adviser to the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate. Following each panel, the participants took questions from the audience.

The forum concluded with keynote remarks by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) on "Bipartisan Solutions to America’s Energy Challenges."

Strategy Paper:

A Strategy for America’s Energy Future: Illuminating Energy’s Full Costs, by Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney



Event Agenda

  • Welcome

    • Roger C. Altman

      Founder and Chairman

      Evercore Partners

  • Panel Discussion: New Policies for a Cleaner Economy

  • Panel Discussion: The Future of Energy and Climate Change Policy

    • Moderator: Robert E. Rubin

      Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

      Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

    • James E. Rogers

      Chairman, President and CEO

      Duke Energy

    • Thomas F. Steyer

      Senior Managing Member, Farallon Capital Management L.L.C.

      Co-Chair, Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs

    • Mark Tercek

      President and CEO

      The Nature Conservancy

    • The Honorable John Warner

      Senior Advisor, Hogan Lovells LLP

      Advisor, Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate

  • Keynote Remarks: Bipartisan Solutions to America’s Energy Challenges

    • The Honorable Maria Cantwell (D- Wash.)

      U.S. Senate


May 18, 2011

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM EDT

Washington Court Hotel


525 New Jersey Avenue, NW


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