PCAST Energy Report Released Today

A new report released today by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) provides specific and practical recommendations on how the Nation can transform its current carbon-based economy into a safer, more sustainable, and economically advantageous energy ecosystem.

It calls for significant changes in the way the Federal government coordinates the complex job of fulfilling America’s energy needs across multiple agencies and programs—changes that promise to increase economic competitiveness, enhance environmental stewardship, and strengthen national security. The report also calls for significantly increasing Federal investments in energy-related research and development and suggests new revenue options that could support the development of more efficient energy technologies.

Report to the President on Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies Through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy (pdf) calls upon the Federal government to craft a government-wide Federal energy policy and update it regularly with strategic Quadrennial Reviews similar to those produced regularly by the Department of Defense. It recommends realistic approaches to increasing the Nation’s inveastment in clean-energy technologies by about $10 billion per year. And it calls for a review of current legislative energy subsidies and incentives—including preferred tax treatment and trade restrictions—with the goal of better aligning them with evolving priorities as specified in the Quadrennial Energy Review.

The report got quick support from the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC)—a group of America’s top business executives including Bill Gates, chairman and former chief executive of Microsoft; Norm Augustine, former chairman of Lockheed Martin; Ursula Burns, chairman and chief executive of Xerox; John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins; Chad Holliday, chairman of Bank of America and former CEO of DuPont; Jeff Immelt, chief executive of GE; and Tim Solso, chairman and chief executive of Cummins. In a letter released this morning, AEIC chairman Chad Holliday wrote:

“The overarching transformation in the national energy innovation system that PCAST deems necessary is consistent with the urgent recommendations put forward by AEIC earlier this year. In PCAST’s important new study, a comprehensive energy strategy is suggested along with significantly increased public investments in energy technology innovation. … Enactment of these recommendations would be a critically important step toward creating a cleaner, more secure energy system for the American people.”

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