Dr. Eric S. Lander is the President’s Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). He was in New Orleans to address the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting on December 14th, and toured Diamond Green Diesel and Air Products facilities afterwards.

“Meeting our nation’s climate and affordable net-zero energy goals will require major changes to the global energy system; historic, equitable investments in clean energy innovation and infrastructure; and collaboration between the private sector and governments at every level.

“I got a first-hand look at two facilities that are working to decrease the carbon intensity of energy and industry.

“I visited the largest renewable diesel facility in North America. Renewable diesel recycles food industry byproducts into a substance that is chemically identical to diesel fuel, and can help meet our needs for more sustainable fuels, including supplying biofuels to states like California, with mandates for clean energy.

“I also visited a hydrogen production plant that is operating at scale. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that can power heavy-duty transport and industry. While this plant produces hydrogen by traditional methods that release substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, the company will be breaking ground soon on a new plant that will produce lower-carbon hydrogen – or blue hydrogen – by employing carbon capture and storage.

“These facilities represent a step in the full energy transition that we’ll need to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”

“They also highlight that a clean energy future can’t leave anyone behind – especially fossil fuel workers and their families who’ve worked for generations to power our nation, and the communities who live near large-scale industrial uses.

“There’s a great deal of work ahead to ensure we meet our urgent clean energy needs. In my speech to the nation’s earth, climate, ocean, space, and other scientists, I called on them to help lead ferocious innovation and ferocious deployment of the technologies that will get us there.”


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