Blog

The Hill – EPA Regulations

Want More Stringent EPA Carbon Caps? We Need Innovation Policy

Matthew Stepp
Published June 18, 2014

While the tougher emissions regulations recently implemented by the EPA will incent some additional clean energy development, long term transition away from fossil fuels will not be possible unless clean energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels. The most effective way to accomplish this is through a comprehensive innovation strategy marked by enhanced investment in clean energy research, development and demonstration.

Barriers to U.S. Global Clean Energy Leadership

United States House Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
U.S. House of Representatives

Oversight and Management of Department of Energy
National Laboratories and Science Activities

June 12, 2014; 9:30-10:30AM

Matthew Stepp testified before the United States House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Stepp focuses on the potential benefits of and barriers to the United States becoming a global leader in innovative clean energy technologies.

Read his oral testimony, read his full written testimony, or watch the webcast of the full hearing.

By |June 16th, 2014|Events, Uncategorized|Comments Off|

The Energy Collective Analyzes EPA’s Power Plant Carbon Regulations

On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled an historic proposal to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s power plants to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The ambitious and flexible proposed regulations would see each state develop it’s own plan to cut power sector carbon emissions using a variety of options, from improving power plant efficiency or capturing CO2 at smokestacks to “beyond the fence” measures to increase the use of clean energy, improve end-use energy efficiency, or even join or create interstate markets for carbon trading.

All week, experts at TheEnergyCollective.com have been reacting to and dissecting the EPA’s new regulations. Today, I moderated a live videocast with Energy Collective experts and featured columnists Geoff Styles, Matthew Stepp (of The Capitol Energy Report) and John Miller (of Energy and Policy Developments). (Jim Pierobon of Game Changers also joined briefly but was disconnected due to technical difficulties).

We covered the hot topics and key questions that have surfaced about EPA regulations:

  • How does EPA establish CO2 reduction targets for each state?
  • What options do states have to comply with the EPA CO2 targets?
  • What legal challenges will the proposed rule face?
  • What impacts […]

The Globalist – Regional Innovation

Pittsburgh’s Path to Recovery

Matthew Stepp
June 3, 2014

Pittsburgh’s economic revival has been led with smart innovation policies that have connected and strengthened the innovation ecosystem in the city. Matthew Stepp details the city’s policy successes and barriers to further growth, considering how lessons from Pittsburgh can be used by other regional innovation clusters.

By |June 5th, 2014|Innovation Ecosystem, Op-ed, Regional Clusters|Comments Off|

Reforming Global Climate Policy

Matthew Stepp discussed methods for transforming international climate strategy to focus on innovation with Sirius XM POTUS’ Tim Farley.

Stepp argues that the only way we can truly make clean energy more affordable than fossil fuels and obtain the global emissions reductions necessary to address climate change is to support energy innovation in high- and low-income countries. Future climate negotiations should include innovation-based policy solutions that foster a globally comprehensive energy innovation ecosystem by growing RD&D investments in high-income countries and developing more demonstration and smart deployment programs in low-income countries to both drive innovation and increase energy access.

To learn more about Stepp’s comments and policy recommendations, check out CCEI’s report, Beyond 2015: An Innovation-Based Framework for Global Climate Policy.

Listen to the interview:

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    Why Innovation Should Be at the Heart of Climate Policy: An Interview With Matthew Stepp of CCEI

Why Innovation Should Be at the Heart of Climate Policy: An Interview With Matthew Stepp of CCEI

Interview conducted and originally posted by the Breakthrough Institute staff.

As a graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Matthew Stepp was frustrated by the fact that the major climate change policies under debate – carbon pricing, electric vehicle subsidies, feebates – weren’t enough to deeply cut carbon. He was also skeptical that the climate advocacy’s vague call for movement building could change the political economy calculus.

At the Breakthrough Institute, where Stepp was a Generation Fellow, he found others who shared his frustration and were attempting to outline new policies that could effect technological change. Four years later, and Stepp is now the leader of the first think tank in Washington, DC, that is dedicated to spurring clean energy innovation, much like what was accomplished with the shale gas revolution.

The Center for Clean Energy Innovation has a very straightforward mission: make clean energy innovation policy the core solution to global climate change. “Right now, energy innovation isn’t considered a mainstream solution, which is troubling because climate change is inherently one of the greatest technological challenges of our time,” Stepp said. Breakthrough caught up with Stepp to discuss how we might move to a low- to zero-carbon future.

Breakthrough and CCEI largely […]

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    Accelerating Sustainability: Maximizing the Benefits of Connected Cars

Accelerating Sustainability: Maximizing the Benefits of Connected Cars

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562
United States Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

May 8, 2014; 9-11:00 AM

The age of the intelligent vehicle is here and it promises significant impacts into how we travel and its impacts on society and climate change. Every day, smart vehicle technologies are announced that allow drivers to save time, fuel, and carbon emissions. Please join the Center for Clean Energy Innovation, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Information Technology Industry Council, and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America for a timely discussion on the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of connected cars as well as ways government policy can accelerate its diffusion into the transportation system.

Watch/listen to the event. 

Panel 1: Connected Cars are Cleaner Cars

  • Moderator: Matthew Stepp, Executive Director, Center for Clean Energy Innovation
  • Jason Harrison, Director, Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships, AT&T
  • Harry Lightsey, Executive Director, Global Connected Consumer
  • Leo McCloskey, Senior Vice President, Technical Programs, ITS America
  • Eric Berkobin, Vice President, Engineering, Verizon Telematics

Panel 2: Policy Drivers & the Future of the Connected Car

  • Moderator: Dean Garfield, President & CEO, Information Technology Industry Council
  • Mary Brown, Director, Government Affairs, Cisco
  • Hilary Cain, Director, Tech and Innovation Policy, Toyota
  • Catherine McCullough, Executive Director, Intelligent Car Coalition
  • Paul Feenstra, Senior Vice President for […]
By |April 17th, 2014|Events|Comments Off|
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    Characterizing Energy Access, Climate Change, and Innovation

Characterizing Energy Access, Climate Change, and Innovation

The UN declared the next ten years the “Decade of Sustainable Energy for All,” and there is no better way to kick off the decade than with a compelling discussion about how to actually reach this goal. Recently a number of stakeholders have started to debate the complicated tradeoffs between pursuing global energy access and deploying renewable energy at a large scale to mitigate climate change. It shows the tension between two critically important global challenges, but also the core role innovation can play in addressing both.

The discussion was headed off by the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) Todd Moss and Ben Leo, who published a paper in January suggesting that 60 million more of the world’s poor could have access to electricity if the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was allowed the flexibility to invest in natural gas projects instead of supporting a renewables-only strategy. OPIC is a U.S.-based development institution that finances projects in developing countries that support domestic businesses and advance U.S. foreign policy. As the authors argue:

“There has been a general bias toward using OPIC to invest principally in solar, wind, and other low-emissions energy projects as part of the administration’s effort to promote clean […]

Chelsea Krost Show – Millennials

Millennials Re-Envisioning Environmentalism and Climate Policy

Matthew Stepp
Published March 24, 2014

CCEI Executive Director Matthew Stepp takes to the Chelsea Krost Show blog – one of the leading online platforms for discussing topics ranging from pop culture to politics among Millennials – to discuss why the emerging generation of young innovators and thought leaders are poised to shake up the climate policy world. Millennials are finding ways to work around political gridlock to solve big social problems like global climate change, and are leveraging their inherent understanding in innovation to do so.

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    Trench Warfare or: What I’ve Learned about the U.S. Climate Policy Debate

Trench Warfare or: What I’ve Learned about the U.S. Climate Policy Debate

March 11, 2014

Center for Clean Energy Innovation Executive Director Matthew Stepp presented an hour-long lecture to a graduate-level climate change policy class at Millersville University. The lecture focused on the role of think tanks in the climate policy debate and high-level observations on the history of policy experimentation in the U.S. and around the world. The students are working towards a Master of Science in Integrated Scientific Applications – one of the first national degree programs for scientists or science majors to apply their discipline knowledge to cross-cutting issues, like climate change, emergency planning, and environmental policy.

The presentation can be downloaded here.

By |March 11th, 2014|Events|Comments Off|