Jesse Jenkins

Jesse Jenkins is the director of energy and climate policy at the Breakthrough Institute. He is also the founder and chief editor of WattHead: Energy News and Commentary and writes frequently at several other sites.

Energy Policy

From Solyndra circus to clean energy reform

Steven Chu appears before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today.Cross-posted from the Breakthrough Institute. Step right up to see the latest chapter in the ongoing political circus surrounding the bankruptcy of solar manufacturer and federal loan guarantee recipient Solyndra. Today’s main attraction: Secretary of Energy Steven Chu’s long-awaited appearance before the eager Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Key questions remain about the ill-fated solar manufacturer’s dramatic demise earlier this year. Unfortunately, investigations on the Hill long ago veered into the realm of political point-scoring, rather than a serious inquiry designed to improve federal support for …

The Big Red Elephant in the Room

Climate challenge hinges on fueling China with clean and cheap energy

We must make renewables affordable if we ever hope to curb China's steady rise in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Must Be Election Season...

Media controversy over stimulus-funded clean energy grant program lacks substance

Critical news articles about a clean energy stimulus program are making misleading contentions.

The little program that could

A small venture that could generate big results

Imagine a program that turns a relatively small initial investment into billions of dollars of U.S. economic growth, thousands of new Americans jobs, and groundbreaking technologies that change the way we use energy in this country and around the world. It's called the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy and it is about to be given the bureaucratic equivalent of a death sentence.

a package we can't live without

Stimulus driving clean energy innovation, manufacturing, markets — But what comes next?

With global competition mounting and Recovery Act momentum poised to fade, can the Obama Administration secure a lasting clean energy legacy?

In Defense of 'Energy-Only'

Over at NRDC, David Doniger writes a last-ditch defense of a diminished, utility-only cap and trade proposal while categorically rejecting any “energy-only” legislation — e.g. legislation lacking a cap and trade component. Unfortunately, Doniger, NRDC (and EDF) wind up clinging onto a “cap” on carbon they have already given away while at the same time standing opposed to a new clean energy strategy that could still salvage a substantive win despite what little time remains on the Congressional clock. A flawed case against “energy-only” Doniger’s case for rejecting any legislation without a carbon “cap” rests on this central argument: Unless …

Watch the shot clock

Democrats may waste last chance for clean energy win

With the final seconds ticking down on the Congressional clock, President Obama and Senate Democrats emerged from a White House summit with Republican moderates Tuesday still lacking any plan to score a last minute win for clean energy. Wasted opportunity Establishing a price (any price) on carbon pollution through a(n increasingly weak) cap-and-trade system continues to be the the preferred climate and energy approach of environmental advocacy groups and Democratic leadership. This preference holds despite the fact that for at least three years, that plan has consistently failed to uncover any route to securing the 60 votes necessary for passage …

Clean energy COMPETES

Strengthening clean energy competitiveness through the America COMPETES reauthorization

This post was co-authored by Mark Muro and Rob Atkinson, and originally appeared at The New Republic. Having passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 28, the America COMPETES Act, America’s flagship competitiveness legislation, will soon be debated in the U.S. Senate. The Act was originally passed in 2007 in response to mounting concern that the United States was failing to effectively compete economically with other nations, imperiling the nation’s future prosperity. Now, a new outbreak of anxiety has engulfed the nation’s competitive standing particularly as regards the nation’s fledgling clean energy industry. Presently, the United States lacks an …

Clearing the Clean Energy Innovation Threshold

The latest from the Brookings Institution’s Mark Muro is a perfectly succinct summary of how one should judge the coming Kerry-(Graham?)-Lieberman Senate climate and energy bill, reportedly scheduled for release this Wednesday: What is clear, though, is this: To get to a good bill senators need to deal properly with the revenue–whether from offshore oil drilling or pollution allowance auctions or whatever else is in the bill. And to do that they need to make sure a huge chunk of it gets applied to clean-energy research and development. Get that right and much else needn’t be perfect. Blow that, and …

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