How To Make Clean Energy Cheap is Focus of Duke Discussion

Think tank scholars on the left, right and center share their ideas

Three authors will discuss new policy approaches to developing cheap, clean energy in a public lecture at Duke University Jan. 25.

"Hitting the Reset Button on Energy Policy: A Proposal for Post-Partisan Power" will start at 5:30 p.m. in the Fleishman Commons at the Sanford School of Public Policy. The talk is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available on campus at the Bryan Center parking garage.

The development of the Internet can provide a model for a new nonpartisan approach to funding energy research, say lecturers Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger and Steven Hayward. They propose a $25 billion yearly investment by the federal government to support energy research and education.

Like many issues, energy policy has become polarized along partisan lines, with the left still clinging to cap-and-trade proposals and the right focused on expanded oil drilling and nuclear power. What if the solution is "none of the above?" say Nordhaus, Shellenberger and Haywood.

Their white paper, "Post-Partisan Power," published in October by a nonprofit think tank, the Breakthrough Institute, advocates an approach that moves beyond partisanship. The paper received widespread media attention.

The paper was written by scholars affiliated with think tanks of the left, right and center. Nordhaus and Shellenberger are founding members of Breakthrough Institute, co-author Hayward is affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, and a fourth co-author, Mark Muro, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

"Our ongoing series, ‘Gridlock: Can Our System Address America's Big Problems,' is seeking exactly these types of nonpartisan ideas. Their approach could have a transformative effect on energy policy, which is a core academic focus of the School," said Bruce Kuniholm, dean of the Sanford School.