NEWS NOTES ON SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCESEnvironmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) top accomp...

Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

The top accomplishments of EESI are listed on the web site. Following is a sample of this work:

“Submitted recommendations to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
EESI submitted an extensive set of policy recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. EESI Executive Director Daniel Bresette noted, “The Select Committee’s work is establishing a critical foundation of information and ideas that will inform climate policy development for years to come."

"EESI’s response was wide-ranging and provided specific recommendations for Congress to consider as climate policy continues to take shape. EESI suggested ways to advance clean energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment; reduce emissions from the transportation sector; increase the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in new and existing buildings; and enact new nationwide policies to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

EESI also offered three high-level principles for the Select Committee to consider:
(1) The urgency of climate change demands near-term actions as longer-term policies are developed and implemented;
(2) Reducing the risks of the worst climate change outcomes, and adapting to their increased frequency, magnitude, and severity, will require a cohesive, coordinated set of policies that are complex and interconnected; and
(3) Congress should recognize and support efforts by states and local governments to reduce GHG emissions and implement measures for climate change adaptation.”

“Expanded our beneficial electrification efforts, to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.

EESI continues its efforts on “beneficial electrification,” the switch from fossil fuel sources (such as propane, oil, and gasoline) to electricity in a way that financially benefits both electric utilities and their customers, while also reducing overall emissions. EESI, now considered an expert on the topic, helped write and research a major report, Equitable Beneficial Electrification for Rural Electric Cooperatives. In it, we showcase how beneficial electrification is as an ideal pathway for rural electric cooperatives to decarbonize their power grids equitably. EESI also held a Congressional briefing, Electrification: Options for Consumers and the Environment, to encourage federal policymakers to think about ways to incentivize and facilitate beneficial electrification initiatives. Making electric cooperatives more sustainable would have a significant impact on U.S. carbon emissions: about 900 co-ops nationwide provide power to 13 percent of all Americans. Fifty-six percent of the country’s surface area is served by co-ops.

EESI has deepened its partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which has made beneficial electrification a priority. EESI has provided critical technical assistance for NRECA’s statewide electrification events for electric cooperatives in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. In Alaska, the City of Juneau asked EESI to help develop an on-bill financing program for beneficial electrification. We are now developing toolkits to make the move to electrification easier.”

“Launched a fact sheet series on aviation emissions and how to reduce them.

Air travel is receiving greater public attention as a rapidly growing source of climate change emissions. Globally, the industry accounts for approximately five percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, the world’s largest commercial air traffic system, aviation contributes 12 percent of the country’s transportation emissions and three percent of the nation’s total greenhouse gas production. The projected growth of global air travel indicates passenger traffic could triple by mid-century, amplifying the serious climate change problem represented by this energy intensive transportation mode. The transition of aviation to a lower climate footprint will be especially challenging.

To help policymakers understand the challenges of creating a lower carbon aviation sector, EESI is publishing a series of fact sheets. The first of these, The Growth in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Commercial Aviation, was released in October 2019. An upcoming fact sheet will describe mitigation strategies, including aircraft technology improvements, sustainable fuels, air traffic control efficiencies, the electrification of ground support equipment, the implementation of market-based offsets, and demand reduction policies. A third fact sheet will address threats to air travel from a warming climate, both for flight operations and for airports (many of which are vulnerable to sea-level rise and more violent weather).”