Transforming the U.S. Department of Energy in Response to the Climate Crisis: Legislative Authorization Principles for Clean Energy Innovation

Report
November 13, 2019

Co-authored with Tarak Shah, former chief of staff and senior advisor to the under secretary for energy and science at DOE

As a major funder of clean energy innovation with a history of success in accelerating clean energy development, the U.S. Department of Energy should play an important role in combatting the climate crisis. DOE receives operating directions from Congress via authorizing legislation that defines the technology areas that DOE can work on, sets its mission and goals, enables funding for department activities, and determines its operating structures. However, DOE is currently relying on a congressional mandate that has not been comprehensively updated since 2005 and does not reflect the urgency of the climate crisis or the full array of technologies and innovation strategies available.

Congress must update DOE’s authorizing legislation or put at risk the enormous environmental and economic benefits of a clean energy future.