The U.S. is currently undergoing an energy transition towards reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The Biden Administration’s Climate and Energy Policy promoted an ambitious package of legislation that holds the potential to deeply transform the US energy system and influence a global transition. However, specific challenges persist for the most socially and economically vulnerable communities. Nearly one-third of U.S. households face a challenge in paying their energy bills and in meeting their energy needs. This is worst for low-income households, households with young children, individuals that require electronic medical devices and those in dwellings with inefficient or poor conditions. BIPOC households are disproportionately energy insecure, or spend disproportionate amounts of their income on energy than the average household. More energy efficiency measures and renewables would help close the gap, yet beneficial, renewable energy sources and technologies are out of reach for many Americans.
In 2022, the EarthCommons Project at Georgetown University, a university-wide interdisciplinary program, made a grant to Professor Sheila Foster, Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Policy (Law Center) and Professor of Public Policy (McCourt) and Meryl Chertoff, Executive Director of the Georgetown Project on State and Local Government Law and Policy, as co-principal investigators, to research what a just transition and energy democracy looks like, which levers are being developed by federal, state and local governments, and how international best practice models can assist local communities in efforts to push down decision-making on energy to affected communities.
Please join us on May 18, 2023 for a colloquium presenting three white papers summarizing our research and findings.
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