New Energy for Our Team
Ever since Congress passed landmark legislation in the 1970s to protect our land, air and water, there has been a vigorous debate about the trade-offs between environmental protections and economic growth.
But as the reality of global warming sinks in, the U.S. and other countries are fast recognizing the need for new environmental standards along with new energy sources that can help diversify economies by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. While these policies sometimes come with costs, there is no doubt that the benefits of cleaner energy have been good for the U.S. economy, good for public health and good for the environment.
The American public tends to whipsaw back and forth when it comes to supporting specific measures that would drive the country toward advanced energy solutions. But years of polling data make it clear that the public supports a transition to cleaner energy sources, understands it as an economic winner for the U.S., and is willing to undergo short-term pain for long-term benefits.
When we began building a staff for the Center, it was crucial that we sought out people who understand that one of the best ways to help the Next Generation is through building a strong economy. So while we are very concerned about the public health and environmental impacts of dirty energy, we are just as mindful that the transition to an advanced energy economy must be done in a way that allows for —and indeed, increases – economic growth and prosperity. That is why I am so happy to have Kate Gordon join our staff.
Kate comes to the Center from the Center for American Progress, where she led CAP’s energy team. Kate gets it. She has been a national leader on both energy and labor issues and understands that moving aggressively into advanced energy will ultimately make the U.S. more competitive and economically stronger – which will then provide a better environment and more economic stability for kids and families, the other half of our mission.
With Kate and Ann O’Leary, who heads our Children and Families program, we now have two blue-chip program professionals who are thoughtful, whip-smart and extraordinarily nice. They are also both UC Berkeley-trained lawyers, which means I will never win another meaningful policy argument at the office.
Kate’s first official day will be June 4. She has already begun to think through projects on the distribution of revenues from California’s landmark clean energy law, AB 32, and will be leading an effort to explore the most responsible way to develop and monitor California’s significant natural gas deposits.
The Center is now a little more than one year old – and, with a pair of brilliant program leaders now on board, you will be hearing much more from us in the coming months.