IES 440D/540D and POL 460D/560D
U.S. ENERGY POLICY: STRATEGIC INTERESTS, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND GLOBALIZATION
INSTRUCTOR: MS. JANE HARF
Ohio Citizen Action
Largest offshore windfarm stuns media (European Tribune)
Energy production is one of the most important and complex issues facing the United States and the world. In this country, the lack of comprehensive and long-range energy strategies has led to the development of a system of competing special interests focused on narrow short-term goals. At the same time, energy policy has a direct impact on critical concerns of the 21 st century, including climate change, national security, environmental degradation, public health, and economic stability.
Instructor Jane Harf brings a unique perspective to this discussion, having managed energy issues in leadership positions at the Sierra Club (environmental nonprofit), Ohio EPA (state regulatory agency), and American Electric Power (large investor-owned utility) – three very different and important entities in energy policy development and advocacy. While often seen as competing, Ms. Harf maintains that the interests of activists, citizens, customers, and shareholders have common threads that can be woven together to create a coherent energy strategy. She has built successful coalitions to pursue responsible, equitable, and forward-looking policy outcomes. Most recently, Ms. Harf led a statewide effort to demonstrate support for renewable energy and energy efficiency, bringing together businesses, community institutions, nonprofit organizations, and local governments.
The first part of this seminar-style course will examine changes in energy generation and distribution systems in the U.S., the role of influential stakeholders, the fiscal and environmental policies that determine winner and losers, and the impact of alternative policy options for the future.
The second part of the course will focus on the international energy landscape – including a retrospective of United Nations climate conferences from Rio de Janeiro in 1992 to Paris in 2015 – and will evaluate the role of the United States in determining the eventual outcome. The question of how we move forward in the current political environment to design a meaningful and effective energy strategy will be a central question for class consideration.
This class counts as a POL elective and an elective for the IES Sustainability and Energy co-majors.