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How Consumers Respond to the Changing Energy Landscape: From Energy Conservation to Microgrid

In this two-part episode, host Jeff McMahon explores a pair of University of Chicago studies on consumer energy behavior. First, McMahon sits down with EPIC’s Koichiro Ito, an assistant professor at Harris Public Policy, for insight on what motivates consumers to conserve energy. Does simple encouragement work? Or do prices need to rise for them to act? Then, McMahon is joined by Bob Rosner, founding co-director of EPIC and a distinguished UChicago physicist and former director of Argonne...


The Environment as a Human Rights Issue

From lead pipes in Flint, Michigan, and toxic sites in East Chicago to severe hurricanes and flooding in Texas, Miami and Puerto Rico, environmental and climate disasters pack a hard punch on low-income communities and communities of color. Earlier this year, EPIC’s Mark Templeton, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic, discussed the intersection of environmental and social justice issues with Jacqui Patterson, the director...


Energy Policy and Politics: A Conversation with Jennifer Granholm

Over the past 15 years, Jennifer Granholm has played an outsized role in U.S. energy policy and politics. From 2003 to 2011, she served as Governor of Michigan, a period during which she navigated her state through the worst U.S. economic crisis since the great depression, and one that she saw as an opportunity to diversify Michigan’s industrial base through energy policy. As a member of President Barack Obama’s transition team in 2009, she helped build the team that would ultimately...


Clean Power Plan to CAFE: the Outlook for Regulatory Policy at EPA

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has touted a “back-to-basics” agenda for the agency – giving states more control over their air quality compliance, and prioritizing cleanup of toxic Superfund sites, lead-tainted drinking water systems and abandoned mines. He’s done this while attempting to roll back efforts from the previous administration such as fuel economy standards, the Clean Power Plan, and the Waters of the U.S rule. However, in doing so, he faces two problems: regulations take time...


Emissions Trading Programs: The Recipe for Success

As China prepares to introduce a national emissions trading program this year, what can global leaders learn from other carbon markets? This will be a discussion focused on the United States’ first mandatory carbon market: the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI, now almost a decade old, is made up of a collection of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that may soon include New Jersey and Virginia. What impacts has RGGI had on emissions and on the local economies of participating...


The Fracking Debate: The Pros, Cons, and Lessons Learned from the U.S. Energy Boom

Hydraulic fracturing is perhaps the most important innovation in the energy system in the last half century. As a result of this innovation, U.S. production of oil and natural gas has increased dramatically. This has led to abruptly lower energy prices, stronger energy security and even lower carbon dioxide and air pollution emissions by displacing coal. That is certainly good news for our climate, and our health—with large reductions in air pollution dispersed around the country. But,...


The Role of Transmission in a Renewable Energy Future

As we move towards a smarter electric grid that incorporates more renewable energy sources, the importance of an intelligent transmission network is becoming increasingly apparent. Why isn’t it happening faster? What role do storage and microgrids play? ‘Off the Charts’ host Jeff McMahon talks with Ed Krapels, the CEO of the transmission and microgrid company Anbaric.


Pipeline Politics — And, Economics

America’s hydraulic fracturing boom created a need for more ways to transport oil and natural gas around the country. But as the need for more energy infrastructure has increased, so has local opposition. While most are familiar with the battles surrounding the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, there is opposition to new projects in many states. This winter, New England received natural gas from a Russian tanker as interests in the region continue to oppose a pipeline to bring abundant...


The U.S. Shale Boom: Payoffs for the United States and Impacts on Global Oil Markets

The United States is producing more oil than ever before and starting to export it abroad, all thanks to the shale oil boom. This boost in production has led to greater economic payoffs for the United States than energy independence ever would, wrote Harris Public Policy's Ryan Kellogg recently in Forbes. Kellogg sat down with 'Off the Charts' host Jeff McMahon to dig deeper into the dynamics at work and what it all means for the United States and global oil markets.


A Conversation with Jim Connaughton, former Chairman of the White House Council on Env. Quality

A Conversation with Jim Connaughton, former Chairman of the White House Council on Env. Quality by Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago


A Conversation with Tommy Beaudreau, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Interior

The Trump Administration has undertaken efforts to expand fossil fuel development on federal lands by lifting a moratorium on new coal leasing, scaling back certain protections on federal lands, and moving to open up new areas for offshore drilling. At the same time, the Administration is moving to alleviate regulatory burdens on industry operations, most recently by proposing to roll-back certain safety requirements and structural reforms put into place after the Deepwater Horizon oil...


A Conversation with Bill Brown, CEO of NET Power

A Conversation with Bill Brown, CEO of NET Power by Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago


There’s an App For That: The Role of Data Transparency in the War on Pollution

Over the past two decades, rapid economic growth powered by cheap, conventional energy had fueled an incredible increase in Chinese living standards lifting millions out of poverty. Yet today, China is grappling with a new challenge: the environmental costs of that growth, most commonly experienced through dangerously high levels of air pollution that are shortening lives throughout the country. Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun is helping to change that. After convincing the Chinese...


Do Investments In Energy Efficiency Deliver?

A new study by EPIC's Fiona Burlig is the latest of several studies to show the projected savings from energy efficiency investments far outpace the actual returns. 'Off the Charts' guest host Jeff McMahon talks with Burlig to unpack the challenges.


The Future of Coal Under Trump

During the campaign, Trump promised to roll back regulations that reduce carbon emissions in the power sector and put laid-off coal workers back on the job. Can he meet those promises? For more, read these Forbes pieces by EPIC's Steve Cicala and Mark Templeton: Who's Waging The War On Coal? Not The Government:…ent/#2964a2237543 Building On Clinton's Plan To Revitalize Coal Country:…try/#53f7d9105fc7