Capturing the energy opportunity and making the rapid transition to a low-carbon economy will require fully committed presidential leadership and a reorganization of the missions and responsibilities of the economic, national security, and environmental agencies throughout the government.
To this end, the incoming president should create a new National Energy Council of all relevant Cabinet Agency heads, lead by a National Energy Advisor reporting directly to the president. The Council’s mission will be to coordinate the relevant policy of all the agencies of the federal government, outreach with states, localities, and the private sector, and U.S. leadership and partnership in international efforts to reduce global emissions.
The Council’s first task should be to support the president in preparing energy legislation for delivery to Capitol Hill within 60 days of the inauguration. Within 120 days, the Council should advise the president on an enhanced research and development program in consultation with the Energy Innovation Council, as well as on developing an international agenda for global reductions in carbon emissions. The president should promise on Inauguration Day to convene the Council personally each quarter for the first year to ensure that all of the president’s cabinet understands the importance the president puts on this effort. Each agency also shall be charged with developing and reporting on its own plan for helping to achieve the national goals.
For more information on the Center for American Progress’ idea to create a National Energy Council, see: