Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Newly Elected Governors Should Form a Clean Energy Cabinet to Set and Achieve Ambitious Goals, CAP Report Says
Press Release

RELEASE: Newly Elected Governors Should Form a Clean Energy Cabinet to Set and Achieve Ambitious Goals, CAP Report Says

Washington, D.C. — Appointing a talented and collaborative team of clean energy officials in state government is a critical first step for the nation’s newly elected governors as they set ambitious policy goals in their states, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

Continuing state leadership on climate and clean energy depends on the new class of governors. Working in the absence of federal action, these governors-elect have the opportunity to reap the benefits of job growth, cleaner air, and addressing climate change, the report says. Together, newly elected and current governors committed to acting on climate and clean energy will lead 23 states next year.

“Governors across the country have shown that states are leading the nation on clean energy, from increasing energy efficiency to adding renewables and electric vehicles,” said Luke Bassett, co-author of the report and associate director of Domestic Energy and Environment Policy at CAP. “These new governors can enact bold and equitable clean energy agendas by putting in place the people needed to envision and carry out these policies.”

Among the recommendations in the report for the new governors:

  • Set an ambitious goal to reduce carbon emissions that supports good-paying jobs and upholds equity for all communities.
  • Empower a clean energy Cabinet made up of relevant state agencies to coordinate on state policies.
  • Personally elevate the stature of clean energy as a statewide issue in each governor’s public and internal communications.
  • Set a hiring model by seeking candidates for state energy staff and appointments with strong experience and diverse backgrounds.
  • Recognize that energy issues affect diverse sectors of the economy and society and proactively seek advice and stakeholder input on potential impacts beyond the immediate scope of an individual policy or program.
  • Examine information from multiple angles by considering impacts to affordability and equity, the energy system, security, the environment, and jobs, among others.
  • Make decisions based on facts and analysis from a variety of sources—economic, energy, scientific, and more—not solely on political factors.
  • Uphold transparency, accountability, and government ethics in clean energy policy activities, including in data collection, analysis, decision-making, and hiring.

Read the report: Building an Ambitious Clean Energy Cabinet: A Guide for Newly Elected Governors by Luke H. Bassett and Guillermo Ortiz

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Zachary Drennen at zdrennen@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6372.