Climate change poses risks to energy security, financial
markets, and national security. Energy companies and local, state, and federal
governments need to better prepare to face these challenges. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The CSIS Energy Program assessed the existing academic
literature, commissioned new research papers, convened an expert summit, and
compiled the findings to produce Energy in America: Energy as a Source of
Economic Growth and Social Mobility. This report analyzes the ways energy
contributes to the challenges and opportunities facing ordinary Americans,
covering the impacts of production, distribution, and consumption of energy
products in the United States.
The report highlights the new, extra-energy objectives that energy policy is increasingly expected to advance and evaluates their historical efficacy. The authors conclude that while deliberate U.S. energy policy interventions have hitherto achieved mixed results, there are promising developments and best practices that decisionmakers ought to consider. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The Colorado River Basin covers more than 246,000 square
miles in seven U.S. states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona,
Nevada, and California) and Mexico. Pursuant to federal law, the Bureau of
Reclamation (part of the Department of the Interior) manages much of the
basin’s water supplies. Colorado River water is used primarily for agricultural
irrigation and municipal and industrial (M&I) uses, but it also is
important for power production, fish and wildlife, and recreational uses.
In recent years, consumptive uses of Colorado River water
have exceeded natural flows. This causes an imbalance in the basin’s available
supplies and competing demands. A drought in the basin dating to 2000 has
raised the prospect of water delivery curtailments and decreased hydropower
production, among other things. In the future, observers expect that increasing
demand for supplies, coupled with the effects of climate change, will further
increase the strain on the basin’s limited water supplies.
Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is
projected to be built around the world than currently exists. This global
build-out is already underway, and the changes it brings will only accelerate.
Infrastructure projects, especially in the transport, energy, information and
communications technology (ICT), and water sectors, have long been recognized
as the backbone of modern economies. Going forward, emerging digital
infrastructure, including fifth-generation (5G) networks, remote sensing, and
other advanced technologies, will be especially critical. As our infrastructure
is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and
the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially
beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The U.S. tax code supports the energy sector by providing a
number of targeted tax incentives, or tax incentives available only for the
energy industry. Some policymakers have expressed interest in understanding how
energy tax benefits are distributed across different domestic energy resources.
For example, what percentage of energy-related tax benefits support fossil
fuels (or support renewables)? How much domestic energy is produced using
fossil fuels (or produced using renewables)? And how do these figures compare?
The CSIS Energy Program conducted research, commissioned
papers, held a workshop, and developed this report on the changing role of
energy in the U.S. economy. The purpose is twofold: (1) improve understanding
of how energy impacts the U.S. economy at multiple levels; and (2) evaluate the
performance of policies designed to create economic opportunity in the energy
The research, commissioned papers, and workshop culminated
into this final report, The Changing Role of Energy in the U.S. Economy. The
report identifies 13 propositions, which represent the emerging energy issues
that policymakers might not be aware of and the areas in which the research
community could make further contributions. [Note: contains copyrighted
The U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, released in
2018, concluded that “the impacts of global climate change are already being
felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future—but the
severity of future impacts will depend largely on actions taken to reduce
greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions and to adapt to the changes that will occur.”
Members of Congress and stakeholders articulate a wide range of perspectives
over what to do, if anything, about GHG emissions, future climate change, and
related impacts. If Congress were to consider establishing a program to reduce
GHG emissions, one option would be to attach a price to GHG emissions with a
carbon tax or GHG emissions fee. In the 115th Congress, Members introduced nine
bills to establish a carbon tax or emissions fee program. However, many Members
have expressed their opposition to such an approach. In particular, in the
115th Congress, the House passed a resolution “expressing the sense of Congress
that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.”