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Environment & Energy

Out of time

Out of Time: The case for nationalizing the fossil fuel industry

With oil prices collapsing and firms’ market values plunging, the government can once again use a policy weapon that has in the past been successful in overcoming social and economic unrest. read more
The case for public ownership of the fossil fuel industry

The case for public ownership of the fossil fuel industry

Instead of bailing out the fossil fuel industry in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the U.S. government should assert long-term ownership and control of the industry to ensure an eventual managed phase-out of coal, oil, and gas production. read more
Energy democracy: Coal to wind

Energy democracy: taking back power

A comparative analysis of the ability of investor-owned and publicly owned utilities to achieve the conditions for energy democracy. read more
Two oil wells, one belching smoke and fire.

The Systemic Roadblocks to Climate Action

As the ecological rift widens, we must recognize the three interconnected imperatives of the current system that both push us toward climate catastrophe and prevent meaningful action—the unrelenting pressure for economic growth, the outsized power of corporations, and the United States’ extractive approach to resource use. read more

Introduction: The Green Transition and the Next System

How we can—and must—put systemic transformation on the table in the climate discussion. read more

Reports

An Anchor Strategy for the Energy Transition

Anchor institutions—large nonprofit or public institutions, like universities or municipal governments—are positioned to be a prime ally for the energy transition at the local level. Anchors could align their power and place-based social mission to rise to the energy challenge in three important ways: by furthering community-centered renewable energy grids; by helping build a workforce compatible with a 1.5°C society (and a just transition for workers); and by deploying financial capacity needed to support the transition and to overcome corporate bias. read more

Reports

Windmills under a blue sky

Public Ownership for Energy Democracy

For-profit energy utilities exercise their political and economic power to roll back climate regulation. Transitioning energy utilities to public ownership could help dismantle barriers to climate action and catalyze the redesign of power generation and distribution. A movement could simultaneously harness the opportunity for more democratic engagement in public utilities to accelerate energy democracy, while also taking for-profit utilities into community hands to reorient their focus towards the public good. read more
The sun setting with an ocean-based oil rig on the horizon

Quantitative Easing for the Planet

To keep carbon safely in the ground, the government should secure control of fossil fuel reserves by promoting a federal buyout of the top US-based, publicly-traded fossil fuel companies, using the power of the Federal Reserve to deploy newly created money into the financial system. By focusing on major companies in the first links of the fossil fuel supply-chain, the federal government could detach growth- and profit-driven interests from reserves and halt otherwise inevitable extraction. read more
A forest devastated by clearcutting, with the cut trees faded in color to look like bones.

Addressing the Systemic Challenge at the Heart of Escalating Inequality and Environmental Destruction

Ted Howard’s remarks to the Environmental Funders Network in Cambridge, England, on February 2nd, 2018. read more