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Capitol Energy Report


Spurring a Manufacturing Renaissance: Increasing Competitiveness through Energy Efficiency

April 16, 2014 by Matthew Stepp

Efficiency and Competitiveness

United States Representative Matt Cartwright recently introduced the Job Creation through Energy Efficient Manufacturing Act (H.R. 4162), which would encourage the use of energy efficient technologies in the manufacturing sector of the economy.[read more]


Characterizing Energy Access, Climate Change, and Innovation

March 24, 2014 by Matthew Stepp

Energy Access, Climate, and Innovation


The United Nations recently declared the next ten years the “Decade of Sustainable Energy for All,” and there is perhaps no better way to kick off the decade than with a compelling discussion about how to actually reach this important goal.[read more]


Making Clean Energy a Reality for All

March 10, 2014 by Matthew Stepp

Clean Energy Access

Climate change is a global problem that requires a solution at scale with its extensive nature. This is an unfortunate reality that is often overlooked in climate policy debates, which in the past few decades have been focused on national efforts to develop economic mechanisms to regulate carbon.[read more]


#EnergyChat: Unraveling the President's State of the Union Address

January 30, 2014 by Matthew Stepp

Obama's State of the Union


Last night, the President gave his State of the Union - a unique opportunity to argue for his policy agenda for the next year in front of the entire country and all of Congress. Climate change and clean energy have been a significant part of his previous five speeches and this year was no different.[read more]


Time to Make Abrupt Climate Change and Earth Observation a Policy Priority

January 14, 2014 by Matthew Stepp

Abrupt Climate Change and Policy

The National Research Council released a new report in December calling for the development of an Abrupt Change Early Warning System (ACEWS), adding to the growing list of energy and climate policies the world needs to rapidly adopt.[read more]


60 Minutes of Epic Fail and the Real Energy Policy Debates CBS Missed

January 10, 2014 by Matthew Stepp

60 Minutes and Energy Policy Debates

Part of me doesn’t want to waste anymore digital ink on the CBS 60 Minutes CleanTech Crash segment. It stirs the pot of energy and climate commentators and causes a mini firestorm. It’s clear why: it sidesteps policy debates that are too important to ignore and paints a very one-sided picture.[read more]


Top Washington D.C. Clean Energy Policy Stories from 2013

December 23, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

Top Clean Energy Policy Stories

U.S. clean energy policy was as caught up in Washington gridlock as most other issue areas in 2013. No climate-saving clean tech bill passed through Congress and even modest, bi-partisan energy efficiency legislation failed to get to the President’s desk.[read more]


Part 4: Pittsburgh, From Rust Belt Loser to Clean Energy Leader

November 6, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

Pittsburgh Clean Energy

Pittsburgh is considered the quintessential rust belt city, historically focused on manufacturing, but fallen on hard times since the 1980’s. But Pittsburgh is remaking itself by leveraging its regional strengths in education and healthcare and making strategic investments in innovation capacity.[read more]


Part 3: Midwest Building World Class Tools to Spur Energy Innovation

October 7, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

Energy Innovation

As the United States clean energy economy continues to slowly grow, Chicago, and the Midwest more broadly, is taking a prominent role in accelerating its development. I sat down with two leading groups in this effort, the Clean Energy Trust, and the Energy Foundry.[read more]


Government Shutdown Damages U.S. Energy Innovation

October 1, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

The federal government has officially shutdown as of midnight, October 1st 2013. While coverage of the shutdown will focus on the political circus that is fueling it and the thousands furloughed from their jobs, it is also important to note that it’s directly impacting America’s overall energy innovation capacity.[read more]


ARPA-E Still Pushing Boundaries of Clean Energy in Fragile Budget Environment

September 30, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

ARPA-E and Energy Innovation

Last week, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy announced support for 33 projects aimed at developing the clean energy transportation sector. The projects are notable because Washington’s current fragile budget and policy environment.[read more]


Part 2: The Mad Scientists at the Department of Energy's National Laboratories

September 23, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

Mad Scientists and Energy Innovation


The National Laboratories have a storied history and presence in the energy innovation space. They have evolved over time to conduct “big science” to address leading national missions and solve complex societal problems, and their work in clean energy is no different.[read more]


A Train Ride Tour of Energy Innovation Across America

September 18, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

American Energy Innovation

In August, I took part in the Millennial Trains Project, a cross-country train tour of seven cities in ten days. Over a series of four articles for The Capitol Energy Report, I’ll highlight some of energy innovations and innovators I interacted with along the way.[read more]

Part 1: Millennial Trains Project Explores Energy Innovation in Utah

August 19, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

Capitol Energy Report

During his Millennial Trains Project trip, Matthew Stepp visited the Energy Commercialization Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he met with entrepreneurs, scientists, and investors involved in building the city's standing as a major regional hub of energy innovation.[read more]


Washington Heading for Another Round of Devastating Cuts to Energy Innovation

July 23, 2013 by Matthew Stepp

The Capitol Energy Report

Both the left and the right use inspiring, lofty rhetoric about elevating U.S. international competitiveness, stimulating growth, and spurring innovation. But this messaging often fails to translate into deliberate policy action.[read more]