Videos & Podcasts
In this two-part episode, host Jeff McMahon explores a pair of University of Chicago studies on consumer energy behavior. First, McMahon sits down with EPIC’s Koichiro Ito, an assistant professor at Harris Public Policy, for insight on what motivates consumers to conserve energy. Does simple encouragement work? Or do prices need to rise for them to act? Then, McMahon is joined by Bob Rosner, founding co-director of EPIC and a distinguished UChicago physicist and former director of Argonne National Laboratory, and Kathleen Cagney, a sociology professor and director of the Population Research Center at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at UChicago. The pair discuss the results of their survey examining attitudes toward smart meters and smart grids in low-income neighborhoods in Chicago.
Cynthia Giles talks about her work at the Energy & Environment Lab using social science to make environmental regulations more effective. She is forming partnerships with state regulators to design and test innovative approaches to environmental policy with the goal of figuring out what new ideas work best.
Over the past 15 years, Jennifer Granholm has played an outsized role in U.S. energy policy and politics. From 2003 to 2011, she served as Governor of Michigan, a period during which she navigated her state through the worst U.S. economic crisis since the great depression, and one that she saw as an opportunity to diversify Michigan’s industrial base through energy policy. As a member of President Barack Obama’s transition team in 2009, she helped build the team that would ultimately design and implement many of the president’s key energy and environmental policies. In 2016, she was tapped by the Clinton campaign to replay this role in a prospective Clinton Administration. EPIC Executive Director Sam Ori recently got the chance to sit down with Governor Granholm. They talked about the state of the U.S. auto industry, the Trump administration’s environmental policies, the role of energy and climate issues in the 2016 presidential election, and the future of U.S. energy policy.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has touted a “back-to-basics” agenda for the agency – giving states more control over their air quality compliance, and prioritizing cleanup of toxic Superfund sites, lead-tainted drinking water systems and abandoned mines. He’s done this while attempting to roll back efforts from the previous administration such as fuel economy standards, the Clean Power Plan, and the Waters of the U.S rule. However, in doing so, he faces two problems: regulations take time to reverse, and even if he is successful in reversing them he will likely continue to encounter legal challenges. How easy is it to undo a regulation? Has EPA proceeded effectively? Where does litigation on these rules stand, and what are the likely outcomes in the courts? Off the Charts host Jeff McMahon discussed these questions and more with EPIC's visiting policy fellow Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation and now a partner at Bracewell, LLP.