Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) Overview
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District of Columbia 20036
Target demographics: EESI focuses on federal policymakers. EESI's wide-ranging participants and partnerships include state and local government, industry, labor, embassies, nonprofits, academia, the media, and the general public.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 15,000 in our network
Geographic areas served: Nationwide
Programs: EESI educates policymakers, builds coalitions, and develops innovative policies to protect the climate and ensure a healthy, secure, and sustainable future for America. This work is accomplished through three main program areas: Energy and Climate, Sustainable Biomass and Energy, and Transportation and Communities.
EESI's Energy and Climate Program educates policymakers on science, technology and policy issues through Congressional briefings, the weekly Climate Change News, and policy analysis. It supports policy changes and strategies that will allow the United States and other countries to mitigate climate change, while also reaping the environmental, economic, national security and public health benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
High Performance Green Buildings Initiative
Buildings in the United States account for 40 percent of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. EESI is educating Congress on the importance of the building sector and working to develop policies that encourage or require buildings to be energy efficient and use renewable energy.
Sustainable Biomass and Energy Program
EESI’s strategy is to have biomass – substantively and politically – become part of any climate change mitigation strategy. Enormous opportunities exist for developing rural America’s clean energy resources, including bioenergy – the production of electricity, useable heat, liquid fuels and biobased products from biomass. The Sustainable Biomass and Energy Program works to develop policies and incentives that will help diversify feedstocks and appropriate technologies to build an environmentally sustainable bioenergy industry.
Sustainable Forest Biomass Initiative
Completed in July 2009, this initiative was designed to develop policies and incentives to help diversify feedstocks and technologies to build an environmentally sustainable bioenergy industry, with a focus on the utilization of wood residues, timber slash, and small-diameter, low-quality trees from forest operations and the forest products industry. The project culminated with the publication of a policy paper entitled Sustainable Forest Biomass: Promoting Renewable Energy and Forest Stewardship.
Transportation and Communities Program
Transportation accounts for more than one quarter of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 70 percent of all U.S. oil use, consuming more than 14 million barrels of oil per day. The Transportation and Communities Program works with a wide variety of transportation, energy, economic, and environmental interests to advance policies and programs at the federal and state level to address overlapping energy and climate challenges related to transportation and communities.
Rural Energy Savings Program
The Rural Energy Savings Program is an innovative idea to finance energy efficiency improvements for rural homes with low-cost loans that are repaid through customers’ electric bills (known as “on-bill financing”). EESI is partnering with the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC) and Central Electric Power Cooperative to implement a pilot project in South Carolina and develop a model that can be replicated across the country.
Community Energy Initiative
EESI is working to advance policies that help communities make greater use of local renewable energy and energy efficiency resources, and to disseminate the lessons learned from cities, towns, and regions that are pioneering community-oriented approaches to meeting local energy needs.
Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future
EESI and the American Planning Association collaborated on this joint project to help planners integrate energy and climate issues into their work. Resources include a database of online tools and a companion report.
Idle Reduction and Clean School Bus Curriculum
EESI worked with the Utah Clean Cities Program and the National Energy Foundation to develop a free curriculum to help school officials and bus drivers reduce unnecessary school bus idling. Idle reduction programs using this curriculum have saved fuel while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants.
EESI's goal is to be a catalyst for an energy revolution that moves us away from fossil fuels and towards a clean, safe and secure energy future. To accomplish this, EESI educates policymakers; and develops innovative policy solutions through coalition building, media outreach, publications, Congressional briefings, workshops and task forces. EESI brings the best science/ technology information, diverse perspectives and policy options that accomplish multiple goals into policy debates on environmental and energy issues.
Our top ten accomplishments in 2011 were:
1. Completed the installation phase of our pilot project on innovative financing for home energy retrofits in South Carolina.
2. Brought together climate and transportation experts to discuss adaptation planning.
3. Investigated and increased understanding of the role of bioenergy from a climate change mitigation perspective.
4. Highlighted the economic impacts of energy policy.
5. Provided comments to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the proposed Clean Energy Standard.
6. Engaged with policymakers on the role of fossil fuel subsidies.
7. Highlighted China's path to a low-carbon economy.
8. Conceptualized a long-term strategy for moving our nation toward high-performance buildings.
9. Promoted Congressional understanding of complex transportation and vehicle standards in advance of the 2012 Transportation Bill.
10. Advanced awareness of the intersection between national security and climate change.