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Have a question for Joseph Romm, editor of

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

On the eve of Obama's inauguration, there are a lot of big issues facing our nation.  Without a doubt, one of them is climate change.


Joseph Romm is the editor of, a Senior Fellow at the Center of American Progress, authof of Hell and High Water, a scientist, a lecturer, and an expert on climate change.


This comes from Climate Progress:


Joseph Romm is the editor of Climate Progress. Joe is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and was acting assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy during the Clinton Administration. In December 2008, Romm was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for “distinguished service toward a sustainable energy future and for persuasive discourse on why citizens, corporations, and governments should adopt sustainable technologies.” Read what Wikipedia has to say about Joe.


What questions do you have about climate change?  What about the future of environmental politics?  Now's the time to ask. 


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We'll send the best questions over to Joseph and post his answers ASAP.


Check out the Interview Guidelines for a bit more help if you need it. Good luck - may the best questions win!

Edited by stins - Mon, 19 Jan 2009 21:25:29 GMT
post #2 of 9

You've written about Obama's plan to double (presumably non-hydro) renewable energy production in the US within the next 3-4 years to 10% of our total energy production.


Realistically, how much of our energy production do you see coming from renewable sources at the end of Obama's first term?  Do you think his goal of doubling it is a realistic one?

post #3 of 9

We know that ExxonMobil, Chevron, and others aren't going to just drop out of the oil business until it makes financial sense to do so. But with their tremendous financial reserves, do you see them getting significantly behind any renewables in the near future? How would you feel if they did?

post #4 of 9


As a regular reader of your blog, I know you are pretty candid with your opinions to say the least. I thoroughly enjoy sending some of your posts to my economist friends.


My question to you, because this is something I´ve been pondering myself for awhile, is related to the Pickens Plan. It´s getting a lot of press of course and is widely applauded amongst green advocates.


Of course I understand and agree with its first tenant related to wind power, but the second on natural gas vehicles causes me reservation for several reasons (switching one fossil fuel for another, our nations already over-reliance on natural gas, coupling our transportation sector with our electricity & heating, lack of fueling station infrastructure, etc). Not to mention PHEVs & EVs are just around the corner.


Interestingly enough, I have seen very little public opposition or even critical questions being asked. And even amongst energy or environmental minded folk I often stand alone when I voice my opinion. Clearly you´re not one to buy into the herd mentality and give frank answers, and since I have come to respect your opinion, I was wondering what´s your take on it?

Edited by cash - Thu, 22 Jan 2009 09:09:23 UTC
post #5 of 9

How much do you think we need to reduce US and global greenhouse gas emissions in the next 5, 10, 20, and 40 years in order to keep the effects from global warming manageable?  I've heard anywhere from a 50-90% reduction in global emissions by 2050.

post #6 of 9

Hi Joe.

It seems we only have a few years to get international agreements in place and to start acting on them. Here in the U.K. our government is talking but not walking, the latest being the approval of the Kingsnorth coal power station. Do you think your new President will be able to drag the rest of the world with him on the new path he has indicated, in the face of all this back tracking?

post #7 of 9

Do you think that the new administration will move toward consistency in its policies toward biofuels?  Biofuel companies pay a larger share of revenues in taxes than fossil fuel companies because the main expense for biofuels is labor.  Labor income is taxed at a higher rate than company profits.  Specifically, will the Obama administration redress the tax imbalance between biofuels and fossil fuels so that the market perceives least a level playing field and invests accordingly?

post #8 of 9

How much do you think we can reduce our energy consumption via improved efficiency, and what are the areas where we can improve efficiency the most?

post #9 of 9

Given the energy crisis and the changing climate, what is the best thing we as individuals can do?  What roll should we play?

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