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A Seat at the Energy Policy Table

by Joanna Klonsky
December 16, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama’s newly announced energy and environmental leaders are not likely to lack for ideas for addressing energy and climate change concerns, given the public interest reflected on, the transition’s own website. A new feature of the site, Your Seat at the Table, allows organizations and members of the public to track the transition’s daily activities, and to leave comments and post policy ideas for Obama’s team.

One unconventional policy proposal that has been posted to the site involves harnessing solar power (PDF) created by orbiting satellites and transporting it for use back on earth. Such a program would likely cost billions and take years to implement, say some space experts. The plan, called Space Solar Power (SSP), hasn’t been endorsed by the new Obama energy picks, but the Wall Street Journal’s WashingtonWire reports that “some transition team members are known to look favorably on the general idea.”

The Boston-based Clean Air Task Force has also posted policy recommendations for the Obama team. The group urges Obama to focus on limiting pollutants other than carbon dioxide to stop climate change. It points to so-called “short-lived pollutants” such as black carbon, methane, and tropospheric ozone that also contribute to higher temperatures.

Proposals from other groups, including the New Mexico Sierra Club, the AFL-CIO, and the Consumer Energy Alliance, are also available for public viewing and reaction on the site.

For more on Obama’s energy and environmental team, click here.

A CFR Task Force Report outlines a strategy for confronting climate change.

This interactive Crisis Guide take an in-depth look at the issue.

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