Press Release

Sharp outlines "economically responsible" path for Climate Change Policy

Feb 15, 2007

RFF President Testifies on Climate Change Policy: Sharp outlines "economically responsible" path

FOR RELEASE: February 13, 2007

WASHINGTON- On February 13, Phil Sharp, president of Resources for the Future (RFF), testified before the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, outlining a proposal for a mandatory program to address climate change.

Sharp delivered his remarks on behalf of the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP), of which he is congressional chair. In those remarks, he outlined key components lawmakers should consider for a mandatory program.

In its December 2004 report, NCEP called for mandatory controls with a modest get-started program. During his testimony, Sharp indicated that with the passage of time, scientific consensus around climate change has grown and following on that, NCEP now believes stronger steps should be taken.  

"Strictly voluntary, seemingly costless approaches will not enable the marketplace to attach a known value to carbon reductions," he testified. "Only when emissions reductions have real value can companies justify serious long-term investments in new, low-carbon energy alternatives."

According to his remarks, the time for Congressional action has arrived.


Link to testimony

Testimony of Philip R. Sharp, Congressional Chair, National Commission on
Energy Policy

Prepared for the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality

After the hearing, Sharp noted, "One of the keys is to get into place a policy architecture that will last for some time, but can be adjusted as we learn more about the science and economic impacts, as technology advances, and as we observe what other countries are doing."

Sharp has been president of RFF since 2005. His career in public service over the last 35 years includes 10 terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana, and a lengthy tenure on the faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.


Resources for the Future, an independent and nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think-tank, seeks to improve environmental and natural resource policymaking worldwide through objective social science research of the highest caliber.


Founded in 1952, Resources for the Future is an independent and nonpartisan institution.