Past Seminar

Taking Measure of U.S. Energy Policy: RFF First Wednesday Seminar

Nov 2, 2005

About the Event

Taking Measure of U.S. Energy Policy: A Review of the Energy Policy Act of 2005
RFF First Wednesday
November 2, 2005

The Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed into law in August 2005, is the first major piece of energy legislation passed in a decade. Resources for the Future, GLOBE USA and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation present a day-long seminar to examine the act and assess how well it addresses the key drivers of contemporary energy policy: national security, climate change, and technology development and deployment. This seminar is the culmination of the Energy 2050 series of Congressional briefings that explore policy options and strategies to address America's energy needs to the year 2050. RFF President Phil Sharp convenes the session, setting the stage for discussion on the new energy bill with an historical overview of energy legislation in the United States.


Opening Remarks

Philip Sharp
President, Resources for the Future

Phil Sharp, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana from 1975 to 1995 and a prominent authority on energy and environmental policy, was appointed president of Resources for the Future on September 1, 2005. Sharp's career combines extensive academic and political experience. Following his decision not to seek an eleventh consecutive term in the House, Sharp joined Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was a Lecturer in Public Policy from 1995 to 2001. He served as Director of Harvard's Institute of Politics from 1995 to 1998 and again from 2004 until his appointment at RFF.

Sharp was Congressional chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy, a panel established by the Hewlett Foundation and other major foundations to make energy policy recommendations to the federal government. In Congress, he took a key leadership role in the development of major energy legislation. He was a driving force behind the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which led to the restructuring of the wholesale electricity market, promoted renewable energy, established more rigorous energy-efficiency standards, and encouraged use of alternative fuels. He also helped to develop a critical part of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, providing for a market-based emissions allowance trading system.
Sharp served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he chaired the Fossil and Synthetic Fuels Subcommittee from 1981 to 1987 and the Energy and Power Subcommittee from 1987 to 1995. He also was a member of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, where he was a member of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee and the Water and Power Resources Subcommittee. 


  • Karen L. Palmer, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • William A. Pizer, University Fellow, Susan B. King Professor and Associate Dean for Programs, Sanford School of Public Policy, and Faculty Fellow, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University
  • Joel Darmstadter, Senior Fellow Emeritus
  • Richard D. Morgenstern, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Joseph E. Aldy, University Fellow, Resources for the Future