On the Path to an Equitable Energy Transition, a New Collaborative Report Provides Insight on How to Get There

Fifteen scholars from across the United States share insights on policy proposals to support an equitable energy transition for all communities.


April 28, 2021

News Type

Press Release

A new report led by Resources for the Future serves up a “menu” of 35 policy options to help workers and communities adapt in the energy transition. In light of the Biden administration’s recent pledge to cut US emissions by 50–52% of 2005 levels, this report lays out the costs and benefits of policies that can reduce emissions while promoting fairness for communities affected by the transition to clean energy.

RFF collaborated with a team of 15 scholars from universities across the United States to analyze policy options that touch on several categories: energy infrastructure and resilience, environmental remediation, economic development, workforce, and manufacturing and innovation. Each researcher identified specific proposals and drew from available evidence to assess policy design and estimate outcomes, including effects on the environment, economy, and employment. Many of the proposals analyzed in this report are currently under consideration in Congress, and the report’s authors have identified relevant pieces of legislation and sections of the US Code.

“Achieving an equitable energy transition will require many policy pieces,” RFF Fellow and report editor Daniel Raimi said. “We hope that the pros, cons, and other considerations we have laid out in these pages can better inform decisionmakers and others about the potential effects of different policy options.”

Previous RFF research has stated that there is no “silver bullet” solution to supporting an equitable energy transition. However, policymakers in the United States and around the world will make decisions in the coming years about how best to implement fair policies as the energy landscape changes. This report, while not a comprehensive package, seeks to provide broad insight on the best path forward.

For more, read the report, Policy Options to Enable an Equitable Energy Transition. RFF Fellow Daniel Raimi served as editor and the following scholars provided their insights:

  • Aurora Barone (Environmental Defense Fund)
  • Sanya Carley (Indiana University)
  • David Foster (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Emily Grubert (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Julia Haggerty (Montana State University)
  • Jake Higdon (Environmental Defense Fund)
  • Michael Kearney (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • David Konisky (Indiana University)
  • Jennifer Michael (Resources for the Future)
  • Gilbert Michaud (Ohio University)
  • Sade Nabahe (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Nina Peluso (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Daniel Raimi (Resources for the Future)
  • Molly Robertson (Resources for the Future)
  • Tony Reames (University of Michigan)

To learn more about RFF’s work on an equitable energy transition, read about our joint project with Environmental Defense Fund, Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition.

Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Its mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. RFF is committed to being the most widely trusted source of research insights and policy solutions leading to a healthy environment and a thriving economy.

Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and may differ from those of other RFF experts, its officers, or its directors. RFF does not take positions on specific legislative proposals.

For more information, please refer to our media resources page or contact Media Relations Associate Anne McDarris.

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