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Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy

Significant gifts for the support of this task force are acknowledged from

  • Thomas and Barbara Stephenson
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The Hoover Institution's Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy addresses energy policy in the United States and its effects on our domestic and international political priorities, particularly our national security.

As a result of volatile and rising energy prices and increasing global concern about climate change, two related and compelling issues—threats to national security and adverse effects of energy usage on global climate—have emerged as key adjuncts to America’s energy policy; the task force will explore these subjects in detail. The task force’s goals are to gather comprehensive information on current scientific and technological developments, survey the contingent policy actions, and offer a range of prescriptive policies to address our varied energy challenges.  The task force will focus on public policy at all levels, from individual to global. It will then recommend policy initiatives, large and small, that can be undertaken to the advantage of both private enterprises and governments acting individually and in concert.

Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation through Robert and Joyce Menschel.
Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation through Robert and Joyce Menschel.

More Simplicity, Less Charisma: Improving the Effectiveness, Cost, and Fairness of California's Climate Agenda

California needs to embrace the right regulatory tool for the right environmental problem if it is to accomplish its stated goals: to both cost-effectively reduce the state's own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and act as a policy model for other jurisdictions. To increase flexibility and lower costs, we argue that the state should scale back its current expensive, sector-specific regulatory mandates, such as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, that have drifted far from their original environmental intent. The paper discusses alternative compliance mechanisms that would lower costs to California’s taxpayers while ensuring the environmental benefits targeted by the existing regulations are preserved and measurable.

For California's AB 32: Cap-and-Trade-and-Cash Back, Not Cap-and-Trade-and-Tax

California's climate policies should be used to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—not act as vehicles for potentially ineffective new public spending on politically favored programs. To reduce the fiscal drag on the California economy of the costs of meeting GHG emission-reduction targets, we argue that the legislature should, ideally, refund all revenues raised by AB 32's cap-and-trade allowance auctions to California taxpayers to achieve true revenue neutrality or, at a bare minimum, significantly improve the transparency and governance over the use of auction revenues.


Hoover fellow George Shultz speaks at the 2013 Stanford-MIT Game-Changers Workshop.
Hoover fellow George Shultz speaks at the 2013 Stanford-MIT Game-Changers Workshop.

Shultz speaks at 2013 Stanford-MIT Game-Changers Workshop

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and the Hoover Institution have been working for the past two years on identifying game-changing energy technologies to boost America’s long-term economic growth and address serious energy challenges, including climate change and today’s global energy enterprises. They gathered in Washington, DC, on Thursday, March 7, 2013, for the Game-Changers Workshop.


screenshot of report cover

Revenue-Neutral Carbon Taxes in the Real World: Insights from British Columbia and Australia

The Canadian Province of British Columbia was an early adopter of a broad-based, revenue-neutral carbon tax that directly recycles 100 percent of the revenue it generates; British Columbia now has four years of experience on implementation and revenue distribution. Australia, after years of discussion with stakeholders from across the economy, has designed and now recently implemented its own partially revenue-recycling carbon tax. Taken together, their policy choices help illustrate the spectrum of options, dynamics, and pitfalls that might be anticipated elsewhere. This essay examines these revenue-recycling carbon-pricing mechanisms to assess their approach and efficacy.


PANC president Les Guliasi (left) and Hoover fellow George Shultz
Power Association of Northern California (PANC) president Les Guliasi (left) and Hoover fellow George Shultz at a PANC luncheon on Wednesday, November 28, at which Shultz introduced a new study by the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy on renewable and distributed power in California.

Carl on electricity regulation in California

Jeremy Carl, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy, along with Dian Grueneich, a former California Utilities commissioner, and their coauthors David Fedor and Cara Goldenberg, released a paper titled Renewable and Distributed Power in California; Simplifying the Regulatory Maze on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. George P. Shultz, the Thomas and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow and chair of the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy, announced the release of this study Wednesday afternoon at a meeting of the Power Association of Northern California, a trade group made up of leading figures in California’s power industry. Click here to read the full paper.


George Shultz
Hoover distinguished fellow George Shultz speaks at Energy Security Initiative at Brookings

Shultz speaks at Energy Security Initiative at Brookings

With increasing demands on our nation’s electric grid and its impact on energy security, the Hoover Institution’s Shultz-Stephenson Energy Task Force and the Brookings Institution’s Energy Security Initiative teamed up to examine Distributed Power Systems (DPS), a combination of distributed generation sources and grid storage. Hoover distinguished fellow George P. Shultz and Brookings Energy Security Initiative director Charlie Ebinger have undertaken the first comprehensive study to assess the environmental, national security, and economic strengths and weaknesses of DPS; a combined research team of Hoover and Brookings experts are examining the policies that will enable DPS in a feasible and cost-effective manner. Click here to view the video of the event.