matched to its supply source for efficiency, sustainability, reliability, and cost effectiveness.
For example, both Presidential candidates have advocated greater use of plug-in hybrid and electric automobiles. This would reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. But we will need to account for the correspondingly greater burden on the electricity generation and transmission sectors, as well as the potential need for new sources for generation.
The new President must mobilize an energy workforce — a subset of the invaluable science and engineering professionals who comprise our national innovation engine — by creating a $300 million “Clean Energy Workforce Readiness Program,” augmented with state and private sector funding. This would foster partnerships with the energy industry, universities, community colleges, workforce boards, technical schools, labor unions, and the U.S. military.
Within the context of providing support for advanced study across a range of fields, creating competitive, portable undergraduate and graduate fellowships for study in energy-related disciplines, for American citizens, should be a special focus. This is a necessary part of maintaining and enhancing our national capacity for innovation by developing our own talent, including the underrepresented majority — women and under-represented minorities — while continuing to attract and retain exquisite talent from abroad.
The new President must begin the creation of a National Electrical Transmission Superhighway by engaging governors and state regulatory authorities to focus on the current regulation/oversight patchwork for transmission within different states, and interconnection between states, to develop better interoperability standards for the national grid. The President should competitively incent the creation of consortia of national laboratories, universities, and corporations to model and simulate the characteristics of an intelligent, self-healing, electrical grid, with the ability to connect multiple new energy sources and devices to the system.
These steps begin to address our need to renew and update our existing national grid, and to invest in the full spectrum of sound infrastructure for energy generation, transmission, and distribution, with the necessary regulatory and operational protocols to ensure the safe, secure, and reliable performance of refineries, pipelines, power plants, and other facilities.
This is a brief summary. The full text of the Council on Competitiveness Energy Security, Innovation, and Sustainability (ESIS) Initiative Action Plan for the First 100 Days of the New Administration is available, here, today.
The priorities outlined here are a subset of a more complete report which the Council on Competitiveness will release next year. This “First 100 Days” agenda is an initial step to address some of the critical aspects of the energy crisis we face. The action agenda would start us toward a comprehensive national energy security roadmap — one that must be globally linked and globally aware, and as environmentally benign as possible.
To chart such a roadmap, will require the full weight and leadership of the nation’s chief executive; strong, coordinated leadership in the Congress; and at state levels. We invite the next Administration, within its first 100 days, to draw on the resources and work of