WASHINGTON, June 27, 2017 - Former Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz will lead a new energy technology and policy think tank, he announced last week.
Moniz unveiled the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) during a National Press Club Headliners Newsmaker news conference. The Obama administration Energy Secretary described the organization as a non-partisan, non-profit think tank whose mission will be to drive innovation in energy technology and policy.
“We’re not an advocacy group,” Moniz, who will be EFI’s president and CEO, said. “We’re not doing politics here – but we hope to influence policy.”
EFI hopes to decarbonize the economy and create jobs. It will offer stakeholders in government, industry, labor and NGOs, facts-based options for a cleaner, safer, more affordable and secure energy future. The group is also committed to making all of its findings public.
EFI “represents the latest in a string of efforts by people outside the government to recreate policies on energy and climate change in the wake of the vacuum the Trump administration is creating,” according to the group’s website.
The first order of business for EFI is a study of America’s electricity grid. A parallel study is being conducted through the Department of Energy (DOE), but Moniz says it is not a race to the finish. While Secretary Rick Perry’s study is due within a week, EFI’s is not expected until the fall. Moniz said his focus is to produce “analytical and transparent” results.
“You may not always get the answer you want,” Moniz said. “Objective analysis, that's the core principle.”
EFI principals are DOE alumni Melanie Kenderdine and Joseph Hezir. The board will be chaired by John Browne, former chief executive of BP. Rounding out the EFI board are Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor to presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush; Massachusetts Institute of Technology emeritus professor and former Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch; Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers International and co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance; Mack McLarty III, former advisor to presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter; Ana Palacio, a former Foreign Minister of Spain; former Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner; Alain Ebobissé, head of the Africa50 Infrastructure fund; Energy Innovation CEO Hal Harvey; and Nuclear Threat Initiative President emeritus Charles Curtis.