Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

In 1984, a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders established the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) as an independent non-profit organization. They did so to fill a need for improved debate, independent analysis, and innovative policy ideas for environmental and energy issues. Since then, EESI has occupied a unique niche as an educational resource for national policymakers, an information conduit between federal, state, and local stakeholders, and a catalyst for innovative partnerships. EESI has earned a reputation for working constructively with a wide range of partners and constituencies to advance innovative policy solutions to energy, economic, and environmental chall...

Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
1112 16th St NW, Suite 300
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Executive Director

Carol Werner

Management Team

Carol Werner, Ellen Vaughan, David Robison, Susan Williams

Board of Directors

Jared Blum, Shelley Fidler, Richard Ottinger, John Sheehan, Richard Benedick, Rosina Bierbaum, Linda Bonner, Quincalee Brown, Frances Buchholzer, Joseph Cavarretta, Linda Church-Ciocci, Monty Cooper, Roger Duncan, John Gibbons, Larry Jaworski, Laura Kalick, Elliott Laws, Frank Murray, Chris Schepis, Claudine Schneider, David Terry

Project Leaders

Carol Werner


In 1984, a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders established the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) as an independent non-profit organization. They did so to fill a need for improved debate, independent analysis, and innovative policy ideas for environmental and energy issues. Since then, EESI has occupied a unique niche as an educational resource for national policymakers, an information conduit between federal, state, and local stakeholders, and a catalyst for innovative partnerships. EESI has earned a reputation for working constructively with a wide range of partners and constituencies to advance innovative policy solutions to energy, economic, and environmental challenges. Through EESI's work over the past 28 years, it has built credibility for nonpartisan perspectives and innovative solutions. EESI's mission is to promote environmentally sustainable societies. EESI develops and promotes innovative policies on climate change, agriculture, transportation, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, and sustainable communities. We promote policymaker action through education, advocacy, coalition building, publications, workshops and task forces, and media outreach. We seek to develop innovative policy solutions and strategies through all of our work. EESI has an 18-member Board of Directors made up of environmental, business and academic leaders; a multidisciplinary staff; and an Advisory Board of 23. Our goal is to facilitate a transition to a low-carbon energy economy based on energy efficiency and renewable energy. This will result in dramatically decreased greenhouse gases and air pollution, and improved public health, energy security, and economic development opportunities. In 1988, the EESI Board of Directors declared that the problem of climate change creates a moral imperative for action; therefore, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has been an essential element in all of our policy and educational work since then. EESI uses an effective, integrated approach of policymaker education, work in coalitions, and policy development. Expanding support for climate change mitigation and renewable energy development is a crucial component of our work. One of EESI's strengths is its broad and extensive network of contacts across diverse constituencies; it is a critical part of our strategy. By looking at energy and climate impacts and solutions holistically, we unite diverse constituencies behind win-win solutions, building support, and emphasizing the benefits of a stable climate, the costs of inaction, and the economic and other benefits of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Our participation in numerous coalitions (e.g., Climate Action Network, Energy Efficiency Coalition) allows us to leverage other organizations' resources and strengths. We serve as a valuable conduit and synthesizer, bringing the actions and voices of a wide range of stakeholders nationwide to the attention of Congress and other policymakers in the federal government. Likewise, we serve as a key national policy contact for hundreds of groups and constituencies across the country. By sustaining these valuable relationships, we improve communication among stakeholders and between stakeholders and their representatives in Washington, providing an avenue for their participation in national policy development.


Energy and Climate Program We urgently need to address climate change to avoid catastrophic changes to the planet. Placing a price on carbon is crucial to helping transition to an emissions path that will minimize the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are the fastest, safest, cleanest and most cost-effective means of addressing the problem. Additionally, ramping up the production and use of renewable energy and efficiency can provide jobs and economic growth while helping to alleviate our nation's dependence on energy imports, which send hundreds of billions of dollars out of the country each year. We educate policymakers on science, technology and policy issues through Congressional briefings, our weekly Climate Change News, and our policy analysis. We support policy changes and strategies that will allow the United States and other countries to mitigate climate change, while also reaping the environmental, economic, national security and public health benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. These strategies include: * Promoting development and use of renewable energy resources, including biomass, geothermal, solar, water technologies and wind, as well as demand reduction through energy efficient lighting, appliances and equipment, high-performance green buildings, and combined heat and power systems; * Educating policymakers about innovative climate change policies adopted by state, local and foreign governments, as well as those actions being taken by private sector companies; * Advocating energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and measures as cornerstones of national and state energy policy; and * Building coalitions of stakeholders drawn from consumer, business, environmental, religious, energy policy, governmental organizations and academia. In essence, we seek to change the political climate for climate change and to help foster a low-carbon energy revolution. High Performance Green Buildings Initiative Any successful climate strategy must consider the building sector, responsible for more than 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. From houses and hotels to schools and skyscrapers, buildings in the United States use more than 40 percent of the country's energy for lighting, heating, cooling, and appliance operation and about 70 percent of the electricity produced. It is estimated that the manufacture, transport, and assembly of building materials such as wood, concrete, and steel account for another eight percent of energy use. About half of the electricity buildings use is generated from inefficient coal-burning power plants, a huge contributor to climate change. It is easy to understand why some call buildings the single most important contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Improving building energy performance can be a major solution. Despite remarkable improvements in the energy efficiency of individual components and appliances since the 1973 oil embargo, building energy consumption is increasing. New buildings are being constructed, a host of modern gadgets and appliances are adding to the load, and energy is simply wasted. New buildings typically are not designed to optimize energy performance, and most existing buildings have not been upgraded with even the most basic and affordable energy efficiency strategies. Home owners in general know little about how their homes use energy, and landlords usually shift the burden of higher energy costs to their tenants by raising rental prices or simply having the tenants pay the energy bills. Fortunately, savvy home owners and commercial building owners are beginning to understand that energy efficiency will save hundreds of thousands of dollars. And many building professionals know how to construct and renovate houses and other buildings to be energy efficient, green, high performance, renewable ready, and even completely independent of fossil fuels (often referred to as zero net energy buildings). A variety of products are available--super energy efficient, Energy Star appliances and HVAC systems, CFLs and now LED lighting, insulation, high-performance windows, and more. Even bio-based building materials are available to replace petroleum-based products. A variety of measures could be taken to ensure better buildings that are good for the economy--advanced building codes, voluntary standards to enhance building performance, home energy inspections, energy-efficient mortgages, financing tools, and more. States and cities are adopting green building rating systems or developing their own building policies to save energy and tackle climate change in the absence of major federal action. With federal leadership, the building sector could play a dramatic role in stabilizing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The next generation of buildings could provide a wealth of collateral benefits such as improved affordability, health, safety, and resale value. As a complement to carbon pricing, policies that encourage or require buildings to be energy efficient and use renewable energy can reduce the building sector's demand for dirty energy and help the United States transition to a low carbon, clean energy economy that generates new businesses and jobs across the country. Sustainable Biomass and Energy Program EESI sees sustainable biomass as one part of a sound climate change mitigation strategy. Enormous opportunities exist for developing rural America's clean energy resources, including bioenergy - the production of electricity, useable heat, liquid fuels, and bio-based products from biomass. Our goal is to develop policies and incentives that will help diversify feedstocks and appropriate technologies to build an environmentally sustainable bioenergy industry. Yet there exists a tremendous knowledge gap among policymakers, farmers and foresters, and other key stakeholders about bioenergy opportunities. EESI seeks to educate policymakers about the potential economic development, energy security, and environmental benefits of sustainably tapping the country's abundant sustainable biomass resources. Since EESI began its Sustainable Biomass and Energy program, the federal government has enacted new laws, which contain a variety of incentives to help farmers, foresters and rural communities develop their renewable energy resources. EESI plays a substantial role in crafting legislation, building coalitions, working with state and local officials, and federal agencies in developing these polices. A network of stakeholders from across the country and the world help EESI connect bioenergy policy initiatives in Washington, DC with on-the-ground research, needs and demands of stakeholders and barriers to policy and technology development. Transportation and Communities Program Transportation accounts for 34 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 75 percent of all U.S. oil use. It consumes more than 9 million barrels of oil per day. Transportation, therefore, is a critical issue for energy security, while transportation presents special challenges to achieving its share of a 60 to 90 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. EESI promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy use across the transportation sector to through a combined strategy of: * More efficient vehicles running on low-carbon fuels including non-liquid fuels such as electricity, natural gas, or hydrogen * Expanded options to travel by public transport, biking, walking, and other energy-efficient modes * More efficient land use and travel patterns and designing communities to provide greater travel choices * Incentives and pricing mechanisms to manage travel demand and make efficient use of existing transportation infrastructure. EESI works with a wide variety of transportation, community, energy, economic, and environmental interests to advance policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels to address overlapping energy and climate challenges related to transportation and communities.

Statistics on Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

Financial Statistics

  • Annual Budget for 2011: $1,039,128
  • Maximum Annual Budget: $1,039,128
  • Other funding sources: Foundations, EESI Associates (donors giving general support of at least $1,000 per year), contracts, workplace donors, individual donors
  • Religious Affiliation: None
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