Help Our Congress Understand Energy and Climate

by Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
Henry Fain, coal worker in Appalachia, 1946
Henry Fain, coal worker in Appalachia, 1946

How are federal policy and people’s lives connected? With your GlobalGiving gift and the support of others like you, EESI co-sponsored a screening and panel discussion of After Coal, a documentary about how traditional coal communities are coping as the world continues its transition away from fossil fuels. When you renew your support today, we will continue to highlight the importance of federal assistance for such communities.

In the film After Coal, Carl Shoupe, a third-generation coal miner from Harlan County, Kentucky, explains, “Coal came in the 20th century like blasting guns and that was a good thing back then. Now it’s the 21st century and it’s a thing of the past.”

Carl tells us that his grandfather helped start the mine, but shares that “I don’t see it as part of my future or my grandchildren’s future.”

So, how do policymakers respond to Carl’s needs, and those of his grandchildren? How does the federal government help to facilitate a just transition away from coal? EESI and its partners hosted a free screening and panel discussion with experts to help the policy community understand the struggle these communities are going through and what can be done to help them.

In fact, Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky recently introduced the RECLAIM Act, with bipartisan support. This bill would make $1 billion in federal funds available to vulnerable, historically coal-dependent communities.

If enacted, it would help these communities, which are struggling with high unemployment due to the loss of coal jobs, by making federal funds available to restore abandoned coal mine lands—areas that can contribute to the economy through the growth of new business and tourism opportunities!

When you give to EESI through GlobalGiving, you are helping policymakers understand the connections between their policy decisions and how they can truly help people improve their communities, restore their lands, and bring additional economic opportunities!

Thank you again for your support. You are making Congressional offices, advocacy groups, and media understand that there are ways to help coal-impacted communities transition to a more sustainable and equitable regional economy!

Martins Fork Lake, Harlan County, Kentucky
Martins Fork Lake, Harlan County, Kentucky
"After Coal" Panel Discussion EESI co-sponsored
"After Coal" Panel Discussion EESI co-sponsored


Give today on Bonus Day for a 50% match!
Give today on Bonus Day for a 50% match!

Today is Global Giving Bonus Day, starting at 9am EDT! Because you are a supporter of clean energy and climate policy through EESI’s project on Global Giving, I wanted to make sure you were aware of this incredible opportunity to make an even greater impact TODAY, starting at 9am EDT!

As of 9 am EDT, Global Giving’s partner nonprofits (including EESI) will start competing for Global Giving's matching funds. As we are a Global Giving Superstar partner, donations made to EESI through the Global Giving website will be matched at 50% for gifts of up to $1,000 per donor, while funds remain!

With such a great opportunity, and with so many nonprofits competing on the Global Giving platform, matching funds are expected to run out very quickly, so please give right at 9am EDT!

$110,000 is available in Global Giving Bonus Day matching funds today! Each donation you make today—from $10 to $1,000—will help EESI compete for two bonus awards of $1,000: one for being the organization earning the most funds today, and the other for having the most individual donors. This is the biggest Global Giving matching gift opportunity of the year! 

You know you are helping to advance clean energy and climate policy with your gift, allowing EESI to hold timely briefings with well-regarded experts.

Did you know that you are also helping to educate the next generation of individuals working to find innovative solutions to address climate change, participants in the Richard L. Ottinger Internship Program? You are! This is crucial for fostering clean energy progress in the United States, and indeed around the world! EESI’s former interns are now working on domestic policy issues, but also on issues in the Philippines and Sri Lanka. 

For instance, one of EESI’s summer 2015 interns, Sharmen Hettipola, is now leading a project to sustainably retrofit a school in Sri Lanka. Her proposal won a $10,000 grant from Projects for Peace, a program that encourages undergraduates attending U.S. colleges to design projects that promote peace.

Sharmen’s project will sustainably rebuild three classrooms and multiple bathrooms in a small village school in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Repairing the building and creating more space will prevent the loss of one-on-one attention from teachers, motivating students to continue with their studies. Sharmen visited the Mailapitiya School in 2012, and members of her extended family, all of whom live in and around the Mailapitiya district, have visited the school many times, establishing connections with the staff and the students.

Sharmen explained, “My time as an intern at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute heavily influenced the content of my winning project proposal. As the communications intern at EESI, I was given the opportunity to read some of the biggest environmental news stories of the day and many of them focused on the need for international environmental action.”

Reading these news stories at EESI helped her realize the connection between poverty and environmentalism. She worked closely with Ellen Vaughan, EESI’s High Performance Green Buildings Policy Director, to revise her proposal and incorporate features like the use of local materials and recycled content, the installation of a natural ventilation system, the incorporation of feasible sources of renewable energy, and more.

EESI works to give all interns substantive and interesting experience and exposure to the policy community in Washington, DC.

Your renewed support—especially today, on Bonus Day—helps EESI continue to educate young people, like Sharmen, as well as members of Congress about the myriad ways to support action on climate change and renewable energy. Thank you for your commitment and support.

Sharmen told us, “My time as an intern at EESI turned into one of my favorite summers and I definitely miss it this year! I thank EESI for their resources and their continued work in inspiring citizens to take action in creating a more sustainable world.”

Thank you so much for supporting EESI as we continue to work for a more sustainable world, by finding innovative solutions for energy and climate challenges—especially today, Global Giving Bonus Day.

Former EESI Intern, Sharmen Hettipola
Former EESI Intern, Sharmen Hettipola
Hill Country Sri Lanka by Jenna Rose Robbins
Hill Country Sri Lanka by Jenna Rose Robbins
EESI's Summer 2015 Interns


Promote a sustainable society by giving to EESI!
Promote a sustainable society by giving to EESI!

June 15th is Global Giving Bonus Day! Since you are an EESI supporter through Global Giving, I wanted to be sure to alert you of this unique opportunity to make an even greater impact NEXT WEDNESDAY, starting at 9am EDT!

At 9 am EDT on Wednesday, June 15th, Global Giving’s partner nonprofits (including EESI) will start competing for Global Giving's matching funds. As a Global Giving Superstar partner, donations made to EESI through the Global Giving website will be matched at 50% for gifts of up to $1,000 per donor, while funds remain! There will be $110,000 in Bonus Day matching funds available—but with so many nonprofits competing on the Global Giving platform, matching funds are expected to run out very quickly! So please mark your calendars now to renew your support next Wednesday at 9am EDT! We will send you a reminder email Wednesday at 8 am EDT (so you'll be ready when matching begins at 9) with a link to the Global Giving platform.  

Each donation you make on Wednesday—from $10 to $1,000—will help EESI compete for two bonus awards of $1,000: one for being the organization earning the most funds on June 15 and the other for having the most individual donors. This is the biggest Global Giving matching gift opportunity of the year! With such a great opportunity, we fully expect matching funds to run out quickly after 9am on Wednesday.

Bonus Day is an important day to give and show your support for climate and energy solutions by building on the momentum of the Paris agreement, working to improve vehicle efficiency standards, highlighting the benefits of transit, showcasing sustainable, affordable housing, and so much more.

Your gifts through Global Giving allow EESI to hold critical briefings and events that help educate policymakers in Congress about clean energy and the wide array of solutions to climate change. For example, you are helping bring esteemed speakers and exhibitors to the 19th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Tuesday, July 12th!

At last year’s EXPO, close to 50 organizations showed Congress and the policy community the wide variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies—including solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass—that can meet our energy needs today—sustainably! The 2015 EXPO drew close to 1,000 people—Congressional staff, media, and others—throughout the day. 

As Congress, the Administration, the business community, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy, as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the Expo helped showcase the role that sustainable energy technologies can play. And you helped make that happen! 

This was an amazing opportunity for Congressional staff to hear from clean energy companies, and for EXPO attendees and exhibitors to hear from members of Congress from both sides of the aisle who addressed the hall at several points throughout the day.

At the day-long policy forum, one of the speakers was Nicole Steele, Executive Director, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. GRID Alternatives works with with community partners, volunteers, and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, and describe what works in which areas and why. This can include low- and moderate-income solar rebate programs and innovative job training workforce development approaches. She also discussed the importance of federal policy in the solar access conversation. 

Just a couple of weeks ago, you helped bring about a public briefing and live webcast, “Mapping Environmental Justice: How Can You Use EPA’s EJSCREEN Tool?” with the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice. EJSCREEN is an important tool as states and communities consider how best to address carbon emissions, and assess how power plants are impacting the people who live near them.

Your continued support—especially on Bonus Day next Wednesday—helps EESI continue to educate Congress and the policy community about the many ways to address climate change and protect the most vulnerable populations affected by it, here at home and abroad.

Thank you so much for supporting EESI as we find innovative solutions for energy and climate challenges, especially on Global Giving Bonus Day (next Wednesday starting at 9 am!).

You help EESI engage with Congress and the Administration on the Clean Power Plan, continue the work of the Paris Agreement on climate, inform about the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and much more.

Thank you for all you do. 

Rep. David G. Reichert at the 2015 EXPO
Rep. David G. Reichert at the 2015 EXPO
Networking at the 2015 EXPO
Networking at the 2015 EXPO
EPA's Kevin Olp gives an overview of EJSCREEN


Affordable passive house building  (K. Naji-Allah)
Affordable passive house building (K. Naji-Allah)

Is it possible for housing to be energy-efficient, green, and affordable, all at the same time? How can it be done? Does it have anything to do with the Clean Power Plan, or is that simply about power plants? With your support, EESI examined these questions in a recent public briefing, and received tremendous positive feedback about the forum’s value. You can watch it online here – or read below about the issue and how you helped! 

Thanks in part to your support of EESI’s project on GlobalGiving, Congressional staff, media, and the policy community learned more about energy-efficient, green affordable housing in EESI’s recent briefing, whether they were attending in-person or online.

Housing that is both green and affordable can improve health and safety for lower-income families, while also providing economic and environmental benefits to state and local governments. Moreover, green affordable housing can serve as one part of a state’s Clean Power Plan compliance strategy.

This briefing was one in a series on environmental justice that you, and others like you, are helping to make possible. Your support helps highlight the importance of environmental justice as it relates to the EPA's Clean Power Plan, the nation's first-ever regulation limiting carbon pollution from power plants. Energy-efficient buildings offer significant opportunities for curbing climate change because buildings use about 40 percent of our country's total energy and more than 70 percent of its electricity.

EESI’s own Ellen Vaughan, Policy Director for Sustainable Buildings, opened the briefing, noting that sustainable buildings are good for people and communities. She noted that energy costs can be a significant burden for low-income households; people who spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent or a mortgage are hit the hardest with high energy bills. Yet sadly that is too often the case for low-income families. Sustainable, affordable housing retrofits as well as new construction can dramatically cut energy costs and improve comfort and health!

Expert speakers showcased sustainable affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as the retrofit of a low-income housing development in Washington, DC. States are being encouraged to reduce energy demand as a way to cut carbon pollution. Though the Clean Power Plan's implementation has been temporarily suspended by the Supreme Court, at least 22 states have voluntarily decided to press ahead.

The Clean Power Plan rewards states that implement energy efficiency projects in low-income communities, which have historically suffered from high levels of air pollution and high energy bills, through the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). Making new construction more sustainable and improving existing affordable housing to be more energy efficient, safe, and healthful can therefore be key strategies for Clean Power Plan compliance.

This will also make communities more resilient to extreme weather, economic downturns and other hardships--a win-win that you are helping to make possible with your GlobalGiving gifts to EESI!

Weinberg Commons in DC
Weinberg Commons in DC
EESI's Ellen Vaughan opens the briefing


EESI highlights the benefits of clean energy
EESI highlights the benefits of clean energy

2015 has been such a critical year for U.S. and global environmental progress—thanks to you and others like you who helped press for action through your Global Giving donation. The substantial progress that was made includes:

  • The finalization of the Clean Power Plan in August, the largest near-term opportunity for CO2 reductions from the power sector in our country. EESI held a series of briefings on the Clean Power Plan, showcasing how it could be cost effectively implemented by states.
  • A steady drumbeat of countries coming forth with their national plans for climate action, including substantial commitments from China and India (indeed, more than 180 countries submitted their climate plans this year!). EESI looked at what China is doing to cut its carbon emissions in a summer briefing.
  • A strong agreement coming out of the Paris climate negotiations, including a goal to keep global warming as low as possible (even lower than the previous international goal of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and to look at each country's progress every five years (see EESI’s analysis of the Paris climate agreement).

You have played a critical role in all of this with your support on Global Giving! Thanks to your generous support in 2015, EESI engaged policymakers on Capitol Hill and staffers at federal agencies to generate the momentum for action.

Now let's make sure we keep this momentum going strong! YOU can advance clean energy in 2016 – when you act today with a year-end 2015 tax deductible gift!

During the climate negotiations in Paris, EESI held a briefing on how the United States and Europe can work together to advance renewable energy. Expert speakers discussed how all levels of governments in the European Union and United States can expand their collaboration on renewable energy to create a more sustainable economy.

The briefing featured a new report by the Center for Climate Strategies, which will examine common challenges and opportunities in the renewable energy sector that are prime candidates for new or enhanced forms of transatlantic collaboration.

Briefing attendees were invited to provide comments and input for the report; they discussed how enhanced transatlantic cooperation can help set the stage for new investments and technologies through greater thought leadership, information sharing, and technical assistance.

In addition to making such briefings possible, you and your support also funds key, fact-filled publications. Just recently, your generous support helped us publish a Fact Sheet on Jobs in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (2015), in order to help our policymakers understand the economic benefits of clean energy!

You can help advance clean energy policy in 2016 with a gift to EESI through the Global Giving website today! And remember, there are only a few days left to qualify for a 2015 tax deduction!

You are definitely making a difference as we tackle climate change with your Global Giving gift to EESI. Thanks again!

Tom Peterson speaking at briefing on renewables
Tom Peterson speaking at briefing on renewables
full house at EESI briefing on renewable energy
full house at EESI briefing on renewable energy



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Organization Information

Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Carol Werner
Executive Director, EESI
Washington, DC United States

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