Season 4 of Electrify This! kicks off the new year to unpack a big question: “What’s really needed to cut U.S. emissions faster this decade?” Host Sara Baldwin is joined by guests Ed Rightor and Sue Tierney, two co-authors of a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine titled Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions, which evaluates how we can successfully implement current decarbonization policies, close projected emission gaps, and reach U.S. emission targets in 2030 and beyond. The report also explores the workforce, public health, and issues relating to an equitable transition for all. Tune in to learn more about the critical role that electrification will play in achieving these goals and what policymakers should consider in the transition to a climate safe future.
Ed Rightor is the Principal of Rightor Consulting. As an independent consultant, Ed supports his clients in the areas of industrial decarbonization, identification of unmet market needs, and sustainability. He is the past Director of the Center for Clean Energy Innovation at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Prior to ITIF, he was the Director of the Industrial Program for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). In that role, Ed developed and led the strategic vision for the industrial sector, shaped the research and policy agenda, and convened stakeholders to accelerate energy efficiency and carbon emissions reductions. Prior to joining ACEEE, held several leadership roles at Dow Chemical during his 31-year career. His work included driving reductions in energy, air, water, and waste. He led teams to establish and pursue Dow’s 2025 and 2015 Sustainability Goals. Working across global industrial associations, he spearheaded a roadmap for the chemical industry on paths to reduce energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Earlier, he started a new market facing business in the energy sector, led cross-functional teams to optimize processes (six sigma), pioneered technology that led to new materials development, and led teams to troubleshoot production challenges. He earned a PhD in chemistry from Michigan State University and a BS in chemistry from Marietta College.
Susan Tierney is a Senior Advisor at Analysis Group and an expert on energy and environmental economics, regulation, and policy, particularly in the electric and gas industries. She has consulted to businesses, federal and state governments, regional grid operators, tribes, environmental groups, foundations, and other organizations on energy markets, economic and environmental regulation and strategy, and energy projects. She has testified before Congress, state and federal regulatory agencies, and federal and state courts. Previously, she served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy. In Massachusetts, she was the Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Commissioner at the Department of Public Utilities, Chairman of the Board of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, and Executive Director of the Energy Facilities Siting Council. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in regional planning at Cornell University.
To dig in deeper, check out these must-read resources:
- Analysis Group
- Rightor Consulting
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (Report) – Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
- Innovation Amplifiers: Getting More Bang for the Buck on GHG Reductions (Information Technology & Innovation Fund)