Jesse Jenkins

Jesse Jenkins
Director of Energy and Climate Policy
Breakthrough Institute

Jesse Jenkins is one of the country's leading energy and climate policy analysts and advocates, managing the Breakthrough Institute's analytical and policy development programs. 

Jesse is the lead author or co-author of: the Breakthrough policy framework, "Make Clean Energy Cheap," the reports Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant: Asian Nations Set to Dominate Clean Energy Race by Out-Investing United States and Jumpstarting a Clean Energy Revolution with a National Institutes of Energy, the "National Energy Education Act" policy proposal, and a widely cited analysis of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act. Jesse has written for  The San Francisco Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, Yale Environment 360,, and The Huffington Post. His research and analysis has been cited by Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Times, The New York Times and other major media outlets.

Jesse previously co-directed Breakthrough Generation, the Institute's youth leaders initiative, and prior to joining Breakthrough in June 2008, worked at the Renewable Northwest Project to advance the development of the Pacific Northwest's abundant renewable energy potential. He is founder and chief editor of WattHead - Energy News and Commentary and a featured writer at Jesse is a graduate of the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon (magna cum laude), where he completed an interdisciplinary course of study in computer science, philosophy, political science and energy studies.

Recent Publications

January 23, 2012

A five part series that works through what our current climate policy approach should be while addressing fundamental tensions among climate advocates and scientists.

November 7, 2011

America actually faces three deficits—the budget deficit, the trade deficit, and the investment deficit—that, if left unchecked, could total over $41 trillion in the next 10 years.

July 26, 2011

A framework for renewed American leadership on climate change.

April 26, 2011

The Heritage Foundation's proposal includes numerous inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

October 1, 2010

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, created to spur technological innovation, is about to be given the bureaucratic equivalent of a death sentence.

June 3, 2010

Reauthorizing the American COMPETES Act provides an opportunity for Congress to strengthen U.S. clean energy innovation and competitiveness policies.

November 18, 2009

This report benchmarks clean energy competitiveness in four nations: China, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Recent Events and Presentations

November 17, 2011

At Energy Innovation 2011, leading energy policy thinkers will address core issues and counter misguided but widely held beliefs about the clean energy innovation.

December 15, 2010

ITIF and other leading policy think tanks host a day-long conference to ask the hard questions about energy technology policy and innovation in America.

November 18, 2009

A new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the Breakthrough Institute, Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant, is the first to benchmark public sector clean energy technology investments in four nations: China, Japan, South Korea and the United States. Please join ITIF and the Breakthrough Institute for a discussion of the report’s findings.