Three Energy Innovation Ideas Designed to Combat Climate Change

January 22, 2013

WASHINGTON (January 22, 2013) - President Obama has clearly indicated that climate change and energy transformation will be central policy goals of his second term.

In his second inaugural address, Obama stated "we will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations...The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it."

In response to this call to arms, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has formulated three "Energy Innovation Ideas" that will assist the United States in halting the negative effects of climate change and assist the nation in transitioning to a clean energy economy.

ITIF's Energy Innovation Ideas are:

  • Create a dedicated tax on natural gas and oil drilling that is earmarked for a clean energy innovation trust fund.
  • Triple federal clean energy investment in civilian and defense research, development, and demonstration and strengthen the connection of research to market deployment and procurement.
  • Reorganize the U.S. Department of Energy and reform the National Labs system to spur clean energy innovation and enhance implementation of technologies into energy markets.

"We must keep in mind that we're talking about global warming, not America warming. To truly combat climate change we must develop globally cost competitive, market-ready alternatives," notes Matthew Stepp, Senior Policy Analyst with ITIF. "These clean energy innovation ideas are critical to developing the new clean energy technologies and industries that will be competitive with fossil fuels."

The United States cannot rely on hodgepodge subsidies, regulations and underfunded research budgets. Only an aggressive and cohesive energy innovation ecosystem can get the world to zero carbon emissions as quickly as possible. This ecosystem will also create new industries and enhance economic development nationally while providing cheaper and more efficient alternatives globally.


"We agree with President Obama that climate change is too big a problem to ignore or undersell, and we call on Congress to consider these energy innovation ideas as part of any comprehensive climate change strategy," Stepp adds.



The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Visit for more information.