Amid Trump Cuts, California Proposes Its Own Energy Moonshot


Publish Date:
June 1, 2017
  • Temple, James
MIT Technology Review
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An ambitious California cap-and-trade proposal would earmark hundreds of millions of dollars annually for an energy research and development fund, rivaling the investment capacity of the federal energy moonshot program implemented under President Barack Obama.

The proposal offers the latest example of how leaders in the world’s sixth-biggest economy are working to build momentum behind aggressive climate policies and energy research, even as the Trump administration aims to slash funding and roll back regulations. It would also provide a crucial source of funds for early energy research and development at a point when venture investors have retreated from the space.

“We’re best served by broad, federal support for clean energy R&D,” says Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford. “But this could be an important second best, especially if we end up seeing major cuts in the key federal programs.”

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