Carbon Management

EFI Foundation’s 2023 in Review

As we head deeper into 2024, we’re pausing to reflect on the EFI Foundation’s accomplishments over the past year and our plans to build on that momentum.

Only six years after our founding, the EFI Foundation is playing a pivotal role in informing White House advisers and members of Congress as they make decisions about how to navigate—and shape—the new energy landscape.

Our analysis and thought leadership efforts are led by CEO and founder Ernest J. Moniz and Executive Vice Presidents Melanie A. Kenderdine and Joseph S. Hezir.

Our 2019 report, “Clearing the Air: A Federal RD&D Initiative and Management Plan for Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies,” inspired two pieces of legislation introduced in Congress last year: the bipartisan Carbon Removal, Efficient Agencies, Technology Expertise (CREATE) Act of 2023 and the Carbon Dioxide Removal Research and Development Act of 2023.

The launch event for our February 2023 report, “The U.S. Hydrogen Demand Action Plan,” featured remarks from the Biden administration’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi, and the action plan was cited in a White House fact sheet on clean hydrogen production. EFI Foundation Senior Vice President Alex Kizer appeared frequently in major media outlets to explain the U.S. push for increased hydrogen production, with quotes in The New York Times, CNBC, American Public Media’s Marketplace, and elsewhere.

In October, Moniz received the Leader of Change – Passionate Driver of Progress Award at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), in recognition of his commitment to working with multiple stakeholders to accelerate the clean energy transition.

In November, the EFI Foundation published “Transforming the Energy Innovation Enterprise,” the results of a yearlong analysis of opportunities to enhance the U.S. Department of Energy’s organizational structure and its capacity to encourage new clean energy technologies and provide faster deployment of the department’s innovation agenda.

As 2023 came to a close, the EFI Foundation had a robust presence in Dubai, UAE, at COP28, the UN’s annual climate change conference. Moniz was on the Advisory Committee for the conference. Together with the Clean Air Task Force and Nuclear Threat Initiative, the EFI Foundation introduced “A Global Playbook for Nuclear Energy Development in Embarking Countries,” which outlines pathways for the responsible, sustainable, and effective development of new nuclear energy projects and industries.

EFI Foundation Senior Vice President Stephen Comello and Jeffrey Brown, managing director of the EFI Foundation’s Energy Futures Finance Forum (EF3), joined Moniz at several COP28 events. Brown and Moniz gave a presentation on carbon capture, utilization, and storage hubs that highlighted another new report, “A New U.S. Industrial Backbone: Exploring Regional CCUS Hubs for Small-to-Midsize Industrial Emitters.” Moniz also moderated a panel on nuclear fusion that kicked off with a keynote speech by U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

These accomplishments are the result of the EFI Foundation’s hard-working research staff, led by Madeline Schomburg. I also want to highlight the high-quality work of the Communications Team, which played an important role in the EFI Foundation’s success. Many thanks to Alicia Moulton, Adrienne Young, Nola Shelton, Georgia Lyon, Sonia Velazquez, Jaycee Scanlon, Callyn Bloch, Kaycee Hubbard, and Meredith Lu for expanding our reach and educating our audiences on climate and energy issues.

An organization is only as strong as its staff, and with such dedicated employees, I have great confidence that 2024 will be another strong year for the EFI Foundation.

2023 Highlights

• Our events attracted participation from top policymakers, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi; then-Deputy Director for Energy and Chief Strategist for the Energy Transition at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Sally Benson; U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN); U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM); U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA); U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); and U.S. Representative Troy Carter (D-LA-2).

• The EFI Foundation earned more than 100 media mentions. Moniz had several live TV interviews with Bloomberg TV about the strategic petroleum reserve and spoke with CNBC about the role of oil and gas companies at COP28. Kenderdine had a live TV interview with Bloomberg Markets about critical minerals. The EFI Foundation also received coverage from major media outlets, such as The New York Times, NPR, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Law, Cipher News, Axios, S&P Global, and Politico/E&E News. Interviews of and quotations from EFI Foundation staff included Moniz, Kenderdine, Hezir, Kizer, and Brown.

• EFI Foundation staff, Distinguished Associates, and members of the Global Advisory Committee had 7 opinion pieces published in top-tier outlets, such as The Boston Globe and The Hill. Moniz wrote about why Boston hospitals should replace medical equipment that could be used for a nuclear attack: “Boston hospitals have devices that could be used to make dirty bombs. Why won’t they ditch them?” Distinguished Associate David Foster authored multiple pieces on the Inflation Reduction Act and working families, including “The clean energy transition needs an era of industrial statesmanship” and “What the Inflation Reduction Act means for working families in Minnesota.” In the lead-up to COP28, Global Advisory Committee Member Alain Ebobissé penned a piece: “Opinion: Africa’s opportunity to lead climate discussion to pragmatism” about the need for natural gas in Africa’s energy transition.

• In February, the EFI Foundation released its framing paper for the Energy Futures Finance Forum (EF3), offering policy recommendations that reflect an investor’s perspective on making clean energy a high-quality investment. The mission of EF3 is to identify policy updates that help reduce risks and increase investment quality of investments in economy-wide decarbonization.

• We published 15 reports on the topics of hydrogen, innovation, natural gas, energy finance, nuclear energy, jobs in the clean energy transition, and carbon capture and storage. These reports were downloaded some 30,000 times. Several other organizations also amplified posts on our report rollout events.

• We hosted 7 hybrid/virtual events and 3 private workshops to inform our analysis. Recordings of the hybrid and virtual events are on our YouTube channel.

• Our posts earned more than 721,000 views on social media. Posts with far-reaching impact included Moniz at CERAWeek with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and other former energy secretaries, and posts about our report on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

David Ellis, Senior Vice President of Policy Strategy & Outreach

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