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RFF Donor Events

RFF conducts targeted briefings and special events in Washington, DC; New York; San Francisco; and other cities as a way to put RFF’s research within reach of policy audiences and RFF supporters around the country. These events provide informal settings for interaction with the research staff, Board, and other invited guests.

Events often take the form of breakfast or lunch seminars where RFF scholars present their latest research, special dinners with the RFF Board of Directors, or receptions held for notable thought leaders who speak at RFF’s Policy Leadership Forum series. Listed below are the events currently on the calendar as well as information about past events. Where appropriate, links are included to provide more information about the event or research topic.

For more information about donor events, please contact Barbara Bush, donor relations director at
(202) 328-5030 or bush@rff.org

Past Events

March Events

Earth from SpacePutting a Price on Carbon and Balancing the Budget
March 28, 2012
San Francisco, CA
The U.S. is running deficits in excess of one trillion dollars a year, and there are only a few ways to generate revenues or savings at all comparable to this debt. Pricing carbon is one way to internalize the economic and social cost of climate change, as well as be a revenue source with enormous economic benefits if the revenues are spent wisely. At a special EcoSalon co-hosted by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), RFF President Phil Sharp and Center Director Ray Kopp will be among the RFF staff that will participate in a discussion with E2 and NRDC leaders on public attitudes on pricing carbon, the political landscape going into the 2012 elections, and an overview of the economic and policy considerations of a carbon tax.

Smoke stacksRegulating Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act in the Power Sector
March 6, 2012
New York CityUniversity Club
March 13, 2012
Washington, DCRFF Headquarters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the midst of a complex, multi-dimensional, and controversial program to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Major new regulatory proposals are expected this year. What has the agency done so far, where is it going, and what do its efforts mean? RFF has been informing influential leaders with timely scholarship throughout this process, and at this event a pair of RFF scholars discussed research aiming to answer these questions. RFF's legal CAA expert Nathan Richardson explained the history of the Act, its relevant anatomy, and EPA's latitude in issuing this next rule. RFF Senior Fellow Dallas Burtraw, one of the nation's top experts on environmental regulation in the electricity sector, discussed issues surrounding the rule, such as interstate emissions trading, the benefits of flexibility in rule compliance, and state ideas of "equivalency" of local and regional efforts in compliance plans to EPA.

Related Materials
GHG Regulation for Power Plants Under CAA
Carbon and the Clean Air Act
RFF's Clean Air Act Resource Library

Fleet of trucksCritical Issues in Energy & Transportation Policy Today
February 23, 2012
Houston, TX

Center Director Alan Krupnick was the chief presenter at a morning event hosted by the Shell Oil Company at their Houston headquarters discussing recent research on shale gas and transportation infrastructure.  For the first half of the presentation, Dr. Krupnick presented an update for an ongoing project researching the perceived risks of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas development.  He concluded the discussion with an overview of ongoing research into the use of liquid natural gas as a fuel for trucking fleets in the US, including the requirements of fueling infrastructure, the potential for LNG penetration into heavy-duty truck fleets, and the environmental impacts of a transition to LNG-fueled trucking.

Related Materials

Managing the Risks of Shale Gas: Identifying a Pathway toward Responsible Development
Will Natural Gas Vehicles Be in Our Future?
Shale Gas: Risks and Regulation - Houston Presentation
Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel - Houston Presentation

ForestDesigning a 'Payment for Environmental Services' Program for the Northern Everglades 
January 25, 2012
Washington, DC—RFF Headquarters

 

At this breakfast in DC, RFF Resident Scholar Leonard Shabman described his experiences in helping facilitate the January 2011 launch of the Northern Everglades Payment for Environmental Services Program (NE-PES).  Dr. Shabman and WWF collaborator Sarah Lynch led the Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project (FRESP) as it implemented market-design principles to encourage ranchers in the Northern Everglades region of Florida to participate in water management practices that improve environmental conditions in the Everglades and nearby Lake Okeechobee.  At this donor breakfast, RFF Resident Scholar Leonard Shabman and WWF collaborator Sarah Lynch presented an overview of FRESP that covered the basics of PES programs and the challenges involved in establishing NE-PES, including establishing stakeholder consensus and determining regulatory compliance.

Related Materials

Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Program 
Breakfast Presentation 
Designing a Payment for Environmental Services Program in the Northern Everglades
Regulatory Challenges to Implementing a Payment for Environmental Services Programs

Smoke stacksMegacity Carbon Pilot Project
January 12, 2012
Washington, DC—RFF Headquarters
January 13, 2012
New York City—University Club

As international carbon mitigation solutions become more and more difficult to implement in the short term, some groups are attempting to help average citizens understand the impact of urban areas on carbon dioxide and methane emissions.  RFF’s Vice President for Research Molly Macauley and the Jet Propulsion Lab’s Chief Systems Engineer for the Earth Science and Technology Directorate Riley Duren presented some of the background and early findings of a pilot project to monitor the carbon footprints of Los Angeles and Paris with a variety of remote sensing technologies.  Drs. Macauley and Duren provided an overview of the long-term project, including the stakeholders and technologies involved, and the future implications of what they describe as a ‘carbon weather service’ can have on our understanding of the impact of climate policies on the environment.

Related Materials

Breakfast Presentation
Investing in Information: Responding to a Changing Climate 

Smoke stacksCarbon Tax Breakfast
November 17, 2011
Washington, DC—RFF Headquarters

On November 17, RFF Center Director Ray Kopp and RFF President Phil Sharp hosted a breakfast that discussed the possibilities and pitfalls of various carbon taxation options for the dual purpose of fiscal reform and climate protection. Growing off an October workshop on the same topic in Washington, DC that was funded by friends of RFF Larry Linden and Gregory Alexander, this discussion analyzed the ways in which a carbon tax could fit into the broader frameworks of fiscal reform, economic growth, and environmental protection and cited work done by RFF scholars and other research institutions.

Related Materials

Kopp Presentation 
Emissions Targets and the Real Business Cycle 
Is a Carbon Tax the Only Good Climate Policy?

Coral ReefBlue Carbon: Evaluating the Climate Mitigation Potential of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems September 27, 2011
Washington, DC—RFF Headquarters

At this RFF donor breakfast, RFF Fellow Juha Siikamaki and Linden Trust for Conservation director Roger Ullman presented the preliminary findings of a research project about the carbon storage potential of coastal and marine ecosystems, also known as ‘blue carbon,’ to an audience that included members of the business, government, and nonprofit sectors with an interest in the issue.  After Roger Ullman’s introduction to blue carbon and its implications for climate mitigation, Dr. Siikamaki presented some of the study’s findings, including the potential of ‘blue carbon’ in different ecosystems and economic conditions.  Ancillary benefits such as biodiversity impacts were discussed as well.

Related Materials

Preserving Blue Carbon 
An Introduction to Blue Carbon  
TNC-RFF Conservation ROI Analysis overview

ShaleShale Gas: Promise and Challenges
September 21, 2011
New York City—University Club

 

Recent discoveries of natural gas in hard shale rock formations has begun to redraw the world’s energy map and the United States’ prospects for energy independence.  However, the use of hydraulic fracturing, the primary method of extraction, has become controversial because of possible side effects.  At this breakfast in New York City, RFF President Phil Sharp and CEEP Director Dr. Alan Krupnick presented the launch of a large-scale study of the risks and opportunities for shale gas extraction being supported in part by a major gift from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  The breakfast examined other key issues related to shale gas development, including the scale of domestic shale gas resources, their effect on energy policy choices, the viability of LNG heavy-duty trucks and CNG light-duty vehicles in the U.S., and the GHG footprint of shale gas versus coal. Dr. Krupnick also discussed the conclusions of the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board’s (SEAB) and the National Petroleum Council’s (NPC) reports on the risks of shale gas and described how RFF’s new research will contribute to this debate.

Related Materials

Shale Gas: Promises and Challenges
Abundant Shale Gas Resources: Long-Term Implications for US Natural Gas Markets
Natural Gas: A Bridge to a Low-Carbon Future? 

Coral ReefBlue Carbon: Evaluating the Climate Mitigation Potential of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
June 2, 2011
New York City—University Club

At this briefing, RFF Fellow Juha Siikamaki presented the ongoing findings of a research project investigating the carbon storage potential of coastal and marine ecosystems, known as ‘blue carbon,’ which was funded in part by the Linden Trust for Conservation.  Included in this presentation were discussions on the economic potential of preserving blue carbon, its feasibility in different parts of the globe and under different price conditions, and potential biodiversity contributions through ecosystem preservation.  Along with Dr. Siikamaki’s presentation, Linden Trust for Conservation executive director Roger Ullman provided an introduction to blue carbon and its potential significance in climate mitigation.

Related Materials

Preserving Blue Carbon
About RFF's Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth  
TNC-RFF Conservation ROI Analysis overview


One Year After the Deepwater Horizon Disaster: The Path to Safe Offshore Drilling
May 16, 2011
Washington, DC—RFF Headquarters

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the government quickly put together a commission to investigate the cause of the fatal accident and conditions of the offshore drilling industry at large.  William K. Reilly, a founding partner of Aqua International Partners and former director of the U.S. EPA, was one of the commission co-chairs.  At RFF’s May Policy Leadership Forum, Mr. Reilly shared some of the experiences and lessons of his work on the commission.  Before the Policy Leadership Forum, donors were given the exclusive opportunity to meet informally with Mr. Reilly at an intimate reception.

Related Materials

One Year After the Deepwater Horizon Disaster: The Path to Safe Offshore Drilling, RFF Policy Leadership Forum with William K. Reilly
CEEP Deepwater Drilling Resource Library
Deepwater Drilling: Recommendations for a Safer Future, RFF First Wednesday Seminar, April 2011 

Deepwater Drilling: Risks, Liabilities, and Regulatory Future
Mar. 15, 2011
University Club, New York City

Several months after the Macondo Well explosion, the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling asked the RFF Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP) to conduct a series of studies to help inform the Commission’s investigations and recommendations. RFF researchers formulated a series of findings and recommendations to improve the safety of future oil drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.  At this breakfast event in New York City, RFF President Phil Sharp, Vice President for Research Mark Cohen, and visiting fellow Lynn Scarlett presented RFF’s conclusions of their studies for the Commission.  In addition to a description of the policy impacts of the Commission’s findings in the new Congress, this briefing discussed RFF’s conclusions surrounding risk assessment and management, liability and financial responsibility requirements, and industry readiness for future catastrophic spills.

Related Materials

Deepwater Driling: Recommendations for a Safer Future, RFF First Wednesday Event (Event Video)
“Deepwater Drilling: Recommendations for a Safer Future” Presentation 
RFF's Deepwater Drilling Research (has RFF risk and ecosystem valuation discussion papers and other related materials going back to 1990s)
Cohen Conference Call (June 22) on costs of Deepwater Horizon spill (mp3)
 

Electricity LinesAssessing National Energy Policy Options
Feb. 14-15, 2011
Houston, TX—The Plaza Club and ConocoPhillips Headquarters

At two luncheons in Houston in February, RFF President Phil Sharp, Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick, and Visiting Scholar Lynn Scarlett provided guests updates on current energy and policy issues of interest being studied by the Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP).  After a discussion of energy and climate policy issues facing the new Congress by Phil Sharp, Alan Krupnick presented the highlights of the recently released study of energy policy options for emissions reduction in the United States, Toward a New National Energy Policy: Assessing the Options.  Lynn Scarlett wrapped up the event with an overview of RFF’s research performed at the request of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, including prospects for risk-informed regulation and organizational design for spill containment operations.

Related Materials

Presentations from Houston events
Toward a New National Energy Policy: Assessing the Options (full report)
Toward a New National Energy Policy: Assessing the Options (executive summary)
RFF's Deepwater Drilling Research (has RFF risk and ecosystem valuation discussion papers and other related materials going back to 1990s)

Porter Hypothesis Lecture
January 19, 2011
Washington, DC—RFF Headquarters

On January 19, 2011, RFF welcomed Michael Porter to deliver our 8th Annual Hans Landsberg Lecture.  Twenty years ago, Dr. Porter first proposed that well-designed and implemented environmental regulations can spark innovation and improve competitiveness.  Since then, what has become known as the Porter Hypothesis has only grown in importance with increasing concern over American competitiveness in industry and the regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  In this lecture, Dr. Porter examines avenues of approach and implementation for regulation in industry to spark innovation and competitive improvements.  Drs. Mark Cohen and Stewart Elgie also provided a retrospective of the Porter Hypothesis over the past twenty years.  Prior to this event, RFF donors were also given the opportunity to meet personally with Dr. Porter at a reception.

Related Materials

The Porter Hypothesis After 20 Years: How Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?
Porter at 20 (Mark Cohen’s Introduction)
Porter Hypothesis Presentation
Porter Hypothesis at 20
The Evolution of the Porter Hypothesis

 

 

Earth from SpaceCOP 16 RFF Events
Dec. 6-7, 2010
Cancun, Mexico

At the COP 16 conference in Cancun in December 2010, RFF staff participated in a number of side events with the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).  In addition to the Forest Carbon Index’s appearance in the Cop16 poster session, RFF and IETA hosted a number of seminars and an official side event, “Strategies for Low-Carbon Growth: Challenges and Opportunities in International Finance.”  Included as part of this event were discussions on climate finance, renewable energy, energy efficiency, trade and competitiveness, the prospects for Clean Air Act regulation of greenhouse gases in the United States, and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).  Karen Palmer, Ray Kopp, Josh Linn, Nigel Purvis, Dallas Burtraw, Nathan Richardson, Daniel Morris, Carolyn Fischer, Dick Morgenstern, and RFF President Phil Sharp all moderated or participated in workshops over the span of this two-day conference.

 

Related Materials

Descriptions of individual sessions and selected PPTs
RFF’s COP 16 library
Palmer presentation for “Government Policies to Promote Energy Efficiency”
Burtraw presentation for “Greenhouse Gas Regulations in the U.S. Via the Clean Air Act”
Fischer presentation for “Trade and Competitiveness”
Morgenstern presentation for “Trade and Competitiveness”

Electricity LinesToward a New National Energy Policy: Assessing the Options
November 4, 2010
San Francisco, CA – Commonwealth Club

This briefing featured a climate and energy policy update by RFF President Phil Sharp and a presentation by Senior Fellow, Director of the Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP), and Co-Director of Research Alan Krupnick. Other speakers included Michael Mantell, California attorney with Resources Law Group and RFF Board member, who briefed the group on the election outcome in California on Prop 23; Tony Knowles, former governor of Alaska and President of the National Energy Policy Institute; and Brad Carson, former congressman from Oklahoma and Director of the National Energy Policy Institute.

Related Materials 

Executive Summary
Full Report
Powerpoint Briefing


Earth from SpaceEnergy Efficiency and Its Role in National Energy Policy
November 9, 2010
New York City – University Club

RFF’s Center for Climate and Electricity Policy has launched a large program of research to help improve the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency policies. Components of this research program include an analysis of what policies have worked and at what cost, understanding consumer psychology and why households and businesses appear to undervalue energy saving investments, and how to enhance consumer perception of energy price signals. In this breakfast briefing, RFF senior fellow Karen Palmer discussed this research agenda and highlighted key findings of her current research on the efficacy and costs of ratepayer funded energy efficiency programs for the electricity sector. RFF President Phil Sharp also provided a post-election analysis and policy update regarding energy and climate related activities on Capitol Hill.

Related Materials
 

Cleaner Electricity and Less of it: The Prospects for Reducing CO2 Emissions by Requiring Renewables and Energy Efficiency
What We Know About the Role for Energy Efficiency Policy
Energy-Efficiency Program Evaluations: Opportunities for Learning and Inputs to Incentive Mechanisms
Energy Efficiency Initiative of the RFF, Powerpoint Presentation

Earth from SpaceEarth Observation to Inform Environmental Policy
October 7, 2010 
Washington, DC - RFF Headquarters


RFF Senior Fellow and Co-Director of Research Molly Macauley discussed RFF’s work to leverage Earth observation data to inform policy decisions in Washington and beyond. Dr. Macauley was joined by Mr. Ron Birk, Director of Civil Systems Business Development at Northrop Grumman. Mr. Birk is responsible for developing strategy and tactics to extend benefits of NGAS systems engineering to serve demanding societal needs for integrated system solutions based on space-based capabilities.

Related Materials 

Innovation in Information: Earth Observations for Environmental Policy, Powerpoint Presentation

Power LinesToward a New National Energy Policy: Assessing the Options
September 16, 2010
New York City - University Club

 
RFF President Phil Sharp and Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick briefed attendees on current political conditions concerning federal energy and climate change legislation and discuss a recently released RFF study that examined 35 different policies and policy combinations on the basis of societal costs and capacity to reduce oil consumption and CO2 emissions.

Related Materials 

Executive Summary: Toward a New National Energy Policy: Assessing the Options 
Discussion Paper: Abundant Shale Gas Resources: Long-Term Implications for U.S. Natural Gas Markets
Issue Brief: Natural Gas: A Bridge to a Low-Carbon Future?
Event Presentation Slides

Conference Call with Mark Cohen, RFF Vice President of Research
June 22, 2010
RFF Headquarters

Mark Cohen, RFF Vice President of Research, discussed the economic impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and how we might begin to look at the total private and social costs of this environmental disaster.  Cohen is an expert on oil spill regulation and enforcement with extensive experience reviewing costs for previous spills such as the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.  During this call, Cohen lead participants through a brief tutorial of how we might think about the overall costs of the spill, compared the current spill to previous landmark oil spills, and provided some guidance on how to think about how costly the current spill may be based on expert predictions of the overall gallons released into the Gulf.

Related Materials 

Mark Cohen's Conference Call Comments (mp3)
Mark Cohen's Conference Call Slides

Climate Policy Under the Clean Air Act
June 15, 2010
University Club
New York City

While Congress continues to wrestle over bringing forth climate legislation, EPA is on a steady course for implementing a regulatory strategy for carbon under the existing Clean Air Act. Learn which provisions of the Clean Air Act provide the best pathway forward, what sources can be regulated, whether provisions such as emissions trading and offsets can be included, and how this Federal effort might impact state activities and programs already underway.

Related Materials

Greenhouse Gases and the Clean Air Act: An Overview
Discussion Paper: Greenhouse Gas Regulation Under the Clean Air Act
 

CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY
Using the Clean Air Act to Regulate Carbon Emissions 
June 8, 2010
San Francisco

While Congress continues to wrestle over bringing forth climate legislation, EPA is on a steady course for implementing a regulatory strategy for carbon under the existing Clean Air Act. Meanwhile, four years ago, California passed a clean air law, AB 32, establishing a statewide GHG emissions cap for 2020, based on 1990 emission levels. Now a ballot proposition threatens to undo AB 32. Learn which provisions of the Clean Air Act provide the best pathway forward, what sources can be regulated, whether provisions such as emissions trading and offsets can be included, and how the Federal effort might impact state activities and programs already underway.

Related Materials

Greenhouse Gases and the Clean Air Act: An Overview
Climate Policy Under the Clean Air Act
Outline of GHG Regulation under the Clean Air Act
Discussion Paper: Greenhouse Gas Regulation Under the Clean Air Act

 
Conference Call with RFF President Phil Sharp and Past President Bob Fri
April 30, 2010



RFF President Phil Sharp and Former RFF President and Visiting Scholar Bob Fri provided callers with a reprise of their April 28th testimony before the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. Phil provided a historical perspective on energy policy and Bob shared his thoughts on the Federal government’s role in funding research and development of technology advancements related to energy.

related materials

Phil Sharp's Conference Call Comments (mp3)
Robert Fri's Conference Call Comments (mp3)
Testimony by Phil Sharp
Testimony by Robert Fri
 

RFF Board of Directors Dinner
April 20, 2010
Johnny’s Half Shell Restaurant – Washington, DC


RFF’s Board of Directors dinner was held in conjunction with its semi-annual meeting. This spring, the Board welcomed well-known author, attorney, and environmental advocate Gus Speth as a dinner speaker. Gus spoke about his vision for a new American environmentalism and new economy.

related materials

Board Dinner Overview and Photos


NY Council Donor Lunch: Energy Research at RFF
March 12, 2010
Covington & Burling Office – New York Times Building


This special event included a behind-the-scenes look at new developments underway at RFF, a political update on energy and climate activities in Congress and the Administration, and a preview of RFF’s Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP) by RFF Scholars Alan Krupnick and Steve Brown .

related materials

Slide Presentation on CEEP
CEEP Prospectus
NEPI Project Overview


DC Breakfast: Research Update from RFF’s Center for Climate and Electricity Policy
April 9, 2010
RFF Headquarters


RFF Scholars Ray Kopp and Karen Palmer provided an overview of RFF’s Center for Climate and Electricity Policy (CCEP), created from the merger of the Electricity and Environment Program and the Climate Policy Program. The Center’s activities are designed around both domestic and international policy development, as well as advanced research focused on the future needs of policymakers. Karen highlighted her current work on energy efficiency goals and policies that will take us to a more energy efficient future.

related materials

Slide Presentation on CCEP
CCEP Prospectus
CCEP Energy Efficiency Initiative


DC Breakfast: Preview of RFF’s New Center for Energy Economics and Policy
March 23, 2010
RFF Headquarters


RFF Scholars Alan Krupnick and Steve Brown discussed the formation of RFF’s Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP). The Center formalizes and provides a focal point for decades-long research conducted on energy markets by RFF. The Center’s research is organized around three interrelated themes:1) Understanding the Present: Assessing Current Energy Policies and Market Realities; 2) Shaping the Future: Energy Market Evolution, Emerging Technologies and Policy Directions; and 3) The International Dimension: Economic Growth, Energy Use and Efficiency in Emergent Economies; Technology Transfer; and World Energy Markets.

related materials

Slide Presentation on CEEP
CEEP Prospectus
NEPI Project Overview

 
DC Breakfast: Don’t Measure, Don’t Manage: A Preview of RFF’s New Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth
March 2, 2010
RFF Headquarters

RFF Senior Fellow Jim Boyd discussed the development of RFF’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth (CMEW). The Center s houses RFF’s work on such topics as the valuation of natural resources, and projects examine ways to incorporate ecological science into public policies to protect, enhance, and manage the social wealth arising from natural systems.

related materials

Slide Presentation on CMEW
CMEW Prospectus
Don't Measure, Don't Manage: GDP and the Missing Economy of Nature - Issue Brief by Jim Boyd
Location, Location, Location: The Geography of Ecosystem Services - from Resources magazine
by Jim Boyd


NY Breakfast: The Adaptation Atlas: Establishing Priorities for Action
November 19, 2009
University Club


RFF’s new tool, The Global Adaptation Atlas, employs mapping software to capture ever-evolving information on both climate impacts and adaptation activities. The Atlas enables the global community of scientists, policymakers, businesses and citizens to visualize a holistic view of what impacts are likely to affect their regions, what responses are underway, and what gaps need to be filled.

related materials

Global Adaptation Atlas Overview
RFF Global Adaptation Atlas webpage

 

 

 

 

 

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