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Dr. Gerald Stokes

Brookhaven National Lab

Gerald M. Stokes is an Associate Laboratory Director at Brookhaven National Laboratory responsible for the Global and Regional Solutions Directorate. He is also the President of the recently announced New York Energy Policy Institute. He has just completed as assignment as the President and CEO of Battelle-Japan. Dr. Stokes was the founding director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaborative effort between the Pacific NW National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland. He holds a BA in Physics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and both Ph.D. and Masters in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Chicago. He is a visiting professor in the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University, a member of Sigma Xi and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Regional Energy Policy: Leadership for the nation

While there has been a lot of interest and debate on national energy policy, the clear lesson of history is that states and regions, particularly in the United States are the leaders in developing and testing new policies. Geography, politics and economics suggest that this approach is not only appropriate but probably the only way for dealing with issues like greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy portfolio standards. Ultimately, the federal government will have to provide a rationalizing and enabling framework to ensure national markets for goods and services and the free flow of interstate commerce, but starting with federal legislation will limit innovation and in the long run delay implementation. Even for something as complex and “global” as greenhouse gas mitigation state leadership is essential to gain experience and to guide the federal role. The history of environmental regulation serves as a lesson in this regard and the current state of state driven climate action plans suggests that greenhouse mitigation and the associated energy policies are following the same course.