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Columbia Energy Exchange

U.S. Energy, Climate Policy in 2020

Happy New Year! And welcome back to Columbia Energy Exchange, a weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

The year 2020 promises to be an important one for energy and environmental issues in the U.S., with significant debates in Congress over policy options and a national election in which climate change may be a decisive issue for many voters.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless is joined by Ralph Izzo, a well-known leader in the U.S. utility sector and in the public-policy arena.

Ralph is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Public Service Enterprise Group, a diversified energy company in New Jersey that includes Public Service Electric and Gas Company, the largest investor-owned utility in the state.

He joined the utility in 1992 and has since held several executive positions within PSEG’s family of companies.

You will often find him testifying before Congress or speaking before groups on some of the most pressing energy and environmental issues of the day.

But what you may not know is Ralph’s career began in science as a researcher at a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory after earning his Ph.D. in applied physics at Columbia University. It’s a professional foundation that’s influenced his business approach for decades.

At Columbia, he also received his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering, and later went to Rutgers Graduate School of Management for his master of business administration degree.

Host Bill Loveless sat down with Ralph during one of his recent visits to Washington to talk about his increasing concerns over climate change and what he sees as a disparate approach to the crisis when it comes to national and state policies. While he notes that much is being done to reduce emissions in the U.S., including in the electric-power sector, he worries that the advances are likely to fall short of what’s needed to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius.

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