Week 8: Energy Equity and Policy

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Sunday, July 25, 2021


Julia Bauer

This week, I wrote the first two drafts of my upcoming bulletin on energy equity. The bulletin will consist of two major topics, one of which is Shalanda Baker’s nomination as Director of the Office of Minority Impact at the Department of Energy and the other a recent House Science Committee hearing entitled, “Fostering Equity in Energy Innovation.” During the hearing, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) discussed stark disparities in federal energy R&D funding allocated to HBCUs and large private universities like Harvard. Bowman remarked that such funding disparities often exclude POC and low-income people from assuming positions of leadership in energy technology development intended to benefit energy-insecure communities.


Bowman highlighted Justice40, the Biden administration’s plan to ensure that at least 40% of select federal investments in climate and clean energy benefit low-income communities, as one important step in addressing energy equity issues. Baker likewise spoke about the importance of Justice40 in her testimony and later about how growing up in an energy-insecure family has informed her desire to improve low-income families’ access to reliable energy. I learned a lot while watching both hearings, as I have never considered the role of DOE and the federal government in ameliorating energy insecurity issues for low-income families.


I am very excited to continue working (and, fingers crossed, publish) my energy equity bulletin this week. I remain grateful for my mentors’ willingness to edit several iterations of the piece so that I  become a better writer throughout the process. 


Until next week,

Julia Bauer