Congressional Panel Discussion - April 13, 2009

What Constitutes an Effective Approach to Limiting Greenhouse Gases?

Green house gas emissions


Michael Toman, RAND Corporation (Moderator)
Peter Molinaro, Vice President, Federal and State Government Affairs, The Dow Chemical Company
David Hawkins, Director, Climate Center, Natural Resources Defense Council
William Kovacs, Vice President, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Monday, April 13, 2009


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Rooms 202-203 VC, The Capitol Building
Washington, D.C.

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About the Program

The Obama administration and Congress have called enactment of a cap-and-trade program for limiting U.S. emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases a top priority. However, this shared goal does not mean that an acceptable agreement will be easy or quick to negotiate or that what is negotiated will end up being effective.

Our panelists will address some key questions about cap-and-trade programs that need to be resolved:

  • Which sources of pollutants will be included in a cap-and-trade program, and what other regulatory measures may be added to ensure the reduction of greenhouse gases?
  • Will emission allowances be given away, or auctioned by the government?
  • Will auction revenues be used solely to help reduce greenhouse gases?
  • Which key interest groups will need to align in order for the program's goals to be met?
  • What is the timeline for phasing in caps, and does this schedule effectively factor in those of other countries?

About the Speakers

Michael Toman (Moderator), a senior economist at the RAND Corporation, served as director of the RAND Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program from 2006 to 2008. He is currently working on international development and climate change issues. Toman has written a number of reports on clean energy, emissions trading, and other climate change policy issues facing the United States.

Peter Molinaro leads Dow's federal and state government affairs team. He is also responsible for Dow's energy and climate change advocacy in the United States and represents Dow on the steering committee of the United States Climate Action Partnership. He is Immediate Past Chairman of the Federal Government Affairs Committee of the American Chemistry Council. He is Secretary of the Board of the American Council for and Energy Efficient Economy and serves on the Policy and Program Committee of the Alliance to Save Energy. Prior to joining Dow, Peter was Assistant Director of Government Affairs for Union Carbide Corporation.

David Hawkins is working with Congress to design a legislative mechanism that will slow, stop, and reduce the emissions of global warming pollution. Hawkins is recognized as an expert on advanced coal technologies and carbon dioxide capture and storage. He also is a member of the product development advisory committee of the U.S. Department of Energy's climate change science program. NRDC is also a member of USCAP.

William L. Kovacs provides the overall direction, strategy, and management for the Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which initiates and leads issue campaigns on comprehensive energy legislation, complex environmental rulemakings, and the systematic application of sound science to the federal regulatory process among others. Previously, he held the position of partner in several Washington, D.C., law firms where his practice focused on environmental law.

RAND Office of Congressional Relations

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Further Inquiries

For further information about this event, contact the Office of Congressional Relations at or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.