Rachel Cleetus

Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

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Rachel Cleetus is an expert on the design and economic evaluation of climate and energy policies, as well as the costs of climate change. She holds a Ph.D. in economics. See Rachel's full bio.

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Photo: UCS/Audrey Eyring

A Year of Resistance—and Why I’m Hopeful for 2018

What a year it’s been. The destructive antics of the Trump administration and Congress and a political discourse increasingly polluted by ‘alternative facts’ have frequently made many of us angry, sad, and sometimes just plain crazy.

Through it all, it’s been inspiring to see a resistance movement gather strength and show its muscle. I’ve been awed by the work of racial justice activists, scientists, grassroots groups, immigrant rights groups, youth groups and many many others. Here’s a snapshot of what a year in the resistance looked like for me. Read more >

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Pruitt Plans to Gut The Clean Power Plan: How Weak Will The New EPA Proposal Be?

News articles indicate that the EPA is soon going to release a “revised” Clean Power Plan. It is very likely to be significantly weaker than the original CPP, which offered one of the country’s best hopes for reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming.

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Photo: justice.gov
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Glacier National Park Fire. Photo: Brett Timm, National Park Service

Western Wildfires Add to Disasters the Nation Faces: Will Congress Take Action?

Record wildfires are now burning across a large swath of the Western US, even as the Southeast and Gulf coasts of the US are struggling to recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Yesterday the Forest Service announced that firefighting costs have already topped $2 billion in 2017, for the first time ever. Earlier this week Senators Daines and Tester separately called for action to address wildfire threats, the latest of similar bipartisan efforts. Congress needs to finally get wildfire funding and forest management legislation across the finish line without delay.

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Photo: New Jersey National Guard

The National Flood Insurance Program is up for Reauthorization: Here’s What Congress Should Do

The National Flood Insurance Program is up for reauthorization by the end of September and the clock is ticking for legislation to extend the program. With so many homeowners and small businesses depending on this vital program, will Congress take the necessary steps to reform and strengthen the program—especially in light of the growing risks of coastal and inland flooding?

Here’s a quick rundown of the latest bills and what they might mean for the future of the program. Read more >

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A LNG terminal. Photo: Think Defence

The President’s ‘Energy Week’ is an Ode to Fossil Fuel Addiction

Tomorrow, as part of the Trump Administration’s so-called ‘Energy Week’ events, President Trump is scheduled to give a speech at the Department of Energy trumpeting US ‘energy dominance’ via the export of coal, oil, and natural gas around the world. It’s clear that Mr. Trump has little regard for the health impacts of our fossil fuel addiction or the growing costs of climate change. What’s more, he fails to grasp the incredible business opportunities in clean energy leadership. Read more >

Photo: Think Defence
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