Past Event

2021 CSG East Annual Meeting — Energy and Environment Program Sessions


August 17, 2021, 12:00 am –
August 18, 2021, 12:00 am
Windmills at sunset

August 17, 2021, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Plenary Session: The Great Disruption: Rethinking Energy, Transportation, Food and Agriculture

Moderator: Massachusetts State Senator Marc Pacheco
Keynote: Tony Seba, Author, Educator, Co-Founder RethinkX

According to Tony Seba, a world-renowned author, educator, and Silicon Valley entrepreneur, the 2020s will be the fastest, most disruptive decade in history for energy, transportation, food, agriculture, materials, and information. In this provocative presentation, Seba discussed how technology disruption and business model innovation are producing cascading effects across all sectors of the economy, with dramatic implications for geopolitics, the environment, and humanity. Seba also addressed choices that can help lead to a more equitable, healthy, resilient, and stable society.

Tony Seba on "The Great Disruption: Rethinking Energy, Transportation, Food and Agriculture"

August 17, 2021, 10:15 – 11:30 am.

Energy & Environment Committee Meeting: The North American Renewable Integration Study: Opportunities for Achieving a Coordinated, Low-Carbon Grid

Co-Chairs: Connecticut State Senator Paul Formica; Massachusetts State Senator Marc Pacheco
Speaker: Gregory Brinkman, Model Engineering Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy

The North American electric power system is undergoing significant changes as it integrates increasing quantities of renewable resources, and these changes are expected to accelerate amid ambitious federal, state, local, and corporate decarbonization goals. This session will feature a discussion of recent federal research that analyzed the potential impacts of this transition on costs, reliability, and other factors, and seeks to inform policymakers about opportunities for a coordinated, continental low-carbon grid. Among the findings are that: a) an 80 percent reduction in power-sector emissions can be achieved through multiple pathways; and b) enhanced regional and international electricity trade and transmission expansion could have significant net system benefits.

Maine State Representative Seth Berry, House Chair, Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology
New Hampshire State Representative Suzanne Smith

August 18, 2021, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Developing a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Project in the NYC Watershed Region to Promote Carbon Farming, Soil Health, and Water Quality


Jeffrey Potent, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Columbia University Earth Institute Center for Climate Systems Research

In this interactive session, presenters discussed the development of an innovative agriculture carbon pilot in the New York State counties that comprise the New York City Watershed. The pilot, which is still in the concept stage, seeks to overcome existing hurdles in current carbon farming efforts, by making them more economically sustainable, providing greater scientific accuracy about sequestration potential, and tailoring these practices to the needs of the small-to-midsized farms that dominate Northeast agriculture. The project will partner with a worldwide community of experts, led by Columbia University, which is advancing methodologies for improving measurements of carbon sequestration in agriculture. Presenters invited feedback from CSG East members on how this proposed project can enhance their policy efforts to promote carbon sequestration in their states and provinces.

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