America's Energy Future: National Discussion and Debate Series

America's Energy Future: National Discussion and Debate Series

The dual shocks of record-high energy prices and global recession have produced fertile ground for policymakers to radically reform America's energy policy. While many have called for increasing production of domestic oil and coal supplies, others have seen this as a unique opportunity to move beyond an energy policy dominated by fossil fuels. In July 2008, former Vice President Al Gore outlined the first step in this process when he called for America's electricity supply to be carbon-free in 10 years.

Resolved: The United States must end its dependency on carbon-based fuels

Arguing for the resolution:

John Podesta is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress. Currently a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University, he served as coordinator for President Obama's transition efforts. Podesta was Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton (1998–2001), and served in a variety of capacities as an advisor both in the Clinton White House and on Capitol Hill. In 1988, Podesta partnered with his brother Tony to found, Podesta Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C. government relations and public affairs firm.

R. James Woolsey is a partner with VantagePoint Venture Partners, and is the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. He is an advisor to Paladin Capital Group and Booz Allen Hamilton, specializing in alternative energy and security issues. Woolsey spent a total of 12 years in government positions relating to security and military concerns, including as Director of Central Intelligence (1993–95). He chairs the advisory boards of the Clean Fuels Foundation and the New Uses Council. Woolsey also serves on the National Commission on Energy Policy.

Arguing against the resolution:

Christine Todd Whitman is President of The Whitman Strategy Group, a consulting firm specializing in energy and environmental issues. She served as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (2001–03), and as the first woman governor of New Jersey (1994–2001). During her EPA tenure, Governor Whitman promoted watershed-based water protection policies and emissions regulations, and the agency promoted the redevelopment of "brownfields." She is Co-Chair of Clean and Safe Energy and of the Republican Leadership Council, and is the author of It's My Party Too (Penguin Press, 2005).

Karen Alderman Harbert is President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy, working to build support for national and international energy action through policy, education, and advocacy. Harbert is the former Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she focused on domestic and international energy issues, climate change programs, and regulatory concerns. She has also held positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Republican Institute, and the Organization of American States.


Jim Angle is FOX News Channel's chief Washington correspondent and a substitute anchor for "Special Report with Bret Baier." Previously FNC's senior White House correspondent, Angle is a former correspondent for CNN and ABC News, and he worked in public radio for 18 years. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Merriman Smith Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents' Association, in 2001 and 2003, and the "Excellence in Financial Journalism Award" in 1994 and 1995, for covering economic issues on "Nightline."