January 26, 2022 - 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

Roundtable: Climate Policy Between State and Federal Level

Event Description:

As with many other policy areas, the boundary lines between federal and state authority on climate policy are not always clear. While most climate policy implementation necessarily occurs at the subnational level, persistent uncertainties and periodic setbacks on federal climate policy making have also seen legislative and regulatory activity increasingly gravitate from the Beltway to state capitals. Federal and state coordination on this politically sensitive issue – for instance on the expenditure of federal funds – is often overshadowed by partisan disagreement and in some cases litigation. How can federal and state governments engage more effectively to ensure continuity and efficiency in climate policy implementation? As the pace and scale of decarbonization efforts accelerates at both the national and subnational level, an expert panel of researchers and practitioners will offer timely insights on the challenges posed by “climate federalism.”


Sarah Cottrell Propst
State of New Mexico

Sarah Cottrell Propst was appointed by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to serve as the Cabinet Secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) in January 2019. From 2012 to 2018, she served as the Executive Director of the Interwest Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association that represents the nation’s leading companies in the renewable energy industry, bringing them together with non-governmental organizations in the West (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). She is the founder of Propst Consulting LLC, specializing in energy and environmental policy. She was Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department after serving as Energy and Environmental Policy Advisor to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. She earned a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Princeton School of Public & International Affairs, with a concentration in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy.
Roberton Williams
University of Maryland

Rob Williams studies both environmental policy and tax policy, with a particular focus on interactions between the two. In addition to his role at the University of Maryland, he is the Chief Economist for the Climate Leadership Council, a University Fellow at Resources for the Future and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was previously an associate professor at the University of Texas, Austin; a visiting research scholar at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research; and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Williams has served as a coeditor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.
Kathyrn Zyla
Georgetown University

Kathryn Zyla is a senior lecturer at Georgetown Law, and the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center, where she oversees the Center’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level. She also serves as faculty advisor for the student Georgetown Energy Law Group. Professor Zyla served as Deputy Director and Director of Research and Policy Analysis for the Climate Center from 2009-2018. She has returned to Georgetown after three years as Program Director, Northeast Policy, for Energy Foundation, where she developed and funded regional and state strategies to achieve climate and clean-energy policy goals.  She has a BS in engineering from Swarthmore College, a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment, and a JD, cum laude, from Georgetown Law.
Richard Schmalensee

Richard Schmalensee served as the John C Head III Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1998 through 2007. He was a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 through 1991 and served for 12 years as Director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. Professor Schmalensee is the author or coauthor of 11 books and more than 120 published articles, and he is co-editor of volumes 1 and 2 of the Handbook of Industrial Organization. His research has centered on industrial organization economics and its application to managerial and public policy issues, with particular emphasis on antitrust, regulatory, energy, and environmental policies. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and numerous private corporations.