No Such Thing as Climate-Neutral

May 13, 2022

All economic policy is climate policy.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

How to Address Energy Inflation

All economic policy is climate policy, as Roosevelt’s Suzanne Kahn and Rhiana Gunn-Wright argue in the foreword of a new series of briefs.

“Moving forward thus requires not only ending our dependence on fossil fuels but moving beyond neoliberalism,” they write. 

In the first brief of the series, Roosevelt’s Lauren Melodia and Kristina Karlsson explain how to do both, and equitably address price swings in gas and utilities: a whole-of-government energy transition.

“In launching a green transition, the federal government has the opportunity to not only reduce price pressures on low-income, Black, and Latinx households, but to proactively reinvest in communities that have historically faced the worst of climate change and of white supremacist policy,” Melodia and Karlsson write.

“The faster we transform our energy infrastructure, the quicker we will be able to experience the relief that price stability of renewable energy sources can provide.”

Read more in “Energy Price Stability: The Peril of Fossil Fuels and the Promise of Renewables.” And watch this space over the next few weeks for more in the series.

Making Sense of Digital Dollars

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have been a hot topic this year: A March executive order directed the US government to explore the idea of a US CBDC, and the Federal Reserve is currently considering how it might work.

In a report released this week, Chris Hughes—Roosevelt senior advisor and co-founder of the Economic Security Project—cuts through the hype.

“Put simply, central bank digital currencies are a solution in search of a problem,” he writes.

“In fact, introducing a CBDC could mean significant confusion for American consumers and create a more balkanized, segregated global financial system that is more challenging to regulate and manage.”

Learn more in Digital Dollars: Critical Design Choices and Effects of a Central Bank Digital Currency, and in the Financial Times exclusive about the report [paywall].

Dr. Lisa Cook Makes History

Confirmed by the Senate this week, former Roosevelt Board Vice Chair Dr. Lisa Cook will be the first Black woman in history to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

“If my grandparents were here today, they would be beyond thrilled to see Lisa carrying on their legacy of public service. And they’d be beyond proud to see how diverse the Fed Board has become,” Roosevelt Board Chair Anna Eleanor Roosevelt said in a statement.

“A constant voice of wisdom at board meetings, I was so grateful for the role Lisa played in helping Roosevelt build the organization in both the short and long term,” said Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong. “I look forward to seeing how her expertise helps the Fed navigate the hard questions that will come before it during these challenging times.”

What We’re Reading

The Devastating Economic Impacts of an Abortion BanThe New Yorker

An Overlooked Driver of the Racial Wealth Gap – Axios

Why Union Efforts at Starbucks Have Spread Further Than at AmazonNew York Times