Kelley Arnold

Author Articles

Spokane, Wash., officials were simply looking for a way to deal with the city’s solid waste two decades ago when they stumbled upon a solution that could turn that trash into treasure.

City officials and the community made the decision to invest in a waste-to-energy facility, burning solid waste from the Spokane region to create energy. City Administrator Theresa Sanders said the waste-to-energy facility has given Spokane a solution to the solid waste issue that is environmentally sound, and also gives the city an alternative energy and a new business opportunity.

The lack of a true federal energy policy has been a source of frustration for policymakers on all sides of the ideological spectrum. Unfortunately, Washington will provide little clarity any time soon as the pattern of fits and starts and conflicting messages on energy policy will continue as gas prices climb.

But there is some good news despite the gloom. Oil and natural gas production is booming domestically, with states directing 96 percent of the increase in production since 2007. Solar installations doubled and installed wind energy increased by 31 percent over the past year.

The economics of alternative energy development, however, rely heavily on federal tax incentives and low-interest loans that have come under fire over their cost and charges of political favoritism by picking winners and losers.

The crystal ball is murky when it comes to predictions about energy consumption, markets and future trends.

Consider hydraulic fracturing, for example. Ten years ago, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated resource potential in the Marcellus Shale region was off by 70 times, according to current federal surveys.

“I think it’s essentially impossible to anticipate what energy markets are going to look like in 20 or 30 years, because the rate of change in technology and potential for climate change are so great and so disruptive that the world is going to be fundamentally different than it is now,” said John Petersen, the founder of the Arlington Institute, a nonprofit research organization that focuses on future global trends.

The Council of State Governments will be offering a variety of webinars designed to educate and inform state leaders on a range of policy-related issues. Registration for these sessions is complimentary. 

Each webinar offered by CSG will be available for viewing on our website within a week of its scheduled date.

  • Essential Health Benefits: An Overview for State Legislators
    Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2-3 p.m. EST

  • Prescription Drug Abuse: A Growing Epidemic
    Presented by CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts
    Wednesday, March 7, 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST
  • Protecting Your Online Identity
    Presented by CSG's National Leadership Center 
    Thursday, March 15, 2-3 p.m. EDT

The following compilation features published news stories during the week of Aug. 14-20 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.  Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.

CSG Research & Expertise in the News: 8/7-13, 2011

The following compilation features published news stories during the week of Aug. 7-13 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.  Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.

CSG Webinar: The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program
Sponsored by CSG's Capitol Ideas magazine
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2 p.m. EDT
Register now!

The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program, signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 27, 2010, establishes a 3-year trade and export promotion pilot program to make grants to states to enhance export promotion. The law appropriates $30 million per year for fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Exports really matter.  “We must leverage federal resources to help statewide job growth. International trade is a true gateway to economic recovery,” Brooks Ohlson, director of the Northern California Regional Center for International Trade Development, said during a session of The Council of State Governments Western Region’s 64th Annual Meeting this week.

CSG Research & Expertise in the News: 7/17-23, 2011

The following compilation features published news stories during the week of July 17-23 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.  Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.

CSG Research & Expertise in the News: 7/10-7/16, 2011

The following compilation features published news stories during the week of July 10-16 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.  Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.

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