Benson will serve as deputy energy director and chief energy transition strategist at OSTP, the White House said in a press release. Costa Samaras, a former engineer and policy analyst at Carnegie Mellon University, will serve as principal energy assistant and principal advisor on energy policy.
The OSTP Energy Division “will develop national clean energy innovation plans to ensure the United States continues to lead in clean energy innovation and ensure the United States reaches net zero emissions by 2050.” The White House said.
Benson and Samaras will work with the Biden administration’s climate and science advisers, including White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy and OSTP deputy director for climate and environment Jane Lubchenco.
“Dr Benson and Dr Samaras are leading experts in the energy sector who will help us realize a zero-emissions future, where clean electricity is the cheapest and most reliable electricity, where clean electricity is the cheapest and most reliable, where clean fuels are the cheapest fuels and where we allow equitable access to clean energy services for all across the country,” said President and OSTP Chief Scientific Adviser Eric Lander said in a statement.
Lander continued: “The leadership of OSTP’s New Energy Division will be a key asset as America works to lead the way to a prosperous, carbon-free economy by 2050.”
Benson has worked at Stanford University since 2007 and is co-director of the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage and the Stanford Carbon Removal Initiative. According to Stanford University, she researches “technologies and pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including geological storage of CO2 in deep underground formations and energy system analysis for a low-carbon future.” “.
The creation of the new division underscores the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing the global climate crisis. The president said he wants the US to lead the world in the fight against the climate crisis and has committed the US to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels by 2030.
The largest part of Biden’s massive economic spending bill – central to his domestic agenda – focuses on climate. The bill, which has passed the House of Representatives but is likely to undergo more changes in the Senate, would provide nearly $570 billion in tax credits and investments aimed at combating climate change. The bill is largely a cut from Biden’s original proposal but delivers a major win for the climate administration.
Additionally, the new infrastructure law Biden recently signed allocates about $50 billion for climate resilience, including replacing roads to withstand extreme rainfall, treating forests to prevent fires. Forests and building reservoirs have sunk to new lows this year amid a staggering drought.
The President’s special envoy for climate John Kerry recently laid out the four key climate goals of the Biden administration at a major summit in Glasgow: advance global ambitions to contain the rise temperature; urges countries to commit to action during this decade; promote financing and adaptation efforts in vulnerable communities; and finalize negotiations on guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Kerry, who was then President Barack Obama’s secretary of state and had worked on climate issues for a long time, was a Cabinet-level official in the Biden administration and a member of the National Security Council. .