UMd: Alternative Approaches to Climate/Energy Challenges

Panel Discussion at UMD School of Public Policy Featured Bush U.S. Trade Representative, Bush Assistant Treasury Secretary and Obama OSTP Assistant Director

Tuesday, October 23, 2012: Van Munching Hall, College Park, Md.

Media Advisory here. RSVP via UMd. event posting here.


US energy and climate policy, always a contentious issue, has become increasingly polarized. Climate change remains controversial in the Republican Party and conservative US politics more broadly.  In the absence of Republican policy proposals, most of the climate-change policy discussion has been driven by Democrats and progressive groups.  At this event, former Republican Representative Bob Inglis, executive director of the Energy & Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University, laid out a framework for a climate policy based on ending subsidies and attaching hidden costs, and described how this enterprise-oriented approach is well-aligned with conservative thought but could also attract broader support.

A moderated discussion on the prospects for such an approach followed. Inglis was joined by three faculty members from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy: two former George W. Bush administration officials, Susan Schwab, former US Trade Representative, and Phillip Swagel, former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department; and one former Obama administration official, Steve Fetter, former Assistant Director at-large in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) and former Principal Assistant Director of OSTP’s Environment and Energy Division.


Ambassador Susan C. Schwab became the United States Trade Representative on June 8, 2006.  As USTR, she was a member of President Bush’s Cabinet and served as the President’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues. She sits on the Board of Directors for FedEx, Boeing, and Caterpillar.  Ambassador Schwab served as Dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy from 1995 through 2003.



Dr. Phillip Swagel was Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department from December 2006 to January 2009.  In that position, he advised Secretary Paulson on all aspects of economic policy. He was previously chief of staff and a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and was an economist at the IMF and the Federal Reserve Board. He is Professor in International Economic Policy at the UMd School of Public Policy and non-resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.



Dr. Steve Fetter served as assistant director at-large in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from March 2009 to August 2012.  For 2011-12,  he directed OSTP’s environment and energy division, co-chaired the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability of the National Science and Technology Council, and oversaw the U.S. Global Change Research Program. He has been a professor at the UMd. School of Public Policy since 1988.