Intervenant John "Skip" LAITNER


John A. “Skip” Laitner is a resource economist who leads a team of consultants, the Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates based in Tucson, Arizona. He also serves as the chief economist for Jeremy Rifkin's Third Industrial Revolution initiatives. He is the President-Elect on the board of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS), an independent faculty-and-student-based professional association in higher education, designed to serve the needs of environmental scholars and scientists who value interdisciplinary approaches to research, teaching, and problem-solving.

Skip previously served 10 years as a Senior Economist for Technology Policy with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He left the federal service in 2006 to focus his research on developing a more robust technology and behavioral characterization of energy efficiency resources for use in energy and climate policy analyses and within economic policy models. In 1998 Skip was awarded EPA's Gold Medal for his work with a team of economists to evaluate the impact of different strategies that might assist in the implementation of smart climate policies. In 2003 the US Combined Heat and Power Association gave him an award to acknowledge his contributions to the policy development of that industry. In 2004 his paper, “How Far Energy Efficiency?” catalyzed new research into the proper the characterization of efficiency as a long-term resource.

Author of nearly 300 reports, journal articles, and book chapters, Skip has more than 40 years of involvement in the environmental, energy and economic policy arenas. His expertise includes benefit-cost assessments, behavioral assessments, resource costs and constraints, and the net employment and macroeconomic impacts of energy and climate policy scenarios. His most immediate research focuses on two areas. The first, building on the work of Robert U. Ayres and Benjamin Warr, examines the links between energy inefficiency and a productive economy. In a new book chapter, Skip provides a time series dataset that suggests the United States may be only 14 percent energy-efficient, and that it is this level of inefficiency which may constrain the future development of a more robust economy. The second area explores the larger energy efficiency and economic productivity benefits of information and communication technologies (ICT).

Skip has been invited to provide technical seminars in diverse places as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain. His clients have ranged from the United Nations and the United Nations Foundation to the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Argonne National Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has served as an adjunct faculty member for the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and the University of Oregon, teaching graduate courses on the Economics of Technology. Skip has a master's degree in Resource Economics from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH.

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Energy economist
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