Welcome to Decarb Madness! The policy bracket game for energy wonks who don’t want to play with our future. 

With March Madness just around the corner and a climate crisis closing in, Political Climate challenged four energy experts to build their ideal policy bracket for decarbonizing the electricity sector. Contestants were asked to select five federal-level policies that they think will win the day — both in terms of carbon reductions in 2050 and political feasibility.

Decarb Madness 2020 features Jesse Jenkins, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering Princeton University, and Leah Stokes, assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Political Climate co-hosts Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton also gave it a shot.  

In Round 1, each player explains why they made their respective policy picks. Following that, host/referee Julia Pyper steps in to explain how each bracket ranks on emissions reductions using the Energy Policy Simulator, a computer model developed by the nonpartisan climate policy firm Energy Innovation.

In Round 2, each contestant makes the case for why their policy bracket is the most politically and technologically feasible. And then you come in! As soon as you hear this episode, head over to the Political Climate Twitter page @poli_climate and vote for whose bracket you think is the best. We will announce the winner on our next show.

Game on.

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Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.

“Path to Zero” is created in partnership with the public policy think tank Third Way. Episodes air monthly on the Political Climate podcast feed. Listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Play or wherever you get podcasts.