Federal Policy Can Put American Industry On Competitive Path to Net-Zero

January 30, 2024         
**Media Contacts Listed Below**                                                      

Minneapolis, MN/Washington, DC (January 30, 2024) – A new report from an industry-labor-NGO partnership recommends a suite of policies to Congress and the federal administration that would set the US industrial sector on track to achieve net-zero emissions by midcentury. The 2024 Federal Policy Blueprint reflects the shared priorities of the Industrial Innovation Initiative (I3), co-convened by the Great Plains Institute (GPI) and World Resources Institute (WRI), representing a consensus among 19 signatories from industry, labor, nonprofit and other backgrounds.

“Industry is foundational to the US economy, producing the essential materials for our infrastructure and daily life while providing good-paying jobs and economic opportunity to local communities across the country, particularly ones with few other employment opportunities. But this critical sector must also decrease emissions rapidly to meet midcentury decarbonization goals. This policy blueprint charts a path forward to achieve net-zero goals while prioritizing jobs, competitiveness and leadership in technology development and buildout through incentive-based federal policies,” said GPI Industrial Decarbonization Manager David Soll.

The new policy blueprint builds on previous priorities outlined in I3‘s 2021 report, Decarbonizing Industry by 2050: A Federal and State Policy Blueprint. The new 2024 blueprint recommends:

  • Build-out of supportive infrastructure for carbon management and hydrogen, such as for transportation and storage, as well as improved regulatory oversight of these processes.
  • Access to affordable, clean electricity to meet industrial energy demand while accounting for industrial needs across the energy system, such as further development of the transmission and distribution system.
  • Robust data reporting and greenhouse gas benchmarking standards for embodied carbon that together underpin the success of green procurement and related policies.
  • Support for market innovation to enable the rapid scale up of cost-competitive, low-emissions technologies through government funding and support for existing markets or tax credits and RDD&D.

The 2024 Federal Policy Blueprint builds upon recent momentum following the federal government’s commitment to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax credits and investments through the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Clear guidance for implementing these investments and getting cross-cutting decarbonization solutions to scale will be critically important to achieving midcentury climate goals.

The 2024 Federal Policy Blueprint seeks to bridge remaining policy gaps to accelerate the pace of industrial decarbonization. I3 members include organizations such as Holcim, LanzaTech, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the National Wildlife Federation and Third Way.

“I3 participants have identified barriers to rapidly scaling solutions required to meet the timeline for midcentury decarbonization. The blueprint recommends the federal policies needed to help overcome those obstacles. I3 will be actively collaborating with diverse stakeholders, lawmakers and regulators to make substantial near-term progress to advance these policies,” said Angela Anderson, director of industrial innovation and carbon removal at WRI.

Of utmost importance in the transition to net zero is the preservation and creation of jobs to support America’s workforce and industries. Failure to cut emissions by the end of this decade will increase the cost of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“The updated I3 Federal Policy Blueprint is about more than hitting our emissions goals—it’s about helping US manufacturers and workers stay competitive. It recommends a wide variety of policy supports that heavy industries can use to shift toward cleaner production faster and more affordably, while expanding their access to growing markets for low-carbon products. These are the kinds of strategic moves that can keep America’s industries and manufacturing communities in the lead globally,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick, senior director of domestic policy in Third Way’s Climate and Energy Program.


About Great Plains Institute (GPI): A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) accelerates the transition to net-zero carbon emissions for the benefit of people, the economy, and the environment. Working across the US, we combine a unique consensus-building approach, expert knowledge, research and analysis, and local action to find and implement lasting solutions. Our work strengthens communities and provides greater economic opportunity through the creation of higher-paying jobs, expansion of the nation’s industrial base, and greater domestic energy independence while eliminating carbon emissions. Learn more at www.betterenergy.org.

About World Resources Institute (WRI): WRI is a trusted partner for change. Using research-based approaches, we work globally and in focus countries to meet people’s essential needs; to protect and restore nature; and to stabilize the climate and build resilient communities. We aim to fundamentally transform the way the world produces and uses food and energy and designs its cities to create a better future for all.  Founded in 1982, WRI has nearly 1,800 staff around the world, with country offices in Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States and regional offices in Africa and Europe. Learn more at www.wri.org.


Drew Henry
Communications Director
Great Plains Institute
w: 612-429-1222 | c: 651-210-0788

Carrie Dellesky
Program and Outreach Manager, Industrial Innovation and Carbon Removal
World Resources Institute
w: 202-729-7721 | c: 330-719-7367

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Ankita Gangotra, Associate, WRI

Dr. Ankita Gangotra Associate, WRI United States Dr. Ankita Gangotra is an Associate in WRI’s US Climate Program, researching avenues to decarbonize the industrial sector, focusing on cement and steel decarbonization, environmental trade policies and international cooperation. Prior to joining WRI, Ankita was a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Foreign Service and the Department of Physics at Georgetown University. Her research looked at the readily available technology and policy options for upgrading low-carbon cement production in the United States. Ankita has an integrated Master's in Electronics Engineering with Nanotechnology from the University of York, UK (2015) and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2020). During her time in New Zealand, Ankita interned at the Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor looking into equity, diversity and inclusion policy options for New Zealand’s science, research and innovation workforce.

Carrie Dellesky, Program and Outreach Manager, Carbon Removal and Industrial Innovation

Carrie Dellesky is the Program and Outreach Manager for Carbon Removal and Industrial Innovation. She develops strategies to advance policies and practices for scaling up a suite of carbon removal approaches and decarbonizing the industrial sector. She engages allies and builds and expands partnerships to mobilize champions and enhance visibility, action and impact. She also leads communications to amplify research and thought leadership, including messaging, media relations, event planning, social media and digital strategy.

Zachary Byrum, Research Analyst, WRI United States

Zachary Byrum is a Research Analyst in WRI's U.S. Climate Program, where he provides technology and policy analysis for carbon removal and deep decarbonization. His work focuses on pathways to reduce industrial emissions as well as bolstering technological carbon removal. Prior to WRI, Zach was a research assistant in the Carbon Management Research Initiative at the Center on Global Energy Policy. In the preceding years, he served as White House Intern in the National Economic Council under the Obama Administration and then an assistant analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. Zach holds a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Goucher College.

Katie Lebling, Associate

WRI United States. Katie Lebling is an Associate in WRI's Climate Program where she works on research and analysis of technological carbon removal approaches and industrial decarbonization. Before joining WRI, she worked at The Asia Group, and interned at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum and the Treasury Department’s Office of Environment and Energy. She holds a Master's degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Energy, Resources, and the Environment, where she spent one year of the program studying in Nanjing, China, and has a B.A. from Colby College in Biology and Chinese language.

Debbie Weyl, Deputy Director, WRI United States

Debbie Karpay Weyl is the Deputy Director for WRI U.S. She previously served as Manager for the Buildings Initiative at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. She led an expanding global partnership to accelerate building energy efficiency in cities around the world. She also contributed to program management and development, research, and knowledge exchange for urban energy efficiency and sustainability. Debbie joined WRI from CLASP, a global non-profit organization that improves the environmental and energy performance of appliances, lighting and equipment. From 2011-2016 Debbie managed and developed global programs, led research projects, and facilitated collaboration among international experts and other representatives in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining CLASP, Debbie worked at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where she was a contractor supporting building efficiency and other energy efficiency programs in the United States. Debbie holds a Master of Science in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. in Politics (Political Economy and International Relations) from Princeton University.

Angela Anderson, Director of Industrial Innovation and Carbon Removal, WRI United States

Angela Anderson is the Director of Industrial Innovation and Carbon Removal in the Climate Program. She leads WRI's growing portfolio of work in industrial decarbonization and carbon removal and aims to change narratives around “hard-to-abate” sectors and promote the natural and technological interventions required to achieve net-zero targets. Prior to joining WRI, Angela worked as a program director, coalition builder, international advocate, and campaign strategist. She led the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists for ten years; facilitated US-NGO engagement in the international climate negotiations while at US Climate Action Network and at the Pew Environmental Trust; and founded Clear the Air, a national coalition to reduce pollution from power plants. Angela holds a B.A. in political science from Colorado State University.

Patrice Lahlum, Vice President (Interim), Carbon Management, Great Plains Institute (GPI)

Patrice Lahlum is the President/Owner of Riverwind Consulting, LLC, based in West Fargo, ND, and provides clients with a wide range of consulting services including marketing, communications and policy development and analysis. Current areas of focus are agriculture, energy, natural resources, and organizational development. Lahlum currently works as a consultant to the Great Plains Institute (GPI) on their communications, transmission and biomass programs. Named as one of the region’s “40 Under 40” business leaders by Prairie Business Magazine in 2011, Lahlum has more than 15 years of experience in agriculture and energy policy, project management, public relations, fundraising, media (conventional and social) outreach, group consensus development and facilitation. Renewable energy is a significant focus of Lahlum’s work, having led the effort to organize the first ever renewable energy summit in North Dakota. That summit led to the creation of the North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy (NDARE). Lahlum served as the elected chair of NDARE from 2009-2012 and served on the board of directors from 2008-2012.

Kate Sullivan, Senior Program Coordinator – Carbon Management, Great Plains Institute (GPI), With GPI since 2019

Kate Sullivan joined the Great Plains Institute in 2019. As Senior rogram Coordinator, Kate uses her analytical and design skills to provide research, writing, and logistical support across the Carbon Management team. Prior to joining GPI, Kate worked as an Energy Counselor in the Center for Energy and Environment’s residential department, assisting homeowners with their energy needs and providing resources for efficiency upgrades. Kate earned her BA in Biology from St. Olaf College with an emphasis in Environmental Studies.

David Soll, Industrial Decarbonization Manager, Great Plains Institute (GPI), With GPI since 2023

David Soll joined the Great Plains Institute in 2023 and serves as Industrial Decarbonization Manager. He oversees the Industrial Innovation Initiative, a coalition advancing decarbonization solutions for the Midcontinent region’s most important industrial sectors. Prior to joining GPI, he taught history and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he focused on urban infrastructure and energy conservation. David earned a Master’s in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in history from Brandeis University.

Jill Syvrud, Senior Program Manager - Carbon Management, Great Plains Institute (GPI). With GPI since 2017.

Jill Syvrud joined the Great Plains Institute in 2017 and serves as the program manager for the Carbon Management Program. In addition to overseeing the overall program, Jill directly supports the Industrial Innovation Initiative, a coalition advancing decarbonization solutions for the Midcontinent region’s most important industrial sectors. Jill earned a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and a master of science degree in science technology and environmental policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Jill’s past experience includes multiple graduate research assistantships concentrating on technology innovation and sustainable megacities along and a previous position as an administrative and outreach coordination intern with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.