By Ben Swerdlow, GEI Policy Extern
My name is Ben Swerdlow and I am a 2L extern at the Green Energy Institute. My first project for this semester is to research and craft an analysis of the transmission system in the west, with a focus on Oregon and its transmission siting policies.
As an undergrad I majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with which I was able to do a research project on Belizean Coral Reefs and the effects of ocean acidification. It was from this research that I sought a job where I could work to protect and conserve the environment.
This brought me to Waterton Residential, an apartment management firm. As the firm’s “environmental liason,” I was responsible for implementing energy efficiency measures in the multifamily housing that we managed. Through the course of my employment I was able to work with utilities, energy efficiency product manufacturers, and both solar and wind turbine installers. This work allowed me to gain a prospective on the operations side of energy usage, which motivated my decision to go to law school, where I could ultimately be apart of the policy decisions that lead to environmental conservation.
Since entering law school I have worked with various environmental and energy efficiency groups located on campus, including the Lewis and Clark Sustainability Council, which works to promote sustainability campus wide. Our projects can range from educating Lewis & Clark students and staff on strategies to decrease one’s energy usage to implementing energy saving technology.
Additionally, while in law school I have worked at CLEAResult, which is an energy efficiency and demand response consulting firm. At CLEAResult I was able to learn from the perspective of those implementing energy efficiency measures, which helped me gain an understanding of the policies that have been put into place to decrease energy usage nationally or on the state level.
These experiences ultimately brought me to the Green Energy Institute, where I look forward to working on advocating for policies that I believe will have a significant impact on energy usage and production in the United States.