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An energy policy program for the 21st century

An energy grid worker stands outside near an electrical tower while holding a laptop computer.

Editor’s note: This article has been adapted from its original version, which was published by Oregon State’s College of Liberal Arts on Nov. 27 2023.

By Emily Willis

Our planet is in need of important changes for the climate and global warming, and there are actions being taken at Oregon State University to help educate students and improve efforts at going green. David Bernell is a professor who specializes in teaching students about renewable energy policies and how these policies incorporate changes into the daily routines of people and businesses all over the country.

Before becoming a professor, Bernell served as an appointee for the Clinton Administration in the Office of Management and Budget, as well as the Department of the Interior. His job involved preparation of the President’s annual budget proposal to Congress, on behalf of all the federal agencies that dealt with energy and natural resources.

Bernell now leads Oregon State’s online Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy, a program delivered by OSU Ecampus for those looking to learn how U.S. energy policy affects the nation and their own local communities.

“A major question the program tries to address is how the U.S. government and its institutions are going to use the country’s resources more sustainably and not cause future problems or make existing problems worse, whether it’s energy policy’s impact on climate change or national security,” Bernell said.

“People from all over the country with different personal and professional backgrounds are interested in answering questions like these. They all bring their unique perspectives to the program, and it makes working with all these students incredibly rewarding.

Mitchell Dehmer, a graduate student in the online energy policy certificate program and an environmental scientist in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said, “Energy policy is a niche and often overlooked topic; however, the Ecampus program intentionally focuses on how the U.S. government crafts  policy surrounding renewable and clean energy. …

“The world is changing rapidly, and there’s a need for young professionals with the knowledge of how to craft effective energy policy in our government.”

Discover how you can help advance clean energy solutions in your community and beyond as a student in Oregon State’s online energy policy certificate program for graduate students.

Explore energy policy certificate details

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