Path to Zero
Path to Zero
5.19 - Changing the Narrative on Carbon with Rachel A. Meidl, Energy & Environment Fellow, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

Tucker has a fascinating conversation with an expert who stresses the importance of a systems approach to achieve sustainability. Dr. Rachel A. Meidl is an Energy & Environment Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, a non-partisan public policy think tank. Tucker caught up with Dr. Meidl at Reuters Energy Transition North America in Houston.

Her research focuses on domestic and international policy related to life cycle management of hazardous wastes, as well as alternative energy applications from a sustainability and life cycle perspective.

Meidl was previously the deputy associate administrator for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and director of regulatory and technical affairs at the American Chemistry Council.

Meidl holds a doctorate in law and public policy from Northeastern University and earned additional degrees from University of Denver, National University, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Highlights of Tucker’s conversation with Rachel Meidl include:

  • Her recent article on “changing the conversation around carbon, from being perceived as a global liability to a valuable resource?”
  • How waste plays a critical role in the energy transition and the need for a waste management policy. Waste is a common denominator at every stage of a product’s life cycle across the entire supply chain.
  • Many of the tools being used in the energy transition such as electric vehicles, batteries, wind turbines and solar panels create waste, but our policies don’t reflect the full life cycle on managing them. How sustainable are these energies if waste like decommissioned wind turbine blades end up in landfills?
  • If we don’t think of the world of waste in a systems approach, we shift risks to marginalized populations and get unintended consequences with environmental justice and other issues.