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HKS in the News May 15, 2012

1. Americans would pay more for clean energy. Would Congress? (Aldy)

2. Damning report condemns 'unclear' British foreign policy (Burns) The Telegraph (UK)

3. Judge the U.S. candidates by their self-mastery and openness (Nye) The Daily Star (Lebanon)

4. A generation's disillusionment grows (CT)

Americans would pay more for clean energy. Would Congress?

May 14

Cited: Joseph Aldy, Center for Business and Government

Topic: Research on alternative energy sources

Aldy's research is also cited and The Hill.

Would Americans be willing to pay more for cleaner electricity? A new study finds that they would — $162 a year extra, on average. But there’s a catch: This “willingness to pay” isn’t evenly spread across the country, which may explain why Congress isn’t eager to pass a clean-electricity bill.

Last year, a trio of researchers from Yale and Harvard conducted a national survey asking Americans a very simple question: Would they be interested in a law that required utilities to get 80 percent of their electricity from low-carbon sources such as wind, solar and nuclear by 2035? Different respondents were given different descriptions of the bill and different price tags. (After all, low-carbon energy often costs more.) The results were recently published in Nature Climate Change. And, on average, $162 a year extra was the breaking point. That’s what Americans would pay....

Still, the researchers — Harvard’s Joseph Aldy and Yale’s Matthew Kotchen and Anthony Leiserowitz — found that, on the whole, Americans were willing to endure a 13 percent increase in the price of electricity for cleaner sources.

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Damning report condemns 'unclear' British foreign policy

The Telegraph (UK)

May 15

Cited: Nicholas Burns, Future of Diplomacy Project

Topic: Report on the UK's foreign policy strategy

Britain has no coherent foreign policy strategy, with budgets cuts and government decisions threatening to leave it isolated and weakened, a report has said.

The scathing assessment, published days ahead of a meeting of Nato leaders, found the country’s ‘special relationship’ with the United States was under threat, with a “worrisome” outlook for the future of military capability.

The report, conducted by the US-based think tank Atlantic Council, found the “deep defence reductions” risked undermining the UK’s “special status as one of Nato’s most capable members”.

Led by R. Nicholas Burns, the former US ambassador to Nato, the document condemned the “weakened” state of military capabilities at least until 2020.

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Judge the U.S. candidates by their self-mastery and openness

The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)

May 15

Commentary by: Joseph Nye

Topic: Assessing the merits of the U.S. presidential candidates

While the presidential primary elections in the United States are not over, Mitt Romney is now almost certain to be the party’s nominee to face Democratic President Barack Obama in November.

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney built a record as a competent and moderate conservative, a political profile that suited him to the state’s electorate. But the Republican Party’s far right wing dominates the primaries, so Romney has worked hard to escape the “moderate” label by staking out very conservative positions. Now, as the party’s presumptive nominee, he must move back toward the political center, where the majority of voters are to be found.

So which Mitt Romney is the real Mitt Romney? And how can voters judge the two candidates?...

Leadership theorists suggest that we should pay less attention to leaders’ policy promises than to their emotional intelligence – their self-mastery and ability to reach out to others. Contrary to the view that emotions interfere with clear thinking, the ability to understand and regulate emotions can result in more effective thinking.

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A generation's disillusionment grows (CT)

May 14

Cited: Institute of Politics

Topic: Latest youth voter survey

The poll is also cited in an article on's Washington Wire.

A comprehensive new national poll of America's 18- to 29-year-olds - the millennials - shows a generation increasingly disillusioned with politics and cynical about the ability or willingness of elected leaders to build a nation in which they can find a steady job, buy a home and prosper.

It appears both parties have succeeded in convincing a generation that the other guy can't be trusted and won't get the job done.

"The dreams and aspirations of America's largest generation, the Millenials … were formed in large part by the very personal impacts of a Great Recession and an America at war," states the "Survey of Young Americans' Attitudes Toward Politics and Public Service" by The Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

"And now, less than four years after millions of young people from across the country banded together to vote - some for John McCain, more for Barack Obama - Millenials feel let down and abandoned by the public and private institutions that they entrusted to guard their dream," concludes the survey.

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Broadcast Notes

Linda Bilmes

Federal News Radio , May 14

Topic: The U.S. civil service

This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Jane Finn-Foley

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