Bracken Hendricks

Bracken Hendricks

: Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Author of Photo: Heinrich Böll Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland


* Environmental and energy adviser to President Bill Clinton
* Special assistant on climate change policy to Vice President Al Gore
* Served as an adviser to the Clinton Foundation
* Co-founder and founding executive director of the Apollo Alliance
* Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress
* Served on the board of 1Sky, an organization advocating “strong federal action to tackle global climate change”
* President and CEO of Urban Ingenuity
* Supports “green affordable housing”

Bracken Hendricks holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Mary Baldwin College, and a master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In the 1990s he served as an environmental and energy adviser to President Bill Clinton, and as Vice President Al Gore’s special assistant on climate change policy. Moreover, Hendricks worked with the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Interagency Climate Change Working Group, the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, and the White House Livable Communities Task Force.

Hendricks later served as an adviser to the Clinton Foundation on matters involving job creation, energy innovation, and urban development.

Hendricks was a co-founder and founding executive director of the Apollo Alliance, which was established in 2005 to promote “a clean energy revolution” in America.

From 2005-15, Hendricks was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, the think tank founded by Clinton ally John Podesta. There, Hendricks helped shape significant portions of the $787 billion “stimulus” legislation — officially called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — that President Barack Obama signed into law in early 2009. As the Capital Research Center notes, Hendricks’s 2007 book, Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy, “included electric vehicle tax credits, an alternative refueling property tax credit, a residential energy-efficient property tax credit, funding for advanced lighting research, and large subsidies for power transmission lines for renewable electric sources” — all of which were contained in the 2009 stimulus bill. Moreover, Hendricks’s Apollo Alliance had a hand in writing the “clean energy and green-collar jobs provisions” of the bill, for which $86 billion was earmarked. This included funds “to build new transit and high speed rail lines, weatherize homes, develop next generation batteries for clean vehicles, scale up wind and solar power, build a modern electric grid, and train a new generation of green-collar workers.”

Hendricks was listed — along with the revolutionary communist Van Jones, the New York chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, and some fellows affiliated with Green For All — as someone who assisted in the development and production of environmentalist Ibrahim Abdul-Matin’s 2009 book, Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet. By Matin’s telling, this book “examines Islamic principles that support environmentalism,” “makes a case for interfaith involvement in the environmental movement,” and points out that “there are several sayings of the Prophet Muhammed … where he tells people to pick up trash wherever they see it, or to respect a river and never waste its water.”

In 2010 Hendricks served on the board of 1Sky, an organization that pushes for “strong federal action to tackle global climate change” — an objective founded on the notion that the greenhouse gas emissions associated with human industrial activity are key contributors to potential environmental catastrophe. That August, Hendricks and seven other 1Sky board members —one of whom was Bill McKibben — published an open letter stating that Americans, as “the leading per-capita emitters of global-warming pollution” worldwide, had a “moral and ethical responsibility” to take action to save the “ailing planet.” That action, the letter explained, should include the creation of millions of “green jobs” as well as “a moratorium on new coal plants that emit global-warming pollution.”

In December 2013, just two weeks before John Podesta was slated to join the Obama administration as a counselor to President Obama, Hendricks sent Podesta an e-mail urging him to encourage the president to issue five specific executive actions on climate policies:

#1: Commit to Measureable Goals for Clean Energy Investment (particularly solar).

#2: Implement the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Loan Program (“to finance not only installation of rooftop solar on homes, but also a broader suite of critical infrastructure to support distributed solar generation”).

#3: Swap Stranded Coal Debt for New Clean Energy Investment (so as to “unlock large pools of ratepayer capital for reinvestment in job-creating, locally based clean energy projects”).

#4: Coordinate Federal Financing of Clean Energy Infrastructure.

#5: Launch a Performance Partnership for Investment & Innovation (“to allow federal agencies to cut red tape, restructure service delivery, and better support state and local leadership in leveraging private investment in solar and other clean, smart, and efficient energy infrastructure”).

Since May 2014, Hendricks has been the president and CEO of Urban Ingenuity, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that develops and funds building projects that promote “energy efficiency” and “renewables.”

Moreover, Hendricks is the chairman of GreenHOME, a nonprofit group whose mission is to “inspire policymakers” to adopt “green affordable housing” in Washington, D.C. He is also a senior strategist with the Breakthrough Institute, which describes itself as an organization of “progressives who believe in the potential of human development, technology, and evolution to improve human lives and create a beautiful world.”

In past years, Hendricks served variously as a member of Solar Circle (a non-profit organization promoting access to solar power in rural Tanzania); a member of former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s Energy Advisory Task Force; an economic policy analyst for the AFL-CIO‘s Working For America Institute; a member of Cornell University’s Eco-Industrial Round Table; a philanthropic adviser to the Wallace Global Fund on matters of “civic engagement and democratic participation”; and a staffer on several progressive political campaigns.

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