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Energy Guru Is ‘Beyond’ Disappointed With Dwindling U.S. Infrastructure Plan

Jeremy Rifkin co-authored a 242-page proposal for the U.S. to reboot productivity growth while meeting its climate targets.

Jeremy Rifkin

Jeremy Rifkin

Photographer: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

For almost two decades the U.S. author and climate activist Jeremy Rifkin has advised governments in Europe and China on how to retool their economies for what he calls a third industrial revolution. But never his own.

That seemed to change lately, allowing Rifkin to dream of aligning the digital policies and energy infrastructure of the world’s economic superpowers, a goal he says could one day see electricity traded across continents and help reduce geopolitical tensions.

Rifkin met seven times in recent years with now Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to discuss his ideas. That included a dinner Schumer hosted at a Capitol Hill restaurant in July 2019 to persuade seven other Democratic Party senators to support a big ticket reinvention of American infrastructure.

Alongside a team that included construction multinational Black & Veatch and Chicago’s Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Rifkin also wrote a 242-page, 20-year, $16 trillion strategy for Schumer on how the U.S. could reboot productivity growth while meeting climate targets.