A Conversation with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Friday March 15, 2024 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Kleinman Center Energy Forum Fisher Fine Arts Building, 4th Floor
220 S. 34th St.
Philadelphia , PA 19104

Throughout his tenure in the Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)  has been a vocal advocate for climate action, consistently pushing for policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the impacts of climate change. On the Senate floor, he has delivered nearly 300 “Time to Wake Up” speeches, which highlight the scientific consensus surrounding climate and the urgency of action needed.

Senator Whitehouse has supported measures to invest in renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions. He has also been a strong supporter of international efforts to combat climate change, including the Paris Agreement, and has called for greater U.S. leadership on the global stage. He has been a vocal critic of climate change denialism, pushing back against misinformation and advocating for evidence-based policymaking.

Senator Whitehouse will discuss his efforts around climate and energy policy, followed by a moderated question and answer session. If you wish to propose a question for consideration, please submit it with your registration.


Sheldon Whitehouse


United States Senate

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has earned a reputation in the Senate as a fierce advocate for progressive values and a thoughtful legislator capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions.

Senator Whitehouse has been at the center of bipartisan efforts to pass laws overhauling federal education policy, rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, reforming the criminal and juvenile justice systems, protecting Americans from toxic chemicals in everyday products, and addressing ocean plastic waste.

Recognizing the devastating toll of addiction in Rhode Island and across the nation, Whitehouse authored the first significant bipartisan law to address the opioid crisis, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

Representing the Ocean State, Whitehouse plays a key role in crafting policies addressing climate change, environmental protection, and a price on carbon. He passed into law a dedicated fund to support ocean and coastal research and restoration and bipartisan legislation to confront the crisis of marine plastic and other waste polluting our oceans. He has worked to enact bipartisan measures to reduce carbon pollution and boost America’s clean energy economy.

Whitehouse has stood as a staunch defender of Social Security and Medicare, and has made improving care and reducing costs in our health care system a hallmark of his career. To counteract the corrosive effects of special interests in our democracy, Whitehouse has championed efforts to root out dark money from our elections and make Congress and the courts accountable to the American people.

A graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Sheldon served as Rhode Island’s U.S. Attorney and state attorney general before being elected to the Senate, where he serves on the Finance Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Budget Committee.

Sanya Carley (moderator)

Faculty Co-Director

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

Sanya Carley is the faculty co-director of the Kleinman Center and Presidential Distinguished Professor of Energy Policy and City Planning at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design. She holds secondary appointments at the Wharton School and the School of Social Policy and Practice. She also co-directs the Energy Justice Lab and is a Resources for the Future (RFF) university fellow.

Carley’s research focuses on energy justice and just transitions, energy insecurity, electricity and transportation markets, and public perceptions of energy infrastructure and technologies. With the Energy Justice Lab team, she built and maintains the Utility Disconnection Dashboard. Carley is an author of the Fifth National Climate Assessment report and a member of the Innovation Policy Forum and the Roundtable on Macroeconomics and Climate-related Risks and Opportunities, respectively, for the National Academies.

Prior to her appointment at Penn, Carley was a Paul H. O’Neill Professor at Indiana University, and held administrative positions there as a Chair, Program Director of the top-ranked Master of Public Affairs program, and as Associate Vice Provost of Faculty & Academic Affairs.

Michael Mann (introductions)

Presidential Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science

University of Pennsylvania

Michael E. Mann is the Presidential Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment in the Annenberg School for Communication. He is the director of the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media (PCSSM) and a faculty fellow with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.

Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research interests include the study of Earth’s climate system and the science, impacts and policy implications of human-caused climate change.