2019 Parents Fund Internship Grant Reflections: Chloe Rogers
Internship Location: Environmental and Energy Studies Institute (EESI)
Journal Entry #1:
Hi, my name is Chloe Rogers and I am a communications and policy intern at the Environmental and Energy Studies Institute (EESI), a policy nonprofit in Washington, D.C. EESI’s work helps to inform the debate and decision-making on energy and environmental policies, with the larger goal of transitioning to a more sustainable, lower-emissions economy. EESI translates and synthesizes complex subjects into accessible materials for both policymakers and the public, holding congressional briefings and publishing policy papers, articles, newsletters and more on environmental topics. As a trusted source of credible, non-partisan information, EESI works with policymakers from both sides and works to unite a range of constituencies behind win-win climate solutions.
As a communications and policy intern, I have the opportunity to wear many different hats. On the communications side, I handle EESI’s social media outreach. This includes publicizing our work, engaging with organizations and people, and creating social media content. On the policy side, I research and write articles on a broad range of energy, environment, and policy issues for EESI.org, and also contribute to fact sheets and other publications for EESI. I also assist with outreach and execution of Congressional briefings and events.
I got to experience the broad range of duties of my internship in the first week already. I started preparing a social media campaign for our Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo, scheduled other social media, drafted two articles – one on military preparedness for extreme weather events and one on why former White House Science Advisor John Holdren supports EESI – for the EESI Summer Update newsletter, and wrote the highlights on our Congressional briefing on biogas for our website.
Though I’ve only just started this internship, I’ve already learned so much. I came into the internship with a broad and general knowledge about climate change. Through this internship I am learning about specific areas of concern – for example, military preparedness and resilience, how climate change affects the government and federal budget, and more. I also learned a lot about biogas, a renewable energy often overlooked by the government, from the Congressional briefing.
My goal is to be as open as possible to the opportunities for education and relationships this internship brings. I seek to learn more about specific climate change solutions and the federal government’s relationship with climate change, and research and write articles on these topics so I can both educate myself and contribute to making these topics more accessible to the public.
Journal Entry #3:
The final few weeks of my internship at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute were full of new experiences. EESI hosted its annual Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo on the Hill in the Rayburn House. This was really cool because I had the opportunity to talk to people from various environmental organizations. I also interviewed some of them on camera, which we then edited into video shorts. It was really cool to film interviews right in a House building. It was also really interesting to see how although climate change is typically regarded as a more leftist issue, more than half of the speakers at the expo were Republican politicians. Many of these politicians come from states who are being hit hard by environmental disasters such as flooding.
I also wrote some new articles that were published on EESI’s website. One of the articles I wrote, about appropriations to the Disaster Relief Act, was really interesting to right because I wrote it in conjunction with events that were happening on the Hill regarding the bill at the time. Writing the article took a lot of research, but it was very helpful being able to collaborate with other people at EESI who are very knowledgeable about environmental policy. The bill also had a heavy emphasis on flood insurance, which I had become really interested in because some of our briefings were centered around the topic.
EESI also hosted several more briefings while I was there. They had one on green jobs, one on equitable solutions to rural energy burdens, and one on nature-based resilience for gulf coast communities. At these briefings, took photographs, helped set up the room, and assisted with the microphone for the question and answer sessions afterwards. It was really cool to see the inner workings of how such events take place on the hill and to hear U.S. representatives and other witnesses talk about pressing environmental issues and the changes that need to be made at a policy level.