ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Energy & Environment and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy in Historical Context

How has U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy changed throughout our history? Learn More >

U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy in Current Context

What is the current U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy? Learn More >

Climate Change

Available for Middle & High School

How should the United States work to combat climate change? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

Climate Resilience

Available for Middle & High School

Should the federal government provide funds for local governments to respond to the effects of climate change? Learn More >

The Green New Deal

Available for Middle & High School

Should legislators prioritize environmental justice when confronting climate change? Learn More >

Nuclear Power

Available for Middle & High School

Should the United States encourage the development of nuclear power? Learn More >

Videos from Policy Makers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

Climate Change & Extreme Weather

Congressmen Sean Casten (D-IL) & Don Bacon (R-NE)
June 9, 2021

The Keystone XL Pipeline

Congressmen Dusty Johnson (R-SD) & Jared Huffman (D-CA)
February 2, 2021

Infrastructure

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) & Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC)
May 13, 2021

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Energy & Environment

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Vietnam War

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – The Vietnam Years

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

Since the late 1800s, France had controlled the area of Southeast Asia called Indochina—Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—and had profited from the region’s rice and rubber plantations.


2021 Summer Round-Up: Infrastructure, Afghanistan, the Delta Surge, and the Climate Crisis

Post | August 17, 2021

As teachers welcome students back into the classroom, it is important to establish good habits and routines for the new school year. One important habit is incorporating current issues discussions into civics, social studies, and humanities courses. To help teachers get started on the right foot, we’re offering a round-up of some of the most […]


Alex Brandon/AP Images

Build It and They Will Come: The Biden Infrastructure Plan

Post | May 10, 2021

President Joe Biden is currently campaigning to promote his administration’s infrastructure plan. The plan is intended to address three main areas of concern: crumbling or inadequate infrastructure, job creation and economic growth, and environmental issues. In this post, we will focus on the infrastructure goals of the plan. What is Infrastructure? Infrastructure refers to the […]


Exploring Transportation Policy & Environmental Equity

Videos | February 26, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Mia Charity, discusses environmental justice issues with Dr. Regan F. Patterson of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.


156 Years and Counting: Reparations for Slavery in 2021

Post | February 24, 2021

In the wake of this past summer’s demonstrations and civil unrest spurred by accusations of wrongful police killings and systemic racism, Congress is considering legislation regarding reparations to Black Americans who are descended from enslaved people. The bill, H.R. 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act, was introduced by Representative […]


Tackling Climate Change: Zero-Emission Vehicles

Post | February 10, 2021

President Joe Biden has made addressing climate change one of his administration’s seven “immediate priorities,” requiring “bold action” by the government to improve the lives of the American people and protect the environment.1 On his seventh full day in office, President Biden signed an “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” […]


President Biden’s Policy Priorities: The First 100 Days

Post | January 22, 2021

During his inaugural address, President Joe Biden laid out a number of policy priorities. The clearest theme of his speech was a call for unity and the need to address political divisions in the United States, which came to a head with the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.1 However, President Biden also […]


New Congress, New Ideas?

Post | January 4, 2021

The 117th Congress was sworn in on January 3, 2021.1 This is the most diverse Congress ever,2 with a record number of women and LGBTQ members, a slim Democratic majority in the House, and a Senate that is still up for grabs due to runoff elections taking place this week in Georgia.3 READ MORE: “Here’s […]


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