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photo Tony Bernhardt
Board Member
Resources for the Future
As a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Tony had no dearth of exposure to the science behind environment issues, and to many of the technologies that can help address global warming. Reading and hearing the misconceptions about environmental problems and solutions, he often thought, ’If I only had five minutes, I could explain that to somebody.’

Since retiring in 2005, Tony has had his five minutes - hundreds of times with dozens of people. In December 2005, he joined E2’s California Climate Team and immediately became a force in our successful effort to pass AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. In addition to joining E2’s 2006 advocacy trip to Sacramento, Tony also met with state legislators and administration officials to garner support for AB 32. Moreover, he co-authored two of the E2 fact sheets on AB 32: Cutting pollution while strengthening the economy and Developing Low Carbon Ethanol for California. "I enjoy being able to spend enough time to actually understand an issue in depth and add to the information that we provide when we’re lobbying. Legislators hear generalizations on all sides of an issue, and that’s fine, but when you can tell them, ’This is how you can profitably replace 10 percent of the gasoline consumed in California, and almost all of the associated greenhouse gas, with biofuels grown in California,’ they get a stronger feeling that the macroeconomic arguments we make really work."

Tony first joined E2 in November 2004, after finding himself at the same table as Co-founder Bob Epstein at a KQED dinner event. With his impending retirement, Tony was searching for a way to get involved at the intersection between science and public policy and felt E2 was the perfect vehicle. Tony has enjoyed learning about various environmental issues through E2 events and participating in E2’s 2006 advocacy trip to Washington, DC. He also appreciates having NRDC expertise at his fingertips. "There are a lot of knowledgeable and interesting people at NRDC and E2. They are people you can work with. I really enjoy the collaboration and sense of purpose."

Tony will continue to work with E2 to help guide California’s implementation of AB 32, specifically by researching new technologies that will have the greatest impact on greenhouse gas emission reduction, and market factors that are needed to commercialize each technological option. "AB 32 addressed a huge issue, and we prevailed. I guess I shouldn’t expect success every time, but with NRDC and E2 I know that I’ll get to work with a really energetic and committed team."

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