All of us at the Center on Global Energy Policy today mourn the passing of Jim Rogers, an iconic figure in the energy world. As the CEO and chairman of Duke Energy, Jim was an influential leader and played an active role in transitioning the electricity sector toward a lower carbon future. He saw the potential for clean electricity sources like renewables earlier than many of his peers. He also played an active role to shape policy during his tenure and subsequently, including as a key member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership that developed a template for the climate legislation passed by the House of Representatives in 2010.
Despite his many commitments and demands, Jim gave his time generously to the Center on Global Energy Policy from our early days. He was passionate about our mission and deeply committed to developing analytic, actionable policy recommendations to guide us toward a more prosperous and sustainable energy future.
He worked early in his career as a journalist, and as such recognized the power of good journalism to help develop an informed citizenry and sophisticated level of dialogue on complex issues like energy and the environment. He provided funding that allowed us to create the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative, a multi-day seminar in New York for a group of young energy journalists from around the world. Each year, he returned to New York City to speak with the newest class of reporters to personally share his experiences and his perspective on the power of good journalism.
Jim was an avid outdoorsman and adventurous traveler whose love of life and nature was infectious. He was kind, modest, and funny. He was a visionary leader who cared deeply about a clean energy transition and expanding energy access. His book Lighting the World offered a pragmatic set of solutions to engage the public and private sectors in helping lift the poorest around the world out of poverty.
On a personal note, Jim was a friend. He was a patient, sage and generous teacher who spent many hours helping me better understand not only the energy sector, but how to build and lead a growing organization. Jim will be deeply missed. All of us at the Center on Global Energy Policy extend our deepest condolences to his wonderful wife M.A. and his entire family.