Climate Change

Is Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS) the Biggest Threat to the Clean Power Plan?


Exploring potential challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard: PART I

This post is the first in a mini-series exploring likely legal challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for power-plant greenhouse gas emissions under Clean Air Act § 111(b), and how those challenges might affect the Clean Power Plan. I will leave detailed exploration of the Clean Power Plan for later posts, but suffice […]

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Last Week in Climate Change


Is climate action finally starting to develop momentum?

There was some good news last week for those of us who worry about the future of the planet,.  Both inside and outside of Congress, Pope Francis spoke about the need to protect the environment and address climate change.  Some conservative Catholics are eager to dismiss this as simply another misguided opinion by a left-learning Pope. But […]

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Pope Francis Goes to Washington


What he said and didn’t say

Pope Francis arrived in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to begin a much anticipated trip to the United States. While here, the pope will visit DC, New York City, and Philadelphia. Pope Francis, a former chemist, has gained much attention for his calls for action on climate change, in addition to his focus on inequality and […]

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What’s New in Environmental Economics?


Some interesting recent publications.

It sometimes takes awhile for journals to reach my desk as they circulate among faculty, so this isn’t hot off the presses.  But I’ve been looking at some recent issues of JEEM (the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management), and I found a number of very interesting articles.  Fully grasping the articles would require a […]

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Resources on the Clean Power Plan

CCP series

and EPA’s Other Rulemakings under Clean Air Act § 111

On August 3rd, EPA released its long-awaited Clean Power Plan, which implements Clean Air Act § 111(d) to set the first-ever national standards for carbon emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants. The Clean Power Plan calculates reasonably achievable performance rates for existing coal, oil, and natural gas power plants across the country, and assigns an […]

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California’s Effort To Set 2030 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fails


What are the implications for ongoing climate efforts?

In another, even bigger setback for the environmental community in California, SB 32 (Pavley), the bill to set greenhouse gas targets for 2030 and 2050, was pulled yesterday and will be tried again next year. The winners are the oil companies, who face tough regulations and competition from California’s climate efforts. The failure is a […]

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Building Climate Coalitions

Science journal cover 2015

A New Paper in Science Illuminates the Political Dynamics

Economists are used to evaluating policy instruments based on their economic effects.  No surprise there.  But a recent paper in Science argues that the political effects may be just as important.  Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that three of the four authors are political scientists; the fourth is Eric Biber, a frequent contributor to this […]

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As Predicted, Premature Suit to Block Clean Power Plan Implementation Fails


Petitioners don't meet standards for extraordinary writs

The case filed by 15 disgruntled states, led by West Virginia, seeking to block the implementation of the Clean Power Plan has been dismissed by the D. C. Circuit Court of Appeal as premature.  Here’s an explanation of the legal and political basis for the lawsuit.   As predicted when the states filed the lawsuit, […]

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The Shadow Price of Carbon

Climate change disasters

Merging Cost-Benefit Analysis and Feasibility Analysis

The U.S. government has devoted a lot of time and effort to estimating the social cost of carbon.  This is basically a standard exercise in cost-benefit analysis, following a familiar three-step process: 1.   Impacts. Figure out the physical impacts of the emissions.  This involves setting up some emissions scenarios and then running computer simulations to […]

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The Top Ten Reasons Trump Should Endorse a Carbon Tax


A bold move, if Trump is brave enough to go there.

Not that he’s asked for my advice, but here are ten powerful reasons why Donald Trump should endorse a carbon tax: 10.  It would be completely inconsistent with his past positions. 9.    It would shock the GOP establishment. 8.    It would shock the media. 7.    He’s already endorsed a tax increase for […]

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