Federal Climate Policy

The Machine at the Center of the Clean Power Plan

Electricalgrid

By William Boyd, Ann Carlson and Cara Horowitz

As attention shifts from last night’s debate to today’s oral argument on the Clean Power Plan, we thought it worth focusing on the machine at the heart of the President’s plan to cut greenhouse gases from the electric power sector: the electricity grid.  You might think that the largest machine in the United States is one […]

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Trump Embraces His Inner Denialist

Donald Trump

Nobody loves coal, oil and gas more than Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has pledged to wipe out Obama’s climate change efforts, including the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement.  His choice to head the transition team for EPA shows how little his view of climate change has evolved since he tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to […]

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Energy Policies Worthy of Debate

Trump_&_Clinton

Ten questions to ask Clinton and Trump about energy policy.

As we enter the brief debate season prior to the presidential elections, it is easy to anticipate that we won’t see much time set aside for discussing energy policy. That’s not the case for the graduate students in an energy policy class I am currently teaching at the Goldman School of Public Policy. Last week, […]

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The Clean Power Plan: Obama’s Easy Mandate

clean-power-plan

States Complaining About the CPP Are On Pace to Hit Emissions Targets

Back around the turn of the 20th century, New York’s Republican machine was run by Senator Thomas Platt, whose ability to bridge factional gaps gave him the title of “The Easy Boss.” Even though President Obama has attempted the same thing, he will have no such luck. Witness, for example, the states — virtually all […]

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Battle for the Senate: New Hampshire

Seal_of_the_US_Senate

Almost uniquely, both candidates support action on climate change.

Kelly Ayotte’s rating from the League of Conservation voters is 35%.  That’s on the high side for a Republican.  Her opponent, Maggie Hasan, is a strong advocate of action on climate change. Ayotte is a former prosecutor and long-time state attorney general; she says that as AG she “stood up to polluters to protect New […]

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A Presidential Game of 20 Questions

2016 election

Reviewing the candidates answers to Scientific American’s top science policy questions

Yesterday, Scientific American released the answers provided by all four candidates for President to the 20 questions they consider the most pressing when it comes to science policy. The answers are illuminating, to say the least. First, on climate change, the answers of top candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could not have been more […]

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Gary Johnson’s Hasty Retreat

FILE - In this May 18, 2016 file photo, Libertarian presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson speak with legislators at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. He has virtually no money, no strategy to compete in battleground states and no plan to stop talking about his drug use. Yet with the Republican Party facing the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson could be a factor in 2016. The former two-term New Mexico governor, a Republican businessman perhaps best known for his years-long push to legalize marijuana, has a sobering message for a “never-Trump” movement desperately seeking a viable alternative. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

He was for a carbon tax. For a few days. Until he was against it.

I posted a few weeks about Gary Johnson’s embrace of a carbon fee, which seemed like an appealing sign of new ideas.  Apparently, however, stale ideas are more politically salable.  As it turns out, under pressure from horrified conservatives, Johnson waved the white flag and surrendered only a few days later.  Here’s his explanation: “If […]

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Obama’s Public Lands Conservation Legacy

Progress, but still much more to do

President Obama has gotten some high praise lately from the New York Times editorial board, and this op-ed from Prof. David Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice noted for his biography of President Theodore Roosevelt.  Brinkley compares Obama favorably to Teddy Roosevelt for his conservation legacy. The specific recent actions by President Obama that prompted […]

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Libertarian Candidate Endorses a Carbon Fee

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson has put his weight behind

In an interview in Alaska, Gary Johnson endorsed the idea of a fee on carbon emissions. Here’s what he had to say, according to E&E News: “Johnson described his “free market approach” to global warming to the Juneau Empire in an interview published this weekend. He said his plan would include a fee, “not a […]

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A Small-Government Approach to Pricing Carbon

CO2_smoke

We can impose a price on carbon without a tax or emissions trading. Here’s how.

Cap and dividend is a politically appealing idea; put a price on carbon, then refund the money to consumers in equal shares.  But conservatives and libertarians object to this idea on two grounds. First, cap-and-trade systems are complex and require a lot of regulatory oversight.  Second, if the government collects the money, despite its current […]

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