People often adjust to problems that seem terrible upfront. Some studies show, for instance, that people who who lose limbs are very unhappy for awhile but then start to adjust to their positions. Some economists argue that something similar may happen with climate change — we might find that we don’t miss extinct animals or […]
Federal Climate Policy
In the run-up to the Paris talks, the major economies have all pledged carbon reductions.
With Saudia Arabia’s pledge last week to cut emission, all of the world’s major economies are now on board. In a nutshell, here is what they are promising. Except as noted, the target dates are all 2030. A number of countries have subsidiary promises in terms of percentage of renewable energy or of bigger cuts premised […]
After seven years, the project is history.
The President announced this morning that he would not approve the Keystone pipeline project. This wasn’t a huge surprise at this point of the game. Still, it’s a good time to take stock of the dispute. The fight was largely — but not entirely — symbolic. With falling oil prices, the alternative of rail transport […]
Flood of lawsuits follows publication of EPA rules to regulate power-plant GHGs
*Updated: Nov. 17, 2015* On Friday, October 23, 2015, the Federal Register formally published EPA’s rules to control greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. I described the basics of the rules after EPA released the unofficial text in August. The final text of the rule to regulate new and modified […]
Much of what most people think they know about EPA is wrong.
This test involves a few basics about EPA. See how much you know. 1. What President established EPA? A. Kennedy. B. Johnson C. Nixon D. Clinton 2. When is cost a factor in issuing EPA regulations? A. Whenever allowed by law. B. Under Republican Presidents. C. Only for minor regulations. D. […]
CCS for coal power plants, but not natural-gas power plants?
This post is the third in a mini-series (see first and second posts) exploring likely legal challenges to the 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. In my first post on EPA’s New Source Performance Standard […]
Exploring Potential Challenges to EPA’s New Source Performance Standard: PART II
This post is the second in a mini-series (see first post) exploring likely legal challenges to the 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. In my first post on EPA’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]