climate mitigation

Is CCS the “best” system of emission reduction for coal-fired power plants?

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 …


Legislative Tantrums Over EPA’s Proposed Carbon Rule

Politico reports that eight state legislatures have passed bills protesting EPA’s proposed power plant regulation,  in at least one case refusing to comply with any eventual regulations.  This was a childish tantrum rather than an adult response.   The ultimate hope, according to Politico, is that many states will refuse to submit compliance plans, and that this …


Climate Strategies: “One Step at a Time” or “Don’t Jump the Gun”??

In some situations, voluntary efforts leads other people to join in, whereas in others, it encourages them to hold back.  There’s a similar issue about climate mitigation efforts at the national, regional, or state level.  Do these efforts really move the ball forward?  Or are they counterproductive, because other places increase their own carbon emissions …


EJ Advocates Renew Efforts to Block Cap and Trade

There are weighty arguments against the EJ position. Even if EJ advocates remain unpersuaded, they should recognize that it is possible to disagree with their views in good faith.


Some Good News, For a Change

The NY Times reports: On Friday, when President Obama is scheduled to announce even stricter standards — in fact, the largest increase in mileage requirements since the government began regulating consumption of gasoline by cars in the 1970s — the chief executives of Detroit’s Big Three are expected to be in Washington again. But this …


A “Modest Proposal” for Ending the U.S. Debt Crisis: A Debt-Nature Swap with China

Debt-nature swaps allow countries with major debt over-hang and relatively weak economies to reduce their debt in return for undertaking environmental measures.  The U.S. now seems to be in the same need of debt relief as many developing countries in past decades.  In the meantime, the Chinese have a thriving economy and hold enormous amounts …


Indirect Land Use Change and Biofuels

Biofuels are a promising way to reduce carbon emissions, but they have a potential side-effect: indirect land use change (ILUC).  ILUC is more serious for some fuels than others, but it’s a possibility with any biofuel except perhaps algae grown in tanks in the desert. The logic of ILUC seems undeniable: because demand for food …


The “Write Your Own Permit” Approach to Climate Mitigation

We seem to be at an impasse. Cap-and-trade seems to be in political disrepute; market-oriented economists must find it aggravating that their idea is now considered too “liberal.”  Carbon taxes give politicians cardiac arrest.  “Command and control” regulation is out of fashion. Perhaps it’s time to try something new. Here’s an alternative that has some …