electric power

Continuing Efforts to Put a Price on Carbon

New York regulators and transmission operators consider a carbon adder for wholesale electricity.

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) operates the state’s electric grid and conducts wholesale power markets. The New York Department of Public Service regulates the state’s investor-owned electricity providers. Together, they have issued a report concluding that the state, ratepayers, and the environment would benefit from placing a charge on wholesale electric power to …

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Guest Blogger Kate Konschnik: The Debate about EPA’s Authority to Regulate Carbon Pollution is a Lot of Things – But Not These Things

Kate Konschnik is the Director of Harvard Law School’s Environmental Policy Initiative. The views expressed in this blog post are her own.

Clean Power Plan challengers have asked the D.C. Circuit to stay the rule pending litigation.  Today, industry and environmental groups supporting EPA will file their oppositions to this request.  The stay motions included the charge that EPA may not use Section 111(d) at all to curb pollution from existing power plants.  Dan Farber and I …

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EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rules Are Remarkably Business-friendly

Business wins on baseline year, flexible compliance methods will keep costs down

President Obama’s EPA will tomorrow issue proposed greenhouse gas limits for existing power plants.  By all accounts the rules will be a remarkable step forward in the fight against global warming, with the U.S. finally demonstrating significant leadership on an issue on which it has lagged behind for more than a decade.  And yet from …

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Coal Power and Climate Denial

What causes certain political figures either to deny the potential for climate change, or deny that human activity is a major cause? That question came to mind while reviewing a new report issued by Ceres entitled Benchmarking Air Emissions for the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States. The report does an impressive …

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The Dark Subcontinent

Chaos has reigned over massive swathes of India during the last few days, as much of the northern part of the country outside of major urban centers has been without power.  The New York Times has excellent spot coverage, but a deeper analysis comes from John Elliott’s invaluable blog, Riding the Elephant. The government has …

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When green isn’t greener — Part 2

In a recent commentary, I suggested that the Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s new Green Option, pursuant to which consumers can subscribe to 100% renewable electricity, would not result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. That is because under California’s cap and trade program, the utility can sell any unneeded carbon allowance for someone else to …

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When a green option doesn’t make things greener…

California’s largest electric utility, the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), has proposed to offer a Green Option Program through which individual customers could choose to pay a little extra for power that is 100% renewable.  In a move clearly designed to discourage local governments from starting their own green power programs, PG&E displays endorsement …

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The future of coal-fired electric power

Tomorrow’s New York Times has an interesting article on the future of coal-fired electric power in the United States. Coal is responsible for fully 20% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.  “Clean coal,” meaning coal plants that result in no net emissions of carbon dioxide,  would be possible only …

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