It’s hard to estimate benefits. But it turns out costs are also uncertain.
It’s common knowledge— at least, among people who follow these things — that it is hard to estimate the benefits of a proposed climate policy. But it’s actually quite difficult to estimate the costs as well. There are three major problems in estimating the benefits of a proposed climate policy. First, it’s hard to estimate …CONTINUE READING
Here’s what a new President could actually do.
What options are available to a new President taking office in 2021? Let’s assume a favorable scenario for climate action in which Dems take unified control of the government (White House, Senate, House) in 2021. What then? The first theme to keep in mind is that the Democrats will still be subject to some significant …CONTINUE READING
Asking judges to pass judgment on all U.S. energy policy was a bridge too far.
The Ninth Circuit threw out the Juliana litigation this morning. The two judges in the majority basically said, legalistic language, that you can’t get the Green New Deal by court order. It was wrong for the Supreme Court to step in at the last minute to put the trial on hold, rather than giving the …CONTINUE READING
Guest Blogger Michael Wara: The Trump Administration Moves to Guarantee Profits for Coal-fired and Nuclear Power Plants
Finally, something anti-regulation conservatives and pro-environment progressives can agree on: dislike of the Sec. Perry’s Resilience and Reliability NOPR
The gloves came off last week when it comes to the Trump Administration’s attempts to subsidize coal in U.S. electricity markets. On Friday, Energy Secretary Rick Perry formally requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission guarantee profits for both new and existing coal fired and nuclear power plants. While Sec. Perry doesn’t have the power …CONTINUE READING
Trying to stop renewables is like playing whack-a-mole.
When you try to reduce use of fossil fuels in one place, you can actually increase emissions elsewhere, because some of the same fuels may just move to another country. In a sense, the carbon that used to be emitted in your country has “leaked” outside your borders. This is a well-known headache for climate …CONTINUE READING
What is “Lake Wobegon” doing about climate change?
Minnesota has had climate change legislation on the books since 2007, when the Next Generation Energy Act was signed by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty. The 2007 law called for the state to reduce its emissions 15 percent by 2015 and 80 percent by 2050. At the time, Pawlenty saluted the bill, saying,”The nation has been …CONTINUE READING
When you’re Scott Pruitt, who you gonna call? Industry reps.
When there are hard decisions to make, who does EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt turns to? Not, as you might naively think, the experts on the staff of his own agency. Instead, he turns to industry lobbyists and lawyers, and to politicians like the Republican state attorneys general who used to be his colleagues. As the …CONTINUE READING
Carbon emissions are set in decline in Texas, with less coal and more renewables.
At a national meeting of state utility regulators, the head of the group recently said that the Clean Power Plan was basically dead, BUT this might not matter because “arguably, you’re seeing market-based decarbonization” due to technological changes. Case in point: Texas. Market trends are pushing Republican-stronghold Texas toward a cleaner grid. ERCOT, which operates nearly all …CONTINUE READING
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, …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING