Twitter Q&A Roundup: EPA’s Clean Air Plan

On June 5, RFF hosted a seminar titled, “Making Sense of EPA’s Proposed Rule for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants.” We did not have time to answer all of the questions posed by our Twitter audience during that event due to time constraints. Below are our responses to some of those questions. #askRFF […]

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Analysis Deconstructed: Changing Assumptions, Changing Results

EPA regulations on mercury and other air pollutants currently under review are the subject of much debate for their potential costs and impacts on the electricity industry. In a new discussion paper, RFF colleagues and I examine the assumptions behind several studies that have analyzed the potential effects of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, […]

Deconstructing the Expected Impact of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in December 2011 to regulate mercury and other toxic air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The regulation is expected to be one of the most costly in EPA history, with many plants forced to install new pollution controls or shut […]

Why the Wind Tax Credit is a Bad Way to Cut Carbon

Eligibility for the wind energy production tax credit (PTC), established by Congress in 1992, is set to expire at the end of this month, causing calls for action and inaction. Is this policy change a big deal for carbon emissions? Let’s take a closer look. Currently,  the PTC provides renewable power projects with a corporate […]

States Push EPA to Regulate Methane from Oil & Gas Operations

New York and six other eastern states announced this week that they intend to sue the EPA, seeking to force the agency to regulate methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations. Specifically, they claim EPA is required by the Clean Air Act to issue new source performance standards (NSPS) for methane emissions from wells, […]

NRDC’s EPA/GHG Proposal is Impressive. But Tough Legal Battles Are Likely

EPA (in cooperation with states) has extensive Clean Air Act authority to regulate GHG emissions from the large installed base of existing fossil-fuel power plants. Over the past few years, it has sent contradictory signals about how and even whether it intends to use this authority. At RFF, we’ve written about what EPA can do to […]

NRDC’s Clean Air Act GHG Plan

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has proposed the first comprehensive plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act. The plan would have the EPA assign emission rate standards for existing coal and gas fired power plants. States could allow facilities to average their emissions rate. The emissions rate […]

Policy Outfit Threatens to Sue EPA, Seeking Aviation Cap-and-Trade

Can EPA set up a cap-and-trade system for the transportation sector? If so, can it be forced to do so?The Institute for Policy Integrity, an (excellent) policy research and advocacy outfit affiliated with NYU, today announced it plans to sue EPA, aiming to find out. This is a provocative and interesting move, but I doubt […]

Particle Ban, Particle Ban

EPA this week proposed new national air quality standards for particulate emissions, putting the end of a six-year debate in sight. Greens  have praised and some industry groups have criticized the decision. But most of this is theater – the new standards don’t give greens much to celebrate or opponents much to be angry about. […]

The Regulatory Limiting Condition

Marginal Revolution‘s Alex Tabbarok argues that “our regulatory system has gotten so large and complex that it’s main effects are now unintended. In short, the product of the regulatory system is a result of human action but not of human design.” This seems right to me, though it’s impossible to prove (and Tabbarok doesn’t claim it […]