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Significant, Widespread Health Benefits Possible under EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Politics is typically about the here and now. And so shaping policy to address climate change poses a particularly difficult challenge. The benefits appear to be dispersed globally and accrue decades into the future, while the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be felt immediately. Or so the story goes. The problem with this narrative […]

Show Us the Money: An Early Look at Utility Bill Savings from Municipal Benchmarking and Disclosure Laws

Recently, my colleague Margaret Walls blogged about two new RFF discussion papers focused on a popular new policy in US cities: municipal energy benchmarking and disclosure requirements. These laws, which require owners of large commercial and multi-family buildings above a certain size threshold to benchmark their buildings’ energy use and disclose that information, are intended […]

Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Policies: Cities Take the Lead on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

If I want to know the calorie content of a candy bar or whether a new sweater requires hand washing, I can just look at the label before I buy. Similarly, if I want to know the operating costs for a new refrigerator, I can study the Energy Guide, a federally mandated label for all […]

Investment Risks Raise Costs and Shift Regional Efforts to Mitigate Emissions

A new study appearing in Nature Climate Change (of which I am a coauthor) explores how institutional considerations of risk affect the cost of large-scale investments in the power sector that increase or reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Unlike previous studies that assume uniform costs for investments, we apply financial charges that vary from country to […]

EPA’s New Source Review Program: A Look at Permit Processing Time

Delays in the permitting of manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure projects have been a continuing focus of concern for industry, Congress, and the Obama administration. The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness included in its recommendations steps to streamline Federal agency permitting processes. The Obama administration has also targeted delays in the permitting of industrial and […]

Resources Magazine: Utilities and the US Energy Revolution: Confronting a Shifting Landscape

In an excerpt from his remarks at an RFF Policy Leadership Forum, Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon, shares his thoughts on how the electricity industry is responding to major changes in how energy is produced, delivered, and consumed. On the Natural Gas Boom The advent of shale gas, as we all know, has […]

Reconsidering the Rebound Effect

The rebound effect from improving energy efficiency has been widely discussed—from the pages of the New York Times and New Yorker to the halls of policy and to a voluminous academic literature. It’s been known for over a century and, on the surface, is simple to understand. Buy a more fuel-efficient car, drive more. Invent […]

Resources Magazine: EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Breaking Down the Building Blocks

In June, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed rule for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Using its authority under the Clean Air Act, EPA set state-specific targets for emissions rates reductions (Figure 1). However, many questioned how this proposed plan would impact actual emissions from the electricity sector and […]

Resources Magazine: What Americans Think About Climate Change

By Jon A. Krosnick, Nuri Kim, and Bo MacInnis. Polling Americans about climate change reveals a largely united desire for government action—and other surprises. On many issues, public opinion is so evenly divided that it does not provide a clear signal to government—but that’s not true on the issue of climate change. During the past […]

Crediting Early Action under EPA’s Clean Power Plan

This is the seventh in a series of questions that highlights RFF’s Expert Forum on EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Readers are invited to submit their own comments to the questions and/or the responses using the “Leave a Comment” box below. See all of the questions to date here. RFF asks the experts: Should EPA credit early action […]