Lower CO2 emissions from trucks are in the works

Medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks likely will be getting a lot cleaner. Joint Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) programs announced Friday will build off existing regulations (Phase I, adopted in 2011) to significantly reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption from the nation’s trucks. Covering tractor-trailers, buses, and heavy pickups and […]

The EPA’s Draft Report on Fracking and Drinking Water

The EPA today released an executive summary (ES) of its long-awaited study of the impact of fracking on drinking water. While the report is still a draft external review, its release is being carefully watched by those on all sides of the debate. The major finding now circulating – that the EPA did not find […]

A Look at New Markets for Credit Trading under US Standards for Automobile Emissions and Fuel Economy

In the United States, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that require automakers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles have been in place since the late 1970s. But major changes have come about in recent years to both the rules themselves and how they are to be implemented. Perhaps the most significant change is that automakers […]

Congress Doesn’t Have Veto Power Over the Clean Power Plan

Last week, during testimony by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raised a new argument against EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), claiming §102(c) of the Clean Air Act gives Congress the authority to veto EPA’s planned regulation. Since EPA’s authority comes from Congress, this provision—if the Senator is reading it correctly—would claw […]

Projected Reductions in Drilling Activity Do Not Undermine the Argument for Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban

In early 2014, the case for lifting the crude oil export ban, which has been in place since the 1970s, started to gain traction—and with good reason. Doing away with the ban would result in lower US gasoline prices and greater US tight oil production. But the momentum stalled out as the price of crude […]

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 […]

BLM’s New Fracking Rules

Today the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released their long awaited final rules on hydraulically fracked wells on federal land after two rounds of proposed rules in 2012 and 2013 proved highly contentious. In our article on the 2013 proposed rules, we hoped BLM rules would be a model for states to follow, […]

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 […]

Congestion Pricing in Beijing: Who Bears the Burden?

Congestion pricing and driving restrictions offer two different ways for policymakers to address traffic congestion: the former levies fees individuals who drive into or within a designated “charging zone,” while the latter enforces “road-space rationing” (usually based on a car’s permit color or license plate number). Transportation experts strongly recommend the use of congestion pricing […]

Colorado’s Oil and Gas Task Force: Is the glass half full, half empty, or something else?

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper deserves some credit for creating the state’s Oil and Gas Task Force as a means of reducing the heat around the November ballot. In an effort to cool tensions among Colorado’s oil and gas industry, some local governments, and citizen groups, and as part of a deal to create the task force, […]