Getting Past the “Yuck” Factor: Challenges for Public Acceptance of Recycled Water

A recent article in Slate ran with the attention-grabbing title “Thirsty West: Why Californians Will Soon be Drinking their Own Pee.”  The article was motivated by the planned $142 million expansion of a water reuse facility in Orange County, which will increase the local district’s capacity to take wastewater and convert it into sterile, drinking-quality […]

Managing the Risks of Shale Gas Development Using Innovative Legal and Regulatory Approaches

At the heart of the US shale gas boom is a tense relationship between the desire for its economic benefits and the fear of its environmental costs. Regulatory measures and industry best practices can be adjusted to ease this tension, but the potential for incorporating innovative tools into new measures has been relatively understudied. Both […]

Quick Thoughts on UARG v. EPA

SCOTUS released its decision in UARG v. EPA today, with the majority opinion authored by Justice Scalia. The issue in the case was whether EPA appropriately subjected stationary sources to new source review obligations for their GHG emissions. Here are some quick thoughts. If you’re unfamiliar with the case or with EPA’s regulatory agenda for […]

Energy Efficiency in 111(d): Evaluating Energy Savings for Carbon Reduction

EPA’s Clean Power Plan uses expanded energy efficiency programs as a component of states’ emissions rate targets. States that choose to use energy efficiency for compliance need to develop and provide EPA with a plan for evaluating energy savings that result from the policy. In the technical support document for state plans, EPA describes the […]

Energy Efficiency in 111(d): The Role of End-Use Efficiency in State Compliance Plans

In a prior blog post, I describe the contribution of energy efficiency to state emissions-reduction targets in EPA’s Clean Power Plan. As EPA has pointed out, including energy efficiency in states’ targets does not mean that states will necessarily choose to include energy efficiency programs in the compliance plans they submit to EPA. Many factors […]

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 […]

What’s In the BSER: EPA’s Process for Setting State Goals in the Clean Power Plan

EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan uses a rarely used section of the Clean Air Act, Section 111(d) to regulate existing fossil-fired electric generating units (EGUs). This part of the Clean Air Act, like the more familiar provisions governing ambient air quality for more traditional pollutants, gives EPA the task of determining an acceptable target for emissions […]

Research Questions for the Midterm CAFE Review: Credit Trading and Flexibility under the New Rules

This is the fourth and final blog post in a series by RFF’s transportation team that addresses some of the key research questions for the midterm CAFE review. The first three blog posts in this series introduced the midterm review of the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and discussed important areas of research related to […]

EPA’s Carbon Proposal – Which States Have The Biggest Burden Isn’t Simple

The Wall Street Journal yesterday criticized EPA’s recent proposed standards for carbon emissions from existing power plants on the grounds that they will have a large disproportionate impact across states. That may or may not be the case, but figuring out which states have a greater burden is not as simple as the WSJ implies. […]

2005 vs. 2012 in EPA’s Proposal

EPA’s existing source performance standards (ESPS) proposal from Monday claims it will achieve 30% emissions reductions from the power sector by 2030. That reduction is relative to 2005 emissions – a target that’s important because of the president’s stated goal in Copenhagen of 17% economy-wide emissions reductions from 2005 by 2020. If that goal is […]