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Should We Price the Carbon From Federal Coal?

Conversations in the United States about policies to reduce emissions from fossil fuels have normally focused on a number of “downstream” approaches that target the end or intermediate users of fossil fuels. Notably, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan addresses emissions from existing electric power plants, and fuel economy standards are reaching […]

Competing Goals in Fishery Management: A Case Study in Alaska

Over the past several decades, fishery management has undergone significant change as nations around the world have implemented catch share programs. Among such programs, individual transferable quotas (ITQs)—a type of catch share that provides a market-based approach—often are designed with multiple objectives in mind. Goals can include ensuring that a fishery’s overall catch is sustainable […]

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 […]

Coordination Challenges and a Policy Option for US and Global Climate Efforts

In recent years, US climate plans have changed abruptly. In a new RFF discussion paper, with RFF Center Fellow Anthony Paul and Research Assistant Sophie Pan, we examine the challenges for progress—specifically, of coordination among jurisdictions—that presently face policymakers in both the United States and around the world. The current centerpiece of US policy is […]

Resources Magazine: Green Growth for China?

The recent history of China has been one of spectacular economic growth. The country’s GDP soared from 3.43 percent of global GDP in 2000 to 11.35 percent in 2012. Its per capita income of US$6,100 in 2012 puts China in the category of middle-income countries such as South Africa, Egypt, and Thailand. At the same […]

Understanding President Obama’s Arctic Development Plans

The landscape in the Arctic is changing, and in more ways than just ice cover. Over the last month, the Obama administration has made a number of significant announcements on Arctic policy. Leaving aside the one that has elicited the strongest response—the wilderness designation for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—a presidential memo directed the Department […]

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: Federal Disaster Aid: Reflections from Superstorm Sandy

Superstorm Sandy’s total losses have been estimated at $65 billion. The president issued a disaster declaration and Congress approved more than $50 billion in supplemental funding for post-storm recovery. More than two years later, the northeastern coastal regions of the United States are still rebuilding, and much of that aid has yet to be allocated. […]

Resources Magazine: Renewable Energy from Landfills

By Shanjun Li, Han Kyul Yoo, and Jhih-Shyang Shih. Americans produce about 4.4 pounds of waste per capita every day, according to the latest information from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). About 65 percent of that waste—a total of about 164 million tons each year—is disposed in landfills. But is burial in a landfill […]