Identifying “Known Unknowns” in the Natural Gas Revolution

Last week, my colleagues and I released a new RFF report, The Natural Gas Revolution: Critical Questions for a Sustainable Energy Future. At one point, I began referring to this document as the “Known Unknowns” report, in reference to a widely quoted Donald Rumsfeld speech. As the former secretary of defense noted, there are certain […]

Fixing Emissions Trading Imbalances with a Price Floor

The centerpiece of Europe Union’s climate policy, the cap-and-trade Emissions Trading System (ETS), is being hobbled by a large oversupply of emissions allowances in the market. Since 2008, the ETS has rapidly accumulated a two gigaton surplus of allowances. The oversupply of allowances and low level of emissions is the result of a number of […]

Small Changes, But an Important Signal in New Power Plant GHG Proposal

Update: I’ve revised my understanding of EPA’s proposal and this post is no longer correct. See the update here. EPA released a major and long-awaited proposed regulation today, but the most important news might be something it didn’t do, and how that affects the next major step in regulating carbon under the Clean Air Act. […]

Technology Flexibility and Stringency for Greenhouse Gas Regulations

The Clean Air Act provides the current regulatory framework for climate policy in the United States. A key component of US policy as called for in President Obama’s recent memorandum to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be the use of flexible approaches in achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. EPA is expected to […]

Are New Shale Gas Regulations in Illinois the Strongest in the Country?

Last month, Illinois passed new legislation (SB 1715) strengthening and updating its oil and gas regulations. Governor Pat Quinn and sponsors of the new law claim it will give the state “the strongest, most effective drilling safeguards enacted by any state in the nation” while still allowing the industry to “develop in a responsible manner.” […]

The State of State Shale Gas Regulation

For the last year or so, we’ve been cataloging and analyzing state-level shale gas regulations, as part of our larger project on managing the risks of shale gas development. Regular readers may remember the previews of that research posted here and on the RFF website, featuring maps of regulatory variation. I’m happy to announce that […]

The New CAFE Standards: Are They Enough on Their Own?

The new CAFE standards may require complementary policies to meet the ambitious goals of reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In a new RFF discussion paper, I examine the new footprint standards, their implications for changes to the size mix of vehicles, and the role of credit policies on compliance and cost-effectiveness of the […]

The Value of Being First: Climate Policy Perspectives from California and Sweden

When it comes to climate policy, it seems like pessimism is the only thing that rivals greenhouse gas emissions in terms of volume. Last week, the daily atmospheric content of CO2 popped up over 400 parts per million, pushing the stated goal of keeping worldwide temperatures to a 2˚C increase even further from reach. Beneath […]

US Shale Gas Development in Review

The United States has seen rapid recent development of shale gas. What are the factors behind the notable growth in the past decade? And what does it mean for shale gas development elsewhere in the world? Alan Krupnick and I examine the history of the US shale gas boom in a new RFF discussion paper. […]

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, […]