State Policy News

Creative and Credible: Duke Environmental Law Faculty and Students Address Climate Change Policy

Jonas Monast, director of the Nicholas Institute's Climate and Energy Program who is jointly appointed at the Duke Law School, is featured in this story about research and scholarship in two recent publications that tackle the problem of climate change and offer policy solutions applicable at global and domestic levels.

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County Races also Critical to Achieving Progressive Ideals

The Independent Weekly highlights candidates running for county races, mentioning Nicholas Institute's own Katie Locklier and her run for a seat on the Durham Water and Soil District.

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NC Fracking Rules Commenting Period to Close Tuesday

Time is running out for the public to submit comments on the Mining and Energy Commission’s draft rules for implementing fracking in North Carolina. After September 30, the MEC will finalize the rules to bring fracking—which could endanger the public health and the environment—to the state as early as next year. Story includes comments from State Policy Program Director Amy Pickle.

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Panelists Debate Proposed EPA Carbon Regulation Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is spearheading an effort to curb the nation’s carbon pollution — and the proposal has sparked plenty of debate, including among panelists at UNC’s School of Law on Friday. The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon output from power plants by setting a new standard for states’ emission levels. But it would leave up to the states the details of how to lessen cumulative output. This story in the Daily Tar Heel quotes panelist and Nicholas Institute researcher Jeremy Tarr.

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Panel Cites NC Health Benefits of Federal Carbon Plan

In a panel discussion last week, state and federal government officials and environmental advocates lauded what they said would be the wide-reaching health benefits of a proposed federal climate-change plan. The Clean Power Plan, a national proposal released in June, intends to reduce power plants’ emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that scientists say causes climate change. The proposed plan aims, by 2030, to reduce power plants’ carbon emissions 30 percent below their levels from 2005. This story in NC Health News features Nicholas Institute researchers Jonas Monast and Jeremy Tarr.

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Fracking Opponents Sweep Public Hearing

Speaker after speaker at the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University told a three-member commission panel that the proposed rules governing the exploration and production of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, were too industry-friendly and dangerous to the public. Story includes mention of Amy Pickle’s role on the commission.

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Speakers at Sept. 12 hearing say “No fracking in WNC”

Don’t allow fracking in Western North Carolina. That was the clear message from the nearly 90 people who spoke to members of the state Mining and Energy Commission on Sept. 12 in Cullowhee. They were voicing their concerns at the last of four public hearings on proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method that involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into shale formations to extract natural gas. Story includes mention of Amy Pickle’s role on the commission.

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EPA Struggles to Account for Cross-State Emissions Reductions in Power Plant Rule

States that import their electricity from neighbors are giving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headaches when it comes to crediting them for emissions reductions under the agency's proposed power plant rules. As it stands, the proposed EPA rule would not give a state credit for instituting an energy efficiency program if the emissions reductions occur at a power plant in another state. Instead, the state hosting that power plant would receive the benefit, even though it did nothing. Jeremy Tarr, policy associate at the Nicholas Institute, comments in this Washington Examiner article.

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Murray Earns Prestigious Fulbright Award

Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, has been awarded a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair Award in Environment and Economy. Through Fulbright Canada, he will spend the spring 2015 semester conducting research on carbon pricing systems abroad at the University of Ottawa.

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Terminating the Links Between Emissions Trading Programs

In an RFF blog post, the Nicholas Institute’s Billy Pizer and his co-author Andrew Yates discuss their new paper, which explores whether key choices about delinking and the handling of banked permits can improve market outcomes when links between carbon programs are-or are at risk of being-severed. In general, the analysis found that costs will rise when markets are delinked and prices can diverge even before delinking occurs.

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