State Policy News

The Economic Case for Restoring Coastal Ecosystems

As America’s coastal cities expanded throughout the 19th century, the wetlands were often considered a nuisance that stood in the way of progress and development. We are increasingly learning the cost of losing landscapes once thought to be valueless. Investing in coastal restoration is good policy. It is not just the right thing to do for the environment; it is the right thing to do for coastal communities, vulnerable coastal populations, and the U.S. economy. In the words of former NOAA Chief Economist Dr. Linwood Pendleton, “restoring degraded marine and coastal habitat is critical if America’s coasts and oceans are to reach their economic and ecological potential.”

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Norton, Regas Join Nicholas Institute Board of Advisors

Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions appointed two new members to its Board of Advisors: Edward Norton and Diane Regas. Norton, senior advisor of TPG Capital, and Regas, senior vice president for programs at the Environmental Defense Fund, will serve three-year terms on the Nicholas Institute’s board.

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NC Fracking Commission Reviews 48 Safety Rules in Fast-Paced Meeting

The state commission that’s creating safety standards for fracking raced through 48 rules Wednesday under a legislative deadline to prepare North Carolina for shale gas exploration by next spring. Amy Pickle, State Policy Program director and Mining and Energy Commission member, comments in this News & Observer article.

 
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Pa. asks EPA for more Flexible Emissions and Trading Rules to Boost Power Plants' Energy Efficiency ($)

Pennsylvania's top air regulator has proposed a potential solution to long-standing legal tension that can make energy efficiency a less attractive option for power plants. New Source Review (NSR), a section in the Clean Air Act that sets limits for criteria pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, ozone and lead), has long been viewed as an impediment to efficiency investments. When a source emits too much pollution, it triggers permitting requirements under NSR.

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News Tip: Energy Experts Available to Comment on Annual Energy Outlook 2014

On Monday, April 7, the U.S. Energy Information Administration will begin the staged release of the complete Annual Energy Outlook 2014.

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White House Plans to Patch Methane Leaks, but Uncertainty and Opposition Exist ($)

The Obama administration's effort to plug the nation's methane leaks has rekindled the debate about the role of natural gas in national climate policy, with most environmentalists applauding the effort, while others describe it as an empty promise. Brian Murray, director for economic analysis at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, comments in this ClimateWire article.

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Lessons Offered by Emerging Carbon Trading Markets

In a Policy Forum article in the March 21 edition of Science magazine, Duke University's Richard Newell, William Pizer and Daniel Raimi discuss the key lessons from a decade of experience with carbon markets. They also discuss what it might take for these markets to develop and possibly link together in the coming years and decades.

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Age of Coal Fleet may Limit Impact of EPA Climate Rule, Industry Says

As much as the Obama administration may look to its greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants to slash emissions from the electric sector—the single-largest source of the heat-trapping pollutants—it may encounter hurdles in achieving those reductions thanks to the advanced age of the nation's fleet of coal-fired power plants, industry representatives say. Jonas Monast, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, comments in this SNL Energy article.

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Power Trips Broaden Energy Students’ Horizons

A few times each semester, Duke students get an electrifying opportunity to see energy facilities, businesses and research groups firsthand thanks to a program sponsored by the Energy Initiative and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. These "Power Trips" help educate and engage students interested in energy usage at Duke and neighboring universities, businesses and other organizations. The trips go to innovative energy facilities on the Duke campus, across the region and elsewhere in North Carolina.

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News Tip: Expert Available to Comment on Greenhouse Gas Auction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Media Contact: Erin McKenzie
(919) 613-3652
erin.mckenzie@duke.edu

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