Jonas Monast

Jonas Monast

Director, Climate and Energy Program

919-681-7188

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Areas of Expertise: climate change, carbon markets, offsets, air quality, public utility commissions

Jonas Monast directs the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Jonas’s work focuses on the interaction of state and federal energy policies, regulatory options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the intersection of financial markets and climate policy. He directed Duke University’s Climate Change Policy Partnership from 2007-2010 and coordinated the Nicholas Institute’s Carbon Market Initiative.

Jonas also teaches courses on the intersection of energy and environmental issues at Duke University’s School of Law and Nicholas School of the Environment.Prior to joining Duke, Jonas worked as an attorney in the Corporate Social Responsibility Practice at Foley Hoag LLP, where he advised clients on emerging legal and reputational risks regarding human rights and the environment. Jonas also served as a congressional fellow for the late Senator Paul Wellstone and as legislative counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University and his B.A. from Appalachian State University.

Preparing for CO2 Regulations for Existing Power Plants: Key Points to Look for in the Final Clean Power Plan Rule

In June 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its Clean Power Plan rule, developed pursuant to section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s fleet of existing electric generating units. The agency will release the final version of the rule in August 2015. This final rule is expected to reflect some, perhaps significant, changes addressing the more than 4 million public comments on the proposed rule. This policy brief identifies the key elements in the final rule that could affect state implementation choices. These elements include potential changes in final state emissions targets, treatment of natural gas combined cycle units and under-construction nuclear units, rules and flexibility regarding rate-to-mass conversion, submission deadlines for state plans, and guidance regarding multi-state trading.

Authors: Julie DeMeester, David Hoppock, Sam Helton, Jonas Monast

 

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Climate & Energy

Clean Air Act

Policy Briefs

Enhancing Compliance Flexibility under the Clean Power Plan: A Common Elements Approach to Capturing Low-Cost Emissions Reductions

As states and stakeholders evaluate compliance options under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, many recognize the potential economic benefits of market-based strategies. In some states, however, market approaches trigger administrative and political hurdles. A new policy brief by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions offers a compliance pathway that allows states to realize the advantages of multistate and market-based solutions without mandating either strategy. With the common elements approach, states develop individual-state plans to achieve their unique emissions targets and give power plant owners the option to participate in cross-state emissions markets. Power plant owners can transfer low-cost emissions reductions between states whose compliance plans share common elements--credits defined the same way and mechanisms to protect against double counting. The common elements approach offers the following benefits: (1) allows cross-state credit transfers without states negotiating a formal regional trading scheme, (2) leaves compliance choices to power companies, (3) builds on existing state and federal trading programs, and (4) maintains the traditional roles of state energy and environmental regulators.

Author(s): Jonas Monast, Tim Profeta, Jeremy Tarr, and Brian Murray

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Climate & Energy

Clean Air Act

Policy and Design

State Utility Regulation

State Policy

Policy Briefs

Designing CO2 Performance Standards for a Transitioning Electricity Sector: A Multi-Benefits Framework

A significant transition is under way within the electricity sector due to several market forces, retirement of certain plants, and regulatory pressure. There is notable overlap between available strategies for mitigating electricity sector risks and potential compliance strategies for states under the Clean Power Plan. This overlap presents regulators with an opportunity to pursue strategies that help manage the transition occurring in the electricity sector and achieve greenhouse gas reductions required under the Clean Power Plan, particularly in the areas of end-use energy efficiency and additional renewable power generation.

Authors: Jonas Monast and David Hoppock

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Climate & Energy

Clean Air Act

Policy and Design

Journal Articles

Completing the Energy Innovation Cycle: The View from the Public Utility Commission

Achieving a widespread adoption of innovative electricity generation technologies involves a complex system of research, development, demonstration, and deployment, with each phase then informing future developments. Despite a number of non-regulatory programs at the federal level to support this process, the innovation premium—the increased cost and technology risk often associated with innovative generation technologies—creates hurdles in the state public utility commission (PUC) process. This article in the Hastings Law Journal examines how and why innovative energy technologies face challenges in the PUC process, focusing on case studies where PUCs have approved or denied utility proposals to deploy high cost, first-generation energy technologies. It concludes with an outline of possible strategies to address PUC concerns by allocating the innovation premium beyond a single utility's ratepayers.

Author(s): Jonas Monast and Sarah Adair 

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Climate & Energy

Policy and Design

State Utility Regulation

Environmental Economics

Climate Change Policy

Energy Sector

States & Regions

State Policy

Journal Articles