Climate & Energy Program News

Galik to Discuss the Future of Environmental Resource Management on 90.7 FM

DURHAM, N.C.--Christopher Galik, a senior policy associate at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will appear on the show “The Measure of Everyday Life” on WNCU 90.7 FM at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

Galik, whose work looks at issues surrounding on-the-ground implementation of climate and low-carbon energy policy, will discuss forest management and the future of environmental resource management.

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States Could Slash Clean Power Plan Costs with Mass-Based Standards, Regional Plans -- Study ($)

States could halve the costs of implementing U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan if they work with other states and use a mass-based standard to cap emissions outright, according to a new study from Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. ClimateWire reports that researchers examined three major choices regulators must make as they craft proposals for cutting carbon emissions from power plants to meet their states' individual goals. They looked at the effects of choosing rate-based vs. mass-based standards and regional vs. individual plans, as well as incorporating new natural gas combined-cycle plants into the targets.

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Despite Political Rhetoric, 41 States Exploring Clean Power Plan Options ($)

At least 41 states are in talks with neighbors about how they might cut power-sector carbon emissions under U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan, despite appeals from Republicans in Congress for state officials to refuse to comply, according to regional coordinators. ClimateWire article also mentions the Nicholas Institute's "common elements" work. 

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Clean Power Plan Can be Cost-Effective for States

With the right policy choices, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan can be flexible and cost-effective for states, according to a working paper from Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. The Clean Power Plan uses a provision under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants in the United States through interim state-level emissions rate goals (2020-2030) and a final 2030 emissions rate limit. It gives states flexibility to decide how to meet their interim and final emissions reduction goals. The Duke study outlines the tradeoffs of three policy options: opting for state-specific, rate-based goals laid out in the proposed plan versus converting that rate into a mass-based standard; identifying how trading credits within state borders or with other states affect the cost of compliance with the rule; and determining whether to include under the rule new natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) units that produce electricity and capture their waste heat to increase efficiency.

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NARUC Promotes State Coordination for Clean Power Plan Compliance

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council have released a resource guide to help states overcome institutional barriers and coordinate on Clean Power Plan compliance. A number of tools are being developed by entities to help states put together compliance plans. The guide includes a multi-state planning checklist, a legislative language examples checklist, and a sample memorandum of understanding for multi-state coordination.

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Billy Pizer Rethinks Three Issues Regarding the Clean Power Plan and Carbon Markets

Billy Pizer, a faculty fellow at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, was among the Duke representatives at the Navigating the American Carbon World Conference in Los Angeles, California, this week. Pizer, who led a panel on the Opportunities and Challenges for Carbon Markets under the Clean Power Plan, reflects on three issues brought up at the conference.

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Research Cautions States Against Shortsighted Plans for EPA Carbon Rule ($)

States implementing U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan run the risk of writing plans that limit short-term costs and impacts on the coal industry but make carbon reductions more difficult down the line, according to a new Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions study featured in ClimateWire.The draft rule sets different carbon dioxide emission rates for each state's power sector and tasks state officials with deciding how to reach those levels. The Nicholas Institute compared the effects of setting a price on carbon versus implementing different kinds of rate-based standards for electric generators. 

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Court Hears Arguments Surrounding EPA Power Plant Rule

Climate and Energy Program director Jonas Monast talks on air with WPTF about the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hearing on a set of cases challenging the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to limit greenhouse gases from existing power plants under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

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McCrory Calls for Offshore Drilling

Climate and Energy Program director Jonas Monast talks on air with WPTF about North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory bashing the federal proposal to include a 50-mile buffer between the coastline and drilling for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean, telling a U.S. House subcommittee that the plan would restrict development for no reason.

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News Tip: Expert Available to Comment on Challenges to EPA Power Plant Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is slated to hear arguments Thursday in a set of cases challenging the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to limit greenhouse gases from existing power plants under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

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