Environmental Economics Program News

The Road Toward Clean Power Plan Policy

A national policy that creates the first ever national standards to address carbon pollution from power plants includes an approach to cutting emissions that Jeremy Tarr worked on as a former employee of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Years before the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 was finalized, Tarr was focusing on legal and policy analysis relating to its design and implementation.

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Regional Climate Program Facing New Challenges under Trump

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has spent several months on how to comply with federal carbon dioxide limits for utilities, but the cap-and-trade program faces new questions and challenges with the election of Donald Trump and the likely demise of the Clean Power Plan. The nine RGGI states are finishing a year-long review that began with the goal of meeting the requirements of the Clean Power Plan, which sets the first ever carbon dioxide emissions limits on power plants, but will now conclude with the likely prospect that federal climate change action will be nixed under the incoming Trump administration. Brian C. Murray, Interim Director of the Duke University Energy Initiative and Director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, is quoted in this piece published in Bloomberg BNA's Daily Environment Report.

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Transitioning to a 'Blue Economy' can Reshape the Ocean Landscape

In The Hill, the Nicholas Institute's John Virdin and the World Bank's Pawan Patil write that as we enter a period of uncertainty in both international and climate policy following the United States presidential election, identifying a concept that can help find the wins between the economy and the environment is even more important. In the ocean, policymakers are asking if this may be achieved, in part, under the new concept: Blue Economy. 

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Science in the Land of Donald Trump

For Radio Canada, Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and interim director of the Duke University Energy Initiative, and other guests discuss how U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump may take on the issues of climate, public health and scientific research.

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One Of These Conservatives Should Be Trump's EPA Chief

There have been lots of rumors about who President-elect Trump is going to pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. In truth, at this point, no one knows who is going to lead the Trump Administration’s EPA. Forbes provides a list of individuals they would suggest who are knowledgeable about environmental policy, who are fiscally responsible, and who care about the environment. Among them: Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Board of Advisors Chair William K. Reilly. 

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States Say They 'are Not Going to be Stopped' by Trump ($)

State climate leaders are striking a defiant note following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, pledging to redouble their efforts to combat climate change even as they prepare for a rollback in federal efforts. Amy Pickle, director of the State Policy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions comments in ClimateWire.

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Coral Reef Ecosystem Threatened By Rising Carbon Dioxide

Oceans might be vast, but it has some of the most vulnerable ecosystems today. Much of the oceans' resources aren't managed very well. One of those that are vulnerable is corals, as coral reef ecosystem is threatened by rising carbon dioxide. A study by Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale has noted that a number of places would be at risk by rising sea temperatures. 

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Climate Change’s Impact on Coral Reefs Threatens Millions of Lives

Hundreds of millions of people depend on coral reefs for “jobs, livelihoods, food, shelter, and protection for coastal communities and the shorelines along which they live.” Implementation of the Paris Agreement would help to preserve these shallow, warm-water ecosystems from the devastating effects of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The two primary environmental stresses that place these people at risk are elevated sea surface temperature (that can cause coral bleaching and related mortality), and ocean acidification. The Boston Globe reports on the research published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS that explains the science behind this global threat.

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Ensuring Environmental Outcomes from a Carbon Tax

How can we ensure that a carbon tax delivers on its pollution reduction potential? An EDF blog post says an innovative, new idea could provide greater certainty over the environmental outcome. It details work by Nicholas Institute researchers on the issue.

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Public Forum Addresses Benefits of Proposed Power Plant

Duke community members gathered Tuesday to discuss a proposed natural gas combined heat and power facility that could be built on West Campus to further reduce carbon emissions on campus and in North Carolina. The public forum offered stakeholders the opportunity to share details about the proposal to partner with Duke Energy to build and operate the 21-megawatt plant. Among the goals of the project, subject to approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, is to reduce fossil fuel emissions, help move Duke toward its goal of becoming carbon neutral and provide contingencies for the university and health system in the event of a catastrophic event that would damage Duke’s power grid.

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