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News Tip: Experts Available for Comment on Final Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday will release its final Clean Power Plan, which limits greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

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The Long, Hazy and Winding Political Path that Brought the Obama Admin to the Clean Power Plan ($)

When the Obama administration releases the final Clean Power Plan regulating greenhouse gas emissions at electric power plants today, it will mark the enactment of the nation's most ambitious climate program in history. It's supposed to cut the sector's greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent. Billy Pizer, faculty fellow at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, comments in ClimateWire.

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Final Carbon Rule’s Release is Imminent

Supporters and critics of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon reduction mandates are anxiously awaiting the EPA’s final rule, expected out as early as today.The EPA has received in excess of 4 million public comments since June 2014, when it released its initial proposal on how to reduce carbon emissions nationwide by 30 percent by 2030. Many suggestions from state governments, industry and environmental groups could influence the mandates and requirements contained in the final document, Jonas Monast, director of the climate and energy program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, told the Albuquerque Journal.

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Barack Obama Plan Pushes US States Towards Carbon Pricing

President Barack Obama’s climate goals are prompting U.S. states to explore the use of carbon markets as a way to comply—an approach that will be resisted by Republicans. The final version of the administration’s plan, to be announced on Monday, is central to Mr. Obama’s legacy and commitments the U.S. has made in the run-up to a Paris meeting in December on an international climate accord. Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, comments in this Financial Times article.

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Q&A with Nicholas Institute Alumnus David Gordon

As an associate in research at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, David Gordon spent his time studying blue carbon—payments to incentivize holders of coastal habitats to avoid habitat conversion—and conceptualizing next-generation water and wastewater utilities. Now, he’s applying this knowledge to integrated planning projects as a utility management analyst with Hawksley Consulting Company.

How did you end up pursuing work in the environmental field?

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Timing is the Element Most Likely to Change in EPA's Final Clean Power Plan ($)

In countless meetings on the Clean Power Plan with states and energy companies, the most common plea to U.S. EPA has been for more time. More time to work on plans, more time to allow coal plants to retire and more time to move toward final goals. Jonas Monast, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, discusses what to look for in the final Clean Power Plan rule in ClimateWire.

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NC Wind Farm Could Mean Changing Winds in Ga. Energy Future

Wind farms dot the landscape in states across the country, but you won’t find one in the Southeast, at least not yet, according to a wind industry trade group. That is until now. On NPR, Jonas Monast, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, discusses the implications of this new $400 million, 200-plus megawatt facility in North Carolina.

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Ecosystem Services Assessment: The Latest Development in the Evolution of Natural Resource Management

On behalf of the American public, federal agencies take many actions that influence ecosystem conditions and change the provision of ecosystem services valued by the public. To date, most decisions affecting ecosystems have relied on ecological assessments with little or no consideration of the value of ecosystem services. A new report by the National Ecosystem Services Partnership at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions recommends best practices for integrating ecosystem services into federal decision-making processes. Lead author Lydia Olander discusses how these practices help ensure that nature’s benefits to people are fairly considered.

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Nature and People: How Can the U.S. Federal Government Put Them Together?

U.S. federal agencies have wide ranging mandates, and many of them significantly affect the nation’s natural resources from the air we breathe and the water we drink and recreate in to the wild animals and scenic places we love. Often there are difficult trade-offs to be considered where one of these benefits is enhanced while another is reduced. Agencies have yet to ensure that the full range of benefits nature provides to people, also called ecosystem services, are fairly considered in their decisions. In a Cool Green Science blog post, authors Lydia Olander and Heather Tallis say the good news is that over the last couple of years several agencies have made bold moves to incorporate the full extent of nature’s value into their decisions. Now, their new report provides recommendations on ecosystem service assessment best practices for federal decision making.

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Nicholas Institute's Monast Outlines Key Issues to Watch in Clean Power Plan Rollout ($)

With U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set to release its final Clean Power Plan over the next few weeks, what are the key changes to watch for in the agency's rollout of the rule? On E&E TV's OnPoint, Jonas Monast, director of the Climate and Energy Program at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, discusses the critical elements of the draft proposal that are likely to face changes in the final rule. Monast also talks about the range of options that exist for states that are considering a multistate compliance mechanism.

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