State Policy Program News

Study Finds 'Relatively Inexpensive' State Compliance Costs ($)

EnergyWire reports that the nationwide cost to states for compliance with U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan will be "relatively inexpensive, with cost increases of 0.1% to 1.0%," according to new modeling released today by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. That modest increase in costs to consumers is attributed to the "electricity industry's already-underway shift from coal-fired generation to natural gas and renewables generation," said Martin Ross, senior research economist and the lead author of the 73-page report.

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New Analysis Examines Clean Power Plan Costs

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is likely to intensify the electricity industry’s already-underway shift from coal-fired generation to natural gas and renewables generation. A new working paper uses the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ Dynamic Integrated Economy/Energy/Emissions Model to evaluate Clean Power Plan impacts on the U.S. generation mix, emissions, and industry costs. Lead author Martin Ross, a senior research economist with the Nicholas Institute’s Environmental Economics Program, says that Clean Power Plan compliance costs, although relatively inexpensive from a national perspective, are highly variable from state to state. Those cost differentials could mean that rather than pursuing a coordinated national approach to the Clean Power Plan, some states may adopt a patchwork of policies that serve their own best interests but potentially impose additional costs on neighboring states. When it comes to estimating state-level Clean Power Plan costs, says Ross, the devil is in the details or rather in how many states choose the same details for their Clean Power Plan compliance.

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Regulators Weigh Net Metering; ALEC won't Consider CPP Bills ($)

ClimateWire reports that Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions released a policy brief explaining how states that cap emissions, rather than adhere to carbon rates, will have more direct control over how Clean Power Plan costs are distributed. 

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RGGI Can Chart Course to Climate Success: Workshop Tomorrow

The Natural Resources Defense Council's Jackson Morrison writes about how he'll explore, alongside other panelists, how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative states can align their program with their science-based climate targets (economy-wide greenhouse gas emission reductions of 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050), consider ways to expand the program, and beef up its benefits at a workshop co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions on July 12. 

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Roady to Join Duke to Identify, Tackle Pressing Environmental Issues

Steve Roady brings a wealth of environmental law and policy experience to his new joint appointment at Duke’s Law School and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. As professor of the practice at the Law School and a faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute, Roady, who has taught environmental litigation and ocean and coastal law and policy as a senior lecturing fellow at the Law School since 2003, will continue to teach. He will also be charged with creating interdisciplinary teams to examine approaches to large-scale environmental problems.

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Carbon Pricing—A No-Brainer for Climate Change?

A story in Phys.org mentions a study by Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which found that RGGI was responsible for half the region's cut in emissions, while the other half of reductions were due to the recession and low natural gas prices. Without RGGI, the region's emissions would have been 24 percent higher.

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Royal Bank of Canada Backs Adoption of Carbon Price

The Royal Bank of Canada has thrown its considerable weight behind the adoption of stringent and rising carbon prices that would be high enough to drive this country’s transition to a low-carbon economy, according to an article in the Globe and Mail“In our view at RBC, carbon should be priced at a level to create long-term behavioural change and to ensure polluters pay, as we all move toward low-carbon targets,” John Stackhouse, a senior vice-president at the bank, told a participants at the North American Climate Policy Forum, an event co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, in Ottawa, Canada.

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Duke Researchers Share Recent Work, Collaboration Opportunities

Energy researchers from across Duke University compared notes on their most recent investigations and discussed ways to collaborate across the institution and with colleagues in other countries at an annual workshop organized by the Energy Initiative. The fourth annual Energy Research Collaboration Workshop featured presentations by Nicholas Institute for Environmental researchers on state and local regulation for unconventional oil and gas development, the Clean Power Plan, and efficiency versus equity in energy policy.

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Search Begins for Climate and Energy Program Lead

Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions has launched a search for their next Climate and Energy Program director. “We are at an incredibly important point in global climate and energy policy,” said Nicholas Institute Director Profeta. “This opening allows for someone to lead a team that plays a role in critical environmental debates centered around the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulations, the transition of the future electric grid, and next steps for U.S. climate policy.”

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Climate Accord and the Clean Power Plan

The United States and more than 150 other nations signed an agreement at the United Nations last week committing to lower greenhouse gas emissions. President Obama’s role in lobbying countries to sign on was bolstered by his own Clean Power Plan, which aims to limit emissions from existing power plants in the U.S., except a Supreme Court ruling recently put that plan on hold. Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Director Tim Profeta discusses where the effort to slow climate change goes from here on BYU Radio's Top of Mind.

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