State Policy Program News

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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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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The Billion-Dollar Battle over Clean Air

South Carolina electricity customers could save as much as $1 billion a year thanks to the Obama administration’s Clean Air Plan and steps here to shift from coal toward nuclear power, reports The Post and Courier which cites a Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Clean Power Plan study. 

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Judges Wonder How Congress Stiffed them on Climate

In Bloomberg Government, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions director Tim Profeta writes about his first impressions after the September 27 “en banc” review of the Clean Power Plan, a rule intended to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the existing fleet of fossil fuel-fired power plants, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. What's now clear, he says, is that the EPA possesses the authority to regulate greenhouse gases as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

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Expert Available for Comment on Clean Power Plan Hearing

On Sept. 27, a rare “en banc” review of the Clean Power Plan, a rule intended to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the existing fleet of fossil fuel-fired power plants, will take place before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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Getting Real About the Clean Power Plan

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments tomorrow in West Virginia vs. EPA to determine whether the agency violated the law when it finalized its rules to address greenhouse gas emissions from the electric power sector under the Clean Air Act. Those rules, known as the Clean Power Plan, are the main vehicle by which the Obama administration hopes to address climate change. Every single analysis published since the final Clean Power Plan rulemaking finds that, even if optimistic scenarios don’t come to pass, states need do little to hit EPA emission targets. A review by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions of five detailed studies published recently by various NGOs and federal energy forecasters (M.J. Bradley, the Energy Information Administration, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Rhodium Group for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Nicholas Institute) finds that the Clean Power Plan will only require about an 18 percent emissions reduction beyond business-as-usual scenarios from now through 2030.

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Compliance with Clean Power Plan is Within Reach — Even for States Opposing It

In a blog post, the Environmental Defense Fund writes about their analysis that concludes Clean Power Plan targets are eminently reasonable, noting that their results are consistent with recent, independent economic analyses by the Nicholas Institute, M.J. Bradley & Associates, and the Bipartisan Policy Center. All of these analyses, EDF says, predict low compliance costs because favorable economics for lower and zero-carbon sources of electricity are expected to continue driving sustained investment in these resources even in the absence of the Clean Power Plan. As a result, states around the country are well positioned for compliance.

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U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy's Policies will Raise Utility Bills by $500 a Year, Koch-Backed Group Says

PolitiFact examines why an anti-regulation group is accusing U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of wanting to use the Senate to adopt policies that would raise the cost of just about everything, starting with utility bills. The article looks specficially at recent modeling analyses surrounding the Clean Power Plan, which paint a different picture. "Our modeling shows average annual changes in Florida retail prices of less than 1 percent between the baseline and the policy," said Dallas Burtraw, senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a think tank that tracks energy policy. "Our results are consistent with those from the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Nicholas Institute (at Duke University)."

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Energy Forum Focuses on Emerging Trends in Power Sector

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) penned a recap of an event co-hosted by BPC, the Great Plains Institute, and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions in Atlanta, Georgia. The workshop, “Power Sector Trends in the Eastern Interconnect: Implications for Environmental Policies and Investments,” brought together experts, state officials, and stakeholders to explore recent modeling analyses to examine how ongoing and emerging trends in the electricity sector may impact state energy and environmental policy choices.

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