Environment News

Climate Change and Aviation

Billy Pizer, an environmental economist at the Sanford School and a faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, considers whether tackling aviation emissions make sense in The Hill.

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Water-Quality Trading Can Reduce River Pollution

Allowing polluters to buy, sell or trade water-quality credits could significantly reduce pollution in river basins and estuaries faster and at lower cost than requiring the facilities to meet compliance costs on their own, a new Duke University-led study finds. The scale and type of the trading programs, though critical, may matter less than just getting them started.

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Panelists Debate Proposed EPA Carbon Regulation Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is spearheading an effort to curb the nation’s carbon pollution — and the proposal has sparked plenty of debate, including among panelists at UNC’s School of Law on Friday. The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon output from power plants by setting a new standard for states’ emission levels. But it would leave up to the states the details of how to lessen cumulative output. This story in the Daily Tar Heel quotes panelist and Nicholas Institute researcher Jeremy Tarr.

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Panel Cites NC Health Benefits of Federal Carbon Plan

In a panel discussion last week, state and federal government officials and environmental advocates lauded what they said would be the wide-reaching health benefits of a proposed federal climate-change plan. The Clean Power Plan, a national proposal released in June, intends to reduce power plants’ emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that scientists say causes climate change. The proposed plan aims, by 2030, to reduce power plants’ carbon emissions 30 percent below their levels from 2005. This story in NC Health News features Nicholas Institute researchers Jonas Monast and Jeremy Tarr.

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A Global Carbon Tax or Cap-and-Trade? Part 1: The Economic Arguments

If you could choose how to curb greenhouse gas emissions, would you choose a carbon tax or cap-and-trade? Environmental economists have long debated this question, and it will be on many people’s minds in the run up to the climate meetings at which world leaders will attempt to reach agreement on how to limit global warming to 2°C in Lima (December 2014) and Paris (November–December 2015). This article by the Center for Global Development cites research by the Nicholas Institute's Billy Pizer.

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EPA Struggles to Account for Cross-State Emissions Reductions in Power Plant Rule

States that import their electricity from neighbors are giving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headaches when it comes to crediting them for emissions reductions under the agency's proposed power plant rules. As it stands, the proposed EPA rule would not give a state credit for instituting an energy efficiency program if the emissions reductions occur at a power plant in another state. Instead, the state hosting that power plant would receive the benefit, even though it did nothing. Jeremy Tarr, policy associate at the Nicholas Institute, comments in this Washington Examiner article.

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Murray Earns Prestigious Fulbright Award

Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, has been awarded a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair Award in Environment and Economy. Through Fulbright Canada, he will spend the spring 2015 semester conducting research on carbon pricing systems abroad at the University of Ottawa.

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Terminating the Links Between Emissions Trading Programs

In an RFF blog post, the Nicholas Institute’s Billy Pizer and his co-author Andrew Yates discuss their new paper, which explores whether key choices about delinking and the handling of banked permits can improve market outcomes when links between carbon programs are-or are at risk of being-severed. In general, the analysis found that costs will rise when markets are delinked and prices can diverge even before delinking occurs.

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Rockingham, Stokes Residents Fight Back Against Fracking

Amy Pickle, State Policy Program director at the Nicholas Institute and vice chair of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, discusses a public meeting in Wentworth where Piedmont residents voiced their opinion about hydraulic fracturing in the state.

 

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Duke, Always Hungry to Build, Says Existing Plants Aren't Viable

This story in Tampa Bay Times focuses on Duke Energy and its interest in building new power plants over used ones. The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Etan Gumerman comments.

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