State Policy News

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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By Weight or by Rate? EPA Offers States Little Direction for Converting CO2 Metric

The U.S. EPA's proposed rule to reduce carbon dioxide allows states to convert their goals from a carbon intensity rate to mass of carbon, but it neglects to tell them how. This weight-or-rate question is one of the earliest a state must answer before it can design policies that lower greenhouse reductions. Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute, comments in the SNL Electric Utility Report.

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Debating the Costs of Carbon Regulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's newly proposed carbon-reduction regulations are spurring heated debate nationwide and in New Mexico. But so far it appears the rules will have less impact here than in other states, where utilities rely more heavily on coal-fired generation and where fewer renewable resources have been installed. Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, comments in this Albuquerque Journal article.

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A Rush Before the Proof of Shale Gold ($)

In the classic film "Field of Dreams," a farmer builds a baseball diamond after hearing a premonition that "If you build it, he will come." In North Carolina, the same spirit has inspired two laws and more than 100 pages of regulations clearing the way for shale gas rigs that may never arrive. Amy Pickle, State Policy Program director, comments in this Energy & Environment Daily article.

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McCarthy Set to Make First Hill Appearance on Power Plant Rule -- But Will She Change Any Minds? ($)

U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will face a Senate committee Wednesday whose members have largely already made up their minds about whether or not to support her agency's proposal to curb existing power plant greenhouse gas emissions. Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, comments in this Environment & Energy Daily story.

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Public Will Be Able To Comment On NC’s Fracking Rules At Hearings In Raleigh, Sanford and Reidsville

The North Carolina commission that is drafting rules for hydraulic fracturing will host public comment hearings next month. Members of the Mining and Energy Commission have spent nearly two years writing more than 120 rules. They cover issues including where drilling companies can frack and whether they have to disclose the chemicals they use in the process. Amy Pickle, director of the State Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Mining and Energy Commission member, comments in this WUNC story.

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