Institute for Policy Integrity

Twitter @policyintegrity

Publications

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  • Best Cost Estimate of Greenhouse Gases
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Best Cost Estimate of Greenhouse Gases

    By Richard Revesz, Michael Greenstone, Michael Hanemann, Michael Livermore, Thomas Sterner, Denise Grab, Peter Howard, and Jason Schwartz
    August 18, 2017

    Despite the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the official estimate of the Social Cost of Carbon and disband the interagency working group that developed it, a group of prominent economists and lawyers, including several Policy Integrity staff members, have highlighted the metric’s continued validity for policymaking in recent letter published in the journal Science.

  • Estimating the Health Benefits of Environmental Regulations
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Estimating the Health Benefits of Environmental Regulations

    By Al McGartland, Richard Revesz, Daniel A. Axelrad, Chris Dockins, Patrice Sutton, and Tracey J. Woodruff
    August 4, 2017

    Regulating toxic pollutants benefits society by limiting public exposure to harmful pollution. By accurately quantifying these benefits, policymakers can improve the design of regulations that protect public health and better communicate the magnitude of these protections to the public. A new article in the journal Science examines how this process can be improved.

  • The One‐In, Two‐Out Executive Order Is a Zero
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    The One‐In, Two‐Out Executive Order Is a Zero

    By Caroline Cecot and Michael A. Livermore
    June 19, 2017

    President Trump’s Executive Order 13,771 directs each agency to repeal at least two existing regulations before issuing a new one and imposes a regulatory budget that sets a cap on total incremental regulatory costs. In this essay, Caroline Cecot and Michael Livermore evaluate the Order against three priorities that have been adopted by prior administrations or promoted by scholars, commentators, or interest groups: (1) increasing net benefits of regulation, (2) decreasing regulatory burdens, and (3) increasing presidential control over agencies. They also compare the Order against the regulatory reform efforts in other countries.

    The authors conclude that the Order is unlikely to achieve any of these goals without significant changes. They urge President Trump to scrap the Order and instead ensure that agencies engage in reasonable retrospective review of existing regulations and that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has sufficient staff to oversee agency decisionmaking, among other sensible reforms.

  • Few and Not So Far Between
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Few and Not So Far Between

    A Meta-analysis of Climate Damage Estimates

    By Peter H. Howard and Thomas Sterner
    June 12, 2017

    Given the vast uncertainty surrounding climate impacts, meta-analyses of global climate damage estimates are a key tool for determining the relationship between temperature and climate damages. Due to limited data availability, previous meta-analyses of global climate damages potentially suffered from multiple sources of coefficient and standard error bias. To address and test for these biases, we expand on previous datasets to obtain sufficient degrees of freedom to make the necessary model adjustments, including dropping duplicate estimates and including methodological variables. Estimating the relationship between temperature and climate damages using weighted least squares with cluster-robust standard errors, we find strong evidence that duplicate and omitted variable biases flatten the relationship. However, the magnitude of the bias greatly depends on the treatment of speculative high-temperature (>4 ◦C) damage estimates. Replacing the DICE-2013R damage function with our preferred estimate of the temperature–damage relationship, we find a three- to four-fold increase in the 2015 SCC relative to DICE, depending on the treatment of productivity. When catastrophic impacts are also factored in, the SCC increases by four- to five-fold.

  • Managing the Future of the Electricity Grid: Energy Storage and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Managing the Future of the Electricity Grid: Energy Storage and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    By Richard L. Revesz and Burcin Unel
    June 6, 2017

    Recent advances in technology and the consequent decline in manufacturing costs are making energy storage systems a central element of energy and climate change policy debates across the nation. Energy storage systems have the potential to provide many benefits such as lower electricity prices at peak demand times, deferred or avoided new capacity investments, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, both federal and state policymakers are enthusiastically encouraging more energy storage deployment with the belief that energy storage systems will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector by making intermittent and variable renewable energy resources such as solar and wind more attractive.