Institute for Policy Integrity

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Publications

Viewing all publications in Climate Change and Energy Policy
  • The Social Cost of Carbon: A Global Imperative
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    The Social Cost of Carbon: A Global Imperative

    By Richard L. Revesz, Jason A. Schwartz, Peter H. Howard, Kenneth Arrow, Michael A. Livermore, Michael Oppenheimer, and Thomas Sterner
    March 11, 2017

    To solve the unprecedented global commons problem posed by climate change, all nations must internalize the global externalities of their emissions. If not, collective efforts will never achieve an efficient, stable climate outcome. The United States’ practice of looking at the global impact of emissions has come under attack in courtrooms and academic journals, with some arguing that the U.S. should instead consider only the domestic impacts of climate change in its decisionmaking.

    In a letter published in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, we argue that federal agencies should continue to use a global number for Social Cost of Carbon, as developed by the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon. First, the United States benefits tremendously if other countries set policy based on global rather than local effects. From a legal perspective, not only does international law—the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change—commit the United States to account for global effects, but domestic laws like the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act also either require or give discretion to agencies to consider global climate costs. Many seemingly “foreign” climate damages would actually spill over to harm the United States.

  • Social Costs of Greenhouse Gases
    Issue Brief

    Social Costs of Greenhouse Gases

    February 27, 2017

    Scientific studies show that climate change will have, and in some cases has already had, severe consequences for society, like the spread of disease, increased food insecurity, and coastal destruction. The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a metric designed to quantify climate damages, representing the net economic cost of carbon dioxide emissions. Our issue brief on the Social Cost of Carbon details how this metric was developed and how it applies to federal regulatory policy.

  • Measuring Flood Risk
    Policy Brief

    Measuring Flood Risk

    What Are NYC Residents Willing to Pay for a Flood Protection System?

    By J. Scott Holladay, Howard Kunreuther, and Valerie Stahl
    October 31, 2016

    This policy brief evaluates how willingness to pay (WTP) for a flood protection system varies with exposure to flood risk, using detailed flood maps and parcel-level data to identify households within and just beyond the 100-year flood plain in New York City. Past research has estimated that a homeowner’s WTP for flood insurance is largely contingent upon their risk level. However, no studies to date have analyzed the WTP for other forms of flood protection. We conducted a survey of single-family homeowners living in the 100- and 500-year flood plains in New York City, and found that WTP for flood control systems varies with the degree of risk that homeowners face. While the majority of residents living in the 100- year flood plain were willing to pay up to $10 a month to contribute to the cost of a seawall, the majority of residents living in the 500-year flood plain, an area that has a 0.2% risk of flooding in any given year, were only willing to pay up to $7 a month. These results are consistent with other studies demonstrating that risk—actual or perceived—plays a large role in individuals’ WTP for protection from floods.

  • Setting the Record Straight on the Clean Power Plan
    Policy Brief

    Setting the Record Straight on the Clean Power Plan

    What the Challengers Got Wrong at the D.C. Circuit Oral Argument

    By Richard L. Revesz, Denise A. Grab, and Jack Lienke
    October 27, 2016

    On September 27, opponents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan presented their case against the rule in a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s existing power plants. A coalition of states, utilities, coal companies, and other industry groups have sought to block the rule since it was first proposed in June 2014, while a competing group of states, municipalities, power companies, environmental and public health organizations, and clean energy producers have intervened to support the EPA. Over the course of the seven-hour hearing, the petitioners challenging the Clean Power Plan asserted and implied a number of things that don’t stand up to scrutiny. This report sets the record straight on some of their more notable misstatements.

  • Bounded Regulation
    Policy Brief

    Bounded Regulation

    How the Clean Power Plan Conforms to Statutory Limits on EPA’s Authority

    By Richard L. Revesz, Denise A. Grab, and Jack Lienke
    September 12, 2016

    This policy brief analyzes the limits of the EPA’s Section 111 regulatory authority and determines that the CPP explicitly acknowledges and respects each of the EPA’s statutory constraints. The brief discusses the eight major constraints for emissions guidelines under Clean Air Act Section 111, and examines how the CPP handles each one. The analysis finds no evidence to support petitioners’ accusations that the the EPA exceeded its regulatory authority.