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Recent Projects

  • Wisdom of the Experts Cover

    Wisdom of the Experts

    Using Survey Responses to Address Positive and Normative Uncertainties in Climate-Economic Models

    The social cost of carbon (SCC) and the climate-economic models underlying this prominent US climate policy instrument are heavily affected by modeler opinion and therefore may not reflect the views of most climate economists. To test whether differences exist, we recalibrate key uncertain model parameters using formal expert elicitation: a multi-question online survey of individuals who have published scholarship on the economics of climate change. Read the article, published in Climatic Change.

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  • Comments to DOE on Energy Conservation Standards for Water Heaters

    The Department of Energy (DOE) asked for input on conducting its national impact analysis, including on market failures, its emissions analysis, and monetization of benefits of emissions reductions. We submitted comments suggesting that DOE continue to monetize the full climate benefits of emissions reductions using the best available estimates of the social cost of greenhouse gases. 

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  • Comments to DOE on Energy Conservation Standards for External Power Supplies

    The Department of Energy (DOE) asked for input on conducting its national impact analysis, including on market failures, its emissions analysis, and monetization of benefits of emissions reductions. We submitted comments suggesting that DOE continue to monetize the full climate benefits of emissions reductions using the best available estimates of the social cost of greenhouse gases. 

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  • Amicus Brief on EPA’s Revocation of the California Auto Emissions Waiver

    We filed a brief in the D.C. Circuit supporting a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to revoke the waiver of preemption that allowed California (and more than a dozen states following California's standards) to set critical auto emission standards to further restrict greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollutants. EPA wrongfully concluded that it has virtually unconstrained authority to revoke a preemption waiver under Section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act. We explain how the agency overlooks key countervailing principles and misconstrues the purpose and mechanics of the waiver provision.  

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  • Amicus Brief on Borrower Defense Rule

    We filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York supporting a challenge to the Department of Education’s replacement for a 2016 regulation known as the Borrower Defense Rule. The replacement rule makes it much harder for student borrowers who have been defrauded by for-profit colleges to get their loans discharged—and for the government to recover the value of those discharged loans from the offending institutions. Our brief focuses on serious flaws in the Department’s economic analysis of the new policy. Most notably, the Department fails to consider the costs of forgone debt relief for borrowers and refuses to acknowledge that reducing financial accountability for institutions will encourage them to engage in more fraud.

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  • Comments to EPA on Delay of Emissions Rule for Wood Heaters

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend the 2015 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for residential wood heating devices, purporting to respond to retailer needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our comments detail how how the proposal contradicts the Clean Air Act’s mandate and longstanding agency guidance. The proposed rule will, even under the agencies’ own analysis, cause net harms to the public without providing any reasonable justification.

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  • Amicus Brief on Revisions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

    Under recent revisions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, nearly 700,000 current beneficiaries would lose eligibility—harming the health of those individuals and likely causing economic disruption in the food sector. We filed an amicus brief in a federal lawsuit challenging the rule, detailing how the Department of Agriculture’s analysis fails to assess the profound and widespread costs of substantial disenrollment from SNAP assistance. Our brief was cited several times in the State Plaintiffs' reply brief to support their argument that the federal government did not adequately consider the indirect costs of the rule. 

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  • Comments to FERC on Transmission Incentives

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposed changes to its electric transmission incentives, which aim to spur the deployment of technologies that enhance reliability, efficiency, and capacity of transmission facilities. We submitted comments identifying significant problems with the proposal, including its reliance on a benefit-cost ratio for project selection.

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  • Energy Transition, Distributed Energy Resources, and the Need for Information Cover

    Energy Transition, Distributed Energy Resources, and the Need for Information

    Modernizing the U.S. power grid to advance the clean energy transition, to increase the deployment of new technologies such as smart and controllable appliances, electric vehicles, and energy storage, and to reduce emissions is the mainstream discussion in today’s utility regulation. Policymakers around the country are implementing various types of reforms ranging from technology mandates to new tariffs aimed at unlocking competitive forces to achieve their policy goals. We briefly overview the potential information problems that can arise, discuss the importance of information in energy policy design for DER deployment, and then conclude by suggesting directions for future policy research.

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  • Comments on Oklahoma’s Medicaid Waiver

    The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has requested permission from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to change the state’s Medicaid program in a variety of ways—including by introducing work requirements and premium payments for some beneficiaries. We filed comments opposing the request and explaining why the benefits, if any, of work and cost-sharing requirements are unlikely to justify the accompanying health and administrative costs.

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