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  • Climate and Power System Reliability in the Aftermath of the Texas Blackouts Cover

    Climate and Power System Reliability in the Aftermath of the Texas Blackouts

    The February 2021 blackout in Texas underscored the importance of reliable and resilient power systems. This article discusses the roles of regulators, markets, fuel and generation supply chains, and interdependent infrastructures, and finds that they need to be reconsidered and redefined to successfully meet the future challenges of increased electrification and severe weather

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  • Playing with Fire Cover

    Playing with Fire

    Responding to Criticism of the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

    Federal agencies will need to offer considered and detailed responses to objections raised in the notice-and-comment processes for individual regulations or administrative actions that apply the Working Group’s social cost valuations. Given its expertise, the Working Group should consider providing such responses now, so that agencies can then incorporate them into future actions. This report offers a blueprint for those responses.

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  • Expert Elicitation and the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases Cover

    Expert Elicitation and the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

    The Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases can use the findings from expert elicitations to improve the U.S. federal government’s social cost of greenhouse gas estimates, which are used in regulatory cost-benefit analysis and other policy contexts. Our report highlights several component updates, incorporating data from expert elicitations, that the Working Group should consider during its current update of the social cost of greenhouse gas estimates.

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  • About Time Cover

    About Time

    Recalibrating the Discount Rate for the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

    In light of recent evidence, a new range of discount rates appropriate for calculating the social cost of greenhouse gases could be conservatively estimated as between 0.5%-2.5%, with a central estimate of 1.5%. Agencies should follow the Interagency Working Group’s guidance on applying new social cost of greenhouse gas estimates based on updated discount rates—and will need to justify their choices, including any departures from prior practices.

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  • Strategically Estimating Climate Pollution Costs in a Global Environment Cover

    Strategically Estimating Climate Pollution Costs in a Global Environment

    Debate has reemerged about whether federal agencies’ policy analyses should focus on those climate pollution costs that will occur only within U.S. borders, rather than on the full global valuation of climate damages. The Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases provides compelling justifications to focus on global estimates. Based on a wide range available evidence, the Working Group should consider recommending a domestic valuation of at least 75% or more of the global values for optional use as 5 a lower-bound estimate in sensitivity analysis.

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  • Broadening the Use of the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases in Federal Policy Cover

    Broadening the Use of the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases in Federal Policy

    Our report highlights numerous areas in which the federal government should apply the social cost of greenhouse gases beyond regulatory cost-benefit analysis. It is organized under the framework of “decision-making, budgeting, and procurement” laid out in the President’s executive order, identifying a number of relevant actions—like environmental reviews conducted under NEPA and the assessment of royalty rates for federal land-management. In short, application of the social cost of greenhouse gases would be extremely beneficial for any executive branch decision with significant greenhouse gas implications.

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  • Who Knows What: Information Barriers to Efficient DER Roll-Out Cover

    Who Knows What: Information Barriers to Efficient DER Roll-Out

    Working Paper

    While academic research on Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) has been mostly focused on first-best systems, we hypothesize that in reality multiple information barriers to efficient DER roll-out exist. We thus study the prevalence and importance of information issues arising in the context of deployment of DERs by reviewing the existing engineering and economic literature on distributed resources, analyzing DER-related regulatory proceedings, and surveying the relevant electricity sector stakeholders for their perception of information relevance and accessibility.

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  • Strategic Policymaking for Implementing Renewable Portfolio Standards: A Tri-level Optimization Approach Cover

    Strategic Policymaking for Implementing Renewable Portfolio Standards: A Tri-level Optimization Approach

    Forthcoming

    Appropriately designed renewable support policies can play a leading role in promoting renewable expansions and contribute to low emission goals. Meanwhile, ill-designed policies may distort electricity markets, put power utilities and generation companies on an unlevel playing field and, in turn, cause inefficiencies. This paper, forthcoming in IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, proposes a framework to optimize policymaking for renewable energy sources, while incorporating conflicting interests and objectives of different stakeholders.

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  • Tune Up Cover

    Tune Up

    Fixing Market Failures to Cut Fuel Costs and Pollution from Cars and Trucks

    This report analyzes a key issue in U.S. transportation policy: the energy efficiency gap. We discuss the market failures that cause it, and recommend that the Biden administration continue the longstanding practice of incorporating private fuel savings in any evaluation of the costs and benefits of stronger standards for cars and trucks.

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  • Gauging Economic Consensus on Climate Change – Issue Brief Cover

    Gauging Economic Consensus on Climate Change – Issue Brief

    We conducted a large-sample global survey on climate economics, which we sent to all economists who have published climate-related research in the field’s highest-ranked academic journals; 738 responded. To our knowledge, this is the largest-ever expert survey on the economics of climate change. The results show an overwhelming consensus that the costs of inaction on climate change are higher than the costs of action, and that immediate, aggressive emissions reductions are economically desirable.

    This Issue Brief highlights key takeaways from the survey. A more detailed report is available here.

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