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Recent Projects

Coal Reform Publications, Workshop for Policymakers

As the Department of the Interior continues its review of the federal coal leasing program, we recently released a new report, Priorities for Federal Coal Reform, which highlights 12 recommendations for Interior’s programmatic review. Our suggestions aim to modernize the program so that it maximizes social welfare and accounts for U.S. climate change goals. The report emphasizes that the programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) must be prepared carefully, transparently, and by using the best economic and modeling tools available. And Interior should analyze how different royalty rates and coal production scenarios would affect greenhouse gas emissions, revenue, jobs, and energy markets. We also released a new policy brief that discusses the multiple power sector models that Interior could use to guide its review. The brief provides model selection criteria along with recommendations to guide the agency’s model choice.

Shortly after the release of these reports, we hosted a workshop on federal coal reform in Washington, D.C., bringing together a group of distinguished academics to discuss potential reforms with a large group of federal government officials and other stakeholders. Our speakers included David Hayes, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior Department, and Professor James Stock, who served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. Several high-ranking Interior Department officials attended the workshop, along with officials from the EPA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Energy. In addition to sharing our recommendations at this workshop, we held follow-up meetings with several Interior Department officials.