Forthcoming in the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law
Under the National Environmental Policy Act, agencies must consider the environmental impacts of major federal actions before they can move forward. But agencies frequently downplay or ignore the climate change impacts of their projects in NEPA analyses, citing a slew of technical difficulties and uncertainties. This article, forthcoming in the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law, aims to highlight best practices so that agency offices can learn from one another, fulfill NEPA’s mandate, and begin to provide leadership in the fight against climate change.
Markets, Externalities, and the Federal Power Act: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Authority to Price Carbon Emissions
Article revised for the Environmental Law Reporter
This article, excerpted from Davis Noll and Unel’s article in the NYU Environmental Law Journal, provides a comprehensive economic framework to show that addressing the CO2 externality through a carbon price falls within FERC’s authority to ensure an efficient market.
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.
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.
FERC and Cost-Benefit Analysis
This article, published in the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, argues that, FERC’s management of this transition would be significantly enhanced if it embraced cost-benefit analysis—including accounting for important indirect costs and benefits such as the effect on climate change—to guide its decisionmaking. Changing course and adopting cost-benefit analysis will allow FERC to manage the energy transition while maximizing social welfare, enhancing transparency and accountability, and mitigating legal and political risk
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