Guided by the blueprint of all three Bostock opinions, this article, published in the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, performs a deep dive into the legislative materials surrounding the enactment of the Clean Air Act of 1970, uncovering a treasure trove of sources that had not previously been part of the public discourse. It shows how, under the interpretive approach of each of the three opinions, greenhouse gases are unquestionably pollutants for the purposes of the Clean Air Act. Because the approaches in the majority and dissents in Bostock—and thus a majority of the current Court—all point in the same direction, the era of greenhouse gas exceptionalism should now be over.
A Case Study of New York
Unless the institutional framework and laws pertaining to fossil fuels are modified appropriately, decarbonization efforts will likely be stymied by confusion and related opportunities for opposition. This article, published in the Energy Law Journal, aims to start a wider conversation about the process of conforming existing energy law with novel, climate-oriented legislation. We concentrate on New York’s situation to illustrate how these tensions can manifest and what might be done to address them.
On the Role of Externalities and Subsidies (Working Paper)
In our latest working paper, we use economic modeling to analytically show the relationship between generation subsidies and energy and capacity markets. We show that the feared capacity price suppression can happen only under limited circumstances and that in the short-run, the subsidies will tend to increase capacity prices. We also demonstrate that while subsidies cannot produce the first-best outcomes, there exists a range of welfare-enhancing subsidy rates and designs that improve welfare, such that regulators should think of subsidies as one of the tools available for increasing electricity market efficiency.
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.
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