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  • Transmission Planning for the Energy Transition Cover

    Transmission Planning for the Energy Transition

    Rethinking Modeling Approaches

    This report examines the critical role of modeling details and assumptions that transmission planners frequently ignore. We first provide an overview of the wide array of choices planners have when designing traditional transmission planning models. We then discuss how planners need to rethink these choices to account for the rapidly evolving energy system and the additional uncertainties climate change brings. Finally, we present a modeling case study to show how important these modeling choices could be for transmission outcomes.

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  • The Continued Need for SEC Action on Climate-Related Disclosures Cover

    The Continued Need for SEC Action on Climate-Related Disclosures

    How New California and E.U. Requirements Reinforce the Economic Case for the SEC’s Proposed Rule

    On March 21, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule that would require SEC registrants (both domestic and foreign) to provide climate-related disclosures in certain SEC filings. Since the release of the SEC Proposal in March 2022, other jurisdictions, including California and the European Union, have adopted climate-related disclosure regimes. Like many federal rules, the SEC Proposal included an assessment of its costs and benefits. This report examines how the California and E.U. disclosure regimes may affect the baseline for that cost-benefit analysis and, consequently, the SEC’s assessment of the incremental costs and benefits of its proposal. Overall, we find that the new disclosure regimes do not undermine the economic case for the SEC Proposal; if anything, they bolster it.

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  • The Social Cost of Carbon Cover

    The Social Cost of Carbon

    Options for Applying a Metric in Flux

    Many states and other jurisdictions are grappling with how to value greenhouse gas emission reductions and trying to understand the rapidly developing climate economics and science involved in this task. Frequently, state governments and other jurisdictions value greenhouse gas emissions in policymaking using a tool known as the social cost of carbon.

    While applying the social cost of carbon is conceptually simple, the appropriate value to place on the metric is in flux. In late 2022, the federal government released new, updated values of the social cost of carbon in draft form which, for now, remain unfinalized. So what estimates of the social cost of carbon should states and other entities use during this transition period? This policy brief explores the available options.

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  • Administrative Severability Cover

    Administrative Severability

    A Tool Federal Agencies Can Use to Address Legal Uncertainty

    Several recent developments in administrative law—namely the Supreme Court’s embrace of the major questions doctrine and decision to hear a case asking it to overrule or clarify Chevron deference—have left federal agencies uncertain about how regulations will fare in litigation. Agencies adapting to this uncertainty may want to pay closer attention to recent case law on administrative severability, which allows a court to sever the invalid portion of a rule while leaving the rest intact.

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  • The Obligation to Serve in Massachusetts Cover

    The Obligation to Serve in Massachusetts

    Gas Service and the Energy Transition

    In Massachusetts, achieving the state’s decarbonization target in a cost-effective manner will likely require the refusal of new gas service in addition to the termination of existing gas service in certain buildings and its replacement with electric service. The scope of utilities’ legal obligation to serve their customers will be central to those efforts. This brief analyzes the contours of this obligation by examining the relevant Massachusetts statutes, regulations, Public Utility Commission decisions, and case law.

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