A New Idea For Fighting Carbon Emissions

by Stuart Shapiro

The Obama Administration has sent some signals that it may make climate change a priority.  Congress likely will not.  But since the Supreme Court has given EPA authority to regulate carbon emissions, the President does not have to wait for Congress.  The environmental organization Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has put out one proposal (h/t Brad Plumer):

The NRDC plan has two key elements:
(1) EPA would set state-specific emissions rates, reflecting the diversity of the nation’s electricity sector, as well as the state-by-state structure of Section 111(d).
(2) Power plant owners and states would have broad flexibility to meet standards in the most cost-effective way, through a range of technologies and measures.

NRDC estimates that the proposal will cost $4 billion and will have benefits of between $40 billion to $60 billion.  It’s a good place to start.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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