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Category Archives: Climate Change

Paper – Carbon Taxation by Regulation

Rossi, Jim, Carbon Taxation by Regulation (March 20, 2017). Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 102 (2018 Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2937783

“This Article argues that, even though a carbon tax remains politically elusive, “carbon taxation by regulation” has begun to flourish as a way of financing carbon reduction. For more than a century, energy rate setting has been used to promote public good and redistributive goals, akin to general financial taxation. Various non-tax subsidies in customer energy rates have enormous untapped potential for promoting low-carbon sources of energy, while also balancing broader economic and social welfare goals. While carbon taxation by regulation offers many benefits, regulators’ narrow fixation on consumer protection and economic goals has hobbled realization of its potential. In comparison to a national carbon tax, customer subsidies in regulation are piecemeal, isolated in focus, and fragmented. They also have not been sufficiently attentive to revenue shortfalls and burden allocation, important fairness and equity issues, or negative and positive jurisdictional spillovers. Using a carbon tax as a benchmark, this Article identifies some principles to help guide efforts to reform, recalibrate and scale up customer rate subsidies to promote low-carbon sources of energy. State and federal agencies can better promote efficiency and social welfare in modern energy markets by aligning customer rate subsidies with the same principles that would inform optimal design of a carbon tax.”

Economist Daily Chart visualizes Trump’s first budget

The Economist Daily Chart by the Data Team – Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ budget would make deep cuts to domestic programmes – Graphic detail “Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, famously promised the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. On March 16th, the Trump administration took its first step toward achieving Mr Bannon’s vision by… Continue Reading

GAO – Electricity: Status of Residential Deployment of Solar and Other Technologies

Electricity: Status of Residential Deployment of Solar and Other Technologies and Potential Benefits and Challenges, GAO-17-142: Published: Feb 13, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 2017. “Rooftop solar panels, batteries, and smart thermostats, installed in residences, can allow customers to generate and store electricity, as well as manage its use. These and other technologies can make… Continue Reading

Federal budget proposal cuts programs and services across the government

Bloomberg provides a detailed, clear and actionable article, accompanying visualization and charts specific to These 80 Programs Would Lose Federal Funding Under Trump’s Proposed Budget – “U.S. President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal includes massive cuts across most of the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture face unprecedented discretionary funding… Continue Reading

Carbon Dioxide Is Rising at Record Rate

Climate Central – “The main driver of climate change is carbon dioxide. So the fact that it is rising at rates unseen in the instrumental record — and likely much longer than that — is cause for alarm. Yet here we are. For the second year in a row, carbon dioxide concentrations as measured at… Continue Reading

Already recycling cans, glass, cardboard, paper – add Styrofoam please

Via FoamFacts – “Foam #6, commonly referred to as Styrofoam—a trademark of Dow Chemical Company, is also known as expanded polystyrene or EPS…Foam # 6 is a thermoplastic, which means that it can be completely recycled. From a technical standpoint, converting foam into recycled pellets is very easy. And by using widely available compactors specifically designed for… Continue Reading

Report on crumbling dams throughout US

Follow-up to previous posting – McClatchy – Trump team compiles infrastructure priority list – new via Stratfor – “…there are more than 80,000 dams in the United States, with an average age of 52 years. The suburban sprawl and growing populations have also put more people downstream of dams that once only served agricultural land,… Continue Reading

When Does Self-Interest Motivate Political Engagement? The Case of Climate Change

Levine, Adam Seth and Kline, Reuben, When Does Self-Interest Motivate Political Engagement? The Case of Climate Change (March 12, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2931842 “Past work finds that material self-interest often motivates increased issue engagement. In this paper we identify an important condition under which the opposite can occur. When people see an issue as… Continue Reading

Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR REORGANIZING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, March 13, 2017 – “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1.  Purpose.  This order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch… Continue Reading

NYT – Activists Rush to Save Government Science Data

Follow up to previous postings – Why is federal government data disappearing? and Please support DataRescue and other open access archive efforts, the New York Times highlights efforts by proactive teams that include librarians, advocacy groups, grad students, coders, archivists and scientists – Activists Rush to Save Government Science Data — If They Can Find… Continue Reading

MAP: The most toxic country in the world

Via The Eco Experts: “Climate change is one of the greatest threats we face, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning that continued emissions of greenhouse gases at their current level could cause a disastrous and irreversible impact on the planet. The effects of climate change are already clear: 2016 has officially been… Continue Reading

NYT – In a Mere 6 Weeks, Trump Alters More Than 90 Regulations

The Trump administration has pushed a flurry of deregulations, giving more freedoms to gun sellers, bankers and miners, and corporate lobbyists are clamoring for more. Automakers Near a Victory on Rollback of Fuel Standards Continue Reading