Energy & Environment

Maximilian Auffhammer Gas is too cheap

Readers of this blog are likely aware that oil is really cheap right now. While in July 2008, the U.S. benchmark price peaked at just above $140 a barrel, its price dipped to below $27 in mid-January.

The Internet is on fire telling us that a barrel of oil is now … More >

Steven Weissman The future of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

The role that nuclear power could or should play in helping to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions is worthy of serious debate, but the latest nuclear-related front-page story in the San Francisco Chronicle is a head-scratcher. Above the fold, the headline reads “Nuclear plant’s surprise backers,” followed by the following subheading: … More >

Ethan Elkind Clean technology: Big win in Supreme Court

The future of a clean electricity grid will require more decentralization based on clean technology, like solar and energy storage. Large industrial customers are investing in these technologies and also signing up to moderate their electricity demand in response to larger grid needs (i.e. reducing usage when electricity becomes expensive … More >

Dan Farber On environmental policy, 2016 is the year of living dangerously

We are at the start of a year of danger for environmental policy. 2015 saw many accomplishments in environmental law: the Administration issued the “waters of the United States” and Clean Power Plan regulations, a Supreme Court ruling in favor of EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule, and the Paris Agreement on climate change. … More >

Maximilian Auffhammer Heat and happiness

One of the reasons we think we should take action about climate change is that the costs of doing something about the problem are lower than the stream of future damages if we fail to act.

Figuring out what damages from climate change will be 100 or more years into the … More >

Dan Farber Key environmental developments ahead in 2016

The year 2015 was a big one for agency regulations and international negotiations. In 2016, the main focal points will be the political process and the courts. Here are seven major things to watch for.

The presidential election. The election will have huge consequences for the environment. A Republican President is almost sure … More >

David Zilberman Training environmental leaders in Nepal, Sandee style

I had always wanted to visit Nepal and between the 9th and 14th of December I finally made the voyage. I participated in a seminar of Sandee (the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economists) and spent some time with my colleague and friend Biswo Poudel.

The … More >

Dan Farber Does the Paris agreement open the door to geoengineering?

The Paris establishes an aspiration goal of holding climate change to 1.5°C, with a firmer goal of holding the global temperature decrease “well below” 2°C. As a practical matter, the 1.5°C goal almost certainly would require geoengineering, such as injecting aerosols into the stratosphere or solar mirrors.

Even getting well below … More >

Steven Weissman You have the right to generate your own electricity

Do people have the right to generate electricity for their own use and still remain connected to the grid? Of course they do. You see it every day. Without prior registration or a background check, anyone can go into a hardware store and buy a diesel generator. Homeowners and businesses … More >

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