Climate & Energy

Notable quotable

America’s 21st century can’t-do spirit

“It’s frankly not doable for us.” – chief U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson, on the G8’s proposal to reduce industrial countries’ emissions 25-40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020

Cause and effect

Here’s a sentence from a new story in the WSJ: The second-poorest state in the nation based on household income, West Virginia counts on coal to support its economy. May I suggest a rewrite? West …

Calling all economists

Are the CGE models useful for predicting the effects of climate policy?

Photo: StuSeeger via Flickr. My pal Peter Dorman is looking for answers: Does the class of economic forecasting tools known as "computable general equilibrium models" (aka CGE models) have any documented track record of success? This may seem like an arcane point, but it's quite relevant to climate policy. Government agencies throughout North America are using CGE models to forecast the economic impacts of various cap-and-trade proposals. But many academic economists -- Dorman among them -- think that the CGE models are built on sand. Says Dorman:

Senate all before

GOP leaders resort to high jinks to stall climate bill

Republican leaders essentially shut down the Senate Wednesday during what was supposed to be a time of debate on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, forcing clerks to read the entire 492-page bill aloud. Republicans said …

Your two cents

Opening ANWR cuts gas prices $0.02 in 2025

In the climate and energy debate, conservatives continue to argue that the only solution to high gasoline prices is drill, drill, drill, especially in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This argument is false, false, false. The Administration's own Energy Information Administration found differently in a 2004 Congressionally-requested "Analysis of Oil and Gas Production in ANWR" (see "Note to Bush, media: Opening ANWR cuts gas prices one cent in 2025"). I pointed out then that the 2004 analysis was based on low oil prices, and that higher oil prices would raise the savings. A May 2008 re-analysis [PDF] by EIA, "Analysis of Crude Oil Production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," in fact found this:

Who is being misleading?

A Post columnist’s defenders can’t salvage his poor cap-and-trade logic

Tyler Cowen weighs in on the cap-and-trade debate. He focuses on my criticism of Samuelson’s seeming failure to understand the relationship between cap-and-trade and a carbon tax: But Samuelson is correct here and Avent is …

McCain is <em>not</em> the candidate of change

Arizona senator says no to Boxer-L-W without giga-subsidies for nukes

McCain said last night that he is the candidate of change. How is billions of dollars in subsidies to build hundreds of nuclear power plants "change"? Here is everything you need to know about McCain's understanding of both energy and climate issues: He doesn't care enough about the climate to support even a so-so bill like Boxer-Lieberman-Warner unless there are giga-subsidies for nukes beyond the $100 billion or so the industry has received to date.


Will the Senate ever get to constructive (or destructive) debate on climate bill?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he won’t allow floor debate on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act to extend beyond next week, according to an article in E&E Daily ($ub. req’d) today. “If …

Green jobs are America's jobs

Report: Strong climate policy would protect 14 million American jobs

Originally posted at the Wonk Room. A new report from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, finds that strong climate policy is a driver for a healthy economy. A policy that prioritizes energy efficiency and renewable energy -- such as cap-and-trade legislation that limits carbon emissions -- will drive investment into those sectors. From day one, the millions of Americans working in such jobs will enjoy greater job security. Strong Climate Action Directly Benefits Over 14 Million American Workers. "What is clear from this report is that millions of U.S. workers -- across a wide range of occupations, states, and income levels -- will all benefit from the project of defeating global warming and transforming the United States into a green economy." Over 14 million people throughout the country are employed in 45 representative occupations that would benefit in a low-carbon economy, roughly nine percent of today's total U.S. workforce. [PERI, 5/28/08] The six green strategies examined in the report are: building retrofitting, mass transit, energy-efficient automobiles, wind power, solar power, and cellulosic biomass fuels. PERI's analysis shows that the vast majority of jobs associated with these six green strategies are in the same areas of employment that people already work in to-day, in every region and state of the country.