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Strategic Policy Choice in State-Level Regulation: The EPA's Clean Power Plan

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  • James B. Bushnell
  • Stephen P. Holland
  • Jonathan E. Hughes
  • Christopher R. Knittel

Abstract

The EPA's Clean Power Plan sets goals for CO2 emissions rate reductions by 2030 that vary substantially across states. States can choose the regulatory mechanism they use and whether or not to join with other states in implementing their goals. We analyze incentives to adopt rate standards versus cap-and-trade with theory and simulation. We show conditions where adoption of inefficient rate standards is a dominant strategy from both consumers' and generators' perspectives. Numerical simulations of the western electricity system highlight incentives for uncoordinated policies that lower welfare and increase emissions relative to coordination.

Suggested Citation

  • James B. Bushnell & Stephen P. Holland & Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel, 2017. "Strategic Policy Choice in State-Level Regulation: The EPA's Clean Power Plan," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 57-90, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:57-90
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150237
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    1. James B. Bushnell & Stephen P. Holland & Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel, 2017. "Strategic Policy Choice in State-Level Regulation: The EPA's Clean Power Plan," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 57-90, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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