Capturing climate's effect on pollution abatement with an improved solution to the omitted variables problem
Climate greatly affects the SO2 concentration abatement efforts of Mae Moh power plant which burns high sulfur content lignite in Northern Thailand. In summer months, hot air rising draws Mae Moh's SO2 emissions out of the Mae Moh valley. In contrast, temperature inversions in winter months prevent hot air in the valley from rising, resulting in the trapping and concentrating of SO2 emissions in the valley. The climatic conditions that affect Mae Moh's abatement efforts are so complex that adequately modeling them has been elusive. In this paper we use a new analytical technique, BD-RTPLS, which produces reduce form estimates while minimizing the influence of omitted variables, like climate. Using BD-RTPLS and monthly data, we tell Mae Moh how much electricity needs to be sacrificed from which generating units to most efficiently reduce SO2 concentrations in any given month.
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