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Enforcement of Vintage Differentiated Regulations: The Case of New Source Review

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  • Bushnell, James
  • Wolfram, Catherine

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of the New Source Review (NSR) environmental regulations on coal-fired electric power plants. Regulations that grew out of the Clean Air Act of 1970 required new electric generating plants to install costly pollution control equipment but exempted existing plants with a grandfathering clause. Existing plants lost their grandfathering status if they made ``major modifications'' to their plants. We examine whether this caused firms to invest less in their old plants, possibly leading to lower efficiency and higher emissions. We find some evidence that the risk of NSR enforcement reduced capital expenditures at plants. However, we find no discernable effect on the operating costs, fuel efficiency or emissions of these plants.

Suggested Citation

  • Bushnell, James & Wolfram, Catherine, 2008. "Enforcement of Vintage Differentiated Regulations: The Case of New Source Review," Staff General Research Papers Archive 31185, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:31185
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    Cited by:

    1. Popp, David & Newell, Richard G. & Jaffe, Adam B., 2010. "Energy, the Environment, and Technological Change," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 873-937, Elsevier.
    2. Joshua Linn & Erin Mastrangelo & Dallas Burtraw, 2014. "Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants under the Clean Air Act," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 97-134.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    New Source Review; Environmental Regulations; productivity; and Electricity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects

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