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

  • Bushnell, James
  • Wolfram, Catherine

�This paper analyzes the effects of the New Source Review (NSR) environmentalregulations 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. �Existing plants lost their exemptions if they made ``major modifications.'' �We examine whether this caused firms to invest less in grandfathered plants, possibly leading to lower efficiency and higher emissions. We find �evidence that heightened NSR enforcement reduced capital expenditures at vulnerableplants. However, we find no discernable effect on other inputs or emissions.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. �Existing plants lost their exemptions if they made ``major modifications.'' �We examine whether this caused firms to invest less in grandfathered plants, possibly leading to lower efficiency and higher emissions. We find �evidence that heightened NSR enforcement reduced capital expenditures at vulnerable�plants. However, we find no discernable effect on other inputs or emissions.�

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p11805-2010-03-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 31805.

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Date of creation: 02 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:31805
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Nathaniel Keohane & Erin T. Mansur & Andrey Voynov, 2007. "Averting Regulatory Enforcement: Evidence from New Source Review," NBER Working Papers 13512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  3. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christensen, Laurits R & Greene, William H, 1976. "Economies of Scale in U.S. Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 655-76, August.
  5. Maloney, Michael T & Brady, Gordon L, 1988. "Capital Turnover and Marketable Pollution Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 203-26, April.
  6. Heutel, Garth, 2011. "Plant vintages, grandfathering, and environmental policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 36-51, January.
  7. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Stavins, Robert, 2005. "Vintage-Differentiated Environmental Regulation," Working Paper Series rwp05-065, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1998. "The Effects of the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency Standards in the US," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 1-33, March.
  10. List John A. & Millimet Daniel L & McHone Warren, 2004. "The Unintended Disincentive in the Clean Air Act," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-28, February.
  11. Ian Lange & Joshua Linn, 2008. "Bush v. Gore and the Effect of New Source Review on Power Plant Emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 571-591, August.
  12. Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Did the Clean Air Act Cause the Remarkable Decline in Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations?," Working Papers 0407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  13. Andrew N. Kleit & Dek Terrell, 2001. "Measuring Potential Efficiency Gains From Deregulation Of Electricity Generation: A Bayesian Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 523-530, August.
  14. Nelson, Randy A & Tietenberg, Tom & Donihue, Michael R, 1993. "Differential Environmental Regulation: Effects on Electric Utility Capital Turnover and Emissions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 368-73, May.
  15. Gollop, Frank M & Roberts, Mark J, 1983. "Environmental Regulations and Productivity Growth: The Case of Fossil-Fueled Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 654-74, August.
  16. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Christopher R. Knittel, 2002. "Alternative Regulatory Methods And Firm Efficiency: Stochastic Frontier Evidence From The U.S. Electricity Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 530-540, August.
  18. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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