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The Ancillary Benefits from Climate Policy in the United States

  • Britt Groosman
  • Nicholas Z. Muller

    ()

  • Erin O’Neill

This study investigates the benefits to human health that would occur in the United States (U.S.) due to reductions in local air pollutant emissions stemming from a federal policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In order to measure the impacts of reduced emissions of local pollutants, this study considers a representative U.S. climate policy. Specifically, the climate policy modeled in this analysis is the Warner-Lieberman bill (S.2191) of 2008 and the paper considers the impacts of reduced emissions in the transport and electric power sectors. This analysis provides strong evidence that climate change policy in the U.S. will generate significant returns to society in excess of the benefits due to climate stabilization. The total health-related co-benefits associated with a representative climate policy over the years 2006 to 2030 range between $90 and $725 billion in present value terms depending on modeling assumptions. The majority of avoided damages are due to reduced emissions of SO2 from coal-fired power plants. Among the most important assumptions is whether remaining coal-fired generation capacity is permitted to “backslide” up to the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) cap on emissions. This analysis models two scenarios specifically related to this issue. Co-benefits increase from $90 billion, when the CAIR cap is met, to $256 billion if SO2 emissions are not permitted to exceed current emission rates. On a per ton basis, the co-benefit per ton of GHG emissions is projected to average between $2 and $14 ($2006). The per ton marginal abatement cost for the representative climate policy is estimated at $9 ($2006).

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0920.pdf
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Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0920.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0920
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  1. Muller, Nicholas Z. & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2007. "Measuring the damages of air pollution in the United States," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-14, July.
  2. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  3. Christopher Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2006. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," Working Papers 625, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  4. Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
  5. Brons, Martijn & Nijkamp, Peter & Pels, Eric & Rietveld, Piet, 2008. "A meta-analysis of the price elasticity of gasoline demand. A SUR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2105-2122, September.
  6. Mendelsohn, Robert, 1980. "An economic analysis of air pollution from coal-fired power plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 30-43, March.
  7. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alfredo A. Romero, 2007. "Revisiting the Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," Working Papers 63, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  9. Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2002. "The Demand for Automobile Fuel: A Survey of Elasticities," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, January.
  10. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt Van Dender, 2007. "Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-52.
  11. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "The Value of Life: Estimates with Risks by Occupation and Industry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(1), pages 29-48, January.
  13. Dallas Burtraw & Alan Krupnick & Erin Mansur & David Austin & Deirdre Farrell, 1998. "Costs And Benefits Of Reducing Air Pollutants Related To Acid Rain," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 379-400, October.
  14. Puller, Steven L. & Greening, Lorna A., 1999. "Household adjustment to gasoline price change: an analysis using 9 years of US survey data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 37-52, February.
  15. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn, 2009. "Efficient Pollution Regulation: Getting the Prices Right," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1714-39, December.
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