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Carbon Geography: The Political Economy of Congressional Support for Legislation Intended to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Production

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  • Michael I. Cragg
  • Matthew E. Kahn

Abstract

Stringent regulation for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions will impose different costs across geographical regions. Low-carbon, environmentalist states, such as California, would bear less of the incidence of such regulation than high-carbon Midwestern states. Such anticipated costs are likely to influence Congressional voting patterns. This paper uses several geographical data sets to document that conservative, poor areas have higher per-capita carbon emissions than liberal, richer areas. Representatives from such areas are shown to have much lower probabilities of voting in favor of anti-carbon legislation. In the 111th Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee consists of members who represent high carbon districts. These geographical facts suggest that the Obama Administration and the Waxman Committee will face distributional challenges in building a majority voting coalition in favor of internalizing the carbon externality.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael I. Cragg & Matthew E. Kahn, 2009. "Carbon Geography: The Political Economy of Congressional Support for Legislation Intended to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Production," NBER Working Papers 14963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14963
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2010. "The greenness of cities: Carbon dioxide emissions and urban development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, May.
    2. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Sergey Paltsev & John Reilly & Henry Jacoby & Jennifer F. Holak, 2008. "Analysis of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Tax Proposals," NBER Working Papers 13980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Joseph E. Aldy & William A. Pizer, 2009. "Issues in Designing U.S. Climate Change Policy," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 179-210.
    7. Burtraw, Dallas & Sweeney, Richard & Walls, Margaret, 2008. "The Incidence of U.S. Climate Policy: Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit," Discussion Papers dp-08-28, Resources For the Future.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Economics of Green Identity or How to Get Newt and Al Gore to Hold Hands and Jointly Support Reducing GHG Emissions
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-01-22 00:04:00
    2. A Response to Fellow Climate Change Nerds
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-12-29 03:18:00
    3. A Reply to a Smart Email About Rational Expectations and Climate Change Adaptation
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-12-19 01:00:00
    4. At Least 13,000 Have Watched This Video
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-10-08 13:59:00
    5. U.S High Carbon Exceptionalism
      by Matthew E. Kahn in the reality-based community on 2011-10-16 20:07:41
    6. Climate Change Offers a Sharp Test of the Predictive Power of Behavioral Economics
      by Matthew E. Kahn in The Reality-Based Community on 2012-04-09 21:32:22
    7. Vienna
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-06-20 11:15:00
    8. Clear and Present Danger
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-11-15 06:49:00
    9. Carbon Taxes and the Fiscal Cliff: Evidence from Iceland
      by Matthew E. Kahn in The Reality-Based Community on 2012-12-28 23:30:11
    10. Theda Skocpol on Federal Carbon Policy Design
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Legal Planet on 2013-01-19 23:07:47
    11. Al Gore Changes His Mind on the Beneficial Role of Climate Change Adaptation
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-02-10 22:30:00
    12. Al Gore’s Nuanced Support for Climate Change Adaptation Efforts
      by Matthew E. Kahn in The Reality-Based Community on 2013-02-10 22:36:53
    13. NY Times Nocera vs. James Hansen on Keystone
      by Matthew E. Kahn in The Reality-Based Community on 2013-03-05 22:44:10

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Energy Conservation “Nudges” And Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence From A Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 680-702, June.
    2. Joshua Hall & Elham Erfanian & Caleb Stair, 2016. "Voting Behavior on Carbon Pollution from Power Plants," Working Papers 16-11, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    3. Matthew J. Holian & Matthew E. Kahn, 2014. "Household Demand for Low Carbon Public Policies: Evidence from California," NBER Working Papers 19965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pollak, Melisa & Meyer, Bryn & Wilson, Elizabeth, 2011. "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: Lessons from state climate action plans," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5429-5439, September.
    5. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Crago, Christine Lasco & Chernyakhovskiy, Ilya, 2017. "Are policy incentives for solar power effective? Evidence from residential installations in the Northeast," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 132-151.
    7. Dastrup, Samuel R. & Graff Zivin, Joshua & Costa, Dora L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2012. "Understanding the Solar Home price premium: Electricity generation and “Green” social status," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 961-973.
    8. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:2:p:225-235 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Magali A. Delmas & Matthew E. Kahn & Stephen Locke, 2014. "Accidental Environmentalists? Californian Demand for Teslas and Solar Panels," NBER Working Papers 20754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hélène Ollivier, 2016. "North–South Trade and Heterogeneous Damages from Local and Global Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(2), pages 337-355, October.
    11. Matthew J. Holian & Matthew E. Kahn, 2015. "Household Demand for Low Carbon Policies: Evidence from California," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 205-234.
    12. Stephen P. Holland & Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel & Nathan C. Parker, 2015. "Some Inconvenient Truths about Climate Change Policy: The Distributional Impacts of Transportation Policies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1052-1069, December.
    13. David Popp, 2012. "The Role of Technological Change in Green Growth," NBER Working Papers 18506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Grumbach Jacob M., 2015. "Polluting industries as climate protagonists: cap and trade and the problem of business preferences," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(4), pages 633-659, December.
    15. Jonathan Eyer & Matthew E. Kahn, 2017. "Prolonging Coal’s Sunset: The Causes and Consequences of Local Protectionism for a Declining Polluting Industry," NBER Working Papers 23190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Popp, David, 2012. "The role of technological change in green growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6239, The World Bank.
    17. Popp, David & Hascic, Ivan & Medhi, Neelakshi, 2011. "Technology and the diffusion of renewable energy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 648-662, July.
    18. Wiener, Joshua G. & Koontz, Tomas M., 2012. "Extent and types of small-scale wind policies in the U.S. states: Adoption and effectiveness," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 15-24.
    19. David Anthoff & Robert Hahn, 2010. "Government failure and market failure: on the inefficiency of environmental and energy policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 197-224, Summer.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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