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The Impact of Trading on the Costs and Benefits of the Acid Rain Program

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  • H. Ron Chan
  • B. Andrew Chupp
  • Maureen L. Cropper
  • Nicholas Z. Muller

Abstract

This study quantifies the cost savings from the Acid Rain Program (ARP) compared with a command-and-control alternative and also examines the impact of trading under the ARP on health damages. To quantify cost savings, we compare compliance costs for non-NSPS (New Source Performance Standards) coal-fired Electricity Generating Units (EGUs) under the ARP with compliance costs under a uniform performance standard that achieves the same aggregate emissions. We do this for the year 2002, the third year of Phase II of the program. We find annual cost savings of approximately $240 million (1995$). To examine the health effects of trading, we compute the health damages associated with observed sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from all units regulated under the ARP in 2002—approximately 10.2 million tons—and compare them with damages from a No-Trade counterfactual in which each unit emits SO2 at a rate equal to its allocation of permits for the year 2002, plus any drawdown of its allowance bank. Damages under the ARP are $2.4 billion (2000$) higher than under the No-Trade. This reflects the transfer of allowances from EGUs west of the Mississippi River to units in the eastern US with higher exposed populations.

Suggested Citation

  • H. Ron Chan & B. Andrew Chupp & Maureen L. Cropper & Nicholas Z. Muller, 2015. "The Impact of Trading on the Costs and Benefits of the Acid Rain Program," NBER Working Papers 21383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21383
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      by Euro American Association EAAEDS in Euro-American Association: World Development on 2018-10-09 19:52:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Edward Schlee & V. Kerry Smith, 2016. "The Welfare Cost of Uncertainty in Policy Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 22864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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