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Federal Coal Program Reform, the Clean Power Plan, and the Interaction of Upstream and Downstream Climate Policies

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  • Todd Gerarden
  • W. Spencer Reeder
  • James H. Stock

Abstract

Coal mined on federally managed lands accounts for approximately 40% of U.S. coal consumption and 13% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions. The U.S. Department of the Interior is undertaking a programmatic review of federal coal leasing, including the climate effects of burning federal coal. This paper studies the interaction between a specific upstream policy, incorporating a carbon adder into federal coal royalties, and downstream emissions regulation under the Clean Power Plan (CPP). After providing some comparative statics, we present quantitative results from a detailed dynamic model of the power sector, the Integrated Planning Model (IPM). The IPM analysis indicates that, in the absence of the CPP, a royalty adder equal to the social cost of carbon could reduce emissions by roughly 3/4 of the emissions reduction that the CPP is projected to achieve. If instead the CPP is binding, the royalty adder would: reduce the price of tradeable emissions allowances, produce some additional emissions reductions by reducing leakage, and reduce wholesale power prices under a mass-based CPP but increase them under a rate-based CPP. A federal royalty adder increases mining of non-federal coal, but this substitution is limited by a shift to electricity generation by gas and renewables.

Suggested Citation

  • Todd Gerarden & W. Spencer Reeder & James H. Stock, 2016. "Federal Coal Program Reform, the Clean Power Plan, and the Interaction of Upstream and Downstream Climate Policies," NBER Working Papers 22214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22214
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James B. Bushnell & Stephen P. Holland & Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel, 2017. "Strategic Policy Choice in State-Level Regulation: The EPA's Clean Power Plan," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 57-90, May.
    2. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard G., 2008. "Environmental and technology policies for climate mitigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 142-162, March.
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    4. Samuel Fankhauser & Cameron Hepburn & Jisung Park, 2010. "Combining Multiple Climate Policy Instruments: How Not To Do It," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(03), pages 209-225.
    5. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Jacobsen, Mark R. & van Benthem, Arthur A., 2012. "Unintended consequences from nested state and federal regulations: The case of the Pavley greenhouse-gas-per-mile limits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 187-207.
    6. Holland, Stephen P., 2012. "Emissions taxes versus intensity standards: Second-best environmental policies with incomplete regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 375-387.
    7. Bård Harstad, 2012. "Buy Coal! A Case for Supply-Side Environmental Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 77-115.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Lazarus & Harro van Asselt, 2018. "Fossil fuel supply and climate policy: exploring the road less taken," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 1-13, September.
    2. Christoph Böhringer & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2020. "Europe beyond Coal - An Economic and Climate Impact Assessment," CESifo Working Paper Series 8412, CESifo.
    3. Kanishka Kacker & Ian Lange, 2017. "Inter-Regional Coal Mine Competition in the US: Evidence from Rail Restriction," Working Papers 2017-11, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    4. Zhang, Duan & Chen, Yihsu & Tanaka, Makoto, 2018. "On the effectiveness of tradable performance-based standards," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 456-469.
    5. Kenneth Gillingham & Marten Ovaere & Stephanie Weber, 2021. "Carbon Policy and the Emissions Implications of Electric Vehicles," CESifo Working Paper Series 8974, CESifo.
    6. Kanishka Kacker & Ian Lange, 2018. "Inter-Regional Coal Mine Competition in the US: Evidence from Rail Restrictions," Discussion Papers 18-01, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi.
    7. Bielen, David A., 2018. "Do differentiated performance standards help coal? CO2 policy in the U.S. electricity sector," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 79-100.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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