IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Playing without Aces: Offsets and the Limits of Flexibility under Clean Air Act Climate Policy

Listed author(s):
  • Richardson, Nathan


    (Resources for the Future)

Registered author(s):

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to move ahead with regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Previous work has indicated that basic forms of compliance flexibility—trading—appear to be legally permissible under the relevant part (Section 111) of the CAA. This paper takes a close look at more expansive and ambitious types of flexibility: trading between different kinds of sources, biomass co-firing, and, above all, offsets. It concludes that most types of such extended flexibility are either legally incompatible with the CAA, or so legally problematic that EPA is unlikely to adopt them. This has important implications for both the costs of CAA climate policy and the level of environmental benefits that are achievable. It also creates tension between CAA climate policy and state-level policies, such as California’s, that aim to include various forms of extended flexibility.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-11-49.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 05 Dec 2011
    Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-11-49
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-11-49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.