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Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants under the Clean Air Act

  • Linn, Joshua

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Mastrangelo, Erin
  • Burtraw, Dallas

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

The Clean Air Act has assumed the central role in US climate policy, directing the development of regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. This paper examines the operation of coal-fired generating units over 25 years to estimate the marginal costs and potential magnitude of emissions reductions from improving their efficiency. We find that a 10 percent increase in coal prices causes a 0.2 to 0.5 percent heat rate reduction, broadly consistent with engineering assessments. We also find that coal prices have a significant effect on utilization. The results are used to compare cost-effectiveness of alternative policies.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-13-05.

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Date of creation: 19 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-13-05
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.rff.org

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  1. Nathaniel O. Keohane & Erin T. Mansur & Andrey Voynov, 2009. "Averting Regulatory Enforcement: Evidence from New Source Review," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 75-104, 03.
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  3. Bushnell, James & Mansur, Erin T. & Saravia, Celeste, 2008. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure and Competition: An Analysis of Restructured U.S. Electricity Markets," Staff General Research Papers 13130, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Joskow, Paul L, 1974. "Inflation and Environmental Concern: Structural Change in the Process of Public Utility Price Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 291-327, October.
  5. Ronald Shadbegian & Wayne Gray, 2006. "Assessing multi-dimensional performance: environmental and economic outcomes," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 213-234, December.
  6. Kira R. Fabrizio & Nancy L. Rose & Catherine D. Wolfram, 2007. "Do Markets Reduce Costs? Assessing the Impact of Regulatory Restructuring on US Electric Generation Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1250-1277, September.
  7. Boyd, Gale A. & McClelland, John D., 1999. "The Impact of Environmental Constraints on Productivity Improvement in Integrated Paper Plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 121-142, September.
  8. Bushnell, James & Wolfram, Catherine, 2010. "Enforcement of Vintage Differentiated Regulations: The Case of New Source Review," Staff General Research Papers 31805, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Denny Ellerman, 1998. "Note on The Seemingly Indefinite Extension of Power Plant Lives, A Panel Contribution," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
  10. Christopher R. Knittel, 2002. "Alternative Regulatory Methods And Firm Efficiency: Stochastic Frontier Evidence From The U.S. Electricity Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 530-540, August.
  11. Severin Borenstein & James B. Bushnell & Frank A. Wolak, 2002. "Measuring Market Inefficiencies in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1376-1405, December.
  12. Fleishman, Rachel & Alexander, Rob & Bretschneider, Stuart & Popp, David, 2009. "Does regulation stimulate productivity? The effect of air quality policies on the efficiency of US power plants," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4574-4582, November.
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