Assessing U.S. Climate Policy Alternatives

The Climate Policy Landscape is far more complex today than it was in 2009 when virtually all conversations focused on the design of economy-wide cap-and-trade legislation. Now, there are new legal and economic questions associated with Clean Air Act legislation and long-term policy options may be influenced by near-term choices.

In the near-term, the key question is implementation of existing source regulations under the Clean Air Act Section 111 (d). In the longer term, the possibilities range from continued use of the Clean Air Act, to future legislation that might involve a carbon tax, cap-and-trade, or a clean energy standard.

To help inform these policy decisions, Duke University researchers have embarked on a project that will explore key economic and legal questions in the near-term design of Clean Air Act regulation and use the outcomes of this regulatory analysis as a platform for analyzing further action post 2020.

Participating Researchers Include: Billy Pizer, Richard Newell, Fredrick Mayer, Tim Profeta, Jonas Monast, Brian Murray, Etan Gumerman, Martin Ross, and Sarah Adair. 

Public Opinion of Climate Policies

Duke University researchers recently conducted a study examining public attitudes regarding climate change and the major policy options that President Obama might pursue in his second term. The study consisted of a  poll, which asked a nationally representative sample of 1,089 adults in the United States about their views on whether the climate is changing and various policy alternatives to limit greenhouse gas emissions, was fielded January 16-22, 2013. The research team also conducted two focus groups on similar topics in February 2013.

Policy Brief: http://nicholasinstitute.duke.edu/pages/poll-americans-back-climate-change-regulation-not-taxes. Researchers also plan to release a comprehensive report that synthesizes the survey results with insights from the focus groups this spring.

Participating Researchers Include: Fredrick Mayer, Alex Pfaff, and Sarah Adair.