Reforming the US Coal Leasing Program

by Emil Morhardt

Almost half of the coal mined in the US comes from lands, mostly in Wyoming and Montana in the Powder River Basin (PRB), owned by the federal government and which have nearly 10% of the world’s known reserves. Gillingham et al. review the social costs of this coal extraction, and weigh them against the revenues flowing to the government from the leases and the resulting relatively low energy prices paid by consumers. According to their calculations, the monetized climate change damages caused by combustion of this coal are about six times the coal price of $0.51 per million British thermal units, which is only about a third of the price of coal from other major producing basins. Continue reading

Catching Two European Problems with One Renewable Energy Stone

 

by Sam Peterson

Many studies support the finding climate change is deemed a relevant and important issue by the public, but frequently disappears from the public consciousness when individuals are not directly impacted by its effects, supplanted by more immediate economic and geopolitical issues. Rather than removing it from public concern, Creutizig et al. aim to attack environmental concerns and socioeconomic problems concurrently, with a sweeping energy policy change. Creutzig et al. (2014) argue climate change and the European Union (EU) periphery’s economic recession could be mitigated and solved, respectively, by having member country legislators focus efforts on a policy transition toward sustainable, nonconventional sources of energy. Continue reading