New York University School of Law
The Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) is a non-partisan advocacy organization and think-tank dedicated to improving the quality of governmental decision making. IPI advocates for reform before courts, legislatures, and executive agencies. By reaching out and building coalitions with traditional nongovernmental organizations, IPI facilitates their effective participation in the regulatory process. IPI is also dedicated to contributing original scholarly research in the areas of environmental, public health, and safety policy.
A “Community of Practice” Web-Log
Forest Policy – Forest Practice is a co-op effort by forest practitioners, academics, and others for discussion and interaction. Our “community of practice” includes people far beyond those who identify themselves as “contributors.” In this forum we aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion is intended to help improve existing policy and practice. We encourage anyone who visits to comment. Primary contributors include US Forest Service staff and university research specialists.
Amber Waves is published four times per year (March, June, September, and December) by the USDA’s Economic Research Service. The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the main source of economic information and research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Located in Washington, DC, with approximately 450 employees, the mission of ERS is to inform and enhance public and private decisionmaking on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural development. To accomplish this mission, highly trained economists and social scientists develop and distribute a broad range of economic and other social science information and analysis. As the flagship magazine for ERS, Amber Waves contains articles by ERS researchers and their collaborators.
State fact sheets including information about: Population, Education, Employment; Farm Characteristics; Farm Financial Indicators; and Top Commodities, Exports, and Counties.
The New York Times
In Las Vegas, the house always wins. In Washington, the House isn’t as lucky. A carefully crafted compromise on climate change that narrowly passed in the House last June has been stuck for almost a year in the Senate. Now, with three senators set to unveil their own bill Monday and a floor vote possible this spring or early summer, House lawmakers are wondering whether there will be a significant effort to negotiate major differences between the two proposals or if they will be asked to simply approve the Senate version.
Climate Wire (subscription required)
Cities across the country are looking to shed their industrial pasts and declare themselves hubs for green jobs, but many are finding that meeting those goals is harder than expected. So far, most renewable energy plants and factories aren’t producing jobs at the rate many had hoped.
The New York Times
Looming just behind the climate change negotiators laboring in Senate conference rooms is “Plan B” — an “energy only” bill that is smaller in scope and enjoys bipartisan support.
Building a Green Economy (4/5/2010)
The New York Times
If you listen to climate scientists — and despite the relentless campaign to discredit their work, you should — it is long past time to do something about emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. If we continue with business as usual, they say, we are facing a rise in global temperatures that will be little short of apocalyptic. And to avoid that apocalypse, we have to wean our economy from the use of fossil fuels, coal above all. But is it possible to make drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions without destroying our economy?
A fungal disease attacking Douglas-fir trees along the Pacific Northwest coast is intensifying and may be linked to a warmer climate and extensive planting of Douglas-fir on logged tracts, new Oregon State University research suggests. The epidemic of Swiss needle cast stunts growth in both older and younger trees and appears to be unprecedented over at least the past 100 years, OSU researchers Bryan Black, David Shaw, and Jeffrey Stone concluded. Swiss needle cast, which originated in Europe, has spread sharply since 1996. It affects hundreds of thousands of acres in Oregon and Washington, costing tens of millions a year in lost growth. It rarely kills trees but causes discoloration and loss of needles and stunts growth. The disease has now been identified at varying levels of severity in western Oregon on more than 300,000 acres in each of the past four years, peaking at 376,000 acres in 2008, the researchers said in a paper published in the journal “Forest Ecology and Management.”
At Flakeboard’s Albany and Eugene plants, 188 workers make particleboard from the same sawdust and scrap that could one day be a major part of the nation’s energy supply. Over the coming years, billions of dollars in federal subsidies aim to turn the leftovers of forests, including those in Oregon, into rich sources of renewable power. But they could also put companies such as Flakeboard, the nation’s largest particleboard manufacturer based in South Carolina, out of business if their suppliers opt to sell into more lucrative energy markets.
Institute for Policy Integrity
This policy brief discusses the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act in the context of the green economy, with a special focus on its ability to drive innovation, avoid regressive wealth transfers, contain costs, and create new jobs. The primary findings of this report are:
• By setting an economy-wide price on carbon, the CLEAR Act will create equal incentives for greenhouse gas reduction for all economic actors, maximizing incentives to innovate and invest across all sectors, while rewarding the lowest-cost opportunities for the abatement of emissions.
• The auction approach in the CLEAR Act will reduce overall compliance costs because it does not mute price signals by giving away free allowances.
• The CLEAR Act avoids large regional disparities.
• Because the amount of the dividend is the same across income distributions, the auction- and-dividend structure provides the greatest support to low-income families, and avoids regressive wealth transfers.
• A strong economy-wide price signal that drives innovation and investment in energy efficiency and clean energy can help spur job growth in a number of important economic sectors, and help support promising nascent industries.
• Overall costs imposed by the CLEAR Act are modest, and are overwhelmed by the social benefits achieved by greenhouse gas reductions. In addition to short-term job creation and technological innovations, the environmental benefits of the bill are likely to greatly exceed the costs.