Environmental Legislation

  • Wooden path with dry and lush landscape on either side, photo by leolintang/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Voters Can Assess New Climate Plans

    While the U.S. government has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, most presidential candidates and many states have proposed climate plans of their own. How might voters determine if any of these plans can seriously address climate change?

    Nov 14, 2019

  • Dissertation

    Ammonia Emissions from Industrial Hog Farming: Efficacy of Voluntary Control Strategies

    This dissertation explores the externality of ammonia emissions from the Iowa hog industry and investigates the possible impact of voluntary environmental policies to encourage ammonia control technology adoption.

    Oct 1, 2018

  • Floating ice and iceberg in Antarctic Peninsula

    Commentary

    When It Comes to Climate, Look for Vulnerabilities in Policy, Not Science

    Federal policymakers have picked up on the concept of red teaming — actively seeking out one's own vulnerabilities. While red teaming may not make sense for climate science, it does offer great benefits when weighing climate policy options.

    Aug 4, 2017

  • Steam rises from the coal-fired Jim Bridger power plant outside Rock Springs, Wyoming, April 5, 2017

    Commentary

    Impact on the Environment from President Trump's First 100 Days

    President Trump's actions have not yet resulted in demonstrable change in environmental conditions or funding. But the groundwork is being laid to unwind major regulations and diminish staff at the EPA and other federal agencies with climate-related research in their portfolios.

    May 4, 2017

  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight energy conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 22, 2016

    Commentary

    States Could Step Up on Climate Change

    The new administration has expressed skepticism about climate change. But states may choose to pursue their own climate change initiatives.

    Nov 26, 2016

  • Dissertation

    Turning Policy Promises into Blue Skies: Mixed-Method Assessment of China's Past and Future Air Pollution–Reduction Efforts

    Assesses China's past and current efforts towards preventing and controlling air pollution and conducts a mathematical simulation to illustrate the potential effectiveness of the government's proposed Action Plan and consequences of noncompliance.

    Nov 18, 2016

  • Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 8, 2015

    Commentary

    Paris Gets the (Decision) Science Right

    The framework for the Paris negotiations is in sync with what science tells us about how to make effective public policy decisions. This alone makes them historic and may provide a model for both local and global action on more than climate alone.

    Dec 18, 2015

  • Environmentalists hold a banner which reads in part, "For the Climate," near the Eiffel Tower during the World Climate Change Conference 2015

    Commentary

    COP21: Ambition and Momentum

    Negotiators in Paris achieved a historic breakthrough by adopting a fundamentally different, and likely more effective, institutional framework to address climate change. It builds on two concepts missing from past attempts to forge a global treaty: voluntary participation and adaptive policymaking.

    Dec 17, 2015

  • A man applies a sticker which reads 100% electric next to the logo of the upcoming COP21 Climate Change Conference on a Nissan LEAF electric car in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, November 16, 2015

    Commentary

    COP 21 Not a Silver Bullet on Climate Change

    The Paris climate conference cannot provide the engine that will drive a solution to the world's climate change challenge. Rather, it can best serve as a mediator that will help guide and structure the swirling, bottom-up process of radical change that is the best hope of preserving Earth's climate.

    Nov 24, 2015

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    Journal Article

    The Effect of Near-Term Policy Choices on Long-Term Greenhouse Gas Transformation Pathways

    This paper introduces a new agent-based, game theoretic model designed to compare how near-term choices regarding alternative policy architectures influence long-term emission reduction trajectories.

    Nov 23, 2015

  • Global climate change visualization

    Commentary

    Adapting to a Hotter World

    Because climate change is largely irreversible, mitigation alone won't solve the problem. While mitigation will prevent even greater, future climatic changes, adaptation — efforts to adjust to climate change's effects — will prepare the world for a new set of living conditions, whatever they may be.

    Oct 2, 2015

  • Worker wearing a hazmat suit

    Commentary

    Breaking Down Nuclear Waste as a Two-Part Issue

    The U.S. Department of Energy is now planning separate repositories for commercial waste and the waste from the military's nuclear weapons production instead of disposing of both in the same repository as originally intended. Decoupling different parts of the nuclear waste problem is a small but positive step forward.

    May 5, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Why Chinese Discount Future Financial and Environmental Gains but Not Losses More Than Americans

    We examined differences between Chinese and Americans in discounting of future financial and environmental gains and losses.

    Feb 26, 2015

  • Dissertation

    The Political Sustainability of Carbon Control Policies in an Evolutionary Economics Setting

    Analyzes the long term coevolution of market structures, technological change and government institutions.

    Sep 29, 2014

  • Report

    Links Between Air Quality and Economic Growth: Implications for Pittsburgh

    This report assesses what evidence exists for the ways in which local air quality could influence local economic growth and how those effects might be relevant to the Pittsburgh region.

    Dec 20, 2013

  • A mother on Staten Island straps a protective mask onto her baby after Hurricane Sandy

    Commentary

    Removing Road Blocks to Climate Change Adaptation Planning

    Despite increasing interest and investments in climate adaptation science, the implementation of adaptation plans through institutional policies or other actions designed to reduce health vulnerabilities has been slow. Institutionalized assumptions are an important roadblock.

    Oct 3, 2013

  • yellow barrels containing nuclear materials

    Testimony

    The Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013

    The Nuclear Waste Administration Act (S. 1240) appears to strike a balance between the competing values of public accountability and insulation from political influence, write Lynn Davis and Debra Knopman.

    Aug 14, 2013

  • San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

    Commentary

    San Onofre Risk Factors

    The ongoing effort to open a spent fuel repository in the U.S. demonstrates the magnitude of the technical and political challenges of such an undertaking, writes Tom LaTourrette.

    Jun 20, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Creating Constituencies for Long-Term, Radical Change

    This essay will argue that long-term emissions reduction goals currently proposed before Congress at best only highlight the magnitude of the climate change challenge, without contributing much to a solution.

    Apr 1, 2013

  • wind energy

    Commentary

    Transitioning to a Carbon Tax Credit

    Instead of setting an arbitrary Production Tax Credit value for producers of renewable energy, we could provide a tax credit based on the social value of clean electricity generation, writes Constantine Samaras.

    Feb 20, 2013