Federal

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions seeks to inform the design and implementation of federal policies that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Drawing from its extensive peer-reviewed published works, in-house policy analyses, and tracking of current legislative proposals, the Center provides research, analysis, and recommendations to policymakers in Congress and the Executive Branch. Read More
 

Bipartisan support grows for carbon capture

Bipartisan support is growing on Capitol Hill and beyond to accelerate carbon capture deployment on power plants and industrial sources like steel and cement plants. This support comes from lawmakers who share a common interest in increasing the production of domestic energy resources and reducing carbon emissions.

On July 12, a bill co-sponsored by 25 senators was introduced that would provide a performance-based incentive to capture CO2, put it to productive use, and store it safely and permanently underground.

The FUTURE Act (Furthering carbon capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground storage, and Reduced Emissions) would extend and expand a federal tax credit, known as Section 45Q, which incentivizes capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from power and industrial sources for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and other uses. CO2-EOR is a decades-old process that produces domestic oil from existing fields, while safely and permanently storing billions of tons of CO2. Recent analysis demonstrates its climate benefits.

Bill supporters cross the aisle and the country. They include Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Other bipartisan bills would help unleash private capital to scale up more carbon capture projects. The Carbon Capture Improvement Act, introduced in April by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), would authorize states to use private activity bonds to help finance carbon capture equipment. A companion bill was introduced by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Marc Veasey (D-TX). Private activity bonds are widely used to develop U.S. infrastructure, such as airports and water and sewer projects. (Join a free C2ES webinar on private activity bonds July 24.)

Strengthening Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Communities

Strengthening Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Communities

July 2017

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Energy efficiency programs offer an effective way to reduce energy consumption and address energy burden. These programs are particularly beneficial to low-income households, which spend a higher percentage of their income on energy bills. There are many energy efficiency programs offered by states, cities, and utility companies, but often only a subset of these programs is specifically designed for and directly benefits low-income communities. This fact sheet provides an overview of how energy efficiency programs could benefit low-income communities, and how to design efficiency programs to better serve low-income communities.

Jason Ye
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Containing the Costs of Climate Policy

Containing the Costs of Climate Policy

Updated: June 2017

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This policy brief outlines various options for containing costs under a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Although cap and trade is generally considered a more cost-effective approach than traditional regulation, excessive allowance prices are a concern. High allowance prices could mean high compliance costs for regulated firms and high energy prices for consumers. A number of the design elements of a cap-and-trade policy including the stringency of the emission reduction targets and the distribution of allowance value will influence the cost of the policy for consumers. However, uncertainty regarding allowance prices, and in particular, short-term price volatility and persistently high prices, are of concern to stakeholders. Policy options to address these concerns include allowing facilities to bank allowances, permitting firms or the government to borrow allowances from future allocations, allowing (or expanding) the use of offsets, allowing the use of multi-year compliance periods, setting a ceiling on allowance prices, or even relaxing the cap or emission targets associated with the policy in times of high prices. Each of these options has strengths and weaknesses and their desired results must often be weighed against the reduced certainty of meeting the environmental objective. To ensure the viability of any cap-and-trade program, policymakers will likely want to include a variety of cost-containment mechanisms.

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Letter to Congress on the value of investment in energy innovation.

C2ES is a signatory of a letter to Congress, asking lawmakers to maintain robust funding for energy innovation programs at the Department of Energy. The letter highlights the benefits of investment in energy innovation and explains how such investment can help the United States stay ahead of global competition.

Bob Perciasepe's statement on on climate change discussions at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

May 27, 2017

On climate change discussions at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy:

President Trump is returning to Washington with a much clearer sense of the overwhelming global support for the Paris Agreement.  As he considers next steps, we hope the president pays close attention to the many U.S. business leaders who are telling him that staying in the agreement is good for U.S. jobs, growth and competitiveness.

U.S. emissions are at a 25-year low and the transition toward cleaner energy is well underway.  Cities, states and companies are all stepping up their efforts. We’re confident a balanced and thorough analysis will show that the U.S. can maintain or even strengthen its climate ambition, with significant economic gains.

The Paris Agreement is a sensible global response to a truly global challenge.  Pulling out would undermine the climate effort, damage U.S. relations, and put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage.  World leaders, business leaders and a strong majority of Americans think the U.S. should stay in Paris.  President Trump will hopefully arrive at the same conclusion.

To talk to a C2ES expert, contact Marty Niland at nilandm@c2es.org

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

HFO-1234yf: An Examination of Projected Long-Term Costs of Production

HFO-1234yf: An Examination of Projected Long-Term Costs of Production

April 2017

By David Sherry, Maria Nolan, Stephen Seidel, and Stephen O. Andersen

Download the paper (PDF)

This paper seeks to inform the discussion on what the price of HFO-1234yf (2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene) might be over the longer term when application and process patents have expired, economy of scale is achieved at production facilities using the most efficient processes, more producers are involved, and a fully competitive global market takes hold. The analysis focuses on the estimated costs of production based on one process currently in use, and a different process at a recently completed facility. We expect that long-term market prices will reflect broader factors of supply and demand. It is also possible over time that new or improved production processes will allow production of HFO-1234yf at lower costs and prices than estimated here.

Stephen O. Andersen
Stephen Seidel
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Bob Perciasepe's statement on President Trump’s executive order related to climate change

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

March 27, 2017

On President Trump’s executive order related to climate change:

President Trump’s actions reflect a fundamental misreading of the economic stakes – and economic opportunities – presented by climate change.

America’s communities and businesses are already bearing the rising costs of extreme weather, sea level rise and other climate impacts, all of which will intensify with more global warming. The “social cost of carbon” is a sensible tool to prudently factor those very real economic costs into government decision-making. Ignoring those costs won’t make them go away.

On the other side of the ledger, the clean energy transition already underway is a powerful engine of economic growth Nuclear energy, renewables, natural gas, and carbon capture and storage technology all have a role to play in creating clean energy opportunity and jobs. The U.S. power sector is getting cleaner every year thanks partly to state and federal policies, but largely to market forces that the Clean Power Plan is designed to accelerate. Withdrawing federal leadership will only jeopardize this promising clean energy transition and the jobs that go with it.

C2ES works every day with leading U.S. companies that see unchecked climate change as a growing risk to their businesses, and see smart investments in climate solutions as a way to create jobs and profits and strengthen their competitiveness abroad. But to keep moving in the right direction, these companies need greater certainty. Instead, the administration’s actions promise confusion, litigation and delay.

An “America first” climate policy must recognize the risks and benefits to the entire U.S. economy and harness market forces to deliver cost-effective solutions. Whatever the impact of President Trump’s executive orders, the administration will face a continuing scientific and economic imperative – and a legal obligation – to deliver credible alternatives. As an organization committed to building bridges and consensus, C2ES is prepared to work with the administration on meaningful climate solutions.

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To reach a C2ES expert, contact Laura Rehrmann at rehrmanl@c2es.org, 703-516-0621

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Bob Perciasepe's statement on the release of the Trump Administration’s proposed budget

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

March 16, 2017

On the release of the Trump Administration’s proposed budget:

Climate change is posing real and rising risks to the U.S. economy. Today’s military leaders also recognize climate impacts as a national security threat, as more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, and intense storms threaten to destabilize economies and ecosystems. Global engagement and national action based on strong science are the only ways to address this global problem.

We urge Congress to avoid drastic cuts to international, environment, science and energy programs, which together currently account for only 3 percent of federal spending. We should be enhancing programs that contribute to quality of life and health, U.S. economic leadership, and long-term security. Inaction on climate today will lead to greater costs tomorrow.

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Bob Perciasepe's statement on House resolution to seek economically viable ways to combat climate change

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

March 15, 2017

On today’s introduction by Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York, Carlos Curbelo of Florida and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania of a resolution to seek economically viable ways to combat climate change:

We welcome today's resolution on the urgency of addressing climate change. Bipartisan support is critical to enacting practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build communities resilient to the effects of climate change. We urge other members of Congress to join these representatives and their co-sponsors in acknowledging this serious issue. 

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Bob Perciasepe's statement on fuel economy standards review

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

March 15, 2017

On the administration’s re-evaluation of the fuel economy standards for model years 2022-2025:

Federal fuel economy standards are improving air quality, reducing U.S. reliance on oil imports, and saving drivers money.

Working together, industry and the government crafted a roadmap for fuel economy standards through 2025. Automakers have been meeting the standards, with stronger and lighter materials, hybrid-electric drivetrains, alternative fuels, and other technological innovations. These innovations have occurred at the same time automobile sales in the U.S. have reached record highs and employment is increasing in high technology vehicles. As other nations seek greater fuel efficiency, U.S. automakers should not risk losing their growing competitive global advantage.

Moving to re-evaluate standards for model years 2022-2025 should demonstrate that the technological innovation achieved by the auto industry can continue to advance, providing ample basis for strong standards.

It would be a mistake to use the re-evaluation to remove incentives for advancing innovation. It would also be a mistake to inhibit state and local innovation.

States should continue to lead if they desire to, and we should not harm states’ rights to choose cleaner air and innovative vehicle markets.

The administration should also look to partner with local and state governments to improve transportation systems, helping us reduce the miles we all drive every day. With local action and federal action combined, a more comprehensive approach can continue to reduce emissions, reduce oil imports and save money for every driver.

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

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