clean_air_act001
PlanetPolicy

The Flexibility in the Obama Administration’s Emission Reductions Proposal

Ted Gayer

The Obama administration recently announced a proposed rule for reducing emissions from existing power plants that would amount to about a 15% reduction in power plant emissions and a 5% reduction of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. While something like a nationwide carbon tax would be more cost-effective than this sector-specific approach that relies on the Clean Air Act’s regulatory mechanisms, the proposal does a good job of providing compliance flexibility, which is the key to containing costs.

With this in mind, it’s important to focus on how much flexibility states will have to reduce emissions over time, how these emission reductions will be measured, and whether adopting state-level carbon taxes would be permitted.

Read more about these issues in the Fortune op-ed “3 Questions for Obama’s Fight Against Climate Change.”

Author

The findings, interpretations and conclusions posted on Brookings.edu are solely those of the authors and not of The Brookings Institution, its officers, staff, board, funders, or organizations with which they may have a relationship.

More

Get daily updates from Brookings