RFF Calculator Compares Carbon Pricing Bills

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b70ac12c2df1448bcf1da2cde7fb7d79-huge-rfBy Jerry Hinkle

Resources for the Future (RFF), a leading environmental economics think tank, just released a calculator that assesses the environmental and economic impacts of the carbon pricing legislation now before Congress, including the Energy Innovation Act. The calculator compares the carbon price, emission reductions, gross domestic product (GDP) and distribution of Impacts by income quintile of seven different bills, as well as a “business as usual” (BAU) scenario.
(Please Note: the distribution of impacts analysis will be changing in the near-term so should not be considered final.)

The calculator is based on a model built by Larry Goulder (Stanford) and Marc Hafstead (RFF). The GH-E3 model is a top-of-the-line peer-reviewed model, and its general methods and results are well described in “Confronting the Climate Challenge: U.S. Policy Options.” CCL is fortunate to feature one of the authors, Marc Hafstead, for a live CCU training on Oct. 17 at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET (click here for more details). Marc will join me to discuss the model and its results, and take questions.

Two words of caution are in order when viewing such model estimates. First, these analyses require significant assumptions, and there is much uncertainty in the results. They should be “taken with a grain of salt.” Second, the model will show an economic cost for all the bills as GDP grows just slightly less with the policy than under the BAU scenario. But as described in this recent blog post, economists are clear these policies that charge for carbon pollution are good for the economy and society as the policy benefits far outweigh the costs.

Jerry Hinkle is a Research Coordinator with CCL and a member of CCL's Economics Policy Network Action Team, which offers many economic articles helpful for climate advocates.

Posted by Steve Valk on Sep 26, 2019 11:35 AM America/Los_Angeles


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What ever happened to the interactive CO2 simulator that we were previewing back in July? I thought it was going to roll out in August, and now September is just about over. The developer's site is: https://www.climateinteractive.org/programs/the-climate-leader/
CCL had, or has a training page at: http://cclusa.org/climate-solutions 
  • Posted Wed 25 Sep 2019 05:29 PM PDT
Thanks, Brett, I signed up in July and then re-signed up on En-ROADS site yesterday, in case it got lost in cyberspace the first time. I'm really looking forward to using it in one on one discussions, tabling events, and engaging skeptics of the efficacy of predictable price increases of CO2 emissions. So many people, including legislators, have trouble seeing the forest for the trees and dismissing 763 because it places a moratorium on regulations. If they could just see for themselves how effective carbon pricing done smartly can be, I think they'd get on board enthusiastically.
  • Posted Thu 26 Sep 2019 02:09 PM PDT
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Thanks Jonathan McClelland‍ - we don't know much more than you. Drew Jones recommended anyone that is interested in finding out as soon as Climate Interactive launches their updated En-ROADS simulator to sign up here: https://www.climateinteractive.org/tools/en-roads/en-roads-launch-interest/

We'll be sure to update the Hosting Climate Simulations In Your Community training page as soon as we hear word that the simulator is launched!
  • Posted Thu 26 Sep 2019 11:41 AM PDT
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