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Blog Posts: coal

  • The Plain Bad Economics of Today’s Energy Prices

    Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, recently launched the latest book in a series on what good fiscal policy should look like in a world of environmental externalities.

    The message was clear: Ministers of finance and economics should design their tax systems skillfully so as to tax bad things, like pollution and congestion, rather than good things like work and profit. Not to do so is plain, bad economics.

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  • The Price Is Wrong: New Report Calls for Fossil Fuel Prices that Reflect Environmental Costs

    A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Getting Energy Prices Right: From Principle to Practice, argues that the costs of coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fail to account for these fuels’ environmental and social impacts—such as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and traffic deaths.

    Setting prices that reflect these side effects—through taxes, licensing, or cap-and-trade systems—could reduce deaths from fossil fuel-related air pollution by 63 percent, decrease global carbon dioxide emissions by 23 percent, and generate revenues totaling about 2.6 percent of global GDP.

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  • 7 Charts Explain Changing U.S. Power Sector Emissions

    Where do U.S. power sector emissions come from? And how have they changed over time?

    Today, WRI released an update of its U.S. state GHG emissions data via CAIT 2.0, our climate data explorer. These and other data provide valuable context in light of the EPA's newly proposed emissions standards for U.S. power plants.

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  • EPA’s New Clean Power Plan Is Both Achievable and Economically Beneficial

    The EPA's proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants is a critical step in avoiding the worst consequences of global warming. Without significant reductions from the power sector—America’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions—the country cannot meet its goal of reducing its emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. EPA’s proposal provides a flexible framework that puts those reductions within reach.

    Here’s a look at how the proposed rule would impact states and the future of U.S. climate action.

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  • Identifying the Global Coal Industry’s Water Risks

    Regional water concerns are creating significant financial risks due to advanced global commodity trading and energy industries’ high dependence on water.

    Our Aqueduct project explores how water risks are already impacting the world’s coal industry, and how risks will change over time.

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  • After State of the Union Address, U.S. Should Pursue Ambitious Power Plant Emissions Standards

    In the State of the Union address last night, President Obama called to make this “a year of action.” Addressing climate change will require his administration to make that call a reality.

    The most important task the administration can take is to set greenhouse gas emissions standards for existing power plants—a move that the President highlighted in his speech last night. Ambitious power plant standards are a critical starting point if the United States is to rise to the climate change challenge.

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  • Watching for Signs of Climate Action in the State of the Union Address

    When President Obama addresses the nation later today, climate change is expected to be featured. The president recently said that one of his personal passions is “leaving a planet that is as spectacular as the one we inherited from our parents and our grandparents.” The next two years will determine if his administration can meet this standard.

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  • Top 5 Climate and Energy Stories for 2014

    Manish Bapna discusses the top 5 U.S. climate and energy stories for 2014. Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published at Forbes.

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  • 7 Stories to Watch in 2014

    Earlier this month, WRI launched its “Stories to Watch in 2014.”

    All years are important, but decisions made in 2014 will have a striking impact for decades to come. Here are seven potential game-changers:

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  • 5 Ways Minnesota Can Reduce its Power Plant Emissions

    Thanks to efforts to reduce its coal use, Minnesota is producing more power while decreasing its carbon dioxide pollution. But the state has the potential to go even further.

    New WRI analysis finds that Minnesota can reduce its carbon dioxide emissions 31 percent below 2011 levels by 2020 just by complying with its current policies and taking advantage of existing infrastructure opportunities. Achieving these reductions will allow Minnesota to meet potentially ambitious EPA power plant emissions standards, which are due to be finalized next year.

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