Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants Under the Clean Air Act

Resources for the Future Discussion Paper No. 13-05

66 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2013 Last revised: 3 May 2014

See all articles by Joshua Linn

Joshua Linn

Resources for the Future

Erin Mastrangelo

Government of the United States of America - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Dallas Burtraw

Resources for the Future

Date Written: February 19, 2013

Abstract

The Clean Air Act has assumed the central role in US climate policy, directing the development of regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. This paper examines the operation of coal-fired generating units over 25 years to estimate the marginal costs and potential magnitude of emissions reductions from improving their efficiency. We find that a 10 percent increase in coal prices causes a 0.2 to 0.5 percent heat rate reduction, broadly consistent with engineering assessments. We also find that coal prices have a significant effect on utilization. The results are used to compare cost-effectiveness of alternative policies.

Keywords: efficiency, regulation, greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, coal, performance standards

JEL Classification: L94, Q54

Suggested Citation

Linn, Joshua and Mastrangelo, Erin and Burtraw, Dallas, Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants Under the Clean Air Act (February 19, 2013). Resources for the Future Discussion Paper No. 13-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2226023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2226023

Joshua Linn

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Erin Mastrangelo

Government of the United States of America - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ( email )

881 1st Street NE
Washington, DC 20426
United States

Dallas Burtraw (Contact Author)

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-328-5087 (Phone)

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