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Rachel Cleetus

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About the author: Rachel Cleetus is an expert on the design and economic evaluation of climate and energy policies, as well as the costs of climate change. She holds a Ph.D. in economics. See Rachel's full bio.

Rebuilding for Climate Resilience in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

It’s been three months since Hurricane Sandy pounded the coasts of New Jersey and New York (among other places), changing forever our understanding of our vulnerability to coastal flooding. While recovery and rebuilding continues to be a long, hard, painful process, there are encouraging signs that we may have begun an important national conversation about facing climate risks in a more resilient way. Read More

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2013 Begins Without Respite from Drought

The latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor and predictions from National Weather Service were released today. They show a grim picture of continuing drought for the foreseeable future for large swathes of the U.S. Read More

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A Crucial Benchmark for Climate Action is at Risk. Why it Matters Now More than Ever.

Several recent reports have pointed out that without significant, immediate action to lower global warming emissions, we are getting dangerously close to blowing past emissions levels that would lead to a 2°C or more increase in global temperatures. That may lead some to think that the 2°C benchmark is becoming increasingly irrelevant, but nothing could be further from the truth. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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California’s First Carbon Auction Generates Nearly $300 Million in Revenues

California recently held its first auction for carbon allowances, the launch of the cap-and-trade program that is part of its Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32). My colleague, Jasmin Ansar, offered some early commentary on the auction and I recently circled back with her to get an update on how it went. Read More

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Pricing Carbon Pollution: A Historic Day in California

Yesterday California held its first auction of permits for carbon emissions under its landmark cap-and-trade program. My colleague and fellow economist, Jasmin Ansar, has been on the ground in California working on this issue for years. Today I asked her to provide some expert insight into the latest developments. Read More

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Hurricane Sandy: An Unfolding Human and Economic Crisis

Hurricane Sandy has put climate change firmly on our country’s radar screen. What’s clear is that we are not at all adequately prepared for the risks of extreme weather, especially in a warming world. And our ill-preparedness is devastatingly costly. Can we learn from this and do better? Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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Michigan’s 25 Percent Renewable Electricity Standard is Good for Consumers

This November, voters in Michigan have the opportunity to choose where their energy comes from and ensure that utilities make investment decisions that are good for consumers’ pocketbooks and their health. Winning a ‘yes’ vote on Proposal 3 will raise Michigan’s renewable electricity share from 10 percent by 2015 to 25 percent by 2025. And, as a just-released study makes clear, Prop 3 makes smart economic sense for Michigan electricity consumers. Read More

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Misguided D.C. Circuit Court Ruling Blocks Limits on Harmful Pollution from Power Plants

It was very disappointing to get news today that the D.C. Circuit court has vacated the cross state air pollution rule or CSAPR (also known as the Transport Rule) which was designed to limit emissions of SO2 and NOx from coal-fired power plants. The court ruling comes as a rude shock after the EPA worked so carefully and thoroughly to address all aspects of the rule and its impacts in accordance with the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Read More

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Will the 2012 U.S. Drought and Other Extreme Weather Events Trigger Another Global Food Crisis?

The impact of the 2012 drought on U.S. crops and livestock has been in the headlines for weeks now. Today the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its monthly food price index, showing a sharp increase of 6 percent in July, which raises serious concerns that we might be on the brink of a global food crisis. Read More

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Massive Power Outage in India Highlights Energy, Water, and Climate Vulnerabilities

When I was growing up in Delhi, we were well accustomed to daily summer power outages, euphemistically called “load shedding.” These blackouts were regularly scheduled every evening and often created an atmosphere of genial neighborly fun — people out on terraces enjoying cold drinks, talking with neighbors over walls, taking walks, kids playing in the street — and they didn’t seem particularly inconvenient. But all that was another time and a far cry from the catastrophic two-day power crisis that India experienced earlier this week. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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