Rachel Cleetus

Lead economist and climate policy manager

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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.

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Rachel's Latest Posts

If China Can Do It, Why Not Us? Carbon Pricing and Cooperation on Climate Change

Last Thursday night news broke of the impending announcement of a national cap-and-trade program for carbon in China, as part of a U.S.-China joint climate announcement. This market-based approach, pioneered in the U.S. with the sulfur dioxide trading program, has clearly come to be seen as an essential policy tool to combat climate change, increasingly embraced by countries, policymakers, and global business leaders of all political persuasions. Read more >

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Doing More to Protect Frontline Communities Ten Years After Katrina

As we come up on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the terrible devastation wrought by the hurricane is in the headlines again. For those who experienced the storm first-hand, the ongoing struggle to recover is ever-present and this must be a wrenching anniversary. What can we do as a nation to support frontline communities to be better prepared and protected for future disasters? How can we better account for the growing risks to coastal communities, especially in light of sea level rise and worsening storm surge?  And how can we ensure that we channel our investments in an equitable way so as to build resilience in all communities? Read more >

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Four Ways the Final Clean Power Plan Limits the Rush to Natural Gas

Earlier this week we watched history being made as President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy announced the release of the final Clean Power Plan, setting the first-ever limits on carbon emissions from power plants. The final plan includes a major improvement that UCS has championed over the last year: measures that help limit a rush to natural gas as states work to cut their carbon emissions. That’s good news for consumers, and for the climate. Read more >

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New Forest Service Report Tallies the Steeply Rising Costs of Fighting Wildfires

We’re in peak fire season and, sadly, early predictions for a high-risk season are coming true. The National Interagency Fire Center’s predictions for August show continuing above normal fire risks for the western U.S. and Alaska. Today the Forest Service released a new report showing that firefighting costs now consume over 50 percent of their annual budget, and could get up to two thirds of their budget by 2025, up from 16 percent a decade ago. The good news is that there are multiple bipartisan efforts underway in Congress to deliver a fix for the budget woes outlined in the report. Now we just need to see strong legislation enacted. Read more >

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Bullish on Renewable Energy? So Is the Pope, Walmart, Obama, Google….the List Goes On

Here at UCS we’ve always been bullish about a significant role for renewable energy in our power system, a view informed by careful analysis and the latest market trends. But we’re far from alone: the ever-growing list of supporters of strong renewable energy goals includes Fortune 500 companies, investment banks, utilities, presidents and presidential candidates, and the Pope. Welcome to the bright new era of the clean energy economy! Read more >

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