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Please Note: If you are not a federal government employee and would like to attend a seminar, please contact Carl Pasurka (pasurka.carl@epa.gov) in advance so that you can gain access to the building unless someone else is listed in the seminar write-up.

Climate Economics Seminar: Escape from Third-Best: Rating Emissions for Intensity Standards
May 6, 2014, 2 - 3:30 PM
Room 4128, William Jefferson Clinton West Building, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC
Derek Lemoine (Department of Economics, University of Arizona)
EPA Contact: Carl Pasurka, 202-566-2275
Abstract: An increasingly common type of environmental policy instrument regulates the carbon intensity of transportation and electricity markets. In order to extend the policy's scope beyond point-of-use emissions, regulators assign each competing fuel an emission intensity rating for use in calculating compliance. I show that welfare-maximizing ratings do not generally coincide with the best estimates of actual emissions. In fact, the regulator can achieve a higher level of welfare by properly selecting the emission ratings than possible by selecting only the level of the standard. Moreover, a fuel's optimal rating can actually decrease when its estimated emission intensity increases. Numerical simulations of the California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard suggest that when recent scientific information increased the estimated emissions from conventional ethanol, regulators should have lowered ethanol's rating (making it appear less emission-intensive) so that the fuel market would clear with a lower quantity.

Environmental Economics Seminar: The Housing Market Impacts of Shale Gas Development
May 20, 2014, 1 - 2:30 PM
Room 4128, William Jefferson Clinton West Building, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC
Lucija Muehlenbachs (University of Calgary and Resources for the Future)
EPA Contact: Carl Pasurka, 202-566-2275
Abstract: By Lucija Muehlenbachs (University of Calgary and Resources for the Future), Elisheba Spiller (Environmental Defense Fund), and Christopher Timmins (Department of Economics, Duke University)

Using data from Pennsylvania and New York and an array of empirical techniques to control for confounding factors, we recover hedonic estimates of property value impacts from shale gas development that vary with geographic scale, water source, well productivity, and visibility. Results indicate large negative impacts on nearby groundwater-dependent homes, while piped-water-dependent homes exhibit smaller positive impacts, suggesting benefits from lease payments. At a broader geographic scale, we find that new wellbores increase property values, but these effects diminish over time. Undrilled permits cause property values to decrease. Results have implications for the debate over regulation of shale gas development.



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