December 2018, Southern Environmental Law Center
On behalf of Southern Environmental Law Center, Senior Researchers Tyler Comings and Ricardo Lopez, PhD, along with Researcher Bryndis Woods and Research Assistant Tanya Stasio, prepared a report on the impacts of proposed offshore oil and natural gas drilling in four southern states: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The report reviews the April 2018 study released by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Comings and other AEC staff determined that the API’s report inflated potential benefits of offshore drilling and failed to consider key costs and risks.
October 2018, California Attorney General Office and California Air Resources Board
This AEC white paper assesses the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) August 2018 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding “The Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks”. If approved, the Proposed Rulemaking would revise CAFE and CO2 standards, making them less stringent. Clinic Director Liz Stanton, PhD, Senior Researcher Ricardo Lopez, PhD and Researcher Bryndis Woods find that several of NHTSA/EPA's assumptions and conclusions are unfounded.
September 2018, Barr Foundation
Clinic Director Liz Stanton, PhD reviewed a recent study of the Massachusetts-specific cost of complying with the Global Warming Solutions Act. The study, released in August 2018 as a supplement to the Avoided Energy Supply Component in New England: 2018 Report, finds a Massachusetts carbon cost of $35 per ton of carbon dioxide (plus the cost of energy supply). Dr. Stanton supports this assessment, and provides updates and critiques for implementation in future assessments in this analysis.
July 2018, Clean Energy Group
The Applied Economics Clinic director, Dr. Liz Stanton, has prepared a white paper that assesses the cost-effectiveness of battery storage in Massachusetts, using the Massachusetts' efficiency program administrators' benefit-cost ratio methodology. Both single- and multi-family batteries are found to be cost effective.
July 2018, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
The Applied Economics Clinic prepared a policy brief in June 2018 that compares the energy efficiency programs of five investor-owned utilities in Indiana: Duke Energy, Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Indianapolis Power and Light Company (IPL), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), and Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company d/b/a Vectren Energy Delivery (Vectren).
This brief serves as a companion to the policy brief released in July 2018 regarding the 2014 repeal of Indiana's energy efficiency program through passage of the Senate Enrolled Act 340.
It also serves as a companion to the forthcoming brief related to the approval of Indiana's Transmission Distribution and Storage Improvement Charge (TDSIC) state statute, which was passed in 2013 with the Senate Enrolled Act 560.
June 2018, Barr Foundation
Clinic Director, Dr. Liz Stanton, PhD together with Senior Researcher Tyler Comings, and the Clinic's research team, has partnered with Sustainable Energy Advantage to analyze Massachusetts pending 2018 'Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future', which includes a range of provisions to address climate change while strengthening the state's innovation economy: accelerating renewable energy targets, ambitious offshore wind and battery storage goals, and removing limits on rooftop solar. The Clinic's policy briefs and report detail the economic impacts of these policies. The benefits for Massachusetts include new jobs, a stronger economy, more renewable resources, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, these policies would have little or no effect on consumers’ electric bills through 2030.
March 2018, Barr Foundation
The Applied Economics Clinic has prepared a series of four policy briefs related to Boston's new Community Choice Energy Aggregation (CCE) program:
Boston CCE and Electric Costs: Describes the expected impact of Boston's new CCE program on electric customer costs.
Boston CCE and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Describes the greenhouse gas emission reductions expected to result from Boston's new CCE program.
Boston CCE and State Clean Energy Laws: Provides a comparison of Boston CCE, the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Standard.
Sourcing Green Energy for CCE Programs: Provides an overview of current CCE programs in Massachusetts and around the United States including a discussion of the different methods used to source their green energy.
February 2018, Conservation Law Foundation
The Applied Economics Clinic has prepared a report that examines how well Massachusetts’ efficiency programs reaching under-served communities and harder-to-reach families. At present, it is not possible to answer this question completely because Mass Save program administrators have access to—but do not include in publicly available statistics—information regarding low-income households, under-served communities and hard-to-reach families. Working with limited data, we find that there are substantial differences in energy savings among Massachusetts’ towns, and lower-income communities are receiving lower efficiency savings. This report presents maps and other figures showing differences in efficiency savings, income, and other community characteristics like language abilities and renter status for both Massachusetts towns and neighborhoods within Boston.
February 2018, Consumers Union (CU)
The Applied Economics Clinic has prepared a report that investigates the impact of various levels of energy efficiency on electric rates and bills of Dominion Energy Virginia (Dominion) customers. Dominion is asking state utility regulators to approve billions of dollars in new spending to increase nuclear and natural gas capacity over the next 10 years in order meet its forecast for future energy demand. These costs would be passed on to consumers in the form of substantially higher utility bills. We find that by investing in energy efficiency, Dominion customers would enjoy lower rates and bills while future energy demand would be met with fewer than half of the new power plants currently proposed by Dominion.
January 2018, Nebraska Wildlife Federation (NeWF)
The Applied Economics Clinic, together with Sommer Energy, have prepared a report regarding Nebraska's energy future. Sommer Energy, LLC and Applied Economics Clinic were asked by the Nebraska Wildlife Federation (NeWF) to produce a plan envisioning an electric grid in Nebraska that relies more heavily on cost-effective wind, solar, and energy efficiency. With the costs of wind and solar at historic lows, NeWF seeks to determine how Nebraska's expanded reliance on renewables, coupled with greater investment in energy efficiency, could reduce the overall cost of electricity in Nebraska as well as change the state's trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions.
December 2017, Natural Resources Defense Council
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is a proposed new natural gas pipeline that is currently planned to travel through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and is intended to bring natural gas to markets in those states. Dominion Transmission, Inc., the leading percentage owner of the pipeline, has made several arguments in favor of the project based on reports it commissioned from ICF International and Chmura Economics & Analytics. In this report, we examine the merit of each of these claims and find them to be unsupported based on available data.
November 2017, Green Cities Coalition and Southeastern Colorado Renewable Energy Society
The Colorado Springs City Council ordered that Martin Drake units 6 and 7 be decommissioned no later than December 31, 2035, and that it would consider earlier dates. In response, Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) is evaluating 2025 or 2030 decommissioning. Based on the information available to us, we conclude that the CSU Board should consider Martin Drake for decommissioning earlier than 2035—and certainly prior to making large capital investments in the plant—due to: the plant's inefficiencies, more efficient competition, failure to adequately consider alternatives, the ability to rely on regional supply, and health impacts given the plant's location in a city center.