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Working papers for the Center for Energy Regulation and Policy Analysis over researcher holding sample in field

Identifying and maximizing the economic benefits of energy for the state

Working Papers

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Working Paper 01| The Carbon Storage Future of Public Lands

Abstract: To meet the climate and energy goals set forth by the Biden Administration and the Paris Agreement, the United States must dramatically reduce carbon emissions. Use of public lands for carbon dioxide removal activities, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), has the potential to advance carbon reduction goals and concurrently provide economic revitalization opportunities to communities dependent on fossil industries on public land. Current federal law presents numerous challenges and opportunities associated with utilization of federal pore space for CCUS. Although federal grant programs and tax incentives encourage deployment of CCUS technologies, legal and land-management issues related to public lands have received comparatively little legislative or agency attention. This essay seeks to bring attention to land-management aspects of geologic storage and to broaden conversations regarding pathways to encourage CCUS technology deployment on federal lands. The authors identify opportunities for courts, agencies, and Congress to address uncertainties related to federal pore space and promote cooperation and coordination with state agencies. (Revised February 2021) Download Working Paper

Contact the Main Author: Tara Righetti

Working Paper 02 | Adapting to Coal-Plant Closures: A Framework for Understanding State Resistance to the Energy Transition

Abstract: In response to market pressures and renewable generation mandates, utilities are making the decision to close coal-fired generation assets prior to their scheduled retirement dates. Impacts of early coal-plant closures to workers and communities can be devastating. The conventional response among state policy makers has been to create short term programs to transition workers and provide local economic development assistance. However, through detailed comparative analysis of energy transition policies among states in the Rocky Mountain region a heterogeneity of policy choices emerges. Notably, this includes energy transition resistance, efforts to thwart or delay coal-plant closures and other changes consistent with a shift towards renewable generation. The article unpacks the underlying drivers of energy transition resistance as closely tied to fossil-dependent revenue models and suggests the need for both state-level policies and federal investments in economic diversification. (February 2021) Download Working Paper

Contact the Main Author: Tara Righetti



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