Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Promoting Clean Energy in the American Power Sector: A Proposal for a National Clean Energy Standard

February 2012

Citation: 42 ELR 10131

Issue: 2

Author: Joseph E. Aldy

The difficulty of coming to agreement on comprehensive energy and climate change legislation highlights the need for a more targeted and incremental approach. One promising intermediate step would be a technology-neutral national clean energy standard for the power sector. The proposed standard would lower carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 60% relative to 2005 levels over 20 years, streamline the fragmented regulatory system, generate fiscal benefits, and finance energy innovation. Through a simple design and transparent implementation, the national clean energy standard would provide certainty about the economic returns to clean energy that would facilitate investment and lower the emission intensity of the power sector. It would also serve as an ambitious bridge to economywide energy and climate policy.

Joseph E. Aldy is Assistant Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Nonresident Fellow, Resources for the Future; Faculty
Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research.

Download Article >>>