The 2 Big Things Missing from Coverage of Nuke Plant Shutdowns
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
3w ago
Next month will mark four years since the Indian Point nuclear power plant north of New York City began to be shut down. Indian Point 2 was closed on April 30, 2020. Indian Point 3’s closure followed a year later. The two units, rated at roughly 1,000 megawatts each, started operating in the mid-1970s. A half-century later, their reactor cores lie dismembered. Both units are irretrievably gone, for better or worse. I believe the closures are for the worse — and not by a little. The loss of Indian Point’s 2,000 MW of virtually carbon-free power has set back New York’s decarbonization efforts b ..read more
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Let Carbon Pricing Resolve Jevons Paradox
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
1M ago
Nearly 15 years after journalist David Owen and I tangled — and then united — over Jevons Paradox, the New York Times today published a guest essay on that subject by a Murdoch-employed London journalist. David and I went deeper and did better, as you’ll see in a moment. Jevons Paradox denotes the tendency of economies to increase, not decrease, their use of something as they learn how to use that thing more efficiently. Its 19th-century archetype, observed by Britisher William Stanley Jevons, was that “as steam engines became ever more efficient, Britain’s appetite for coal [to power them] in ..read more
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Car Bloat and Carbon Pollution: It’s Both Better and Worse Than You Think
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
2M ago
Streetsblog USA today published my essay, Get the Facts About ‘Car Bloat’ and Pollution. I’ve cross-posted it here to allow comments.  — C.K., Feb. 1, 2024 The increasing size of passenger vehicles has been catastrophic for road safety, traffic congestion, climate viability, and household budgets. Compared to sedans, brawnier sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are far more likely to kill other road users, to clog urban streets and suburban roads, to guzzle fuel and emit particulates and carbon, and to keep their owners on a treadmill of car paymen ..read more
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Don’t Subsidize Super-Drivers, Soak Them
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
2M ago
Streetsblog USA this morning published my essay, Instead of Subsidizing the ‘Super-Drivers,’ We Should Soak Them: Piling subsidies on subsidies, even if well-meaning, fails to rein in the full cost of driving. I’ve cross-posted it here to allow comments and add tables and graphics.  — C.K., Jan. 29, 2024 One-tenth of American motorists, we’ve just learned, consume more than a third of U.S. gasoline. This lead-footed cohort, dubbed “superusers” in a recent analysis, burn almost as much fuel — and, thus, spew nearly as much carbon dioxide — as all auto drivers in China. Or, reformulate ..read more
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What the Green Transition’s “Missing Profits” Really Mean
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
3M ago
For a moment last week it looked like the New York Times was heeding CTC’s summons to tax carbon emissions as a way to make faltering clean-energy projects profitable. NY Times op-ed by David Wallace-Wells, Jan. 10, 2024. His “missing profits” aren’t the same as ours. The come-on appeared in the headline for an opinion piece, Missing Profits May Be a Problem for the Green Transition, by the Times’ climate columnist David Wallace-Wells. MISSING PROFITS! Was Wallace-Wells pursuing the idea I floated two months ago in a CTC blog, that a U.S. carbon tax could lift the prevailing price of grid po ..read more
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What’s Really Driving U.S. CO2 Reductions
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
3M ago
The talented data analysts at Rhodium Corp. reported this week that U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases fell nearly two percent last year, even as national economic output rose by 2.4%. This was good news, further evidence of “decoupling” emissions from economic activity, but also bad news, because, says Rhodium, the 1.9% drop in GHG’s was woefully short of the 6.9% annual decrease required from now to 2030 to meet our Paris target of a 50-52% reduction in GHG emissions below 2005 levels. Here we examine the locus of the good news: the 8% drop in electricity generation in 2023 vs. 2022 that ena ..read more
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Strawberry Yields Forever: A tax on California groundwater broadens the case for carbon pricing
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
3M ago
Please admit California’s Pajaro Valley to the storehouse of evidence that charging a fee to use scarce resources can stretch those resources, to the benefit of all. Never heard of Pajaro Valley? Me neither, until I came across NY Times climate reporter Coral Davenport’s compelling end-of-year story, Strawberry Case Study: What if Farmers Had to Pay for Water? Turns out I once hitch-hiked there en route to the spectacular Big Sur coast south of Monterey. But the payoff today is in the story’s subhead: With aquifers nationwide in dangerous decline, one part of California has tried essentially t ..read more
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Carbon Pricing Is Anti-Colonialist
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
4M ago
Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in response to Hamas’ October assault on Jewish civilians is prompting much soul-searching. One reappraisal that caught my eye was Who’s a ‘Colonizer’? How an Old Word Became a New Weapon, which ran earlier this month in The New York Times. The piece, by veteran NY Times correspondent Roger Cohen, centers on two opposing ideas — clashes, if you will. One, particular to the current war, concerns the charge that Israel is an outpost of “settler colonialism” and the counterclaim that the Jewish state, “far from being colonialist,” in Cohen’s words, “is a diverse natio ..read more
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Congestion pricing, coming soon to New York City, could bode well for carbon-taxing.
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
4M ago
Externality pricing is coming to New York City in a big, barrier-busting form known as congestion pricing. And judging from how it’s unfolding, it might just be bold enough to return U.S. carbon pricing to public consideration. Another big milestone in the long journey was reached this week when New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled its prospective tolls to drive a car or truck into Manhattan’s central business district. Barring a last-minute reversal, the Western hemisphere’s first congestion pricing program, and the world’s biggest by far in terms of revenue, will begin i ..read more
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At this point we might as well meet inside an actual oil refinery.”
Carbon Tax Center Blog
by Charles Komanoff
4M ago
Joseph Moeono-Kolio, lead adviser to the campaign for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, quoted in The New York Times, Files Suggest Climate Summit’s Leader Is Using Event to Promote Fossil Fuels, Nov. 28 ..read more
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