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2002-03 Seminars


Integrated Assessment of Science and Economics for Designing Air Pollution Policies

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Dallas Burtraw
Senior Fellow, Quality of the Environment Division,
Resources For The Future

Abstract

Integrated assessment extends benefit-cost analysis to account for uncertainties in the links between environmental science and economics. In recent applications we use the Tracking and Analysis Framework to couple a detailed simulation model of the U.S. electricity markets with an integrated assessment model that links changes in emissions with atmospheric transport, environmental endpoints, and valuation of impacts. This framework has been used to evaluate the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, and to develop new estimates of efficient emission fees for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions in the U.S. electricity sector. National quantity caps that are equivalent to these fees are found to approximate proposed new lower caps under consideration in the current multi-pollutant debate in the U.S. Congress. We also explore whether regional differentiation of caps on different pollutants is likely to enhance efficiency and protect local hot spots.