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Sacred cars? Cost-effective regulation of stationary and nonstationary pollution sources

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography

Details

Research article Cost analysis (CA)
Authors
Fowlie M, Knittel CR, and Wolfram C
Journal
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Summary
The authors compared the marginal costs of abating NOx emissions from power plants to the marginal costs of abating NOx emissions from passenger vehicles. The marginal cost of reducing NOx from power plants was more than double the marginal cost of abating NOx emissions from passenger vehicles. The authors estimated that the total costs of achieving the NOx emissions reductions mandated by the point and mobile source programs could be reduced by 6 percent (or $1.6 billion) through more efficient regulatory coordination. These results highlight the potential gains from improved regulatory coordination across sectors.
Population
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Not available

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Air pollutants (nitrous oxides (NOx))

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Mobile (vehicles) and stationary sources (coal-fired power plants)

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Type:

  • Cost analysis (CA)

Cost Measured:

  • Point source costs: capital, installation, and operating costs of pollution control technologies
  • cost of emissions permits
  • mobile source costs: increased vehicle costs
  • engineering costs
  • certification costs

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Costs associated with regulatory distortions and optimization error in electricity sector estimates
  • costs of steps to reduce vehicle emissions beyond regulation guidelines
  • reduced demand from consumers

Benefits Measures: (Not available)

Potential Benefits:

  • Avoided damages due to reduced emissions
  • co-benefits from reductions in other mobile source pollutants (sulfur and particulate matter)
  • reduced emissions from nonroad diesel vehicles
  • benefits of fuel desulfurization regulation

Location:

  • United States

Models Used:

  • EPA's Integrated Planning Model (2003), MOBILE5 model
  • MOBILE6, Air Pollution Emissions Experiments and Policy (APEEP) model

Methods Used:

  • The authors compared the marginal costs of abating NOx emissions from power plants to the marginal costs of abating NOx emissions from passenger vehicles. The authors — 1) constructed estimates of NOx marginal abatement costs for power plants using detailed unit-level engineering data; 2) constructed estimates for light-duty car and truck NOx abatement costs based on existing engineering analyses; and 3) compared abatement costs between point and mobile sources.

Sources Used:

  • Unit- and plant-level data from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) software; data from EPA's Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIA); data from field testing of available pollution control technologies; additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Citation:

  • Fowlie M, Knittel CR, and Wolfram C. 2012. Sacred cars? Cost-effective regulation of stationary and nonstationary pollution sources. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Pubmed:

DOI:

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)