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RTO Insider: Carbon Pricing Gains Popularity – and Doubts

Posted by Rich Heidorn Jr. | RTO Insider on Mar 5, 2020

RTO Insider covered a forum held by NYU's School of Law and Duke University where carbon pricing was discussed by panelists including AEE's Jeff Dennis. Read excerpts below and the entire RTO Insider piece here (sub. req.).

More than 10 years after the failure of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, carbon pricing’s time may be nearing — seemingly good news to those concerned about climate change. But carbon pricing won’t solve the climate crisis by itself or persuade states to abandon their own clean energy policies, speakers said Tuesday at a forum in D.C. sponsored by New York University School of Law Institute for Policy Integrity and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions...

“We’ve seen political interest increase for doing something to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said former FERC Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, now a partner with Jenner & Block. “We’re seeing it in Congress. We aren’t seeing it in legislation likely to be passed by both houses yet. But people on the inside say it’s quite likely that we could do something in the next Congress around carbon or climate change.”

Jeff Dennis, general counsel for Advanced Energy Economy, said carbon pricing will be less effective in decarbonizing the economy outside of electric generation. “There are reasonable [carbon] price levels that will get you significant benefits in the power sector today and that’s why we should do carbon pricing. When you’re thinking about economy-wide though, you need other policies, because you need some astronomically high carbon prices, from what I’ve seen, to get a lot of those hard-to-abate sectors to achieve carbon reductions,” he said.

“Are states going to have to rethink their own policies in response to markets and carbon prices? Sure. But I don’t think that’s going to obviate the need for states to continue to have policies — or frankly the desire of other states to continue to have policies...”

Read the entire RTO Insider piece here (sub. req.).

Topics: AEE In The News