Resources Article

Inside RFF

Apr 11, 2014

RFF Thomas Klutznick Senior Fellow Allen Blackman was appointed to a four-person committee conducting an external review of the Energy, Resources, and Environment Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He was also appointed to an advisory committee for the Inter-American Development Bank's new Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Program.

RFF Research Director, Senior Fellow, and Associate Director of the RFF Center for Climate and Electricity Policy Karen Palmer was appointed to the new Research Advisory Board of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

RFF University Fellow Wallace Oates of the University of Maryland was awarded the 2013 Daniel Elazar Distinguished Federalism Scholar Award from the American Political Science Association in recognition of his scholarly contributions to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations.

RFF Resident Scholar Leonard Shabman was appointed chair of a new National Academies ad hoc committee, Analysis of Costs and Benefits of Reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program—Phase 1. RFF Fellow Carolyn Kousky will join him as a committee member.

Shabman also was invited to participate as a member of the National Research Council Committee on the Future of the Inland Waterway System.

Roger Sedjo, RFF senior fellow and director of RFF's Forest Economics and Policy Program, was elected to serve a three-year term on the board of directors for the Forest History Society.

RFF Research Director and Senior Fellow Margaret Walls is participating in a project led by experts at Johns Hopkins University that has received a $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to model new ways to promote regional resilience to repeated heat waves and hurricanes.

RFF Fellow Ariel Ortiz-Bobea was awarded the 2013 Dr. and Mrs. Bill V. Lessley Award for Dissertation Excellence for his PhD research, "Essays on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Agriculture," which he completed at the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

RFF Senior Fellow Timothy Brennan was appointed chief economist of the Federal Communications Commission.

RFF Board Member Richard Newell of Duke University was elected vice president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists for 2014–2015. Dallas Burtraw, RFF Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow and associate director of the RFF Center for Climate and Electricity Policy, was appointed treasurer.

RFF Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow Molly Macauley was appointed to the Science Advisory Board of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

RFF Senior Fellow Carolyn Fischer was awarded the Marie Curie Fellowship by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, a leading research institution in Italy.

RFF Welcomes a New Board Member

Elaine Dorward-King
Executive Vice President of Sustainability and External Relations, Newmont Mining Corporation

Elaine Dorward-King was elected to her current role at Newmont Mining Corporation in March 2013. Prior to joining Newmont, she served as managing director of Richards Bay Minerals in South Africa from December 2010 through February 2013. She previously served as the Global Head of Health, Safety, and Environment at Rio Tinto from 2002 to 2010 and also held leadership positions with Rio Tinto's copper and borates businesses. Prior to that, she worked for Ebasco Environmental and for Monsanto Company as a chemist, research specialist, and product manager.

Dorward-King brings 25 years of leadership experience in developing and implementing sustainable development, safety, health, and environmental strategy and programs in the mining, chemical, and engineering consulting sectors.

She holds a bachelor of science magna cum laude from Maryville College and a PhD in analytical chemistry from Colorado State University.

Highlights from Recent Journal Articles by RFF Researchers

Modeling a Clean Energy Standard for Electricity: Policy Design Implications for Emissions, Supply, Prices, and Regions
Anthony Paul, Karen Palmer, and Matt Woerman
Energy Economics | March 2013 | Vol. 36 | 108–124
Several proposals for a clean energy standard have been put forth, including one espoused by the Obama administration that calls for 80 percent clean electricity by 2035. This paper looks at the effects of such a policy on carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector, the mix of technologies used to supply electricity, electricity prices, and regional flows of clean energy credits. The clean energy standard leads to a 30 percent reduction in cumulative carbon dioxide emissions between 2013 and 2035, dramatic reductions in generation from conventional coal, and modest price increases nationally.

Facts about FEMA Household Disaster Aid: Examining the 2008 Floods and Tornadoes in Missouri
Carolyn Kousky
Weather, Climate, and Society | October 2013 | Vol. 5, No. 4 | 332–344
This paper examines post-disaster grants to households from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the state of Missouri
in 2008, when the state experienced flooding, storms, and tornadoes. It finds that the majority of aid grants are for very small amounts of money, and more than half of aid applications are denied, often because of ineligible or insufficient damage.

Renewable Electricity Policies, Heterogeneity, and Cost-Effectiveness
Harrison Fell and Joshua Linn
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management | November 2013 | Vol. 66, No. 3 | 688–707
Because of intermittency and the composition of other generators in the power system, the value of certain renewable sources of energy varies across locations and technologies. This paper investigates the implications of this heterogeneity for the cost-effectiveness of renewable electricity policies. A simple model of the power system shows that renewable electricity policies cause different investment mixes. The differences in cost-effectiveness are economically significant, where broader policies (an emissions price, for example) outperform renewable electricity policies.

Tax Evasion and Optimal Environmental Taxes
Antung Anthony Liu
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management | November 2013 | Vol. 66, No. 3 | 656–670
This paper introduces a new argument to the debate about the role of environmental taxes in modern tax systems. Some environmental taxes, particularly those on gasoline or electricity, are more difficult to evade than taxes on labor or income. When the tax base is shifted in a revenue-neutral manner toward these environmental taxes, the result is a net reduction in the amount of tax evasion.