A Triple Bottom Line for Electric Utility Regulation: Aligning State-Level Energy, Environmental, and Consumer Protection Goals

Aligning state policy goals can help keep the lights on and electricity prices affordable while also promoting investments in clean energy technologies and efficiency measures that protect public health and the environment. This Article explores the opportunities and challenges to aligning state energy, environmental, and consumer protection goals within the current regulatory system, and proposes a “triple bottom line” (“TBL”) approach to state utility regulation to achieve this alignment.  The original TBL concept encourages businesses and governments to measure value by considering environmental and social dimensions in addition to fiscal considerations.  By comparison, the TBL approach for electric utility regulation proposed here aims to harmonize existing state policy goals of ensuring: (1) affordable electricity; (2) reliable electricity; and (3) protection of public health and the environment.  Specifically, it allows officials across state governments to consider how their roles affect all three TBL pillars, thereby enabling informed decision making and comprehensive […]

Aviation, Carbon, and the Clean Air Act

Can CAA regulation achieve aviation emissions regulations significant enough to establish equivalency with E.U. policy while remaining cost-effective and politically acceptable?  Fully answering this question requires judgments about the range of options realistically available to the EPA in the current U.S. political environment and about the range of policies the E.U. would consider “equivalent”—judgments that would be, at best, informed guesses.  But the core part of the question is legal.  Specifically, what tools are available to the Agency under the CAA to regulate aviation emissions, and how might they be used for GHGs? This Article is an attempt to answer that core legal question. The Agency’s powers to address aviation GHGs under the Act have not been thoroughly studied.  A few court decisions, EPA documents, and petitions to the Agency have looked at the issue or aspects of it, but none is a comprehensive assessment. One relatively brief scholarly treatment […]