U-Michigan experts available to discuss new EPA carbon-cutting plan

June 2, 2014
Contact: umichnews@umich.edu


ANN ARBOR—The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years. The University of Michigan has several experts who can discuss the significance of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which would cut carbon pollution from the U.S. power sector by using cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste.

The U-M experts include:

Jeremiah Johnson, an assistant researcher scientist at the School of Natural Resources and Environment and a faculty affiliate of Energy Institute, is assessing the impact of meeting proposed carbon dioxide standards for existing power plants in Michigan. In a separate study, Johnson is analyzing Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standards options, a portion of which involves an assessment of coal plant shutdowns driven by clean-air regulations.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent would represent a major reduction in total U.S. emissions and a strong commitment to fight climate change,” Johnson said. “To reduce carbon dioxide emissions, coal-heavy states such as Michigan would need to shift some generation to natural gas or renewables such as wind, join a carbon-trading program, or increase energy efficiency efforts.” Johnson can be reached at jxjohns@umich.edu or (203) 506-9439.

Barry Rabe is a professor at the U-M Ford School of Public Policy and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the first social scientist to receive a Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 and is a member of the National Research Council committee on Risk Assessment and Risk Governance for Shale Gas Development.

Rabe can discuss the Obama administration climate initiatives and programs the EPA has launched in recent years, as well as the evolving role of U.S. states in climate policy.

“The proposed regulations build on two generations of work in air quality that have been among the leading achievements of the federal government during that time,” Rabe said. He can be reached at (734) 765-1677 or brabe@umich.edu.

Andrew Hoffman, director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, can talk about climate change as a market shift and the strategies that companies use to adjust to a carbon-constrained world. He can also field questions about the social debate over climate change, why people reject the scientific consensus and how to communicate and frame the issue for public and political audiences. Hoffman is the Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, a position with joint appointments at the Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources and Environment. He can be reached at (734) 763-9455 or at ajhoff@umich.edu.

“These rules, depending on their form and severity, can alter markets around fossil fuel-based energy with many associated implications,” Hoffman said. “There would be increased incentives to move away from coal and toward renewables and possibly nuclear or natural gas, as well. These rules would also increase incentives to export coal to Europe and China.”