Rabe cited in Forbes on EPA greenhouse gas rules

June 3, 2014

Ford School Professor Barry Rabe was cited in Howard Gleckman's June 2 Forbes article "Could EPA's New Greenhouse Gas Rule Open the Door to a New State-based Gas Tax?" "The proposed EPA rules, which Brookings senior fellow Barry Rabe describes as "climate federalism," seem to acknowledge the demise—at least for now—of a single federal solution to the climate problem," writes Gleckman.

In his recently published Brookings article on the new regulations, "The New Era of Climate Federalism," Rabe writes that "The new EPA proposal lacks the market razzle-dazzle of cap-and-trade but reverts to a well-established model that has worked quite well for generations under the remarkably durable Clean Air Act: The federal government sets emission-reduction standards but gives states considerable latitude to design their own approach to reach them under state implementation plans (or SIPs). In this case, Section 111(d) will be used in seeking a 25% emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2025 and then aiming for a 30% cut by 2030."

Rabe argues that the EPA's willingness to devolve regulatory power to the states isn't such a bad thing; this system of climate federalism can be and has been effective in the past, he says.

Barry Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy at the Ford School, where he directs the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP). He is also a nonresident senior fellow of governance studies at the DC-based Brookings Institution.