“As US shutters aging nuclear plants, cutting emissions will become more costly,” writes Daniel Raimi for The Conversation. Raimi is referring to nuclear plant closures announced in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and most recently, New York. He describes how the economic and emissions impact of these closures will vary significantly based on state law.
“…[T]he location of retiring [nuclear] plants matters a great deal for CO2 emissions,” writes Raimi. “In regions with cap-and-trade, nuclear retirements will likely raise power prices, but have little short-term effect on emissions, while regions without cap-and-trade are likely to see their CO2 emissions rise if and when plants close.”
Raimi argues for nationwide carbon pricing. “Without it,” he writes, “there is no clear path toward the levels of emissions reductions we need to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.”