Policy Analysis: Climate Change
1000 words (≈ 4 pages) 150 points/15% of final grade
Detailed outline: Thursday, March 17th.
Required revision (1000 words): Thursday, April 14th
Though cap-and-trade policies may be effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in California and elsewhere, the political reality in the United States is that it will not likely be implemented on a national level. There are two options being discussed with various levels of seriousness, and in some cases being implemented. One is the carbon tax policy, and the other is the application of Renewable Portfolio Standards to electric grids (https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/RPS_Homepage/).
You are a science aide to Senator Boxer. Senator Boxer asks you to draft a short 1000 word memo, addressed to her, that would give her a brief insight into whether she should push for a national carbon tax, or a national Renewable Portfolio Standard in this session of Congress. She’s retiring soon, she wants to go out with a bang. She has heard of the carbon tax approach, but wants to make sure she understands how it works really well. She has also heard that Renewable Portfolio Standards have really changed the way electric grids operate in many countries around the world, so she’s wondering if maybe it’s a better way to go. Your task is to:
Briefly describe how a carbon tax works, discussing the recognized drawbacks and benefits, as well as explaining how it works: who pays, who benefits, why is it effective and efficient, why not;
Briefly describe how a Renewable Portfolio Standard works, discussing the recognized drawbacks and benefits, as well as explaining how it works: who pays, who benefits, why is it effective and efficient, why not;
Discuss which tool would be more politically feasible in the United States, and which would be better for climate change mitigation
You may want to bring in the recently implemented Renewable Portfolio Standard to give Senator Boxer something US-based to work from. You also want to give the Senator an example for each policy, and briefly discuss them.
Attribution & Direct Quotes: You should consult at least two peer-reviewed sources (not Wikipedia), and at least two major newspaper news sources, and you should cite each source at least once in your paper. Provide a bibliography of these sources with your paper. You are free to use any citation format you are comfortable with, as long as it is a valid citation format, and consistent. Please indicate the format in the title of your bibliography.
Paper Format: Answer the questions listed here, in coherent essay form, with transitions between indented paragraphs. Single-space your name, the date, and “CEGHM 168B” in a header at the top of page 1. Follow this header with the title of your paper. Do not use a separate title page. Use a double-spaced, 12-point font (preferably Arial), and leave 1-inch margins around the entire paper. Please provide a total word count of your essay. Upload your paper as a Word document (.doc format) to Canvas.
Grading: Your paper will be assigned a grade in two parts: a content and a mechanics grade.
Here’s what I’ll be looking for:
Description of mechanism, drawbacks, and benefits of carbon tax (not cap and trade… different stuff). If you want a really good grade- describe examples!
Description of mechanism, drawbacks, and benefits, of Renewable Portfolio Standards. If you want a really good grade- describe examples!
YOUR take on things. Dare to have an original thought, and defend it!
USE AT LEAST 2 peer-reviewed sources and 2 newspaper sources!
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