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Laurie Johnson, Chief Economist, Climate and Clean Air Program, Washington, DC

Laurie Johnson

I am Chief Economist at the Climate Center of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington DC. Prior to joining the NRDC in May 2008, I was a professor in the economics department at the University of Denver for eight years. My research in environmental and natural resource economics, experimental economics, and poverty and welfare, appeared in academic and popular journals. At NRDC, my work has focused on macroeconomic modeling of climate change legislation, as well its distributional impacts. I received my PhD in economics from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Recent Posts

The social cost of carbon: playing catch up to the IPCC

Posted April 22, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Photo: U.S. Army under Creative Commons License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode This blog was originally published at the Cost of Carbon Pollution project here. In time for Passover, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest state-of-climate-change report, predicting a...continued

Minnesota Leading the Charge on Valuing the Climate Benefits of Rooftop Solar

Posted April 11, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Guest blogger-Denise Grab, Legal Fellow, Institute for Policy Integrity (Twitter: @denisegrab) Rooftop solar electricity generation helps homeowners save money on their electricity bills. It can help support the rest of the electrical grid during times of high usage or outages....continued

Report Finds Major Economic Risks of Climate Change Missing from U.S. Government Assessment

Posted March 13, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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March 13, 2014— Economists agree—the American public can expect to pay trillions of dollars if global temperatures continue to rise. Personal bank accounts and government coffers will feel the strain of climate change-driven increased food prices, insurance premiums, emergency aid,...continued

Heritage Foundation claims unfounded: power plant carbon standards good for jobs and the economy, not bad

Posted March 5, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Yesterday, the Heritage Foundation industry front-group published a broadside attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to limit dangerous carbon dioxide pollution from the electric power sector, responsible for approximately 40% of CO2 pollution in the U.S.   The group claims...continued

Public comments to OMB on the social cost of carbon (SCC)

Posted February 26, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Today NRDC, Environmental Defense Fund, New York University’s Policy Integrity, and the Union of Concerned Scientists submitted joint comments (click here and here) commending the government for counting climate change benefits in proposed carbon pollution standards. These benefits are measured by...continued

Coal's fantasy island: carbon pollution its "one and only"

Posted January 26, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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A front-page story in the New York Times (January 23, 2014) recently highlighted increasing concerns companies like Coca-Cola, Nike, and other major corporations are having about the growing threat of climate change to their bottom line. Corporate executives and business...continued

OMB issues call for additional public comments on the social cost of carbon

Posted December 1, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Last week the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) invited additional comment on the government’s “social cost of carbon” (SCC), an estimate of climate change damages resulting from carbon pollution. The invitation comes after a recent update provoked intense...continued

The Heritage Hooligans and the "social cost of carbon" (SCC): your children and grandchildren simply don't matter

Posted November 22, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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The Heritage Foundation, an industry front group “think tank” funded by the likes of Exxon Mobil and other corporate interests, just released an analysis critiquing one of the models used by the US Government to estimate the cost of carbon...continued

New Study: Clean Energy Least Costly to Power America's Electricity Needs

Posted September 17, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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A new study published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (JESS) authored by myself, Starla Yeh (NRDC), and Chris Hope (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge), shows that once estimates of climate change costs and other health impacts...continued

Robert S. Pindyck in his own words (and yes, he read and agreed with this blog)

Posted August 26, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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"It is sad to see how much my article is being misquoted, misinterpreted, and misused." Robert S. Pindyck, personal email correspondence August 26, 2013. Opponents of the President’s climate plan recently seized upon an article (subscription required) by Robert S....continued

Climate deniers' new gambit: the updated SCC ("social cost of carbon")

Posted July 17, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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What was once an obscure technical detail in regulatory rulemakings, the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), will be discussed at length in hearings on Capitol Hill (July 18, 2013): Representatives who have been denying climate science for years are going...continued

Less Carbon, More Jobs, Lower Bills: Protecting Americans from Dangerous Power Plant Carbon Pollution

Posted July 2, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Today, for the sake of our children, and the health and safety of all Americans, I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new...continued

The Wall Street Journal anoints the US Congress as a scientific body

Posted June 29, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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The Wall Street Journal anoints the US Congress as a scientific body “President Obama unveiled his vast new anticarbon-energy agenda this week, which he plans to impose by executive fiat. Crucial to pulling off this exercise is a decision the...continued

Climate disruption: the 10 percent doctrine?

Posted June 19, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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What do the odds of a catastrophe have to be for insurance to be a wise investment? Apparently extremely low for a father or mother buying life insurance. For example, the probability of dying at age 35 is 0.1 percent....continued

Still can't get NERA to the truth: industry's disingenuous attack on EPA's jobs analyses

Posted March 6, 2013 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Funded by the industry trade association US Chamber of Commerce (not to be confused with the US Department of Commerce), a recent report by National Economic Research Associates (NERA) attempts to discredit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) analyses of...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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