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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

NRECA: more fear mongering about EPA's Clean Power Plan

Posted July 18, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is running a deceptive ad campaign trying to undermine first-ever carbon pollution standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under its Clean Power Plan (click here and here). The ad portrays a...continued

The high cost of climate change inaction: two new studies

Posted June 27, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Two important studies recently released on the economic costs of climate change show us the very high costs of continuing on our current carbon pollution trajectory. The first, commissioned by the prominent bipartisan Risky Business Project, finds significant economic losses for the...continued

The Chamber is Wrong Again: Carbon Pollution Limits Will Lower Electricity Bills by Billions of Dollars, and Generate Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs, Not the Reverse

Posted May 28, 2014 by Laurie Johnson in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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FORTHCOMING UPDATE TO CHAMBER'S RESPONSE (6/5/2014): UPDATE: In a flailing attempt to defend its shoddy analysis, the Chamber argues that some states will be required to reduce more than the Chamber's assumed national reduction of 42% by 2030--so really they haven't...continued

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

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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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