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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 Heritage Foundation's "CPP analysis": the old two-tricks-in-one move

Posted February 26, 2015 by Laurie Johnson

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Earlier this month, the polluter-backed Heritage Foundation "think tank" (I like to call it the Inheritance Foundation) released a rehash of a March 2014 analysis, an anti-regulatory "study" against the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) historic first-ever proposed carbon pollution standard...continued

NERA/NAM's rehashed ozone standard analysis: still crazy

Posted February 26, 2015 by Laurie Johnson

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Last July, the consulting firm that regularly does polluters' dirty bidding, National Economic Research Associates (NERA), released an anti-regulatory study for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) against the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed ozone standard. In that study, they assumed...continued

Beacon Hill Study: Bizarre algebra, crazy assumptions, and the wrong policy

Posted February 24, 2015 by Laurie Johnson

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On behalf of the fossil fuel industry, the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) just rolled out a national study, accompanied by a suite of 16 state analyses, claiming economic calamity will result from first-ever proposed limits on carbon pollution. The limits,...continued

New report: Taxpayers spend over $300 billion on just two climate impacts

Posted February 2, 2015 by Laurie Johnson

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Yesterday, the White House published a disturbing statistic in its FY2016 budget proposal: the Federal government has incurred over $300 billion in climate-related costs over the last decade (see this section in the supplementary Analytical Perspectives report). While we can't...continued

Stanford study: benefits of power plant rule 6 times EPA's estimates

Posted January 13, 2015 by Laurie Johnson

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As the new Congress embarks on its warpath to build the Keystone XL pipeline and stop the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting our water, air, climate, and children's future, yet another study shows just how costly our addiction is to...continued

Crain & Crain's anti-regulatory analysis earns a C-

Posted November 25, 2014 by Laurie Johnson

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As part of an ongoing effort to block the Environmental Protection Agency from keeping our air and climate safe, polluters and their allies in Congress are regularly hiring consulting firms to produce junk studies predicting disastrous economic effects of such...continued

Fossil-fuel funded study: net gains from EPA's Clean Power Plan

Posted October 18, 2014 by Laurie Johnson

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On behalf of some of America's biggest polluters, a new study by NERA Consulting makes a valiant, but ultimately failed, attempt to portray first-ever proposed limits on carbon pollution as an economic calamity. The limits, under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)...continued

The future of fires: what's missing from the SCC?

Posted September 16, 2014 by Laurie Johnson

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 This blog was originally published at the Cost of Carbon Pollution project here. The 2014 wildfire season is not yet over, but in some regions it is already one of the most destructive ever. Fires continue to rage in many...continued

National Association of Manufacturers: Thin Air

Posted September 16, 2014 by Laurie Johnson

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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) published a report last week showing a purported cost of $2 trillion per year to the economy caused by federal regulations. The audacity of the release was impressive. For the most part, it essentially...continued

U.S. Social Cost of Carbon: GAO approved

Posted September 3, 2014 by Laurie Johnson

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This blog was originally published at the Cost of Carbon Pollution project here. The U.S. social cost of carbon (SCC)—the set of calculations estimating that a ton of carbon dioxide emitted today causes about $40 worth of damages to human...continued

The cost of inaction: new CEA report

Posted July 29, 2014 by Laurie Johnson

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The Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) just released an important analysis on the costs of delaying climate action. It follows on the heels of many other reports (e.g. click here and here) sounding the same alarm: climate change is here,...continued

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

Posted July 18, 2014 by Laurie Johnson

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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