Our Research

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Fair Deal for Consumers or Free Ride for Polluters: The Case for Auctioning Pollution Permits in the Western Climate Initiative

As Western states consider plans to reduce global warming pollution, a key question is whether the region will give away emission allowances created in any “cap-and-trade” program for reducing global warming pollution or sell them in an auction. Fair Deal for Consumers or Free Ride for Polluters? lays out the case for auctioning allowances in any Western global warming cap-and-trade system, documenting the economic and environmental benefits of auctions.

(September 2008)
Building Solutions: Opportunities for Coloradans to Save Energy And Money Through Efficient Home Heating

Coloradans are paying increasingly steep prices to heat their homes each winter. To help homeowners with their bills, Colorado should improve home heating energy efficiency. Because heating accounts for more than half of all energy used in a typical Colorado home, heating efficiency improvements can have a big impact. Efficiency measures from high performance furnace systems to improved weatherization can directly save families money. Moreover, reduced demand for energy will reduce energy prices, benefiting everyone in the state.

(September 2008)
Getting on Track: Good Investments for Pennsylvania's Public Transit System

Pennsylvania has long spent more public resources on highways than on transit. While Pennsylvania’s highway system provides the Keystone State with increased mobility, the historic neglect of transit inflicts a heavy price. Getting on Track highlights dozens of important public transportation projects that can play an important role in addressing the Commonwealth’s transportation challenges. By moving ahead with these projects, Pennsylvania can give more of its residents new transportation choices, reduce our dependence on oil, ease congestion, and curb pollution.

(September 2008)
Preserving America's Natural Heritage: Lessons From States' Efforts to Fund Open Space Protection

America’s natural places represent an important part of our national heritage, but millions of acres of land have been lost in recent years to sprawling development. State programs to buy up or otherwise protect open space are a critical bulwark against the loss of important natural areas, but many such programs are underfunded. Preserving America’s Natural Heritage profiles programs in 15 states that purchase or protect open space and presents lessons states can use in designing effective programs.

(September 2008)
Using Water Wisely: Southwest Data Shows the Promise of Efficiency

Rapid population growth, excessive water consumption, water pollution, and years of drought have depleted the Southwest’s natural water reserves and put the region at greater risk of a water crisis. Without a dramatic change from business as usual, the Southwest’s water scarcity problem will only get worse as population growth and global warming impacts further exacerbate the problem. This report details existing water efficiency technologies and effective water conservation programs the six states in the Southwest could use to save as much as 5.7 million acre-feet of water per year.

(August 2008)