Summaries of Selected Concurrent Sessions Presentations



Energy and Capacity Market Effects of Carbon Mitigation Policies in Restructured Markets


Jared Moore
Doctoral Candidate, Engineering & Public Policy,
Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
Jay Apt
Professor, Engineering and Public Policy, Tepper School of Business,
Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) 



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed regulations for greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants through Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  We examined the cost per tonne of CO2 mitigated in PJM under two policies,  a carbon price and renewable portfolio standards (RPS).  We examined these policies from two perspectives: the social perspective (where wealth transfers are neutral) and the consumer perpsective.  Regardless of perspective, we found that a carbon price was more cost effective if gas prices were low ($4/MMBTU).  From the perspective of consumers, however, the RPS may be more cost effective in PJM under high gas prices ($7/MMBTU) because the added energy supply lowers market clearing prices.  We found that both policies have consequences in capacity markets and that the RPS can be more cost effective than a carbon price only under continued excess capacity supply coupled with high gas prices.




Shale Oil and Gas Boom and Emission Reduction Targets:

Tradeoffs between Gains and Costs


Farzad Taheripour
Asst. Prof., Dept. of Agricultural Economics
Purdue University (W. Lafayette, IN)
Wallace E. Tyner
James & Lois Ackerman Professor
Dept of Agricultural Economics
Purdue University (W. Lafayette, IN)



Supplies of oil and gas from shale resources have increased in recent years in the US, and they are expected to increase in the future as well. The expansion in supplies of these energy sources provides substantial economic benefit for the US economy. But how large is the economic benefit? How does the size of the economic benefit of shale oil and gas compare with the likely costs of climate policies to reduce US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? These are the questions we address in this paper.




2014 IAEE Best Student Paper Award Winner


Electricity Market Price Volatility:

The Importance of Ramping Costs

Dan Werner,
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
University of Maryland (College Park, MD)



Within the past fifteen years, most electricity markets across the United States have restructured to allow competition in the generation of electricity. Since inception, high price volatility has plagued wholesale electricity prices, creating major implications for risk-averse market participants and system operators tasked with maintaining grid reliability. The expected rise in intermittent renewable generation has augmented these volatility concerns, since various generator types may affect volatility differently.




Unconventional Gas Development and Local Public Finance:

Evidence from the Barnett Shale


Jeremy G. Weber
Asst. Prof., Graduate School of Public and International Affairs,
University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
J. Wesley Burnett
Asst. Prof., Dept. of Economics,
College of Charleston (Charleston, SC)
Irene M. Xiarchos
Natural Resource Economist, Office of the Chief Economist,
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (Washington, DC)





Oil and natural gas production is experiencing a renaissance in the US with the increased development from shale formations over the past several years. Drilling has created jobs and generated public revenues for local and state governments (Weber, 2012; Pless, 2012; Raimi and Newell, 2014).  This study evaluates the medium to long-term effects of shale gas development on zip code level housing values over the 1997 to 2013 period in Texas’ Barnett Shale.[1] As demonstrated in Figure 1, the Barnett Shale formation splits the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in half, with all of the drilling occurring on the western side and none occurring on the eastern side. In examining the evolution of housing values, we connect the natural resource economics literature on the effects of extractive industries to the public economics literature on local public finances and property values – in Texas the oil and gas development provide property tax revenue for local schools and governments.




From the Chapters

The Presidents of local USAEE Chapters are cordially invited to submit write-ups with photographs about their chapter activities.  Please contact the Editor at robertborgstrom2@gmail.com for further information and submission guidelines.



Welcoming our newest affiliate,

Colorado School of Mines Chapter (Golden, CO)


CSM Chapter Officers:[from left] Mathew Doyle, Vice President; Jacquelyn Pless, Secretary; Braeton Smith, President; and Ernesto Guzman, Treasurer


The Colorado School of Mines (CSM) Chapter, the newest affiliate of USAEE, has been close to a year in the making and finally kicked off with its first meeting in April 2014. CSM is the ideal place for a USAEE chapter as it has a thriving energy community and houses the well-known Mineral and Energy Economics program, where an abundance of students and faculty researching energy issues reside. The chapter was primarily borne out of a strong desire to see better representation of the program at the USAEE conferences, but the chapter objectives have grown to include a speaker series, Denver-area networking events, discussion lunches, USAEE conference scholarships, and other activities.


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