By Michael Greenstone

The director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago made the following statement in reaction to the President’s energy and climate comments in the State of the Union address:

“President Obama’s former Chief of Staff and Chicago’s current Mayor Rahm Emanuel once said, ‘You never let a serious crisis go to waste…it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.’ The same is true of good luck, and the recent remarkable reductions in natural gas and oil prices are good luck that we should not waste.

“In his State of the Union, President Obama issued another strong call to confront climate change, and emphasized the efforts his administration has taken to act on this front. While his efforts have transformed U.S. climate policy, there is a golden opportunity staring us in the face. The energy price declines present a rare chance to move away from regulatory approaches and set a price on carbon. This move would not only combat climate change and very likely spur further action to reduce greenhouse gases by other countries, but it would also provide the revenues necessary to address several other national priorities, including increasing access to education, infrastructure improvements, shoring up our entitlement programs, and reducing taxes, which the President mentioned in his address.”

Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, The University of Chicago; Director, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago (EPIC)

Areas of Focus: Energy Markets
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Energy Markets
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.
Fossil Fuels
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Fossil Fuels
Under current policies, fossil fuels will play an important role in the energy system for the foreseeable future. EPIC research is exploring the costs and benefits of these fuels as...
Climate Change
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Climate Change
Climate change is an urgent global challenge. EPIC research is helping to assess its impacts, quantify its costs, and identify an efficient set of policies to reduce emissions and adapt...
Climate Economics
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Climate Economics
Climate change will affect every sector of the economy, both locally and globally. EPIC research is quantifying these effects to help guide policymakers, businesses, and individuals working to mitigate and...
Climate Law & Policy
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Climate Law & Policy
As countries around the world implement policies to confront climate change, EPIC research is calculating which policies will have the most impact for the least cost.
Definition
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.