Nathan Richardson

Nathan Richardson is a visiting scholar at Resources for the Future. The views expressed here are his own.



By / 6.15.2011

It’s been a bad month for cap and trade. Governor Chris Christie has decided to pull New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Northeast’s carbon cap-and-trade program. New Hampshire’s legislature has also voted to leave, though the governor may veto the bill. Other states are considering their positions. As states leave […]


By / 4.22.2011

Whatever you read today, you’ll find writers marking Earth Day by taking stock of environmental progress. Some will celebrate how far we have come in the last 41 years: no burning rivers, bald eagles are back, etc. Others will stress how far we have to go, citing biodiversity loss, water crises, and above all climate […]


By / 4.19.2011

Would that allow you to sue all those farmers . . . cow by cow, or at least farm by farm? – Justice Scalia You’re going to put a $20 a ton tax on carbon, and lo and behold, you will discover that nuisance will be abated. And we bring in 15 economists. – Justice […]


By / 3.3.2011

Last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill revealed not just technological problems, but policy gaps as well. Among the most notable of these gaps is the federal limit on liability for oil spills, set at $75 million for offshore facilities. This is three or four orders of magnitude smaller than the damages associated with a major […]


By / 1.13.2011

Everything old is new again. Around this time last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was in the process of issuing major rules that would lead to regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Many in Congress opposed these moves, and sought to delay or halt them. I wrote about these attempts […]


By / 12.13.2010

The US was in an awkward position in Cancun. The administration clearly wanted to show leadership, but it was hamstrung by an inability to deliver legislation with any tangible commitments. Since that seemed unlikely to change in the new Congress, US negotiators were left playing defense on the key issue — mitigation. This makes movement […]


By / 8.25.2010

It’s a familiar argument: we know that putting a price on carbon will impose economic costs, but we can’t be absolutely sure that major climate change will happen. Therefore, we shouldn’t impose a carbon price, or at least we should avoid doing so in a recession, and be very reticent to do so at any […]


By / 7.28.2010

As you know by now, no climate bill will emerge from this Congress. Most have picked up Lindsey Graham’s metaphor — “cap and trade is dead” — though I prefer to think of a bill as “mathematically eliminated”. In other words, the right reaction is not permanent loss of hope but “wait til next year.” […]


By / 7.8.2010

When Sen. Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.) recently declared cap-and-trade “dead,” he may have been more right than he realized. Graham was referring to the political prospects for carbon pricing in this Congress, but cap-and-trade has been the tool of choice for limiting emissions of other pollutants — like sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides — for […]


By / 6.16.2010

The president had a gilt-edged opportunity last night to show leadership on energy and climate policy. Most everyone who has written about the speech agrees that he let it slip through his fingers. The president started, of course, with a discussion of the Deepwater Horizon spill and cleanup efforts, only linking the spill to larger […]