Tag Archives: carbon price

Tell the Bureau of Land Management to Stop the Coal Giveaway!

12 pm to 4 pm
Listening Session from 1 pm to 3 pm
Arrive at Noon to Signup and Enjoy Lunch
Marriott Denver West 
1717 Denver West Drive, Golden, CO 80401

In recent years, the Bureau of Land Management has “leased” a ton of coal in Colorado for the price of a gumball – 25 cents ! How can we halt climate change until we stop giving away coal on our public lands?

Join Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, and other advocates as we tell the Bureau of Land Management to stop giving away coal on our public lands!

We need you to show up in person and tell BLM to:

  • Stop giving away our coal at subsidized prices.
  • Give American taxpayers a fair share of revenue from coal mined on public lands to support local education and infrastructure.
  • Include on a price on carbon in the cost of coal mined on public lands!
  • Keep it in the ground!

This is a rare opportunity to give direct feedback to the federal government on rules that haven’t changed in decades – don’t miss it!

The Myth of Price

Our society’s prevailing economic zeitgeist assumes that everything has a price, and that both costs and prices can be objectively calculated, or at least agreed upon by parties involved in the transaction.  There are some big problems with this proposition.

Externalized costs are involuntary transactions — those on the receiving end of the externalities have not agreed to the deal.  Putting a price on carbon can theoretically remedy this failure in the context of climate change.  In practice it’s much more complicated, because our energy markets are not particularly efficient (as we pointed out in our Colorado carbon fee proposal, and as the ACEEE has documented well), and because there are many subsidies (some explicit, others structural) that confound the integration of externalized costs into our energy prices.

The global pricing of energy and climate externalities is obviously a huge challenge that we need to address, and despite our ongoing failure to reduce emissions, there’s been a pretty robust discussion about externalities.  As our understanding of climate change and its potentially catastrophic economic consequences have matured, our estimates of these costs have been revised, usually upwards.  We acknowledge the fact that these costs exist, even if we’re politically unwilling to do much about them.

Unfortunately — and surprisingly to most people — it turns out that understanding how the climate is going to change and what the economic impacts of those changes will be is not enough information to calculate the social cost of carbon. Continue reading The Myth of Price

GWSSS: A Carbon Price for Colorado


Clean Energy Action is pushing to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy into full swing. Please join us in hearing Dr. Zane Selvans, CEA’s Assistant Research Director, discuss the ins and outs of implementing a fee on carbon in Colorado. What would a carbon fee look like? If we were able to tackle a carbon fee as a state, what would the benefits be? Is it possible for the revenue to be used to offset greenhouse gasses? Zane will be answering all of these questions and more.

You can watch an edited version of the presentation on YouTube:

You can also download a PDF of the slides.

Speaker Background

Zane Selvans grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of central California, at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills surrounded by orchards and vineyards.  He received his BS in Engineering & Applied Science from Caltech in 1998, with a focus on computer science and machine learning.  After working in Silicon Valley for several years, he returned to Caltech to work doing mapping and data analysis for NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor mission.  In the fall of 2002 Zane came to Boulder to pursue a PhD in planetary geophysics at the University of Colorado, where he studied the tidally induced tectonics of icy moons in the outer solar system, (especially Europa and Enceladus).

Since finishing his PhD in 2009, Zane has refocused on climate change and related issues of long-term sustainability.  These include low-carbon urban design and transportation (especially bicycles), which he pursues by serving on the advocacy committee of Boulder’s non-profit Community Cycles, as well as the city’s Transportation Advisory Board and Greenways Advisory Committee.  In the fall of 2012, he joined Clean Energy Action as the Assistant Research Director. His focus at CEA so far has been on energy finance and regulatory issues, especially the ways in which risk is often not effectively priced in the resource planning process, and is instead offloaded onto ratepayers.

Zane lives in the Masala Co-op, one of several Boulder cooperatives owned by the Boulder Housing Coalition.  He enjoys self-supported bike and sea kayak touring in places that allow him to practice his broken Spanish.  He drinks far too much coffee, and does not own a car.