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Jorge E. Viñuales and Emma Lees
A New Framework for Energy Regulation
Chapter 1 introduces the two concepts of environmental protection and energy security. It assesses the main potential environmental issues as well as the major possible energy security benefits that are associated with shale gas extraction. The chapter starts by explaining what shale gas is, how it can be extracted and which terminology the industry uses. The chapter (and, indeed, the book) focuses on shale gas extraction because shale gas has the biggest potential of all `unconventionals´ to become commercially viable in the middle to long-term in Europe.
Carbon Taxes, Energy Subsidies and Smart Instrument Mixes
Janet E. Milne
While carbon tax measures have not yet met with success at the federal level in the United States, proposals for carbon taxes emerged in a handful of states in 2015 and 2016. The proposals address the shared challenge of climate change, but each has its own unique features and setting. Drawing on proposals in Oregon, Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington as case studies, this chapter explores how state constitutions can affect the design of state-level carbon taxes and their legislative route toward enactment. For example, the Oregon constitution imposes limits on tax rates and use of the revenue when taxing certain fossil fuels. The constitutions in three of the four states require that some types of revenue measures must originate in the legislative House of Representatives, not the Senate, raising the question whether carbon taxes can be designed in a manner that will avoid this procedural constraint. In Washington, the carbon tax proposal came forward as a ballot initiative that went to voters in the general election, following a procedure permitted under the state constitution. These case studies serve as an important reminder of how constitutional provisions that were not created with climate change in mind can influence the design features of subnational carbon taxes and political strategies.