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Economic Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change

Economic Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change

Climate change is expected to have a number of effects in Maine, including coastal flooding, sea level rise, and changing precipitation patterns, among others.  Many efforts are already underway to help protect communities from those effects, including zoning changes, new building requirements, armoring or elevating critical infrastructure, and the like. These efforts all fall under …

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Can Maine benefit from mining?

Can Maine benefit from mining?

With Maine’s forested lands and iconic rocky shoreline, the notion that forestry and fishing were once the mainstays of Maine’s economy should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the state. But mining? Well, yes – although you wouldn’t know it from looking at today’s employment figures.  But in addition to the geological phenomena …

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The Social Cost of Carbon: Implications for Maine (Part II)

The Social Cost of Carbon: Implications for Maine (Part II)

My most recent blog post, “The Social Cost of Carbon: Implications for Maine (Part I),” went into some of the details behind calculating the social cost of carbon – a number that is used to illustrate the economic damages anticipated by climate change and therefore linked to carbon dioxide emissions. This blog post will be …

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The Social Cost of Carbon: Implications for Maine (Part I)

The Social Cost of Carbon: Implications for Maine (Part I)

(This will be the first in a series of blog posts on carbon emissions, their costs and implications for Maine, and existing and proposed policy prescriptions.) Last week, an article made the rounds entitled “the social cost of carbon“. This is of special interest to me right now, because I recently began teaching Environmental Economics …

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The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing* – What are Ecosystem Services?

The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing* – What are Ecosystem Services?

In October of 2015, President Obama issued a memorandum directing all Federal agencies to factor the value of ecosystem services into Federal planning and decision-making. That necessarily begs the question: what are ecosystem services, and how are they relevant to the economy in Maine?

Woody Biomass: One step forward, two steps back?

Woody Biomass: One step forward, two steps back?

Last week I was a guest in my colleague’s Renewable Energy Law class.  One of the questions I was asked had to do with Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).  Maine’s RPS seems, at first glance, to be an ambitious goal (40 percent of Maine’s electricity is to come from renewable sources by 2017). However, at …

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Greenwashing or economic sense?

Greenwashing or economic sense?

Last week Maine Biz [a business focused newspaper in Maine] published a short piece asking five prominent Maine economists about challenges and opportunities facing Maine in the upcoming year.  For the most part I agree with them: the demographic ”winter,” the decline in manufacturing, the restructuring of our labor market. But one issue stood out …

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Investments for Maine’s Future

Investments for Maine’s Future

Well,  it’s been a while since my last blog post. September,  to be exact. I taught a class last semester on “Community Economic Development,” and between that and trying to get a new business off the ground it’s been a bit challenging.  But the class is over,  January looks pretty quiet so far,  and so …

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