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Weekly update 49

posted Mar 6, 2015, 7:23 AM by Austin Milt   [ updated Mar 6, 2015, 7:23 AM ]
It's interesting to see how different people approach the same problem and can come up with radically different solutions and conclusions. I've spent yet another week working through yet another idea about how to design a regulation that reduces environmental impacts from shale gas surface infrastructure. This time the big key is that the regulator can estimate impacts from surface infrastructure before development occurs and use that to drive a cap and trade system. As my adviser put it to me, it's about what problem the regulator is trying to solve and what information they have to do that. Before I just assumed that since the regulator cant perfectly predict where infrastructure would be in the absence of regulation, there was no hope for a cap and trade system (there's a bunch of reasoning to get from start to finish there). But what if they can do something, even a bad job? The result may be a much simpler regulation, but the question now becomes "How bad for society is it if the regulator is really far off?" Pen and paper, and you're off!