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The impact of environmental constraints on productivity improvement and energy efficiency in integrated paper and steel plants

Description: This paper presents a methodology and results for assessing the impact of production and energy efficiency, environmental regulation, and abatement capital expenditure constraints (e.g. capital rationing) on the productivity of energy and pollution intensive sectors. Energy is treated like any other production input when examining evidence of inefficiency. We find that capital rationing and environmental regulations do contribute to productivity and energy efficiency losses, but do not explain all of the production and energy inefficiencies observed in the paper industry. A summary of the energy source of production inefficiency found in the paper industry, is presented.. Each source is derived as the incremental contribution., i.e. the first is constraints on capital, the second in environmental regulation not accounted for by the first, and the final component is production inefficiency that is not accounted for my any of the- environmental analysis. While the methods are very data intensive, they reveal much more that analysis of aggregate data, 1835 since the only plant level data can provide the estimates of inefficiency that this methodology employs.
Date: 1996-08~
Creator: Boyd, G. A. & McClelland, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Alternative methods of marginal abatement cost estimation: Non- parametric distance functions

Description: This project implements a economic methodology to measure the marginal abatement costs of pollution by measuring the lost revenue implied by an incremental reduction in pollution. It utilizes observed performance, or `best practice`, of facilities to infer the marginal abatement cost. The initial stage of the project is to use data from an earlier published study on productivity trends and pollution in electric utilities to test this approach and to provide insights on its implementation to issues of cost-benefit analysis studies needed by the Department of Energy. The basis for this marginal abatement cost estimation is a relationship between the outputs and the inputs of a firm or plant. Given a fixed set of input resources, including quasi-fixed inputs like plant and equipment and variable inputs like labor and fuel, a firm is able to produce a mix of outputs. This paper uses this theoretical view of the joint production process to implement a methodology and obtain empirical estimates of marginal abatement costs. These estimates are compared to engineering estimates.
Date: 1996-08~
Creator: Boyd, G.; Molburg, J. & Prince, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A historical application of social amplification of risk model: Economic impacts of risk events at nuclear weapons facilities?

Description: Public perceptions of risk have proven to be a critical barrier to the federal government`s extensive, decade-long, technical and scientific effort to site facilities for the interim storage and permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLW). The negative imagery, fear, and anxiety that are linked to ``nuclear`` and ``radioactive`` technologies, activities, and facilities by the public originate from the personal realities and experiences of individuals and the information they receive. These perceptions continue to be a perplexing problem for those responsible for making decisions about federal nuclear waste management policies and programs. The problem of understanding and addressing public perceptions is made even more difficult because there are decidedly different opinions about HLW held by the public and nuclear industry and radiation health experts.
Date: 1996-11~
Creator: Metz, W. C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Stigma models: Testing hypotheses of how images of Nevada are acquired and values are attached to them

Description: This report analyzes data from surveys on the effects that images associated with nuclear power and waste (i.e., nuclear images) have on people`s preference to vacation in Nevada. The analysis was stimulated by a model of imagery and stigma which assumes that information about a potentially hazardous facility generates signals that elicit negative images about the place in which it is located. Individuals give these images negative values (valences) that lessen their desire to vacation, relocate, or retire in that place. The model has been used to argue that the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository could elicit images of nuclear waste that would stigmatize Nevada and thus impose substantial economic losses there. This report proposes a revised model that assumes that the acquisition and valuation of images depend on individuals` ideological and cultural predispositions and that the ways in which new images will affect their preferences and behavior partly depend on these predispositions. The report tests these hypotheses: (1) individuals with distinct cultural and ideological predispositions have different propensities for acquiring nuclear images, (2) these people attach different valences to these images, (3) the variations in these valences are important, and (4) the valences of the different categories of images within an individual`s image sets for a place correlate very well. The analysis largely confirms these hypotheses, indicating that the stigma model should be revised to (1) consider the relevant ideological and cultural predispositions of the people who will potentially acquire and attach value to the image, (2) specify the kinds of images that previously attracted people to the host state, and (3) consider interactions between the old and potential new images of the place. 37 refs., 18 figs., 17 tabs.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Jenkins-Smith, H. C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department