CPR Archive for Frank Ackerman

The sky is not falling: FDA proposes common-sense treatment of generic drugs

by Frank Ackerman | March 30, 2015

There must be a global template for business complaints about regulation, located on some secret right-wing server. Just type in the industry and the name of the regulation: Billions of dollars are at stake, companies will be driven out of the industry and consumers will lose access to low-priced products, if the government dares to impose an ordinary, common-sense rule. Such as, making drug companies responsible for the safety of their products?

Aren’t pharmaceutical companies already responsible for warning their customers of known adverse effects? If you answered “yes, of course,” then you missed the Supreme Court’s 2011 ruling in Pliva v. Mensing. Currently, generic drug companies are required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use exactly the same labels and warnings as the corresponding brand-name drugs. Therefore, the Court ruled in Mensing, the producer of a generic drug cannot be held responsible for failure to warn customers of known hazards that are not mentioned on the brand-name drug label. This is particularly problematic in the frequent cases where generic drugs drive the brand-name producer out of the market, so that no one is updating the label to reflect new information.

The FDA has proposed a rule change that would allow generic companies to update their own labels – and would make them responsible for warning their customers of all known hazards, just like the brand-name producers. In response the Generic Pharmaceutical Association hired consultant ...

Richard Tol on Climate Policy: A Critical View of an Overview

by Frank Ackerman | August 05, 2014
Richard Tol’s 2013 article, “Targets for global climate policy: An overview,” has been taken by some as a definitive summary of what economics has to say about climate change.[1] It became a central building block of Chapter 10 of the recent  IPCC Working Group 2 report (Fifth Assessment Report, 2014), with some of its numbers appearing in the Working Group 2 Summary for Policymakers.[2] After extensive analysis of multiple results from a number of authors, Tol reaches strong and surprising ...

Dynamic modeling and the climate

by Frank Ackerman | May 06, 2014
Frank Ackerman is the coauthor, with Joseph Daniel, of (Mis)understanding Climate Policy: The role of economic modeling, prepared for Friends of the Earth (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) and WWF-UK. Under the Climate Change Act 2008, the UK government sets “legally binding” carbon budgets, which cap the country’s total emissions for five-year periods. The size of the fourth carbon budget, covering 2023-2027, is topic of debate. The budget was set by Government back in 2011 but Chancellor George Obsorne secured a ...

How the Koch Brothers are Hacking Science

by Frank Ackerman | March 26, 2014
Rhode Island has recently learned that its renewable energy standards could be ruinously expensive. But they’re in good company: more than a dozen states have “learned” the same thing, from reports from the same economists at the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI). Housed at Boston’s Suffolk University, BHI turns out study after study for right-wing, anti-government groups. Funding for BHI’s relentless efforts has come from Charles and David Koch (leading tea party funders) and others on the same wavelength. For the ...

Your Iphone Causes China's Pollution

by Frank Ackerman | February 27, 2014
It sounds like a rare piece of good news about climate change: emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal cause of global warming, grew at a slower rate after 2000 in the United States, and have actually dropped since 2007. In Europe the story sounds even better, as overall emissions dropped from 1990 to 2008, often roughly matching, or in some cases exceeding, the reductions promised under the Kyoto Protocol. Yet the apparent progress on emission reductions in rich countries has ...

As Good as a Stopped Clock: The House does Transparency

by Frank Ackerman | July 17, 2013
One day in May, climate change got a lot more expensive. The price tag on emissions – the value of the damages done by one more ton of CO2 in the air – used to be a mere $25 or so, in today’s dollars, according to an anonymous government task force that met in secret in 2009-2010. Now it’s $40, according to an anonymous government task force that met in secret in early 2013. Anyone who cares about combating climate ...

CPR Scholar Frank Ackerman on Secret Climate Cost Calculations: the Sequel

by Frank Ackerman | June 10, 2013
Three years later, it was time for a new episode.  Back in 2010, Congress listened to some climate-denial rants, counted votes, and decided to do absolutely nothing about climate change; this year on Capitol Hill, the magic continues. Also in 2010, the Obama administration released an estimate of “the social cost of carbon”` (SCC) – that is, the value of the damages done by emission of one more ton of carbon dioxide. Calculated by an anonymous task force that held ...

Not-So-Smart ALEC: The Right Wing vs. Renewable Energy

by Frank Ackerman | February 25, 2013
Cross-posted from Triple Crisis. Renewable energy is clean, sustainable, non-polluting, reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, improves the health of communities surrounding power plants, and protects the natural environment. Who could be against it? Answer: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobbying group that is active in drafting and advocating controversial state legislation. They’re not just interested in energy: in recent years ALEC has supported Arizona’s restrictive immigration legislation, the “Stand Your Ground” gun laws associated with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, and ...

Climate Economics: The State of the Art

by Frank Ackerman | January 23, 2013
Cross-posted from Triple Crisis. Climate science paints an ever-more-detailed picture: irreversible, catastrophic events are becoming increasingly likely as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Climate economics, particularly in its policy applications, lags behind: leading models and analyses frequently ignore the extreme risks and the intergenerational aspect of the problem – and rely on simplistic and dated interpretations of the underlying science. Yet the state of the art has progressed rapidly, in the research literature on climate economics as well as ...

Can Clean Energy Campaigns Stop Climate Change?

by Frank Ackerman | August 23, 2012
Cross-posted from Triple Crisis. Can we protect the earth’s climate without talking about it – by pursuing more popular policy goals such as cheap, clean energy, which also happen to reduce carbon emissions? It doesn’t make sense for the long run, and won’t carry us through the necessary decades of technological change and redirected investment. But in the current context of climate policy fatigue, it may be the least-bad short-run strategy available. You may have lost interest in climate change, ...

What's New in Climate Economics

by Frank Ackerman | November 09, 2011
Cross-posted from Real Climate Economics. Economic analysis has become increasingly central to the climate policy debate, but the models and assumptions of climate economics often lag far behind the latest developments in this fast-moving field. That’s why Elizabeth Stanton and I have written Climate Economics: The State of the Art, an in-depth review of new developments in climate economics and science since the Stern Review (2006) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007), with more than ...

Rep. Ralph Hall's Clean Energy Standard Is Unrealistically Harsh And Unsophisticated

by Frank Ackerman | October 27, 2011
Cross-posted from ThinkProgress Green. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) has asked the Energy Information Administration to evaluate an unrealistically harsh and unsophisticated clean energy standard, designed to represent the Republicans’ worst nightmare: every electricity retailer in the country (some of them quite small) must meet a relatively high and rising standard for low-carbon energy, starting very soon, with no trading between companies, banking of excess credits, or other flexibility mechanisms that would soften the blow. Even the Republican nightmare doesn’t look ...

Facing up to the Real Cost of Carbon

by Frank Ackerman | July 21, 2011
This item, cross-posted from Triple Crisis, was written by CPR Member Scholar Frank Ackerman and fellow Stockholm Environment Institute-U.S. Center economist Elizabeth A. Stanton. Your house might not burn down next year. So you could probably save money by cancelling your fire insurance. That’s a “bargain” that few homeowners would accept. But it’s the same deal that politicians have accepted for us, when it comes to insurance against climate change. They have rejected sensible investments in efficiency and clean energy, ...

Did Environmentalists Kill Climate Legislation?

by Frank Ackerman | May 06, 2011
Cross-posted from Triple Crisis. Climate legislation, even in its most modest and repeatedly compromised variety, failed last year. And there won’t be a second chance with anything like the current Congress. What caused this momentous failure? Broadly speaking, there are two rival stories. It could be due to the strength of opposing or inertial forces: well-funded lobbying by fossil fuel industries, biased coverage by increasingly right-wing media, the growth of the “Tea Party” subculture and its rejection of science, dysfunctional ...

Costs of Inaction: Popular Climate Econ Model Needs Major Overhaul

by Frank Ackerman | March 15, 2011
Cross-posted from Real Climate Economics. True or false: Risks of a climate catastrophe can be ignored, even as temperatures rise? The economic impact of climate change is no greater than the increased cost of air conditioning in a warmer future? The ideal temperature for agriculture could be 17 degrees C above historical levels? All true, according to the increasingly popular FUND model of climate economics. It is one of three models used by the federal government’s Interagency Working Group to ...

Would Passing Climate Legislation Reduce Our Dependence on Oil?

by Frank Ackerman | June 24, 2010
Is the Gulf of Mexico disaster a reason to pass climate legislation – or is that legislation largely irrelevant to curbing our oil use? A Greenwire article Tuesday quoted a number of economists arguing that the leading proposals in Congress wouldn’t do much to change our dependence on petroleum. The only reasonable response is “yes, of course.” Climate proposals such as Kerry-Lieberman, Cantwell-Collins, or Waxman-Markey will have limited effects on oil consumption for two reasons: first, they are market mechanisms; ...

Socializing Risk: The New Energy Economics

by Frank Ackerman | May 26, 2010
Cross-posted from Triple Crisis. Despite talk of a moratorium, the Interior Department’s Minerals and Management Service is still granting waivers from environmental review for oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, including wells in very deep water. Until last month, most of us never thought about the risk that one of those huge offshore rigs would explode in flames and then sink, causing oil to gush out uncontrollably and befoul the oceans. The odds seemed low, and still do: Aren’t ...

Bjorn Lomborg Misreads Climate Change Economics in Washington Post Op-Ed

by Frank Ackerman | January 19, 2010
Bjorn Lomborg has seen the future of climate policy, and it doesn’t work. In his opinion, featured Friday in the Washington Post, a binding treaty to reduce carbon emissions – the goal that was pursued unsuccessfully at the Copenhagen conference in December – would have done more harm than good. Reducing emissions enough to stabilize the temperature would have astronomical costs, according to Lomborg, while the benefits would be small. This is par for the course for Lomborg, a Danish ...

Also from Frank Ackerman

Frank Ackerman is a Senior Economist at Synapse Energy Economics.

The sky is not falling: FDA proposes common-sense treatment of generic drugs

Ackerman | Mar 30, 2015 | Food, Drug, Product Safety

Richard Tol on Climate Policy: A Critical View of an Overview

Ackerman | Aug 05, 2014 | Climate Change

Dynamic modeling and the climate

Ackerman | May 06, 2014 | Climate Change

How the Koch Brothers are Hacking Science

Ackerman | Mar 26, 2014 | Good Government

Your Iphone Causes China's Pollution

Ackerman | Feb 27, 2014 | Environmental Policy

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