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Master of Environmental Science and Management: Master's Group Project
(2024)

Policy Evaluation for Decarbonization of the U.S. Iron/Steel and Cement Industries

Group Members: Jenna Anderson, Andrea Bianca Carlos, Kimberly (Kaytee) Dobbs, Caitlin Mori

Faculty Advisors: Eric Masanet

Client: Evergreen Action

Deliverables:

Proposal

Final Report

Executive Summary

Final Presentation

Description

Industrial emissions are a primary contributor to global warming, making up about one-fifth of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions today. Federal efforts to combat climate change have thus focused on industrial decarbonization, with laws like the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2023 allocating billions of dollars to programs and technologies that can reduce GHG emissions from high-emitting industries, especially in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. As funds are being distributed, it is crucial to consider which interventions deliver the best balance of environmental, social, and economic impact: Which programs should be prioritized in meeting the needs of local and global communities? Our project seeks to answer this question by constructing a novel policy evaluation methodology that breaks down Iron/Steel and Cement facility emissions by end-use and process, leading to easy identification of emissions hotspots, and then uses this breakdown to model GHG reductions resulting from policy interventions. Results were calculated per facility, within Energy and Disadvantaged Communities, and nationwide. We also collected qualitative evidence on impacts on local health, labor, and economy. Our team’s results — along with our underlying methodology, code, and assumptions — were published online as a public, open-source tool to be used by policymakers and future researchers in developing high-impact, targeted programs for industrial decarbonization.

Acknowledgements

UC Santa Barbara Bren School: Eric Masanet, Professor and Mellichamp Chair in Sustainability Science for Emerging Technologies; Christopher Jerde, Lecturer; Jayajit Chakraborty, Professor & Mellichamp Chair in Racial Environmental Justice; Paasha Mahdavi, Affiliated Faculty

Evergreen Action: Trevor Dolan, Senior Industry and Workforce Policy Lead; Mattea Mrkusic, Senior Energy Transition Policy Lead

Ali Hasanbeigi, Founder, CEO, and Research Director, Global Efficiency Intelligence

Lynn Price, Affiliate (retired Senior Scientist), Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Ed Rightor, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Alumni (retired Director of the Industrial Program)

Jeff Rissman, Senior Director, Industry, Energy Innovation LLC

Caitlin Swalec, Program Director for Heavy Industry, Global Energy Monitor

Roxanne Johnson, Research Director, BlueGreen Alliance Foundation

Joe Kendrick, Research Analyst, BlueGreen Alliance Foundation

Peter Omasta, Climate Action Manager, GCC

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