Institute for Policy Integrity

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  • Interior Dept. Needs to Review Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program

    April 28, 2016 – The Hill

    The federal leasing program for onshore oil and gas is plagued by environmental and economic questions. The time is ripe for a review of this program.

  • Offshore Drilling: Why It Makes Economic Sense to Wait

    April 8, 2016 – The Conversation

    The Obama administration recently reversed its plan to allow drilling off of the mid-Atlantic coast, which it proposed in 2010, suspended after the Deepwater Horizon spill, then floated again in 2015. Critics have attacked the Atlantic decision, arguing that the government is turning its back on much-needed revenue and resources.

    But this line of thinking rests on a flawed economic rationale that ignores our ability to revisit decisions in the future. This “now-or-never” fallacy has driven U.S. offshore leasing policy for years. Convincing the Department of the Interior to finally adopt an economically rational approach that values delaying risky decisions required a lengthy advocacy campaign and a federal lawsuit. Offshore leasing decisions can be incredibly complex, and should be informed by balanced economic analysis.

  • Recouping Coal’s Costs to Taxpayers

    January 19, 2016 – The Hill

    In managing federal lands, Interior has the statutory obligation to earn “fair market value” for the American public when developing natural resources, and to balance energy production with environmental preservation. By using modern economic tools, Interior can illuminate coal’s hidden costs and make straightforward reforms to the federal coal program, benefiting the American public.

  • Why Does So Much U.S. Coal Come from Federal Land?

    January 15, 2016 – National Geographic

    “The federal government really does have market share,” says Jayni Hein, policy director for New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity and co-author of a recent report, “Illuminating the Hidden Costs of Coal.” While a similar move for oil and gas leases might simply shift more of the production to private land, she says, the coal industry doesn’t have that flexibility.

  • Obama Announces Moratorium on New Federal Coal Leases

    January 15, 2016 – The Washington Post

    “This is a major shift that helps modernize the federal coal program,” said Jayni Hein, policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity. “This planning process will disclose the environmetal and social impacts of coal leasing, which are extensive.”

  • Arctic Offshore Leasing Put on Ice

    October 23, 2015 – The Hill

    The U.S. Department of the Interior announced last week that it is canceling future lease sales in federal Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast, a decision that places future Arctic offshore drilling on ice.

  • Reconsidering Coal’s Fair Market Value

    October 9, 2015 – The Hill

    As the Obama administration makes strides to reduce downstream greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, the Department of the Interior should also take steps to account for the upstream costs of coal mining on federal lands.

  • Coal Royalties Leave $1 Billion on the Table

    October 6, 2015 – U.S. News and World Report

    Coal companies should be charged as much as five times what it costs them for surface mining on federal lands, according to a new report. “In some cases, it’s gaming the system, in other cases, it’s using the rules to the best of their advantage,” says Jayni Hein, the study’s lead author and policy director at the NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, which released the report this week. “There’s no reason these companies should be able to lease coal for the same price they were able to decades ago.”

  • Let’s Cut All Energy Subsidies and Start Taxing Pollution

    September 15, 2015 – The Wall Street Journal

    Energy subsidies have become a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail. Jeb Bush recently called for an end to all subsidies–those that support fossil fuels as well as those aiding renewable energy. Most Democrats in the presidential race support ending tax breaks for fossil-fuel companies, but believe that subsidies for renewables are needed to help these newer industries grow rapidly. Both policy proposals are economically inefficient.

  • Making Sense of Methane Regulation

    September 1, 2015 – The Hill

    By regulating methane emissions, the EPA compels companies to act in the best interests of the public and to reduce emissions, even if individual controls aren’t immediately profitable.