Institute for Policy Integrity

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  • Enviros Call On DC Circ. To Nix Offshore Lease Program

    September 12, 2014 – Law360

    “Interior fails to give the same treatment to environmental and social costs and gives no explanation for the different treatment,” CSE’s counsel Michael Livermore said during Thursday’s oral arguments.

  • Fracking and Methane: Regulators Must Look Upstream

    July 29, 2014 – The Hill

    Methane’s interstate — and, indeed, international — impacts make it particularly well-suited to federal regulation. If lawmakers are serious about reducing risks from climate change, they will need to regulate fugitive methane emissions from “upstream” sources — the wells, pipelines and storage tanks used for gas extraction, processing and delivery.

  • Rules for Methane Emissions From Fracking Needed, Panel Told

    July 11, 2014 – Bloomberg BNA

    Environmental Protection Agency performance standards are needed to constrain emissions of “fugitive” methane generated by hydraulic fracturing from upstream sources such as natural gas wells, pipelines and storage tanks, Richard Revesz said at a House subcommittee hearing today.

  • Lawsuit to challenge U.S. plans for selling offshore leases

    December 17, 2012 – Fuel Fix

    Environmentalists on Monday are set to file a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s plans to sell offshore drilling leases over the next five years, with a novel argument: that the government overlooked the value of waiting to harvest oil and gas from those coastal waters.

    The economic-driven approach is a new one for offshore drilling critics, who have separately accused the government of moving too swiftly to approve new oil and natural gas exploration after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and ignoring the environmental effects of the work.

  • Green group sues Interior over ‘critically flawed’ offshore oil plan

    December 17, 2012 – The Hill

    Michael Livermore of the Center for Policy Integrity, which is helping to represent CSE, said the plan should be re-done because Interior failed to consider the economic value of not going ahead with leasing in some cases.

    He noted that when leasing for development of publicly-owned resources is delayed, there is more time to learn about environmental sensitivities and development technology improves, among other considerations.

    “When you don’t take into account the value of delay, you end up subjecting too much of the outer continental shelf to leasing,” Livermore told The Hill.

    “That option value is owned by the American public and ought to be considered by the agency,” said Livermore, the executive director of the Institute, which is based at New York University’s law school.

  • Oil Subsidies Distort Energy Economics

    May 6, 2011 – National Journal

    In an ideal world, our nation’s energy markets would be unbiased—no one would get subsidies or tax breaks, and prices on air pollution would make sure that health and environmental costs were not externalized onto the public.

    But that is not the world we live in today. Giveaways for oil and other fossil fuels, estimated to be on the order of $4 billion per year or more, distort the economics of how we power our homes, businesses and cars, often in ways that are not beneficial to the American public.

  • Fundamentally problematic economics

    April 22, 2011 – National Journal

    The BP disaster was a stark reminder of the risks involved in accessing America’s oil reserves. One year later, too little action has been taken by the government to prevent a similar incident.

    While incorporating a “safety case” methodology into the laws and regulations governing offshore drilling may be helpful, a regulatory scheme that grants permission to drill too soon is fundamentally problematic. Even if an oil company were to identify all the risks of a drilling operation and implement safety plans to address them, the relatively less developed safety technology available today coupled with the more advanced (and more risky) drilling technology keeps the potential for disaster higher than necessary.

  • The option value of not drilling

    April 20, 2011 – Reuters

    NYU Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity has an important paper out today, explaining that the US is using a crazy system to determine whether to allow offshore oil drilling.

    Under something known as the Revised Program Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2007-2012, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement does a very basic cost-benefit calculation when deciding whether or not to allow drilling in a certain spot: it looks at the costs, and then at the benefits, and then if the benefits outweigh the costs, it gives the go-ahead.

  • Extreme Weather Helps Drive Food Prices to New Highs

    January 7, 2011 – Scientific American (via ClimateWire)

    This food price news comes on the heels of new data on the cost of oil, which closed at more than $90 a barrel earlier this week. “The last time we had a spike in food prices, it was related to increased oil prices, and that’s because oil is an input into food for the production price,” said Michael Livermore, executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • Oil Habit: How Can Cars Get Clean?

    October 5, 2010 – National Journal’s Energy and Environment Experts Blog

    Fuel economy standards and promoting electric cars are piecemeal policies that cost too much and gain too little. If fiddling around the edges of greenhouse gas restrictions is all we can hope for in the current contentious political environment, so be it, but for the biggest impact at the lowest cost, what is needed is a wholesale cap-and-trade on motor vehicle fuels.