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  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Resilience

    November 30, 2017 – Utility Dive (Opinion)

    In the coming weeks, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will announce its response to the Department of Energy’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR). As long as FERC decides to do something, it has to deal with a fundamental issue. The NOPR failed to answer the most critical question: just what is resilience? This question is not just a matter of semantics. Without a precise definition, FERC cannot determine whether the grid is sufficiently resilient, or gauge whether payments or other actions might be warranted.

  • EPA Revises the Social Cost of a Potent Greenhouse Gas

    November 20, 2017 – Scientific American

    Jason Schwartz, a research scholar at New York University School of Law, slammed the Trump administration’s changes to calculations for the social cost of greenhouse gases. “They have begun to manipulate those estimates in ways that are not at all consistent with the best science or economics,” he said. A guide on the social cost of greenhouse gases co-authored by Schwartz and published by NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity argues that using a domestic-emissions-only approach doesn’t make sense for the United States or the rest of the world.

  • The Trump Administration’s American Climate Exceptionalism

    November 16, 2017 – Think Progress

    Legal and environmental experts warn that the Trump administration’s willingness to eschew scientific consensus for political advantage typifies a worrying trend. “The administration is definitely trying to mess with the numbers to make it look like they’re saving money on these repeals,” Denise Grab, western regional director for the Institute for Policy Integrity, told ThinkProgress. “But they aren’t considering the massive benefits to the public, and the economic and scientific consensus on the substantial benefits that could be achieved by reducing this greenhouse gas pollution.”

  • EPA Slashes Social Cost of Methane in Bid to Delay Oil and Gas Limits

    November 3, 2017 – Bloomberg BNA

    Alongside those notices the agency released a cost-benefit analysis, which includes estimates of cost savings and climate benefits that the rule would have provided. The EPA’s original proposals to halt the standards had not included those climate benefits, Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director for New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity, said. Now, in the updated analysis, the agency “monkeyed with the numbers” by adjusting the social cost of methane value.

  • The Costs of Coddling Coal

    October 25, 2017 – US News and World Report

    This week, the public comment period closed on Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s plan to keep uncompetitive, inefficient and highly polluting coal plants from retiring. If successful, his plan will enrich coal executives and investors at the expense of working Americans, while having pernicious public health consequences.

  • Trump Administration Drops Social Cost of Carbon from $51 to $1

    October 23, 2017 – SNL

    Jason Schwartz, legal director for the New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, said the Trump administration has “decimated” the social cost of carbon. The new analysis makes several key changes that Schwartz said are out of step with the thinking of economists. The new value has been narrowed to only consider the domestic impacts of carbon, while the Obama administration’s version also took into account the global impacts, Schwartz noted. And in contrast to the Obama administration, which assumed a 3% discount rate, the new value assumes a 7% discount rate that Schwartz said “virtually no economist surveyed or written in the literature supports using.”

  • Scott Pruitt’s Quest to Kill Obama’s Climate Regulations Is Deeply Shady and Legally Vulnerable

    October 17, 2017 – Vox

    Pruitt is taking other steps to soften the ground for the weak rule he is expected to issue. Many of them involve monkeying around with cost-benefit analysis to make carbon regulation look as bad as possible. For more on these cost-benefit shenanigans, see this excellent piece from Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke of the Institute for Policy Integrity and the original reporting from Politico’s Emily Holden on which it’s based.

  • Coal Country Is Finding Little Relief in Trump’s Climate Actions

    October 15, 2017 – The Los Angeles Times

    The Trump administration in an awkward place. Even after straining to show the repeal of the Obama-era rules would boost the economy by baking into their plan financial assumptions that many experts dispute, their plan as written still doesn’t do much for the sagging coal industry. “In order to justify this, they do serious violence to established economics,” Richard Revesz, dean emeritus at New York University School of Law, said of the repeal. “The level of contortions and the attacks on standard economic principles are unprecedented.”

  • The GOP Wants to Repeal Obama’s Climate Plan. Like Health Care, It’s Going to Be a Fiasco.

    October 10, 2017 – Vox

    The GOP offered years of lies and impossible promises, which have come due. In health care: Obamacare is a disaster; the GOP alternative will have none of its flaws. In climate: the CPP will crush the economy; the GOP alternative will lower emissions better. Yet a recent report from the Institute for Policy Integrity shows that the rapidly falling cost of renewable energy technologies, coupled with the stubbornly low price of natural gas, mean that CPP compliance is likely to be cheaper than anyone projected.

  • The E.P.A.’s Smoke and Mirrors on Climate

    October 9, 2017 – The New York Times (Opinion)

    The Trump administration had no interest in conducting a good-faith update of the E.P.A.’s original estimates. Instead, it relied on accounting gimmicks to greatly inflate the Clean Power Plan’s projected costs and slash its expected benefits. The rule’s transformation from boon to boondoggle, as laid out in a draft of Mr. Pruitt’s plan to repeal it, is thus pure illusion.