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  • Oil Companies Are Drilling On Public Land For The Price Of A Cup Of Coffee

    June 16, 2015 – Washington Post

    One of the U.S. government’s largest sources of non-tax revenue comes from the land it leases to oil, gas and coal companies. Last fiscal year, the federal government generated more than $13 billion from drilling and mining activities on its land – but it should have made hundreds of millions of dollars more. Antiquated pricing rules have given these energy companies access to federal lands at prices that ignore decades of inflation, as well as many environmental and health costs of fossil fuel production.

  • Justices’ Opinions Grow in Size, Accessibility and Testiness, Study Finds

    May 4, 2015 – The New York Times

    That is probably healthy given the divisions on the current court, Professor Livermore said. “Burying those sentiments in formalistic writing doesn’t erase the tension,” he said. “It just obscures it. There is something valuable about the crystallizing statement.”

  • In Cromnibus, a Penny Saved, but Sensible Policies Lost

    December 22, 2014 – The Hill

    At least in theory, the federal budgeting process is about rational investment. Funds are spent on programs and agencies that deliver benefits to the public, justifying their costs. However, aspects of this bill reflect congressional myopia, rather than investment in the future. Some provisions in the bill impede cost-benefit justified regulations and hinder efforts to improve public health and safety.

  • Net Neutrality Puts Lens on White House, FCC Ties

    November 18, 2014 – Politico

    “There is no bar — the White House can communicate its views,” said Richard Revesz, dean emeritus at the New York University Law School. “It’s true that it can’t direct the answer, but often that’s not necessary because the White House has significant leverage over [executive and independent] agencies.”

  • ACUS Panel Urges Agencies To Improve Rule Petition Reviews

    October 31, 2014 – Inside EPA

    An Administrative Conference of the States (ACUS) panel has approved draft recommendations urging EPA and other agencies to craft written procedures to improve efficiency in responding to public petitions for rulemaking action, in order to establish better processes for analyzing and responding to the petitions in a reasonable time.

  • Criticism of EPA’s Economic Analysis Sorely Misplaced

    August 21, 2014 – The Huffington Post

    A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggests that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should improve the way it analyzes regulations. Critics have been quick to trumpet the EPA’s “failure,” but in reality, the EPA deserves an A (or at least an A-).

  • The False Dichotomy of Agency Independence

    May 5, 2014 – RegBlog

    An agency is typically lumped into one of two categories: executive (subject to presidential control) and independent (not subject to presidential control). Kirti Datla and Richard L. Revesz discuss how the “independent agency” label does little more than create a false dichotomy. There are not just two types of agencies. Different permutations of design choices result in many different kinds of agencies. And so, in reality, agencies fall along a continuum ranging from most insulated to least insulated from presidential control.

  • Analyzing the Job Impacts of Regulation

    April 15, 2014 – Penn Program on Regulation RegBlog

    As the United States struggles with a high unemployment rate in the wake of the Great Recession, it is worth examining carefully the relationship between jobs and regulation, as well as possible policy responses to it. A recent panel discussion held at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania sought to do just that. The panel, organized around the recent publication of the book “Does Regulation Kill Jobs?,” showed how difficult it is to find any evidence to support claims that regulations systematically kill jobs. Political rhetoric notwithstanding, the book’s introductory chapter states that “the existing empirical research suggests that regulation does relatively little to reduce or increase overall jobs in the United States.” Richard L. Revesz, Lawrence King Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at New York University Law School, recognized the challenges currently associated with estimating the employment effects of regulation. But he noted that economists and policy analysts have successfully overcome similar methodological challenges in estimating risks and the costs and benefits of regulation more generally. With a concerted effort at additional research and analysis, he argued, agencies could do a better job of developing reliable estimates of job impacts, which would be better than allowing these effects to continue to be exaggerated in political discourse.

  • The Price of Ignoring Climate Change Is Far Higher Than We Think

    March 14, 2014 – Fast Company

    In a new report as part of the Cost of Carbon Pollution project, a trio of groups—the Environmental Defense Fund, NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity, and the Natural Resources Defense Council—explain how the Obama administration is continuing to lowball these “social cost of carbon pollution” estimates. … The debate seems obscure, but it could actually have an effect on hundreds of rules set by the federal government, says Ricky Revesz, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity and former dean of NYU’s School of Law. A high enough dollar cost figure could justify the government investing in and setting policies that spur the development of new energy and carbon capture technologies that reduce emissions. A low figure means that fewer investments would probably occur. Of course, there is uncertainty in estimating these figures but Revesz says that is a fact of life. “Anything that’s important has uncertainty attached to it,” he says. “If anything, the number has always been understated.”

  • Everyone Is Bad at Pricing Carbon — and Society Is Paying

    March 14, 2014 – Reuters

    A new report by the Environmental Defense Fund, the Institute for Policy Integrity, and the National Resource Defense Council shows how far away we are from understanding carbon emissions’ full cost to society. The U.S. government estimates that the social cost of carbon emissions is about $37 a tonne. But the report finds that the “latest scientific and economic research shows that $37 should be viewed as a lower bound” for the cost of carbon. Current models, the report says, miss or poorly account for the damage carbon does to human health, agriculture, oceans, forests, and ecosystems.