Institute for Policy Integrity

Twitter @policyintegrity

Publications

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  • The Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and State Policy
    Report

    The Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and State Policy

    A Frequently Asked Questions Guide

    By Iliana Paul, Peter Howard, and Jason A. Schwartz
    October 5, 2017

    States can benefit from using the social cost of greenhouse gases to aid in making rational policy decisions in a transparent manner. Many states are already using these metrics in their decisionmaking. This report provides information on several issues related to the social cost of greenhouse gases, including discount rates, time horizons, and the global nature of the estimate.

  • The Falling Cost of Clean Power Plan Compliance
    Report

    The Falling Cost of Clean Power Plan Compliance

    By Denise A. Grab and Jack Lienke
    October 2, 2017

    In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Clean Power Plan, a Clean Air Act rule designed to address the threat of climate change by cutting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. As part of that rulemaking, the agency prepared an estimate of compliance costs, which it found would be far outweighed by the rule’s climate and health benefits. Since that time, changes in the electric sector have made it even cheaper to meet the rule’s emission targets than EPA anticipated. This report summarizes the findings of EPA’s 2015 Regulatory Impact Analysis; discusses subsequent market and policy developments that have lowered the cost of complying with the Clean Power Plan; and surveys more recent analyses by independent groups, which have estimated substantially lower compliance costs than EPA did.

  • Muddying the Waters
    Report

    Muddying the Waters

    How the Trump administration is obscuring the value of wetlands protection from the Clean Water Rule

    By Jason Schwartz and Jeffrey Shrader
    September 28, 2017

    In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers revised the definition of the “waters of the United States” as part of the Clean Water Rule. This revised definition was expected to increase the wetland area subject to protection under the Clean Water Act, and an economic analysis conducted by the agencies at the time showed that the benefits of the rule would substantially outweigh the costs. Under the Trump administration, the agencies now propose to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule and have issued a revised economic analysis in support of that decision. In the new analysis, the agencies now claim that the majority of the benefits in the 2015 analysis cannot be quantified, making it appear that the Clean Water Rule is not cost-benefit justified. The agencies have violated many of their own requirements for conducting economic analysis to arrive at this conclusion, and a more comprehensive assessment of the evidence shows that the 2015 Clean Water Rule is still cost-benefit justified. Repealing the 2015 Rule would forgo substantial environmental and economic benefits.

  • Best Cost Estimate of Greenhouse Gases
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Best Cost Estimate of Greenhouse Gases

    By Richard Revesz, Michael Greenstone, Michael Hanemann, Michael Livermore, Thomas Sterner, Denise Grab, Peter Howard, and Jason Schwartz
    August 18, 2017

    Despite the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the official estimate of the Social Cost of Carbon and disband the interagency working group that developed it, a group of prominent economists and lawyers, including several Policy Integrity staff members, have highlighted the metric’s continued validity for policymaking in recent letter published in the journal Science.

  • Estimating the Health Benefits of Environmental Regulations
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Estimating the Health Benefits of Environmental Regulations

    By Al McGartland, Richard Revesz, Daniel A. Axelrad, Chris Dockins, Patrice Sutton, and Tracey J. Woodruff
    August 4, 2017

    Regulating toxic pollutants benefits society by limiting public exposure to harmful pollution. By accurately quantifying these benefits, policymakers can improve the design of regulations that protect public health and better communicate the magnitude of these protections to the public. A new article in the journal Science examines how this process can be improved.