Institute for Policy Integrity

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Publications

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  • Coal Royalties
    Report

    Coal Royalties

    Historical Uses and Justifications

    By Jayni Foley Hein and Caroline Cecot
    September 26, 2016

    Royalties have been used as a policy lever to influence behavior and meet national goals for centuries. For example, royalties have been set at specific rates in order to: encourage resource production; encourage westward expansion; maintain the incentive to create new inventions; and deter socially undesirable behavior, to name just a few. This report concludes that it would be reasonable for Interior to adjust coal royalty rates to account for negative externalities that are not otherwise addressed by regulation. Historical uses, accepted economic justifications, legislative history, and examples of royalty use by private actors and in other industries discussed in the paper all support the determination that it would be reasonable for Interior to increase coal royalty rates to account for externality costs and to better align the federal coal program with national climate change priorities.

  • Bounded Regulation
    Policy Brief

    Bounded Regulation

    How the Clean Power Plan Conforms to Statutory Limits on EPA’s Authority

    By Richard L. Revesz, Denise A. Grab, and Jack Lienke
    September 12, 2016

    This policy brief analyzes the limits of the EPA’s Section 111 regulatory authority and determines that the CPP explicitly acknowledges and respects each of the EPA’s statutory constraints. The brief discusses the eight major constraints for emissions guidelines under Clean Air Act Section 111, and examines how the CPP handles each one. The analysis finds no evidence to support petitioners’ accusations that the the EPA exceeded its regulatory authority.

  • Think Global
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Think Global

    International Reciprocity as Justification for a Global Social Cost of Carbon

    By Peter H. Howard and Jason A. Schwartz
    August 16, 2016

    U.S. climate regulations present a special case of federal agencies applying a global, rather than exclusively domestic, perspective to the costs and benefits in their regulatory impact analyses. Since 2010, federal agencies have emphasized global valuations of climate damages for policies that affect carbon dioxide emissions, using a metric called the “Social Cost of Carbon.” More recently, agencies have also begun to use a global valuation of the “Social Cost of Methane,” for methane emissions. Yet lately, these global metrics have come under attack in courtrooms and academic journals, where opponents have challenged the statutory authority and economic justification for global values. This paper defends a continued focus on the global effects of U.S. climate policy, drawing on legal, strategic, and economic arguments.

  • Self-Bonding in an Era of Coal Bankruptcy
    Report

    Self-Bonding in an Era of Coal Bankruptcy

    Recommendations for Reform

    By Jayni Foley Hein, Ben Snow, Sean Stefanik, and Lauren Webb
    August 3, 2016

    Federal law requires coal companies to reclaim and restore land and water resources that have been degraded by mining. But at many sites, reclamation occurs slowly, if it all. Mining companies are required to post performance bonds to ensure the successful completion of reclamation efforts should they become insolvent, but regulators have discretion to accept “self-bonds,” which allow many companies to operate without posting any surety or collateral. As the coal industry experiences financial distress and coal companies declare bankruptcy, the viability of future reclamation work is endangered. This report offers recommendations to help regulators better assess coal companies’ financial health and take steps to curtail self-bonding.

  • Next Steps to Reform the Regulations Governing Offshore Oil and Gas Planning and Leasing
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Next Steps to Reform the Regulations Governing Offshore Oil and Gas Planning and Leasing

    By Andrew Hartsig, Michael Levine, Jayni Foley Hein, and Jason Schwartz,
    June 22, 2016

    In this Article, we argue that fundamental reform is necessary and highlight a series of key themes and topics that must be addressed to improve the regulatory process and promote better, more consistent management outcomes. While the Article draws on examples from frontier areas-in particular the U.S. Arctic Ocean-the recommended changes would apply to and benefit all areas of the OCS.