The Institute for Policy Integrity produces three types of publications: policy briefs, reports, and academic articles/working papers. Our policy briefs provide incisive and focused analysis on timely policy topics. Our reports develop deeper research on our core issues. Our academic articles and working papers offer original scholarly research and analysis from established experts as well as fresh new voices.
The most efficient legal tool for addressing U.S. climate pollution can likely be found in an unused provision of the Clean Air Act. Section 115 of the Act, titled “International Air Pollution,” authorizes the EPA to develop and implement an economy-wide, market-based program to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions. This report, jointly authored by a team of law professors and attorneys at three of the country’s leading institutes focused on climate change and environmental law, offers an in-depth analysis of Section 115, which would provide the most flexible approach for achieving the targets from the Paris climate agreement.
Power Plants and the “War on Coal”
Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, conservative politicians have railed against the President’s “War on Coal.” As evidence of this supposed siege, they point to a series of rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency that aim to slash air pollution from the nation’s power sector. Because coal produces far more pollution than any other major energy source, these rules are expected to further reduce its already shrinking share of the electricity market in favor of cleaner options like natural gas and solar power. But the EPA’s policies are hardly the “unprecedented regulatory assault” that opponents make them out to be. Instead, they are merely the latest chapter in a multi-decade struggle to overcome a tragic flaw in our nation’s most important environmental law.
This summary document describes how the Department of the Interior can make strides in modernizing the federal coal program through straightforward royalty rate increases and fiscal reform.