Institute for Policy Integrity

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Publications

Viewing all publications in Issue Briefs
  • How the Trump Administration Is Obscuring the Costs of Climate Change
    Issue Brief

    How the Trump Administration Is Obscuring the Costs of Climate Change

    March 23, 2018

    When federal and state policymakers account for the impacts of climate change, they regularly use a tool called the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC). The SCC puts a dollar value on the most significant, quantifiable damages caused by each additional ton of carbon dioxide emitted. The most recent estimate of the cost is at least $51 per ton and rising over time. But now, turning its back on years of work, the Trump administration has disbanded the federal group that developed the SCC, and produced a new “interim” estimate claiming that each ton of carbon dioxide causes as little as $1 in climate damages. This issue brief describes how the Trump Administration reached this misleading number by ignoring the interconnected, global nature of our climate-vulnerable economy and obscuring the devastating effects that climate change will have on younger and future generations. Though the administration has been proposing rollbacks of environmental rules using this problematic SCC estimate as justification, we explain why federal agencies and state governments should continue using the most recent estimate by the Interagency Working Group that developed the SCC.

  • Why States Can’t Make Up for Inadequate Federal Enforcement of Environmental Laws
    Issue Brief

    Why States Can’t Make Up for Inadequate Federal Enforcement of Environmental Laws

    June 6, 2017

    Budget cuts threaten EPA’s ability to enforce federal environmental laws, and states have neither the means nor the will to substitute for it. Our issue brief on EPA enforcement explores the financial and political constraints that state regulators already face when implementing federal environmental laws and how the Trump Administration’s budget cuts would exacerbate these problems.

  • The Senate’s Midnight Rules Relief Act Would Bring Chaos, Not Relief
    Issue Brief

    The Senate’s Midnight Rules Relief Act Would Bring Chaos, Not Relief

    June 1, 2017

    The Midnight Rules Relief Act, approved by the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on May 17, 2017, would turn the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) from a scalpel into a sledgehammer. Our issue brief describes how this shift in regulatory policy would allow for quick repeals of public safeguards after only 10 hours of Senate debate and prevent similar rules from being enacted in the future.

  • The REINS Act Is Burdensome, Irrational, and Legally Questionable
    Issue Brief

    The REINS Act Is Burdensome, Irrational, and Legally Questionable

    June 1, 2017

    The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (“REINS Act”) would prevent agencies from issuing statutorily required rules unless approved by Congress. Our issue brief describes how this bill would create substantial burdens for Congress, worsen outcomes for the American public, and raise constitutional red flags by allowing Congress to repeal earlier statutes through inaction.

  • The Senate’s Misguided and Wasteful Regulatory Accountability Act
    Issue Brief

    The Senate’s Misguided and Wasteful Regulatory Accountability Act

    May 12, 2017

    The Senate’s Regulatory Accountability Act would rewrite notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures and create extraordinarily burdensome hurdles in rule implementation by requiring trial-like public hearings. Our issue brief describes how this change to regulatory reform would give opponents of major public safeguards a valuable tool to delay implementation for years, without any regard to the harm that delay would impose on the health and safety of the American public.