Institute for Policy Integrity

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Publications

Viewing all publications in Natural Resources
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Priorities for Federal Coal Reform
    Report

    Priorities for Federal Coal Reform

    Twelve Policy and Procedural Goals for the Programmatic Review

    By Jayni Foley Hein
    June 21, 2016

    This report highlights twelve policy and procedural recommendations for the review of the federal coal program. These reforms are intended to help modernize program and so that it can provide maximum net benefits to American taxpayers. The programmatic review should identify opportunities to increase revenue, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and align federal land management with U.S. climate change goals, paying enormous dividends to the public.

  • The Bureau of Land Management’s Modeling Choice for the Federal Coal Programmatic Review
    Policy Brief

    The Bureau of Land Management’s Modeling Choice for the Federal Coal Programmatic Review

    By Peter H. Howard
    June 10, 2016

    There are multiple power sector models available to the Department of Interior (DOI)’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for analyzing the effect of current and alternative coal regulations and leasing policies during preparation of its programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS). This document lays out model selection criteria to assist BLM in weighing the benefits and costs of these available models, and offers recommendations for model selection, highlighting the tradeoff between model complexity and transparency.