Institute for Policy Integrity

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Publications

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  • Strengthening Regulatory Review
    Report

    Strengthening Regulatory Review

    Recommendations for the Trump Administration from Former OIRA Leaders

    By Jason A. Schwartz and Caroline Cecot
    November 29, 2016

    This report contains a set of recommendations for the Trump Administration that, if implemented, would strengthen the process of regulatory review. These recommendations reflect the general consensus of a group of former Administrators and Acting Administrators from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs who served under both political parties.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Legal Pathways to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 of the Clean Air Act
    Report

    Legal Pathways to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 of the Clean Air Act

    By Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael B. Gerrard, Jayni Foley Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes
    January 14, 2016

    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.