Institute for Policy Integrity

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  • Court Filings

    Policy Integrity Brief Cited in Housing Rule Decision

    December 23, 2017

    In a decision ordering the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement a fair housing rule that the Trump administration sought to delay, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia cited Policy Integrity’s amicus brief in the case. The Small Area Fair Market Rent rule, finalized under President Obama, seeks to give low-income families greater access to housing in higher-rent neighborhoods and break up areas of concentrated poverty. Our brief argued that, in suspending the rule’s implementation for two years, HUD violated principles of administrative law by disregarding economic impacts and failing to seek public comment. Judge Howell found that HUD’s decision to delay the rule exceeded the agency’s legal authority and that the reasons it gave for doing so were arbitrary and capricious. She ordered HUD to implement the rule by January 1, 2018.

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  • Court Filings

    Briefs and Comments on Department of Education’s Borrower Defense Rule

    December 22, 2017

    Under Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education has twice delayed implementation of the Borrower Defense Rule, a 2016 regulation designed to help students who have been defrauded by for-profit educational institutions discharge their federal student loans. In our amicus brief supporting borrower and state challenges to the delay, we argue that the Department violated the Administrative Procedure Act by arbitrarily disregarding the harms that the delays impose on student borrowers. We also submitted a comment letter to the agency regarding the second delay.

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  • Court Filings

    Brief on the Bureau of Land Management’s Waste Prevention Rule

    December 22, 2017

    Our amicus brief to the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming defends the 2016 Bureau of Land Management’s “Waste Prevention Rule,” which is designed to limit methane waste from oil and gas production on public lands. In our brief, we show that the rule reasonably complied with BLM’s statutory duty to set waste-prevention rules that focus on private benefits to industry as well as on the health and environmental benefits of protecting natural public resources and the environment. We also argue that BLM’s approach to evaluating those health and environmental benefits of reducing methane emissions through the use of the Social Cost of Methane was reasonable and appropriate. The Social Cost of Methane is the best available metric for measuring damages from methane emissions. And it allowed BLM to set restrictions based on the global estimate of damages from methane emissions, which best advances U.S. interests and is consistent with BLM’s statutory mandate.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Briefs on New York’s Zero Emissions Credits

    November 28, 2017

    Policy Integrity submitted two amicus briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on New York’s Clean Energy Standard and Zero Emissions Credits, defending the state’s policy.

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  • Court Filings

    Brief on HUD’s Suspension of Housing Voucher Reform

    November 13, 2017

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently suspended a rule to increase the availability of affordable housing in higher-rent neighborhoods. Our amicus brief in a suit against HUD argues that the suspension violates administrative law by disregarding economic impacts and failing to first seek public feedback.

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  • Court Filings

    Brief on EPA Chemical Disaster Rule Delay

    November 1, 2017

    EPA recently delayed the effective date of a rule that would have decreased the severity and number of chemical accidents at manufacturing facilities and refineries. State and NGO plaintiffs sued EPA over the delay, arguing that EPA did not have statutory authority to issue it, and that the delay was arbitrary and capricious. We filed a brief in support of petitioners arguing that EPA did not offer an adequate explanation for choosing to forgo the benefits of the chemical disaster rule.

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  • Court Filings

    Brief on Wyoming Natural Gas and Oil Leases

    October 25, 2017

    Wildearth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility recently sued the Bureau of Land Management over its leasing of lands in Wyoming for natural gas and oil extraction. In our amicus brief in support of the legal challenge, we argue that the agency’s decision to trumpet the benefits of the leasing decisions while also failing to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions that will result from these leases (and failing to use the social cost of carbon to assess the impact of those emissions on society) violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on Bureau of Land Management’s Waste Prevention Rule

    September 7, 2017

    The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Waste Prevention Rule, enacted on November 18, 2016, sought to prevent oil and gas companies from wasting natural gas produced on public land. In June 2017, BLM stayed the rule by indefinitely postponing key compliance deadlines. In response, the states of California and New Mexico as well as several environmental organizations filed suit against BLM in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In our amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, we argue that BLM failed to provide a reasoned explanation for the stay, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act, because BLM ignored the forgone benefits of the Waste Prevention Rule.

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  • Court Filings

    Challenging EPA’s Effluent Rule Suspension

    June 27, 2017

    EPA has suspended the compliance deadlines in a regulation on power plant wastewater discharges, which limits plants from releasing certain toxic metals into lakes and rivers. We submitted a “friend of the court” brief in the legal challenge to the suspension. Our brief argues that the decision to suspend the rule was arbitrary and capricious because EPA focused only on amorphous compliance costs and ignored the effects of pollution that will continue to be discharged while the rule is suspended. As we explain in the brief, it is fundamentally irrational to make a decision based on such a one-sided analysis, and the suspension should be vacated.

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  • Court Filings

    Policy Integrity Files Brief in Case Challenging EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

    January 25, 2017

    In 2012, EPA issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which limit coal- and oil-fired power plants’ emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. In their most recent challenge to the rule, Petitioners seek to obscure the fact that regulating power plants’ emissions of hazardous air pollutants overwhelmingly benefits society by asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to ignore or discount large portions of EPA’s analysis—namely, its consideration of indirect benefits (sometimes called ancillary benefits or co-benefits) and unquantified benefits. But, as our amicus brief points out, EPA’s consideration of indirect benefits and unquantified direct benefits is consistent with the Clean Air Act, past court decisions, federal cost-benefit guidelines, economic best practices, and regulatory precedent. Overall, we argue that the agency’s cost-benefit analysis was properly conducted and more than satisfies its obligation to consider costs when determining whether regulation of power plants’ hazardous emissions is “appropriate and necessary.”

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