Institute for Policy Integrity

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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 Department of Education’s Borrower Defense Rule

    October 25, 2017

    Under Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Department of Education delayed implementation of the Borrower Defense Rule, which would have helped 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 benefits for student borrowers that would be forgone as a result of the delay.

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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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  • Court Filings

    Brief for Challenge to EPA’s Carbon Standards for New Power Plants

    December 25, 2016

    The EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants limit carbon dioxide emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed plants. A group of state attorneys general and energy companies have filed suit challenging the standards on several grounds. Policy Integrity submitted an amicus brief in support of EPA.

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  • Court Filings

    Federal Court Supports Use of Social Cost of Carbon

    August 8, 2016

    On August 8, 2016, the Seventh Circuit handed down its opinion in Zero Zone, Inc. v. United States Department of Energy, upholding the agency’s use of the social cost of carbon (SCC) in its regulatory impact analysis of commercial refrigerator energy efficiency standards. The ruling may have paved the way for a new chapter in economically efficient U.S. climate policies, and our brief for the case was acknowledged in the judges’ opinion.

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