Institute for Policy Integrity

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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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  • Court Filings

    Brief for Challenge to Ozone Standard

    August 5, 2016

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will soon hear arguments in Murray Energy Corp. v. U.S. E.P.A., challenging the EPA’s revised ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Policy Integrity has submitted an amicus brief in support of the EPA for this case.

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  • Court Filings

    Brief for Clean Power Plan Litigation

    April 1, 2016

    We recently submitted an amicus brief in the litigation over the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which regulates carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. A group of coal companies and states is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to strike down the rule, arguing that it represents an unprecedented expansion of the EPA’s regulatory authority. Our brief shows that, in fact, there are regulatory precedents for every aspect of the rule that petitioners claim is unprecedented. Our analysis of past EPA regulations and court rulings reveals that the Clean Power Plan is consistent with decades of Clean Air Act practice under administrations of both parties.

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  • Court Filings

    Brief for BLM Coal Lease Case

    February 8, 2016

    We recently submitted an amicus brief in a case challenging two large coal leases approved by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The case, WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, is being heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. We believe that BLM used an irrational assumption about coal supply and demand in its environmental impact statement for the Wright Area coal leases in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. Because of this flawed assumption, BLM’s presentation of the climate consequences of leasing, versus taking no action, is inaccurate and misleading, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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  • Court Filings

    Legal Brief on the Social Cost of Carbon

    July 30, 2015

    We recently filed an amicus brief in a federal court case challenging the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) new efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. The case, Zero Zone Inc. v. U.S. Department of Energy, will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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  • Court Filings

    Supreme Court Brief for Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Case

    March 4, 2015

    The Supreme Court will soon hear a challenge to the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (commonly known as the MATS rule). Policy Integrity has submitted an amicus brief in support of the EPA for this case.

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