Institute for Policy Integrity

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What We Do

Project Updates

Viewing all updates in Natural Resources
  • Public Comments

    Comments on Delay of BLM Waste Prevention Rule

    November 6, 2017

    In September 2017, a federal court overturned the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) decision to delay a rule that is designed to prevent private industry from wasting natural gas resources in mining activities on public land. In its decision to delay the rule, BLM had not considered the benefits that would be forgone. Now, BLM has proposed a second delay. Our comments to BLM argue that the agency manipulated the calculation of forgone benefits from delay—particularly, the calculation of the social cost of methane—in ways that are completely inconsistent with the best available science, the best practices for economic analysis, and the legal standards governing rational decisionmaking. The 2016 Waste Prevention Rule’s benefits exceed its costs by as much as $200 million per year, and thus the proposal to suspend the rule is arbitrary and capricious.

    We filed these joint comments with the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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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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  • Public Comments

    Objection to Forest Service Expansion of Colorado’s West Elk Coal Mine

    October 23, 2017

    The U.S. Forest Service’s final approval of a coal mine expansion in Colorado continues to ignore climate damages, despite a 2014 ruling by the U.S. District Court of Colorado asking the Forest Service to disclose the effects greenhouse gas emissions from the project in its Environmental Impact Statement. Our objection to the Forest Service’s decision argues that it cannot legally ignore climate costs, which are not difficult to quantify, while also monetizing the economic upside of changing these coal leases. This objection echoes our previous comments to the Forest Service on the West Elk mine expansion.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing

    October 23, 2017

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s controversial proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear plants could have terrible consequences for consumers and public health, as our recent comments and op-ed in US News highlight. In September, Perry asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to adopt a new rule that would guarantee coal and nuclear plants their full costs plus a profit, so long as they keep 90 days of fuel on site. Perry claims that these “fuel-secure” plants ensure grid reliability and resilience, but neither he nor FERC adequately define these terms or explain why such a measure is justified.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on the Clean Water Rule

    October 9, 2017

    In our recent comments on the attempted repeal of EPA’s Clean Water Rule, we show how the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers obscured the value of wetlands protection in their proposal to repeal the rule.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee

    October 9, 2017

    On behalf of Policy Integrity, Policy Director Jayni Hein recently delivered a statement at the Department of Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee public meeting on October 4, 2017. Her statement included recommendations on how Interior can achieve “fair market value” for taxpayers for the use and development of federal resources, as well as how Interior can fulfil its “multiple use” mandate.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Rescission

    September 25, 2017

    In proposing to rescind its two-year-old rule for managing hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and tribal lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) fails to explain why the rescission’s estimated cost savings to industry justify the forgone benefits, such as environmental protection and increased worker safety. Our comments to BLM on the proposed rescission discuss the agency’s inadequate cost-benefit analysis, which does not sufficiently explain why changed circumstances in the past two years have altered the rule’s cost-benefit justification.

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  • Public Comments

    Public Comments on Regulatory Review (Treasury, GSA, FEMA, State, DOJ, FCA, Interior)

    August 15, 2017

    Many federal agencies are requesting the public’s suggestions for rules to repeal or reform, tacitly implying that most regulations stifle economic growth. In comments to several agencies, we argue that regulatory review should consider the public benefits of regulation, not just the costs to regulated industries, and should prioritize review of rules for which actual costs and benefits diverge significantly from predicted costs and benefits.

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  • Public Comments

    Public Comments on the Review of National Monuments

    July 11, 2017

    We recently submitted comments to the Department of the Interior on their review of certain national monuments established since 1996. The review process was initiated by Executive Order 13792, which directs the Secretary of the Interior to review all national monuments designated or expanded after January 1, 1996, that either include more than 100,000 acres of public lands or for which the Secretary determines inadequate “public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders” occurred.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue on the Reform Rule

    May 5, 2017

    We recently submitted two sets of comments to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), making the case against repealing an Obama-era reform that promised to recover millions of dollars in royalties from mining companies—a reform that would have ensured that taxpayers receive fair market value for the use of public lands. Our first set of comments objects to the proposed repeal of the Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform Rule (the “Reform Rule”), while our second set responds to ONRR’s request for comments on whether revisions are necessary to the regulations governing coal, oil, and gas royalties. We previously submitted comments to ONRR on the proposed Reform Rule.

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