Richard L. Revesz is one of the nation’s leading experts in the fields of environmental and regulatory law and policy. Revesz is the Lawrence King Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at the New York University School of Law, where he founded and directs the Institute for Policy Integrity, a non-partisan think tank focused on improving the quality of environmental decisionmaking through advocacy and scholarship.
Over the last two years, Revesz has been one of the most effective supporters of EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which regulates carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. He co-authored an amicus brief in the litigation against the rule. He also published an analysis of the limits of EPA’s regulatory authority under Clean Air Act Section 111, an article on legal precedents for the rule, and a paper examining the implications of the Supreme Court stay of the Clean Power Plan. Additionally, Revesz testified at multiple Congressional hearings on the rule and provided analysis on the rule to numerous media outlets. His recent co-authored book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal”, published by Oxford University Press, analyzes the conceptual inaccuracies of the “war on coal” narrative.
Revesz has also contributed analysis and scholarship on other key energy policy issues. A brief he co-authored was acknowledged in the judges’ opinion in Zero Zone, Inc. v. United States Department of Energy, a recent federal appellate court ruling that paved the way for the use by federal agencies of the “social cost of carbon” to justify their environmental, natural resources, and energy policies. Revesz analyzed the implications of this ruling in one of his regular columns for the Wall Street Journal’s “Energy Experts” series. He also co-authored a forthcoming article that explores the appropriate economic frameworks for policies on distributed generation and net metering, and that has formed the basis of advocacy seeking to compensate renewable energy for its attractive environmental attributes.
The Institute for Policy Integrity, under Revesz’s direction, has contributed to the development of protective environmental policy in a number of other important areas. As the Department of the Interior evaluates potential reforms to the federal coal program, Policy Integrity has published reports on reform options, coal royalties, self-bonding, and economic modernization, and hosted a high-level workshop on federal coal policy in Washington, D.C. Policy Integrity has emerged as one of the leading sources of expertise on the social cost of carbon, offshore oil and gas leasing, and the economics of electricity pricing.
As dean of NYU Law School from 2002 to 2013, Revesz significantly enhanced the Law School’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and to public interest law. He designed and launched the AnBryce Scholarship Program, for students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are the first in their families to attend graduate and professional school, and now serves as its faculty director; doubled the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship Program, for students with strong commitments to public service careers; significantly expanded and restructured the Law School’s Law Repayment Assistance Program, for graduates pursuing public service careers, and added 19 new clinics, including one in Washington, D.C. focusing on the role of government. During his tenure, Revesz raised a record-breaking $550 million to fund these initiatives as well as a significant expansion of the full-time faculty, and oversaw the development of the Law School’s Washington Square campus, opening three new academic buildings—two of which received coveted LEED Platinum and Gold certifications.
Revesz is the Director of the American Law Institute, the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law; a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States; a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has previously served on EPA’s Science Advisory Board (and currently is a member of its Panel on Economy-Wide Modeling of the Benefits and Costs of Environmental Regulation), committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council, and the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Revesz graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, earned a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and received his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. Following clerkships with Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, Revesz joined the NYU faculty in 1985. He has been a visiting professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, and the Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
Revesz was born in Argentina, learned English as a second language, and came to the United States to attend college thanks to a generous scholarship, becoming a citizen when he was a law student. He lives in New York with his wife Vicki Been, the New York City Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development, and with their children Joshua Revesz, a third-year student at Yale Law School, and Sarah Revesz, a senior at Swarthmore College.