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  • Full Agenda at FERC

    Other items on FERC's agenda: a rehearing request regarding FERC's approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate expansion permit; a rehearing request from Sierra Club on a Sabal Trail compression station permit; and a permit decision on a pipeline expansion that would feed the Sabine Pass LNG plant. That one includes a challenge from the Institute for Policy Integrity, which wants to know why the commission did not include downstream greenhouse gas impacts of the pipelines.

  • Will Environmental Rules Hurt Canada’s Level of Investment?

    Peter Howard, economics director at New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity: "Policymakers should not abandon longterm climate and air pollution goals, which produce benefits over multiple generations, every time the economy slows down in the short run. Instead, they should weigh the social benefits and costs. In doing so, they will frequently find that carbon-intensive industries, such as coal and oil-sand extraction, are net costly for society when considering the welfare of all Canadians."

  • Trump Detests ‘Losers,’ But He’s the Courtroom Loser in Chief

    At the conclusion of this year’s Supreme Court term, political scientist Lee Epstein and law professor Eric Posner observed that Trump “has prevailed only 47 percent of the time” before the high court, “a worse record than that of his predecessors going back at least as far as Franklin D. Roosevelt.” The situation is even uglier in the lower courts. The New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity has calculated that just 14 percent of the Trump administration’s regulatory actions were upheld against challenges in the lower courts — the rest were blocked or withdrawn. Trump’s recent predecessors have tended to win on regulatory matters at least 60 percent of the time.

  • ‘Billions of Dollars in Climate Harm’: Green Groups Seek Rehearing of Rio Grande LNG Redesign Approval

    A coalition of South Texas community groups and environmental organiztions has challenged U.S. federal regulators' decision last month to approve a scaled-down Rio Grande LNG facility. The suit filed in June has attracted interest from outside groups, with New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity submitting an amicus brief.

  • Environmental, Public Interest Groups Seek Stricter EPA Lead Regulation

    Environmental and public interest groups are using meetings with White House Office of Management & Budget and EPA officials to reiterate their push for the agency to tighten its pending revisions to the lead and copper drinking water rule, including seeking quicker replacement of lead pipes and a new analysis of the rule’s benefits. The environmental group Clean Water Action met with OMB and EPA officials Sept. 4, and New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity non-partisan think tank met with the officials Aug. 28.

  • FERC’s Carbon Blind Spot

    According to Bethany Davis Noll and Burcin Unel of the Institute for Policy Integrity, the Commission has embraced “market efficiency” as the primary measure of just and reasonable rates. It relies on market mechanisms to set wholesale energy prices, and its regulatory agenda is mainly aimed at promoting competition and economic efficiency in energy markets. The problem, Davis Noll and Unel say, is that energy markets have completely failed to account for the environmental and social cost of carbon emissions. Given FERC’s obsession with promoting economic efficiency, its reluctance to address such a glaring inefficiency is puzzling, Davis Noll and Unel argue. Like others before them, they suggest that an agency-imposed surcharge on the wholesale price of high-carbon energy—a “carbon adder”—could be a workable fix.

  • Administration Reviewing 50 Major Projects for Environmental Waivers

    The Natural Resources Defense Council noted, “Nothing in NEPA gives the president the authority to side-step the environmental review and public participation the statute requires.” New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity added that any exemptions allowed are for “true emergencies” that threaten lives and that it is “an enormous stretch to claim the economic crisis from COVID-19 fits.”

  • Trump Administration Can’t Slash Fuel Efficiency Penalties

    The Trump administration can’t roll back a penalty imposed on car manufacturers that fail to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, the Second Circuit ruled Monday. “This ruling ensures that NHTSA and the automakers it regulates are held accountable for actions that are harmful to the public,” said Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the Institute for Policy Integrity, which submitted a brief in the case.

  • Court Scraps Lower Fines for Polluters

    In a win for environmentalists, a federal court struck down a Trump administration rule that lowered penalties for polluting car companies. The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, whose analysis found that the reduced penalties would effectively lower average vehicle fuel economy by 5 mpg by 2032, filed an amicus brief in the case. "This ruling ensures that NHTSA and the automakers it regulates are held accountable for actions that are harmful to the public," Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the institute, said in a statement. "With this decision, NHTSA's rule joins the ever-growing list of legal losses for the Trump administration."

  • Democrats Could Target These 4 Trump Rules

    A handful of Trump administration environmental rules could be the first on the chopping block under a Biden administration and a Democratic Congress. Actions on methane emissions, the National Environmental Policy Act, cost-benefit analyses and an EPA science rule may die under the Congressional Review Act, experts say. "The Trump Administration's successful use of the Congressional Review Act demonstrates that it is a powerful option for any President whose party also controls both branches of Congress," wrote regulatory experts Bethany Davis Noll and Richard Revesz in The Regulatory Review. "And the threat of a Congressional Review Act disapproval now hangs over any new President, putting pressure on agencies to finalize important rules before the summer prior to an election."