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  • What Is Partitioned Pricing, the Subject of Recent Regulatory and Litigation Scrutiny?

    The practice of partition pricing and marketing has become a topic of interest for the FTC and the CFPB. For example, the FTC recently streamlined procedures to “tackle cutting-edge issues, like … unfair and deceptive practices in event ticket sales, among others,” according to Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter. Additional efforts across states are being made to encourage the FTC to ban the use of drip pricing. For example, the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law has petitioned the FTC to ban drip pricing practices. The petition argues that sellers should be required to disclose the “full” price of a product or service up front as a single total price, including all unavoidable fees and charges.

  • US Supreme Court Cases Risk Weakening Standards

    The Supreme Court justices have made clear that they intend to use Relentless vs Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises vs Raimondo to reconsider a seminal decision that has set the rules for legal challenges to federal regulation since 1984. Under the Chevron doctrine, as it is known, courts defer to an agency’s interpretation of federal law when Congress itself has been silent. Don Goodson, a senior attorney at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity, warns that businesses should be careful what they wish for. “There are good legal reasons for Chevron and there are good practical reasons . . . Inevitably, federal statutes are sometimes ambiguous,” he says. If different courts reach different conclusions, that could lead to conflicting rules in various parts of the country. “If you are a regulated entity, the question is: do you want one interpretation or several? That may have headaches of its own,” he adds.

  • EPA Lays Groundwork for Stronger Climate Rules

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this weekend took action that is expected to justify stricter climate regulations. Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity, said that technically, a future president could prevent agencies from using the Biden administration’s social cost values “with the stroke of a pen.” But he also said that doing so could make any rules issued by that administration legally vulnerable.

  • ‘Statutory Rubber Stamp’: FERC Gas Approvals Face Court Battle

    Court fights over proposed Gulf Coast gas export facilities are exerting new pressure on federal energy regulators to reevaluate whether it is in the public’s best interest to ship fossil fuels to foreign countries as the world confronts climate change. Section 3 of the [Natural Gas Act] tells FERC it can approve or deny an application for siting an LNG facility, but the statute doesn’t provide a legal standard for how to make that decision, said Jennifer Danis, federal energy policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • How Would a Second Trump Administration’s Immigration Initiatives Fare in Federal Court?

    According to decades’ worth of studies compiled Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the Institute for Policy Integrity, federal agencies have historically prevailed in about 70 percent of the legal challenges to their regulatory actions. But Noll’s study reviewing 278 Trump-era agency actions (48 involving immigration) found that federal agencies prevailed only 23 percent of the time.1 And she found that the Trump administration’s immigration policy win rate was only 10 percent (five out of 48 cases).

  • It’s Past Time for FERC to Assess if the US Needs More Gas Infrastructure

    As winter approaches, fears are mounting that parts of our energy system could fail again during severe weather. Many experts around the country are working to ensure that the grid remains reliable, as well as affordable, as the transition toward cleaner energy accelerates: This was a major topic at Thursday’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission technical conference.

  • Biden Agency Rules Must Consider Income Levels, Child Health

    The Biden administration directed agency policymakers on Thursday to more heavily weigh how their economic regulations will help or hurt worker safety, children’s health, and consumer prices decades into the future. The 93-page memo instructs agencies to pay more attention to how the costs and benefits of their regulations vary by person… “Costs accrue for the most part in the short term,” said Max Sarinsky, an attorney that studies regulation at New York University School of Law. “But the benefits accrue decades or more into the future.”

  • Biden GHG Cost Estimates Face Uncertain Fate In Court

    Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney at New York University School of Law's Institute for Policy Integrity, said there will be some factors on an agency's side as well during future litigation. He said that for one thing, the estimates, which have already been used in many rules and other decisions, go through an extensive process before finalization that incorporates a public comment period, a peer review process and the best available science at the time. "To win an argument that the standard is high, you have to show that it's arbitrary and capricious to use these numbers," Sarinsky said. "So to say that it's arbitrary and capricious to use Nobel Prize-winning work seems a little difficult to me."

  • White House Overhaul Paves Way for Stricter Regulations

    The White House on Thursday revised the way agencies weigh regulatory costs and benefits for the first time in 20 years. It resulted in new guidance that experts say will make it tougher for industries to challenge rules on the basis of their economic costs, and easier for agencies to justify stronger safeguards for public health and the environment... “This update certainly supports higher valuations of the social cost of carbon because it is broadly consistent with the approach that EPA is taking,” said [Max] Sarinsky of NYU.

  • OMB Finalizes Cost Benefit Changes Likely To Bolster GHG, EJ Focus

    Burcin Ünel, executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, says the new guidance “will help government agencies catch up to best practices in economics [and] guidance will help ensure that regulators do not ignore equity concerns, which have long been a blind spot in most rulemakings.