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  • Climate Change Comes to Insurance

    By changing the underlying risk profile of certain insurance products, climate change threatens insurers’ business model. At the same time, insurers also face risk as investors, as insurers’ assets may be overvalued due to unassigned climate risk. Improved data, research and resilience planning can contribute to a more robust and more equitable insurance system, while improving financial disclosure requirements can limit investment risk.

  • NY Inks Deals For Clean Energy Transmission Projects

    Two clean energy companies have signed deals with the Empire State that could provide New York City with as much as a third of its electric needs each year from solar, wind and hydroelectric sources. But some predecessors have encountered road blocks in their quest to build out the massive infrastructure necessary to deliver the renewable energies to major load centers. Justin Gundlach, a senior attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University, told Law360 on Wednesday that New York may not encounter that level of difficulty. He noted that the state already underwent a lengthy process before the Champlain Hudson Power Express — a proposed high-voltage direct current submarine line linking Montreal to New York City — began construction earlier this year. 

  • Yes, Curbing U.S. Fossil Fuel Extraction Does Reduce Climate Pollution

    With experts worldwide calling on governments to transition away from fossil fuels to prevent catastrophic levels of climate change, the Biden Administration is in the midst of reconsidering the federal government’s oil, gas, and coal leasing programs. Reforms to these programs could bring U.S. energy policy closer in line with climate reality by reducing the extraction of fossil fuels from public lands.

  • CEQ Plans NEPA Program Analyses To Streamline Low-Carbon Projects

    A top White House official says the Biden administration is planning to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) various federal programs as a way to help speed later review of related low-carbon projects, an effort aimed at easing the challenge officials face as they seek to expedite such projects while also ensuring rigorous reviews. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is looking at “ways that programmatic analysis can be used more frequently and effectively by federal agencies,” Jayni Foley Hein, CEQ’s senior director for NEPA, said Oct. 19.

  • Gulf Oil, Gas Leases Sold Days After COP26

    Was there another choice for DOI? Yes. The Louisiana decision “doesn’t force the administration to move forward with any particular lease sale,” Max Sarinsky of the New York University School of Law told The Guardian, though he added that if the sale were postponed, “I’m almost certain they would be sued by oil and gas interests.”

  • U.S. Auctions Off Oil and Gas Drilling Leases in Gulf of Mexico After Climate Talks

    Just four days after landmark climate talks in Scotland in which Joe Biden vowed the US will “lead by example” in tackling dangerous global heating, the president’s own administration is providing a jarring contradiction – the largest ever sale of oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico. But legal experts say the court decision doesn’t, in itself, prevent the administration from stopping or delaying a scheduled lease sale, or from scaling it back. “The Louisiana opinion doesn’t force the administration to move forward with any particular lease sale – the Department of Interior still has discretion over that,” said Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney at the New York University School of Law. “If they were to postpone, I’m almost certain they would be sued by oil and gas interests, but that’s another matter.”

  • Regulatory Comments and the Major Questions Doctrine

    The U.S. Supreme Court has rarely invoked the “major questions” doctrine to invalidate agency regulations. But without any regard for the Court’s jurisprudence, the Trump Administration routinely relied on this doctrine in service of its deregulatory assault on the administrative state. Moreover, the Trump Administration opportunistically relied on arbitrary and irrational metrics—including the number of public comments a rule received—to advance major questions objections against rules it disfavored.

  • Left Grows Impatient With Biden’s Regulatory Plans

    Without a doubt, all environmental rules will be challenged in court and former President Trump dramatically increased the number of conservatives in courts around the country. “From what I’ve observed, [the Biden administration is] being careful,” noted Ricky Revesz, a professor at New York University. “The question isn’t if they get sued. It is what is the probability of winning after litigation.”

  • EPA Rules May Spark Legal War Over Social Cost of Methane

    Some legal and regulatory experts are skeptical that EPA’s methane rules — once they are finalized — could be the best path for the red states to reinvigorate their challenge to the Biden administration’s emissions metric. "I don’t think EPA would have much to worry about on the social cost of greenhouse gases front," said Richard Revesz, a law professor and director of New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity. But he noted that any EPA rule of "any consequence" is going to be challenged in court.

  • Fight Over FERC Grid Order Could Scramble Electricity Mix

    Critics of PJM’s minimum price argued that it increased costs to consumers by imposing a barrier for renewable energy. Wind power has been able to bid well below other sources of electricity in competitive markets. “[The] indiscriminate treatment of all state policies as inefficient and uneconomic was both legally inappropriate and economically unsound,” said Sarah Ladin, an energy attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law.