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In the News

  • Energy Transition, Distributed Energy Resources, and the Need for Information

    This podcast—featuring Dr. Burcin Unel, Energy Policy Director at the Institute for Policy Integrity—discusses how information, or lack thereof, can affect the cost-effectiveness of the transition to a clean and distributed energy future. It then outlines how new modeling tools that can take into account information asymmetries can help policymakers design better policies.

  • How New Jersey Can Still Meet Its Clean-Transportation Goals

    • Justin Gundlach
    • Matt Butner

    New Jersey has recently taken some important steps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and other pollution from the transportation sector, but these efforts face a new potential roadblock as the coronavirus has sent the state budget into free fall. Exploding state expenditures, diminished tax revenue, and jarring transitions in the labor force all foretell that the state will have a hard time meeting its goals for decarbonization. To close this fiscal gap and make transportation investments that will benefit nearly every resident, New Jersey’s leadership should look to a program being developed by about a dozen states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: the Transportation and Climate Initiative.

  • EPA Touts Winning Record, but Some Attorneys Dispute Its Numbers

    The EPA’s top lawyer is trumpeting the agency’s success rate in court, saying it’s won two-thirds of “significant” environmental cases during the Trump administration. But the assertion, made by the agency’s general counsel, Matthew Z. Leopold, clashes with—and also comes in response to—other tallies showing judges have largely sided with the EPA’s state and environmental adversaries. A New York University Institute for Policy Integrity analysis, for example, lists just nine EPA wins out of 47 regulatory cases tracked. Policy Integrity's litigation director Bethany Davis Noll, who oversees the institute’s tracker, said the EPA’s list had nearly two dozen cases that she had left off because they were either duplicative, still pending, not focused on Trump-era actions, or resolved on procedural grounds rather than on the merits.

  • Amid Our Coronavirus Crisis, GOP Convention Doubles Down on Individual Liberty

    Trump Jr. delivered a forceful indictment: "The other party is attacking the very principles on which our nation was founded: Freedom of thought. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The rule of law.” Never mind that the Trump administration has been forced to reverse course more than 100 times after being sued for violating the rule of law, according to the New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • How Biden Could Thwart Trump’s Arctic Push

    The decadeslong fight over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is nowhere near over, despite the Interior Department taking a big step Monday toward allowing development. "[P]laintiffs will almost certainly seek a preliminary injunction in court to stop any sale from going forward. And a new administration could decline to defend the ROD in court," Jayni Foley Hein tells Axios in an email. "Second, it seems very likely that a Biden administration could seek to reopen the [National Environmental Policy Act] analysis, and it could also decline to issue permits to drill based on flaws in the ROD and underlying analysis," says Hein, who is with NYU's Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • Environmental Groups Urge Court to Uphold Stay Of WOTUS In Colorado

    Environmental and academic groups are urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to uphold a lower court’s stay of the Trump administration’s waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The Institute for Policy Integrity uses its Aug. 11 amicus brief to take aim at the rule's economic analysis. "Time after time, the economic analysis relies on irrational and ill-informed assumptions, violates regulatory guidance and precedent, and makes claims about water connectivity that are inconsistent with science -- all with the effect of making the Rule's extensive harms seem minor in relation to its alleged cost savings," Policy Integrity says.

  • Does Your State Want to Cut Carbon Emissions? These Old Laws Could Be Standing in the Way.

    “Existing law has evolved over a century of fossil fuel use and the development of existing infrastructure,” said Justin Gundlach, an attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity, a nonpartisan think tank. “There is a lot of work to be done identifying where New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and existing law need to either be amended or reinterpreted.”

  • Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks: A Four-Year Tide of Regulatory Change

    In some cases, Trump administration efforts are hitting delays and possibly brick walls. The Administrative Procedure Act requires that a new rule must have a “reasoned explanation” for it to be sound – or withstand a lawsuit, says Bethany Davis Noll of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. If some Trump moves leave a lasting mark, in other cases the president’s actions could face reversals – notably in cases where his policies lack strong economic or scientific footing. “I think most presidents want some kind of legacy,” Davis Noll says, and in her view “that’s what he hasn’t managed to accomplish.”

  • Prospect of Biden Win Highlights Vulnerability of 4 Major Power, Climate Rules

    The D.C. Circuit is expected to hear oral arguments in challenges to major replacement rules sometime in the fall. Decisions in all three high-profile legal battles could come after Biden potentially takes the oath of office. "These are complicated cases and it typically takes the D.C. Circuit at least six months to decide them, so they're probably pending when the new administration comes into office," Richard Revesz, director of New York University Law School's Institute for Policy Integrity, said. A new Biden administration would likely ask the D.C. Circuit to put the suits on hold on the grounds that the new president wants to review and modify the rules, Revesz said, noting that Trump did the same thing with the Clean Power Plan shortly after being sworn into office in 2017.

  • Toward a “Unitary Executive” Vision of Article II?

    • Richard L. Revesz

    The U.S. Supreme Court made a significant move toward a “unitary executive” vision of Article II in Seila Law LLC v. CFPB. In this 5-4 decision, the Court relied on misleading arguments and revisionist history to strike down the statutory provision granting for-cause removal protection to the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.