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In the News

  • Trump Administration Weakens Auto Emissions Standards

    March 31, 2020 – NPR

    “The rollback of the vehicle emissions standards is based on analysis that is shoddy even by the shockingly unprofessional standards of Trump-era deregulation,” said Richard Revesz of the Institute for Policy Integrity and dean emeritus at New York University School of Law.

  • Staff Scientists: Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Find Opposition Within

    March 27, 2020 – The New York Times

    When the civil servants were directed to undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan and create a more coal-friendly version, some of those who remained at the EPA made sure the documents accompanying the proposed replacement included the fact that increased coal pollution would cause 1,400 new premature deaths a year. The EPA later deleted the number from the final rule, but Richard Revesz, an expert on environmental law at New York University, said it would still play a role in the legal fight against the rollback. “That number was a devastatingly bad conclusion for the administration,” he said.

  • Coronavirus Doesn’t Slow Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks

    March 25, 2020 – The New York Times

    With an election looming, the urgency of completing regulations is real. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can overturn a regulation or federal rule within 60 days of it being finalized. If Democrats win control of the White House and Senate in November, and keep control of the House, any rule completed after late May or early June would be vulnerable. “The administration understands the electoral map has turned against it,” said Richard Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University.

  • Donald Trump’s Toolkit: The Office of Management and Budget

    March 6, 2020 – The Economist

    Some take issue with how Mr. Trump’s OIRA, which sits within OMB, conducts cost-benefit analysis of regulations. Richard Revesz of NYU Law School argues that in its deregulatory zeal, the Trump administration has “made a mockery of cost-benefit analysis [by] weighing broader indirect costs [of regulation], and insisting on ignoring any indirect benefits”. In delaying Obama-era environmental regulations, for instance, he argues that the administration has ignored or downplayed unquantified benefits, such as long-term improvements to air and water quality, while overstating the costs of compliance to industry.

  • Trump’s Response to Legal Defeats Suggests He’s Often a Paper Tiger

    February 28, 2020 – Los Angeles Times

    Dozens of rule-makings have been rejected by courts as “arbitrary and capricious,” a phrase that denotes violations of the federal Administrative Procedures Act. “The agencies are really falling down on that front,” says Bethany A. Davis Noll, litigation director at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity. The institute’s database shows that the Trump administration has lost 66 of the 71 cases in which its deregulatory or policy initiatives have been challenged in court.

  • When Safety Rules on Oil Drilling Were Changed, Some Staff Objected. Those Notes Were Cut.

    February 26, 2020 – The Wall Street Journal

    As the offshore oil industry’s federal regulator completed its overhaul of a major well-drilling safety rule in 2018, Scott Angelle, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, told a staff engineer to delete language from memos showing that the changes would contradict guidance from the agency’s own engineers. The internal correspondence could prove a liability, as environmental groups challenge the agency’s rationale for its decision. “What these communications show is that the agency was not relying on expertise,” said Richard Revesz, dean emeritus of New York University School of Law and an expert on environmental and regulatory legal matters. “It was making a political decision that went against the advice of the experts and the experts were being sidelined.”

  • Are Carbon Credits Vanishing Into Thin Air?

    February 24, 2020 – Politico (Opinion)

    Tax credits for companies that “capture” carbon dioxide have been a success, by some measures. Even before the expansion, companies have claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits—possibly as much as $1.3 billion—and reported 63 million tons of carbon dioxide kept out of the air. There’s one big problem, though. All of that carbon is supposed to be stored securely underground and monitored by an Environmental Protection Agency program, to be sure it doesn’t leak out or create other complications. But so far, only 17 million of those 63 million tons have been registered with the EPA as legally required—about one-quarter of the carbon that companies have taken credit for.

  • What Is Amy Klobuchar’s Favorite Statistic?

    February 14, 2020 – FiveThirtyEight (Video)

    538: “What is your favorite statistic?”

    Amy: “I think it would be how many times Donald Trump has had his agency decisions overturned. It’s extraordinary. It shows his lack of respect for the rule of law but also how he actually doesn’t get things done.”

    According to NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity, Trump administration agencies lost a court case or backed off their plans 66 out of 70 times when facing lawsuits over actions they’d taken. NYU Law Professor Richard Revesz told The New York Times that typical administrations lose suits over these actions about 30 percent of the time.

  • The Trump Administration’s Attempt to Kill One of America’s Strongest Climate Policies

    February 12, 2020 – The Atlantic

    “You didn’t have the A team doing the analysis here… If you shut out the people who know what they’re doing, this is what you get,” Jack Lienke, a law professor at NYU and the regulatory-policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity, told me. “If the experts—who are actually within the agency issuing this proposal—thought that the assumptions being made were unreasonable, that makes a judge a lot more comfortable saying it is arbitrary and capricious.”

  • New See-No-Evil Trump Rule Undercuts Climate-Change Efforts

    January 15, 2020 – San Francisco Chronicle (Opinion)

    It is impossible to ignore the incongruity of the Trump administration’s latest attack on environmental protection with the dire effects of climate change now being felt around the world. Thousands have fled burning towns in Australia and California, helpless in the face of catastrophic wildfires, and Arctic sea ice is declining at an unprecedented rate. Rather than develop even modest solutions to this grave crisis, the Trump administration has focused its efforts on a newly unveiled proposal to weaken the United States’ bedrock environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act, enacted in 1970.