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  • Shock To The System: Should Uncle Sam Force Power Companies To Go Green?

    Until existing imbalances are eliminated, it would make sense for the Obama administration to implement short-term mechanisms to create incentivizes for clean energy. But the longer-term focus should be on trying to move away from this approach as quickly as possible as it can only be a stop gap measure treating a symptom and not the disease.

  • On Regs, Obama Thinking Out of the Box

    Michael Livermore, an expert on regulatory policy at New York University’s School of Law, says revoking that executive order carried an important symbolic message: “Whatever you thought you knew about regulatory policy—things are going to be different.”

  • Obama tosses Bush order, eases OMB grip on rulemaking

    This is a step that the Obama administration is taking, saying ‘We want to allow that process to work without political interference,’ and I really think that’s the signal that they’re sending right now,” Livermore said.

  • Regulation Czar: Low Profile, Big Influence

    Cass Sunstein, one of the new President’s friends and advisers since Obama’s days at the University of Chicago, has landed one of the most powerful jobs in Washington—but one that is little known outside the Beltway. As director of the Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), he will review every major regulation promulgated by any federal agency, from clean air to airline safety.

  • Simple Fix in Stimulus Plan Could Boost Impact of Billions of Dollars for Energy Efficiency

    The Senate has a very important opportunity to improve the stimulus bill,’ Livermore said. ‘It must make sure this stimulus is a long-term dividend for the economy that keeps paying us back and isn’t just a flash in the pan.

  • Stimulus efficiency cash insufficient without standards,  advocates say

    A key component … is to ensure new building that is being generated by the stimulus package is not following the old way of doing business of excess energy consumption,” Michael Livermore, executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law, told reporters yesterday.

  • After Midnight: Where Should Environmental Regulation Go From Here?

    So, the question that the Obama administration needs to ask when reviewing the former President’s last minute rules is whether they were given rigorous scrutiny, or whether they were pushed out the door at the last minute to satisfy a political constituency or ideological goal.”

  • THE TRANSITION: Proposed Regulatory Czar Has Long and Perplexing Track Record

    ‘‘I think both sides will be surprised,’‘ says Richard Revesz, dean of the law school at New York University. The tools of cost-benefit analysis in the past ‘‘were captured by antiregulatory academic and interest groups’‘ and misused, says Revesz. He predicts that Sunstein will deploy those same tools in support of novel regulatory initiatives.

  • Kinder, Gentler Cost-Benefit Analysis

    Revesz and Livermore claim their reformswould yield “an administrative state that is more efficient and fair, and deliversmore environmental, health, and safety protection for less cost.” Who could be against that? They argue that “the most appropriate and natural role for cost-benefit analysis is to help find the regulatory sweet spot, the optimal point that is between not enough and too much.” Yet at other places, it is unclear whether their aimismore “neutral” regulatory analysis or simply more regulation. While they often stress the importance of “neutral” analysis, they also presume such analysis will produce particular results, and trumpet this claim to their presumably progressive audience.

  • Should Environmentalists Fear Cass Sunstein?

    Sunstein’s appointment makes clear that Obama wants change at OIRA—he is too talented to be wasted in a business-as-usual role in the next administration. But the task of reforming cost-benefit analysis, removing its biases, and reforging it into a neutral tool for sound policymaking, all while promoting a strong regulatory agenda in a time of economic crisis, will not be easy.