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In the News

  • Post-Pruitt Pragmatism on Display as New EPA Chief Alters Course

    August 1, 2018 – Bloomberg

    On July 26, Wheeler withdrew a “no action assurance” Pruitt signed his last day on the job that had promised the EPA would not enforce limits on so-called “glider trucks” that are retrofitted with rebuilt diesel engines lacking modern emissions controls. Wheeler’s pivot came eight days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a stay blocking Pruitt’s hands-off policy toward glider truck pollution. Lawsuits previously prompted the EPA to reverse course on policies around ozone pollution, landfill emissions and pesticides under Pruitt too, noted Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the New York University School of Law Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • Pruitt’s Successor Wants Rollbacks, Too. And He Wants Them to Stick.

    July 27, 2018 – The New York Times

    Prof. Richard L. Revesz, an expert in environmental law at New York University, said Mr. Wheeler was “trying to be more careful and less sloppy” than his former boss. “By taking time to improve the quality of the legal justifications, Wheeler may ensure that E.P.A. won’t be subject to losing on certain types of policies,” Professor Revesz said.

  • The Distraction of Pruitt’s Scandals Is Gone but That Won’t Make Deregulating Any Easier

    July 26, 2018 – The Hill (Opinion)

    Now that Scott Pruitt’s scandal-ridden tenure has ended, there are those who might like to think that the Environmental Protection Agency will be able to move past the distractions and roll back major environmental regulations successfully. But Pruitt’s time as EPA’s administrator was marked by more than just scandals. He also lost in court repeatedly when his deregulatory efforts were challenged.

  • Challenging the Anti-Regulatory Narrative

    July 23, 2018 – The Regulatory Review (Opinion)

    The Clean Air Act’s success reveals the flaws in the standard critique of the administrative state.

  • Kavanaugh and the Environment

    July 18, 2018 – SCOTUS Blog (Opinion)

    As in many other areas, Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote in environmental cases, lining up in the middle of his more reliably conservative and liberal peers. His proposed replacement, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, has exhibited a very clear track record of relative solicitousness to regulated industry and skepticism to environmental interests. As a consequence, we can expect that a Kavanaugh confirmation would usher in a court that is considerably less sympathetic to environmental protections.

  • Pruitt Exemplified How Partisanship Hinders Policymaking

    July 10, 2018 – Slate

    Everyone is worried that a scandal-free EPA will more effectively destroy regulation. But this discounts the problems that have plagued the Trump administration’s effectiveness.

  • Agencies Can’t Cut Corners to Pause Obama Rules, Court Says

    June 29, 2018 – Bloomberg Environment

    The Second Circuit judges said NHTSA didn’t cite any specific statute that gives it authority to delay the increasing penalties. This point will be particularly important for several pending cases challenging EPA attempts to delay Obama-era regulations, Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the New York University Institute for Policy Integrity, told Bloomberg Environment. “That’s not enough of a justification. Agencies are supposed to be looking at society as a whole,” she said, adding that this point could trickle into eventual litigation over agency rewrites of rules should they cite cost reductions as part of their rationale.

  • Why Cities Are Suing Oil Giants

    June 26, 2018 – U.S. News and World Report

    This Monday, federal Judge William Alsup issued a ruling dismissing one of those cases, arguing that climate change is an issue better decided by Congress and the executive branch, rather than in court. Although the oil companies will certainty try to persuade other courts to follow Judge Alsup’s reasoning, they should decline to do so. Although these lawsuits are unorthodox, they fall within a long American tradition of requiring polluters to pay for the damages they cause.

  • The EPA Might Change the Way It Weighs Human Health Against Industry Profit

    June 15, 2018 – Popular Science

    If the EPA were to later propose to eliminate co-benefits, “that would be a disastrously wrongheaded policy and one that won’t survive judicial scrutiny,” says director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University, Richard Revesz. “To say the indirect costs of regulation have to be considered, but that the indirect benefits cannot is irrational,” says Revesz. “You could not find a single reputable economist who would say that was a plausible idea.”

  • Pruitt Would Like Us to Ignore Environmental Regulations’ Indirect Benefits

    June 13, 2018 – Slate

    Rewriting agency guidelines to ignore co-benefits might sound like a mundane accounting change, but over time it would have grave effects on public health and welfare. This change would make it appear that regulations deliver fewer benefits relative to their costs than they in fact would. This would then make it easier for Pruitt to justify repealing rules, further tilting the scales toward the powerful polluters that he insistently favors—while severely disadvantaging the families and communities that bear the heavy burden of pollution.