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In the News

  • Vermont Passes First In-The-Nation Law to Make Oil Companies Pay for Climate Damages — Will New York Follow?

    The Speaker’s statement represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Climate Change Superfund Act would work. A failure to approve the legislation will leave New York taxpayers holding the bag for mounting climate costs, while Big Oil continues to make huge profits. The Climate Change Superfund Act should not have an impact on utility rates, no impact on gas prices, no impact on home heating costs. The bill’s impact will be to solely reduce climate costs currently paid by taxpayers. An independent economic paper published by the respected Institute for Policy Integrity at the NYU School of Law supports that view. 

  • EJ Advisors Discuss Carbon Management; Groups Talk Power Supply

    The Institute for Policy Integrity on June 6 hosts an event on how climate-linked weather events are causing energy disruptions, and ongoing research on resilience. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts a June 6 event about a two-year status update for its READi resilience and adaptation program.

  • It’s Time to Protect Consumers and Regulate Overdraft Fees

    Many banks continue to profit from overdraft fees paid by consumers who can least afford it, often because consumers are not fully informed about the true cost of relying on overdraft credit. Federal regulation could help. As part of President Biden’s war on junk fees, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a rule that could go a long way towards reducing the amount that consumers pay in overdraft fees (we submitted comments in support). Under the proposed rule, banks can choose to charge a much lower fee (either a default fee level set by CFPB or a fee that recoups only banks’ actual costs), thereby reducing the burden on consumers who mistakenly overdraft. Alternatively, if banks want to continue charging high fees, they must follow the same regulations that apply to other types of credit, which require more transparency and consumer protections.

  • The Reward for Republicans Who Try to Solve Problems: Humiliation

    As a regulatory challenge database from the New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity shows, 94 percent of major Trump-era immigration agency actions that faced legal challenges ultimately did not survive litigation (that is, in 33 out of 35 cases). Either a judge ruled against the agency responsible for the policy, or the agency withdrew the policy after being sued.

  • NY Assembly Could Stall ‘Polluters Pay’ Bill For Second Year in a Row

    A study by the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU says the idea that oil companies could pass on increases in fixed costs to consumers is “unlikely.” “It is an international market and the price is not set in the United States, let alone New York State,” said the economist Peter Howard, director at the institute and co-author of the study. “If these companies started trying to manipulate prices, the market would respond and other firms would enter the market. So there’s really no ability for these companies to manipulate prices,” Howard added. The bill, Howard also points out, would charge companies different amounts according to how much carbon they emit. A scientific peer-reviewed method devised by the Climate Accountability Institute will be used to estimate how many metric tons of greenhouse gasses from each fuel company ended up in the atmosphere on an annual basis.

  • Pressure Mounts On Biden Admin To Finalize Regulations

    Jason Schwartz, legal director at New York University School of Law's Institute for Policy Integrity, told Law360 that agency officials carefully pay attention to the calendar when they plan rulemaking in the early days of a presidential administration. Schwartz served as a senior adviser at OIRA under Biden. "For a while now, agencies will have been thinking about their priorities and been coordinating with OIRA and with the policy councils in the White House to really sequence things so that the highest-priority rules made it to the finish line with time to spare," he said. Agencies also consider litigation targeting rules they issue, Schwartz said.

  • Energy Access and Equity: Takeaways from Our Recent Webinar

    The transition to a clean and just energy system is a complex undertaking, requiring significant changes across the economy. To ensure that these changes don’t place disproportionate burdens on communities already bearing the brunt of harmful pollution and climate change, we must better understand the associated distributional impacts. The Institute for Policy Integrity hosted a recent webinar on this topic, bringing together researchers and policymakers to discuss the real-world challenges of implementing equitable energy policies. The panelists included Dr. Anissa Rodriguez Dickerman of Pecan Street Inc., Dr. Benjamin Sovacool of Boston University, Dr. Jonathan Colmer of the University of Virginia, Dr. Diana Hernández of Columbia University, and John Binder of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

  • No, FERC’s Order 1920 Does Not Trigger the Major Questions Doctrine

    The major questions doctrine is a non-issue for Order 1920. This is simply not one of the “extraordinary cases” that the West Virginia Court cautioned might warrant skepticism under the doctrine. Without Order 1920 remedying existing planning and cost allocation practices, FERC would be playing whack-a-mole in adjudicating individual tariffs when it must eradicate systemic failures. And we would all pay the price: unjust rates and a less reliable grid.

  • Electrification in Buildings and Communities: Takeaways from Our Recent Webinar

    The transition to a decarbonized energy system will require the rapid, cost-effective, resilient, and equitable electrification of homes and other buildings. Researchers and policymakers discussed the latest developments and challenges in this space during a recent webinar hosted by the Institute for Policy Integrity. The panelists included Dr. Paulo Tabares-Velasco of the Colorado School of Mines, Dr. Sergio Castellanos of the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Ana Dyreson of Michigan Technological University, and Dr. Henry McKoy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • With or Without Chevron Deference, Agencies Have Extensive Rulemaking Authority

    To be clear, we don’t dispute that eliminating or curtailing Chevron deference would have serious consequences... But equally clear—yet sometimes overlooked—is that agencies often have other avenues to adopt ambitious rules without Chevron deference. This piece highlights several of the legal principles that will endure regardless of Chevron’s fate (or the fate of other legal-deference regimes). In so doing, we highlight where regulators, advocates, and commentators can enforce the boundaries of any decision limiting or eliminating Chevron deference and so thwart efforts to leverage the decision to cripple agency actions that do not rest on Chevron deference. Applying these principles faithfully upholds legislative grants of regulatory authority.