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In the News

  • FERC Retreats on Gas Policies as Chair Pursues Clarity

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rolled back sweeping new policies for large natural gas projects, including a framework for assessing how pipelines and other facilities contribute to climate change, weeks after prominent lawmakers panned the changes. If the orders issued yesterday “inappropriately ignore” the impacts of climate change, they may continue to be rebuked by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, said Sarah Ladin, an attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law.

  • SEC (Finally) Proposes New Rules on Climate Disclosure

    Many have viewed the current regulatory regime as ineffective in eliciting appropriate climate disclosure. As described in this 2021 report from the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU and the Environmental Defense Fund, two years after the issuance of the 2010 guidance, the SEC reported to Congress that it had not seen a noticeable change in disclosure as a result.

  • Let’s Make This Clean Energy Marriage (and Fossil Fuel Divorce) Work

    When states adopt commitments to use clean energy it often has the celebratory air of a new marriage. But making good on those commitments and leaving fossil fuels behind also requires a messy divorce from longstanding legal frameworks. In all of the states that have committed to transitioning to clean energy — and away from fossil fuels — the laws embodying the new commitment generally don’t repeal other, older laws that enable or even encourage consumers to continue getting their energy from fossil fuels.

  • SEC Seeks Standard Disclosures for Climate-Related Business Risks

    The Securities and Exchange Commission voted Monday 3-1 in favor of a proposed rule that would expand and standardize how public companies disclose business risks related to the climate and greenhouse gas emissions. Jack Lienke, regulatory policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity, supported the SEC’s proposed rule in a statement Monday, saying the commission “no longer has the luxury of ignoring climate change.” The SEC, he said, must protect investors by demanding the same transparency on climate risk as other financial risks.

  • Appeals Court Revives Biden Climate Damage Cost Estimate

    But Max Sarinsky, a professor at the New York University School of Law, said accounting for future damages from emissions is key to the administration attempt to weigh climate impacts of actions such as the pending oil and gas lease sale. “These numbers are important,” Sarinsky said. “They provide a useful tool for the government to develop cost effective policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

  • Nuclear Power, Climate Change Adaptation, and Good Governance

    Considering additional information about interactions with climate change means that some reactors’ licenses might not be extended. But this reversal supports the viability and social license of the U.S.’s nuclear fleet, thereby helping to preserve a crucial zero-emissions resource for the power sector.

  • Beyond OIRA for Equity in Regulatory Process

    As the centerpiece of presidential leadership, OIRA serves as both overseer of the quality of agency action and mouthpiece for the President’s policy goals. Professor Richard Revesz has suggested that OIRA itself or another centralized, presidential enforcement body could encourage agencies to take into account the distributional consequences of regulation. His proposal could result in an administrative focus on equitable outcomes similar to the pervasive governmental culture of cost-benefit analysis that OIRA has promoted since the Reagan Administration. 

  • How a Proposed Department of Labor Rule Would Help Protect Retirement Savings From Climate Risk

    Should retirement plan managers be able to consider climate change and other financially relevant environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their decisions? A recent analysis of public comments found overwhelming support for a proposed rule from the Department of Labor (DOL) affirming their ability to consider these factors. ESG factors, including climate change, can affect risk and return for all types of investments, not just ESG-labeled funds. 

  • Court Again Rebukes FERC for Failure to Review Downstream Emissions

    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday handed more fuel to FERC’s Democratic majority for its new policies on natural gas infrastructure, ruling that the commission has to take another shot at reviewing downstream greenhouse gas emissions from a Massachusetts compressor project. “Today’s decision adds to a growing list of cases affirming that FERC is required to consider these climate impacts,” said Sarah Ladin, an attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law. “More broadly, today’s decision affirms that the commission’s new policy statement is an appropriate action to ensure it properly considers greenhouse gas emissions in assessing pipeline applications,” Ladin wrote in a statement.

  • Jack Lienke & Kirti Datla on the Ridiculous (But Extremely Important) EPA Case Before the Supreme Court

    Jack Lienke discussed the history of West Virginia v. EPA, whether SCOTUS should have taken it at all, the legal issues involved, and the possible rulings we might expect from the court, ranging from bad to terrible.