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In the News

  • Rolling Back Trump’s Rollbacks: Biden Seen Reversing Climate Deregulation

    Joe Biden could erase much of President Donald Trump’s four-year legacy of energy and climate deregulation with the stroke of his pen, according to regulatory experts, but replacing it with something new and durable may prove trickier. Further, many of Trump’s domestic energy deregulatory policies never took full effect due to court challenges. The Trump administration has lost 84% of its energy- and environment-related lawsuits, according to New York University Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • Trump Administration Wins Only 36% of Time Before GOP-Appointed Judges in Agency Rule Challenges, Study Finds

    The Trump administration has won only 36% of court challenges to agency decisions before GOP-appointed judges, according to a study by Bethany Davis Noll, a professor at the New York University School of Law. Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush fared better before politically aligned judges in such cases, winning 68% to 84% of the time. Thomson Reuters Legal summarized the study, while Noll and Christine Pries summarized the findings in an article for the Hill. The study counts an appellate panel as Republican if a majority of the judges are appointed by GOP presidents.

  • As Election Looms, Groups Offer Last-Minute Advocacy On Climate, Energy

    Various non-governmental groups and analysts are seeking to influence climate and energy policy in the post-election period. A new paper, by the Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) at New York University Law School, focuses on options to improve infrastructure development in an effort to stimulate the economy, boost social equity and reduce carbon emissions. The paper is not geared toward a specific administration, though it recommends changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) unlikely to be embraced by a Trump administration. These include adding standardized methodologies and tools to evaluate climate impacts, and compressing permitting time for key categories of sustainable infrastructure, including by increasing staffing and resources focused on expedited permitting.

  • The Administration’s Record in the Courts

    President Donald Trump famously promised to win so much that his supporters would be tired of it. But as a running tally of legal challenges to his administration’s actions shows, he has lost in court more than any other president. His overall win rate is currently 17 percent, while past administrations generally won around 70 percent of cases. And even a reelected Trump is at risk of continuing to lose dramatically in court.

  • Obstacles Remain on Infrastructure Even If Democrats Sweep

    Democrats prioritized climate in the "Moving Forward Act," the $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that passed the House in July. That legislation, H.R. 2, included a $100 billion investment in low-emission mass transit and a $75 billion investment in clean energy. "I think H.R. 2 was a good step forward. I would imagine that if Biden is elected, there will be an attempt to use that as a starting point but incorporate some new concerns from the Biden platforms," said Derek Sylvan, strategy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law and the author of a recent report on federal infrastructure policy. And if Democrats maintain their majority in the House and reclaim control of the Senate, the climate provisions would be an easier sell, Sylvan said.

  • Report: Trump Half as Successful as Predecessors in Rules Challenges, Even with Republican-Appointed Judges

    President Donald Trump has won court cases challenging agency decisions by his administration 36% of the time when facing judges appointed by Republican presidents and panels of judges whose majority was made up of Republican appointees, according to a forthcoming analysis by NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity. Previous studies show that four of his predecessors, when also up against politically-aligned judges, won cases 64% to 84% of the time.

  • Trump Didn’t Build His Border Wall with Steel. He Built It Out of Paper.

    One might assume that Trump’s changes to the immigration system can be easily undone — particularly since they were put in place unilaterally through executive actions (and refusals to do the work of government). And the administration has an overwhelming record of legal failure, according to a database of major Trump regulatory actions maintained by the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University’s School of Law. In nearly every immigration case that has had some sort of resolution, a court either ruled against the agency or the relevant agency withdrew the action after being sued. Other regulatory actions would also likely be reversed by a new administration. But such reversals would happen slowly, if at all.

  • The Oil Industry Actually Hasn’t Done That Well Under Trump

    “If this ends up being a one-term administration, very little of the regulatory changes will stick,” said Richard Revesz, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University, which monitors lawsuits brought against all the administration’s departments. “The Trump administration has tried to do a lot, but it’s done it in an extraordinarily sloppy way.” According to the institute, courts with judges appointed by Democrats and Republicans have so far ruled against about 84 percent of the 90 energy and environmental regulations, guidance documents and other actions by the Trump administration.

  • Trump Re-Election Would Enable Defense, Expansion of EPA Rollbacks

    Environmentalists acknowledge a Trump re-election victory would mean new threats to regulation but might not guarantee success of poorly crafted deregulatory efforts. “The Trump administration’s record in defending these rollbacks has been really atrocious thus far,” Environmental Defense Fund attorney Tomás Carbonell said during the environmental law conference, citing a statistic from New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity that the administration has lost 83 percent of its legal fights to date with respect to deregulatory efforts across multiple federal agencies.

  • U.S. EPA Issues Final Rule Relaxing Air Permitting for Existing Power Plants

    The New York University School of Law's nonpartisan Institute for Policy Integrity also faulted the EPA for declining to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for the changes, noting that the agency cited the March 2018 guidance in claiming its proposed rule would not result in a change to existing regulations. "An agency cannot evade its responsibility to provide a reasoned explanation for a policy change — including a discussion of the relevant factor of cost — simply by announcing the change in a memorandum prior to codifying it in a regulation," the institute said.