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In the News

  • Kinder, Gentler Cost-Benefit Analysis

    January 12, 2009 – The Volokh Conspiracy

    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?

    January 11, 2009 – The New Republic’s The Vine Blog

    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.

  • Bush Pushes ‘Midnight Rules’ to Support Companies as Term Ends

    January 8, 2009 – Bloomberg

    “Given the unpopularity of the current administration, and the thin support for these new rules, I can see Congress acting on a handful of them,’‘ said Mike Livermore, executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity, which studies regulations at New York University’s School of Law.

  • Without Carbon Pricing Any Green Energy Plan Is Fundamentally Incomplete

    December 19, 2008 – Treehugger

    Whether its in the form of a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, some form of carbon pricing is essential to stimulate development of the low carbon technologies which will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and stimulate economic growth, a new briefing from the Institute for Policy Integrity at the NYU School of Law says.

  • Carbon Price Essential if “Green” Stimulus to Have Desired Effect, Experts Say

    December 16, 2008 – TriplePundit

    When it comes to making the transition to a ‘green,’ low carbon economy, government stimulus plans are doubly beneficial, but public sector investment and spending alone will not be enough to spur decisive action and a long-term commitment.

  • Economists see ‘cap and dividend’ program spurring economy

    December 16, 2008 – E&E News PM

    Long-term efforts to create ‘green’ jobs and infrastructure will not succeed without a real price on greenhouse gas emissions, a New York University think tank charges in a new report. President-elect Barack Obama has proposed a mandatory, economywide emissions cap to cut carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases 80 percent by 2050. The policy would auction pollution credits to electric utilities and other major emitters to meet the cap.

  • Bush’s midnight regulations could have long-lasting impact

    December 9, 2008 – Minnesota Public Radio’s The Midmorning Program

    Following a pattern set in previous transitions, the Bush administration is approving controversial new regulations that would affect federal laws governing the environment, reproductive health, and the workplace, among others. The timing of the approvals would make it harder for the incoming administration to undo these regulations.

  • Attempting to un-vex the vexing subject of cap-and-dividend

    December 8, 2008 – Grist

    I was on a conference call earlier this week focused on cap-and-dividend. (You can download the MP3.)

    C&D, if you don’t recall, is a kind of hybrid cap-and-trade/carbon tax developed by Peter Barnes. A fee would be levied on fossil fuels; the revenue would be refunded to citizens on an equal per capita basis. (Imagine the Alaska Permanent Fund on a much larger scale.)

  • Obama will undo Bush’s 11th-hour mischief upon taking office

    December 5, 2008 –

    According to Michael A. Livermore, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, the list of proposed 11th hour action by the Bush White House include expanding mountaintop mining.

  • A Truly Green Economics

    December 2, 2008 –

    On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Entergy v. EPA, a case that pits environmentalists seeking strong clean water protections against industry and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. But beyond the basic facts of the case is the bigger issue of how to use cost-benefit analysis when setting environmental policy.