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  • Coal ash update: Regulations make economic sense

    Real regulation of toxic ash from coal-fired power plants would not only protect the environment, but would make economic sense. That’s the conclusion of a new report issued today by New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • Are We Wishfully Seeing Green in Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor?

    Immediately after word came out that Sonia Sotomayor was the President’s pick for the Supreme Court, the environmental community (this author included) immediately went searching for the green angle. We found it in one decision: Riverkeeper v. EPA, which was seized upon as proof of Judge Sotomayor having a modicum of green cred. However, in a new Huffington Post piece Richard Revesz (dean of the NYU School of Law) and Michael Livermore (executive director of NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity) think the green community might be reading too much into things.

  • OPEC Punts, Al Gore Cribs, Obama Promises

    Be careful about reading too much into Sonia Sotomayor’s environmental leanings from one cost-benefits case, warn Richard Revesz and Michael Livermore in the Huffington post: “Some environmentalist have seized on the Riverkeeper opinion as proof that Sotomayor bleeds eco-green, while industry is afraid that she is insensitive to the costs imposed by green regulation. But both sides are misreading the Judge’s opinion.”

  • Sotomayor’s “Green” Decision

    Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s paper trail on the environment is slim, but one decision has drawn praise from environmentalists, and some concerns from business. In Riverkeeper v. EPA, Sotomayor wrote the opinion for the court of appeals. She found that the Clean Water Act prohibited EPA from conducting cost-benefit analysis when deciding whether to impose regulations at power plants that would protect fish, but have high costs for utility companies.

  • New CAFE standards keep the pressure on Congress to enact cap-and-trade

    Obama is going to start facing many more similar choices. Because the Mass. v. EPA ruling dealt with cars and light trucks, regulating those sources was naturally the first on the list. But this is only the first step. There are petitions on aircrafts, marine vessels, and fuels collecting dust that will need to be wrestled with. The President’s legal obligation to deal with these petitions will likely force additional greenhouse gas regulations into the pipeline in the near future.

  • Big oil’s lobbying spending up

    Is the increased spending working, though? Michael A. Livermore, executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University, says in TNR that by comparison to say, utilities, big oil is left out in the cold:

  • Is It Too Late To Go Back To 100% Auctions?

    But there is one major industry that Waxman and Markey have left out in the cold: Big Oil. Lobbyists for the oil industry are now running around Capitol Hill in panic because the bill hands out big subsidies to keep electricity prices down, but does nothing to subsidize gasoline consumption. Combine that with the Obama administration’s plans for tighter vehicle fuel-economy standards, and Big Oil appears to be on the ropes.

  • Murky reg-review process set stage for frenzy over OMB memo

    OMB and its regulatory review office are walking a fine line on transparency, said Michael Livermore, executive director of New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity. “It’s a good thing to have the public being able to be responsive to these kinds of interagency discussions,” Livermore said. But if agencies had to take full responsibility for anything they said, it could have a “chilling effect,” he added.

  • Cass Sunstein For Regulation Czar

    Sunstein is well known for his academic writings, which touch on everything from constitutional law to behavioral economics. His appointment to director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is a harbinger of the administration’s commitments—yes, we need to grow the economy, but sound economics need not conflict with smart regulation.

  • Hopes and fears for Senate confirmation hearings

    The Institute for Policy Integrity, on the other hand, endorses Professor Sunstein to head OIRA, arguing that cost-benefit analysis, if done in an unbiased way, could be used to support progressive environmental and public safety regulations.