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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • FERC Moves On Transmission Rules; EPA Mulls Existing Gas Plant Input

    The Institute for Policy Integrity hosts a May 13 webinar featuring researchers discussing their work on energy access and equity.

  • Transmission Planning for the Energy Transition and the Economics of Coordination

    A recent peer-reviewed academic paper on transmission planning modeling (two Policy Integrity members are among the authors) has important implications for ongoing policy conversations around grid expansion. The authors’ study method exploits the idea of coordinated planning of several interrelated parts. In their model, the moving parts are transmission (onshore and offshore) as well as generation and storage capacity, and the whole system is co-planned. The paper’s focus is on holistic transmission planning (with case studies for the ISO-NE and PJM grids) that includes accounting for negative environmental externalities. The key takeaways from this paper can help inform ongoing transmission planning policy conversations.

  • Can New York’s Cap and Invest Program Address Environmental Justice?

    To help achieve the state’s ambitious GHG emission reduction targets, New York is preparing to propose its own version of a cap-and-trade program called New York Cap and Invest. But if New York is to successfully comply with the CLCPA, it cannot rely on New York Cap and Invest alone. New York will need a well-designed scheme of programs and regulatory mechanisms to not only reduce GHG emissions but to also ensure that disadvantaged communities see real air quality improvements. 

  • The Road Ahead for New York Cap-and-Invest: Too Many GHG Emissions?

    If NYCI’s price on GHG emissions will not unlock the necessary emissions reductions for the CLCPA’s first compliance deadline (2030), DEC, NYSERDA, and other state agencies must act immediately to deploy complementary programs that make up the difference. But the state has provided little evidence of such action — and 2030 is nearly upon us. New York must change tack now.

  • EPA Rules That Limit Pollution From Coal-burning Power Plants Are Long Overdue

    The Clean Air Act requires that a best system of emissions reduction must be “adequately demonstrated.” Courts have interpreted this phrase to include options that are forward-looking and “technology-forcing”—meaning that the standards may not be achievable today, but information available now shows they will be achievable in the future.

  • Coal’s Out. Clean Power’s In. Maybe

    Unlike former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Biden’s regulation drills down on carbon emissions at the power plant level, which legal experts say may save it from a similar fate before the Supreme Court. “EPA’s new rule sticks to its plain vanilla, long-standing approach to reduce emissions through systems that help a source operate more cleanly,” said Dena Adler with the New York University School of Law.

  • EPA Defends ‘Forward-Looking’ Power Plant GHG Standards Based On CCS

    Industry lawyers last fall raised concerns about EPA’s reliance on those D.C. Circuit cases -- including arguing that they do not apply to existing sources. However, New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity in a recent issue brief argues federal courts have repeatedly affirmed that technology does not have to be in widespread use to be “adequately demonstrated,” and that standards may be forward looking.

  • Specter of Supreme Court Smackdown Looms Over Biden Climate Rule

    "At bottom, the Clean Power Plan essentially adopted a cap-and-trade scheme, or set of state cap-and-trade schemes, for carbon," Roberts wrote. "Congress, however, has consistently rejected proposals to amend the Clean Air Act to create such a program." The Biden rule, however, takes an entirely different approach, said Dena Adler, a senior attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law. “EPA’s new rule sticks to its plain vanilla, long-standing approach to reduce emissions through systems that help a source operate more cleanly,” she said.