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  • Full Agenda at FERC

    Other items on FERC's agenda: a rehearing request regarding FERC's approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate expansion permit; a rehearing request from Sierra Club on a Sabal Trail compression station permit; and a permit decision on a pipeline expansion that would feed the Sabine Pass LNG plant. That one includes a challenge from the Institute for Policy Integrity, which wants to know why the commission did not include downstream greenhouse gas impacts of the pipelines.

  • Will Environmental Rules Hurt Canada’s Level of Investment?

    Peter Howard, economics director at New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity: "Policymakers should not abandon longterm climate and air pollution goals, which produce benefits over multiple generations, every time the economy slows down in the short run. Instead, they should weigh the social benefits and costs. In doing so, they will frequently find that carbon-intensive industries, such as coal and oil-sand extraction, are net costly for society when considering the welfare of all Canadians."

  • ‘Billions of Dollars in Climate Harm’: Green Groups Seek Rehearing of Rio Grande LNG Redesign Approval

    A coalition of South Texas community groups and environmental organiztions has challenged U.S. federal regulators' decision last month to approve a scaled-down Rio Grande LNG facility. The suit filed in June has attracted interest from outside groups, with New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity submitting an amicus brief.

  • FERC’s Carbon Blind Spot

    According to Bethany Davis Noll and Burcin Unel of the Institute for Policy Integrity, the Commission has embraced “market efficiency” as the primary measure of just and reasonable rates. It relies on market mechanisms to set wholesale energy prices, and its regulatory agenda is mainly aimed at promoting competition and economic efficiency in energy markets. The problem, Davis Noll and Unel say, is that energy markets have completely failed to account for the environmental and social cost of carbon emissions. Given FERC’s obsession with promoting economic efficiency, its reluctance to address such a glaring inefficiency is puzzling, Davis Noll and Unel argue. Like others before them, they suggest that an agency-imposed surcharge on the wholesale price of high-carbon energy—a “carbon adder”—could be a workable fix.

  • Trump Administration Can’t Slash Fuel Efficiency Penalties

    The Trump administration can’t roll back a penalty imposed on car manufacturers that fail to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, the Second Circuit ruled Monday. “This ruling ensures that NHTSA and the automakers it regulates are held accountable for actions that are harmful to the public,” said Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the Institute for Policy Integrity, which submitted a brief in the case.

  • Court Scraps Lower Fines for Polluters

    In a win for environmentalists, a federal court struck down a Trump administration rule that lowered penalties for polluting car companies. The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, whose analysis found that the reduced penalties would effectively lower average vehicle fuel economy by 5 mpg by 2032, filed an amicus brief in the case. "This ruling ensures that NHTSA and the automakers it regulates are held accountable for actions that are harmful to the public," Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the institute, said in a statement. "With this decision, NHTSA's rule joins the ever-growing list of legal losses for the Trump administration."

  • Democrats Could Target These 4 Trump Rules

    A handful of Trump administration environmental rules could be the first on the chopping block under a Biden administration and a Democratic Congress. Actions on methane emissions, the National Environmental Policy Act, cost-benefit analyses and an EPA science rule may die under the Congressional Review Act, experts say. "The Trump Administration's successful use of the Congressional Review Act demonstrates that it is a powerful option for any President whose party also controls both branches of Congress," wrote regulatory experts Bethany Davis Noll and Richard Revesz in The Regulatory Review. "And the threat of a Congressional Review Act disapproval now hangs over any new President, putting pressure on agencies to finalize important rules before the summer prior to an election."

  • Energy Transition, Distributed Energy Resources, and the Need for Information

    This podcast—featuring Dr. Burcin Unel, Energy Policy Director at the Institute for Policy Integrity—discusses how information, or lack thereof, can affect the cost-effectiveness of the transition to a clean and distributed energy future. It then outlines how new modeling tools that can take into account information asymmetries can help policymakers design better policies.

  • How New Jersey Can Still Meet Its Clean-Transportation Goals

    • Matt Butner
    • Justin Gundlach

    New Jersey has recently taken some important steps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and other pollution from the transportation sector, but these efforts face a new potential roadblock as the coronavirus has sent the state budget into free fall. Exploding state expenditures, diminished tax revenue, and jarring transitions in the labor force all foretell that the state will have a hard time meeting its goals for decarbonization. To close this fiscal gap and make transportation investments that will benefit nearly every resident, New Jersey’s leadership should look to a program being developed by about a dozen states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: the Transportation and Climate Initiative.

  • EPA Touts Winning Record, but Some Attorneys Dispute Its Numbers

    The EPA’s top lawyer is trumpeting the agency’s success rate in court, saying it’s won two-thirds of “significant” environmental cases during the Trump administration. But the assertion, made by the agency’s general counsel, Matthew Z. Leopold, clashes with—and also comes in response to—other tallies showing judges have largely sided with the EPA’s state and environmental adversaries. A New York University Institute for Policy Integrity analysis, for example, lists just nine EPA wins out of 47 regulatory cases tracked. Policy Integrity's litigation director Bethany Davis Noll, who oversees the institute’s tracker, said the EPA’s list had nearly two dozen cases that she had left off because they were either duplicative, still pending, not focused on Trump-era actions, or resolved on procedural grounds rather than on the merits.