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  • Climate Inaction Could Put Utilities in Legal Peril

    Utilities that address climate risks will see benefits in their bottom lines, said Justin Gundlach, a senior attorney at the New York University School of Law's Institute for Policy Integrity. "The fundamental point here is that it would be cheaper if they just looked at this hard and made prudent investments," he said.

  • Columbia Report Details How Federal Government Can Help Get Transmission Infrastructure Needed for Grid Decarbonization Built

    The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs has issued a paper, in partnership with the New York University School of Law's Institute for Policy Integrity, detailing how the federal government can enable the construction of the transmission infrastructure necessary to decarbonize the country’s power generation.

  • Granholm Faces Monumental DOE Clean Energy Challenge

    Transmission is an area where DOE watchers say they are hoping Granholm takes the lead. "In the absence of legislation, critical long-distance transmission can be developed by applying existing federal legal authorities," researchers said in a report this month out of NYU Law School's Institute for Policy Integrity and Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy. It pointed at a 2005 act establishing DOE's authority to advance "national interest" transmission projects as the critical lever.

  • FERC’s Clements: ‘Grave Threat’ of Climate Change Will ‘Underlie My Approach as a Commissioner’

    "To be clear, I don't read this as signaling that, given the chance, Clements would somehow make FERC into ‘an environmental regulator,'" said Justin Gundlach, senior attorney at the New York University School of Law's Institute for Policy Integrity. "I think her comment reflects a widely held view: climate change bears heavily on the energy sector in numerous ways, so if FERC is doing its job properly it can't ignore climate change."

  • New York Must Uproot Old Laws to Make Real Climate Progress

    • Justin Gundlach

    New York state is home to a nation-leading climate change law. But it is also home to long-standing legal frameworks that enable — and in some cases, encourage — the consumption of fossil fuels. Leaving these legacy frameworks in place could undermine New York's ability to implement its new climate law, and accomplish a safe and just managed transition away from fossil fuels. Other states should take note.

  • Utilities Should Be Required to Disclose Their Climate-Related Financial Risks

    • Justin Gundlach

    In a move that could blaze a trail to meaningful climate action nationwide, New York’s Public Service Commission, which is responsible for regulating that state’s utilities, is calling on them to disclose the financial risks they face due to climate change. Requiring utilities to develop and present this information would be a potent way to push a critically important sector of the economy to reveal and respond to the consequences of climate change — and to save consumers money along the way.

  • Message to Biden: Boost FERC, Expand Grid

    Policy analysts are urging President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration to use existing authority to expand the nation's electric grid and to consider boosting the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A study out of Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy and New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity focused on the need for more long-distance transmission capacity to ship carbon-free solar and wind power across the country.

  • How Biden Can Put the U.S. on a Path to Carbon-Free Electricity

    Congress enacted a law in 2005 that granted the Department of Energy the authority to designate “national interest electric transmission corridors” where new lines are needed, and it gave FERC authority to override state inaction on lines in these corridors. But this law has been ineffective, largely failing to speed up expansion of transmission lines. As shown in a report about to be issued by Columbia’s Center for Global Energy Policy and New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity, the law can and should be revived.

  • Carbon Pricing Would Make Electricity Markets Less Efficient

    FERC claims carbon pricing would improve the “efficiency” of wholesale markets but does not explain how. Fortunately, in March 2020, the left-leaning Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) published a 60-page report that clearly articulates the rationale underpinning the Commission’s proposal.

  • How One Obscure Federal Agency Is Clearing the Path for a U.S. Carbon Price

    As the prospects for a nationwide carbon price have waned, FERC has begun to change from a sleepy backwater to a central player in climate policy, said Jason Gundlach, a senior attorney at New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity who co-authored a report on carbon pricing. “There’s a recognition that FERC is going to be a major fulcrum in any energy transition policy,” he said.