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  • Climate Denialism and a Transparent About-Face on Presidential Power

    Over the past two weeks, plaintiffs and their amici have filed merits briefs in the social cost of greenhouse gases litigation in the Fifth Circuit. These briefs leave much to unpack — and much to be desired. The lawsuit, filed by Louisiana attorney general Jeff Landry and nine other Republican state attorneys general, seeks to shut down the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and prohibit government agencies from using the best available science to weigh the economic costs of climate change.

  • ‘My Anxiety Spikes’: Lawyers Brace for Supreme Court Climate Ruling

    “Everyone around this office has been anxiously hunched over their computer at 10 a.m. hitting refresh over and over again at the 10-minute mark to see what our fate will be,” said Jack Lienke. “I don't quite understand why it's done this way, in which the opinions are released every 10 minutes,” he added. “It creates a lot of suspense.” Environmental lawyers and climate activists across the country have been bracing for the Supreme Court's ruling in West Virginia v. EPA.

  • In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court Will Decide Whether We Act on Climate Change

    “Normally courts review actual regulations, and there is no regulation to review right now,” New York University law professor and environmental law expert Ricky Revesz told CNN. “Whatever the court does will involve speculation, and courts don’t normally—they stress this—give advisory opinions. That’s not what courts do.” The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on West Virginia v. EPA this week, potentially deciding the future of the federal government’s ability to limit the effects of climate change—or even to address the looming climate disaster at all. Here’s what you need to know. 

  • ‘Stomach-Churning Mornings’: Lawyers Await SCOTUS Climate Case

    “No decision today,” wrote Jack Lienke, regulatory policy director of New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, on Twitter yesterday. “More stomach-churning mornings ahead.” Environmental lawyers this week are greeting each Supreme Court opinion day with a mix of anticipation and dread — hearts pounding, stomachs flipping — as the justices get ready to issue their ruling in the blockbuster EPA climate battle. The court, which is likely in its last week of opinion releases, issued three decisions in 10-minute intervals starting at 10 a.m. yesterday. None of them was West Virginia v. EPA, which could curb the federal government’s power to regulate climate and other key issues.

  • EPA, Reversing Trump, Will Restore States’ Power to Block Pipelines

    The Biden administration on Thursday will move to restore authority to states and tribes to veto gas pipelines, coal terminals and other energy projects if they would pollute local rivers and streams, reversing a Trump-era rule that had curtailed that power. Richard L. Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University, said he did not believe the actions by the Biden administration would affect prices at the pump, since the Trump administration’s limits would remain in place until the Biden rule is finalized, most likely next year. “Keeping the Trump rule in place is not going to keep gas prices low, and removing the Trump rule is not going to raise gas prices,” he said.

  • Professors See Risks In EPA Bid For Authority To Weigh Cumulative Effects

    Richard Revesz, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University Law School, says EPA has authority to require cumulative impacts assessments under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and anywhere it is required to “look at the consequences of its policies,” such as when it conducts a regulatory impact assessment including costs and benefits.

  • How Can Community Campaigns Leverage Regulatory Comments & Complaints?

    Carefully orchestrated comment and complaint campaigns can be a powerful, low-risk tool at communities’ disposal, and the organizers and lawyers convened by the Critical Legal Empowerment conference provide important insight into how to get the most out of them.

  • Two Steps Toward Clean Transit Equity

    As the Federal Transit Administration and its partners roll out electric transit across the country, the agency should ensure that its Title VI guidelines for funding recipients explicitly require nondiscrimination in the distribution and routing of such clean vehicles. FTA should also implement the appropriate reporting requirements to effectively monitor the distribution of electric vehicles and their air quality benefits. These recommendations are discussed in more detail in our comments to the agency.

  • What the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Can Do to Address Environmental Justice

    Policy Integrity’s comments make two categories of recommendations: (1) improving public participation, and (2) improving analysis.

  • How EPA Can Take a Step Forward on Environmental Justice

    But what would serious distributional analysis look like? As we explained in our recent comments on EPA’s Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2026, serious distributional analysis requires that an agency consider the distributional consequences of multiple regulatory alternatives.