Institute for Policy Integrity logo

In the News

Viewing all news in Environmental, Energy & Climate Justice
  • US Supreme Court Curtails Federal Authority to Limit Power Plant GHGs Through Fuel Switching

    The US Supreme Court rejected the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s authority to curb power plant GHG emissions by switching fuels to renewable sources of power or lower-emitting natural gas. 

    New York University School of Law Professor and Dean Emeritus Richard Revesz expressed relief that the court allowed EPA to retain its authority to regulate GHG emissions although the decision is a "significant setback" for environmental protection and public health safeguards. "No party in this case challenged that authority, which is granted by the Clean Air Act. This case challenged only the form of the regulation. The EPA still has avenues to address power sector greenhouse gas emissions, which it must do to meet its statutory obligations to regulate air pollutants that adversely affect public health and welfare," he added in a statement issued by the NYU School of Law's Institute for Policy Integrity. Revesz filed a friend-of-the court brief in support of EPA's stance in the case.

  • Supreme Court Hamstrings Federal Efforts to Clean Up US Power Sector

    The Supreme Court has sharply limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to mandate greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the country’s power generation sector. The move could curb future actions from the Biden administration to combat a core driver of climate change. "At the same time, Thursday’s decision could open the door for polluting industries to mount much broader attacks challenging how federal agencies interpret laws designed to protect the public from the harms those industries cause", said Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law. 

  • Supreme Court Curbs EPA’s Authority to Fight Climate Change

    The decision complicates efforts to fight climate change by preventing wide-ranging actions under the Clean Air Act. “But the EPA retains the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including from power plants," said Richard Revesz. "No party in this case challenged that authority, which is granted by the Clean Air Act. This case challenged only the form of the regulation. The EPA still has avenues to address power sector greenhouse gas emissions, which it must do to meet its statutory obligations to regulate air pollutants that adversely affect public health and welfare.”

  • Conservative Justices Limit the EPA’s Power to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    KALW Radio will discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on EPA’s power to force power plants to cut down their carbon pollution: how will this ruling impact President Biden’s climate agenda, including plans to decarbonize the energy grid by 2035? Jack Lienke, regulatory policy director of the Institute for Policy Integrity, will be a speaker.

  • 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.