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In the News

  • Clean Car Standards Rollback Is ‘Arbitrary and Capricious’

    The Trump administration’s recent rollback of Clean Car Standards relies on a significant number of obvious analytical flaws and provides a textbook example of the type of “arbitrary and capricious” conduct prohibited by the Administrative Procedure Act.

  • Trump’s Auto Rollback Will Eliminate 13,500 Jobs

    “Accepting the administration’s own numbers—and some of them are highly suspect, and most are just wrong, but accepting the numbers upfront—the rule is net costly,” Richard Revesz, the Lawrence King Professor of Law at NYU, told me. He is director of the university’s Institute for Policy Integrity. “This rule is actually causing deaths, even under their analysis.”

  • Trump’s Clean Car Standards Rollback Is Based on Too Many Lies to Count

    • Avi Zevin
    • Richard L. Revesz

    The Trump administration significantly weakened the most important existing regulation limiting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions: the “Clean Car Standards,” which were also set to save consumers billions of dollars by making new cars and trucks use less fuel. If the administration’s track record is any indication, the courts are likely to see through the manipulation involved. But in the meantime, the end result will be substantial economic, climate, and public health harms.

  • Trump Administration Weakens Auto Emissions Standards

    “The rollback of the vehicle emissions standards is based on analysis that is shoddy even by the shockingly unprofessional standards of Trump-era deregulation,” said Richard Revesz of the Institute for Policy Integrity and dean emeritus at New York University School of Law.

  • Staff Scientists: Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Find Opposition Within

    When the civil servants were directed to undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan and create a more coal-friendly version, some of those who remained at the EPA made sure the documents accompanying the proposed replacement included the fact that increased coal pollution would cause 1,400 new premature deaths a year. The EPA later deleted the number from the final rule, but Richard Revesz, an expert on environmental law at New York University, said it would still play a role in the legal fight against the rollback. “That number was a devastatingly bad conclusion for the administration,” he said.

  • Coronavirus Doesn’t Slow Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks

    With an election looming, the urgency of completing regulations is real. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can overturn a regulation or federal rule within 60 days of it being finalized. If Democrats win control of the White House and Senate in November, and keep control of the House, any rule completed after late May or early June would be vulnerable. “The administration understands the electoral map has turned against it,” said Richard Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University.

  • Regulatory Rollbacks Have Changed the Nature of Presidential Power

    • Bethany A. Davis Noll
    • Richard L. Revesz

    Using three instruments—Congressional Review Act disapprovals, requests that courts hold in abeyance pending cases challenging Obama-era regulations, and suspensions of final regulations—the Trump Administration was able to reach a far greater proportion of regulations than would have been possible under prior practices. And in this way, the Trump Administration has ushered in a new era of aggressive regulatory rollbacks that is likely to become an enduring feature of American politics and to radically change the nature of the presidency.

  • Donald Trump’s Toolkit: The Office of Management and Budget

    Some take issue with how Mr. Trump’s OIRA, which sits within OMB, conducts cost-benefit analysis of regulations. Richard Revesz of NYU Law School argues that in its deregulatory zeal, the Trump administration has “made a mockery of cost-benefit analysis [by] weighing broader indirect costs [of regulation], and insisting on ignoring any indirect benefits”. In delaying Obama-era environmental regulations, for instance, he argues that the administration has ignored or downplayed unquantified benefits, such as long-term improvements to air and water quality, while overstating the costs of compliance to industry.

  • Trump’s Response to Legal Defeats Suggests He’s Often a Paper Tiger

    Dozens of rule-makings have been rejected by courts as “arbitrary and capricious,” a phrase that denotes violations of the federal Administrative Procedures Act. “The agencies are really falling down on that front,” says Bethany A. Davis Noll, litigation director at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity. The institute’s database shows that the Trump administration has lost 66 of the 71 cases in which its deregulatory or policy initiatives have been challenged in court.

  • When Safety Rules on Oil Drilling Were Changed, Some Staff Objected. Those Notes Were Cut.

    As the offshore oil industry’s federal regulator completed its overhaul of a major well-drilling safety rule in 2018, Scott Angelle, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, told a staff engineer to delete language from memos showing that the changes would contradict guidance from the agency’s own engineers. The internal correspondence could prove a liability, as environmental groups challenge the agency’s rationale for its decision. “What these communications show is that the agency was not relying on expertise,” said Richard Revesz, dean emeritus of New York University School of Law and an expert on environmental and regulatory legal matters. “It was making a political decision that went against the advice of the experts and the experts were being sidelined.”