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In the News

  • Clutching to Fossil Fuels, and Losing, in the Era of Climate Change

    • Jayni Foley Hein

    Together, these court decisions amount to a stunning defeat of the “energy dominance” agenda and reveal that the Trump administration cannot operate outside the bounds of the law.

  • In Trump vs. California, the State Is Winning Nearly All Its Environmental Cases

    Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director for the Institute for Policy Integrity, said agencies’ repeated violations of procedural rules only partially explain the losses. As the administration moved past its initial strategy of delaying the implementation of Obama administration policies and into the next phase of attempting to overhaul them, it has run into a different obstacle: It is legally required to provide reasons for changing course. “They have this big substantive problem where the rules are justified and they aren’t giving us a good reason for abandoning them,” Noll said. “An agency that wants to turn its back on that has a really tough job.”

  • Trump Drive to Boost Fossil Fuels Hits a Wall in Federal Courts

    The decision is a telling indication of rulings to come, as the first one targeting a final environmental repeal by the Trump administration, said Jayni Foley Hein, natural resources director at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity. “It’s emblematic of the challenges this administration has faced in trying to carry out the energy dominance agenda. When you are weakening or rolling back environmental standards, you’re going to be challenged in the court, and there are certain substantive and procedural hurdles you have to overcome in order to carry that out.”

  • Trump’s Offshore Oil-Drilling Plan Sidelined Indefinitely

    It was the latest setback for an administration that has repeatedly lost efforts to defend its deregulatory actions in court. It has lost roughly 95% of its deregulatory cases, according to data compiled by the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. That is three times the rate of most executive-branch agencies in prior administrations for similar actions in the courts.

  • Trump’s Regulatory ‘Whack-a-Mole’

    Despite its low success rate, the administration is actually winning — at least some of the time. That’s because the administration has learned to use delaying tactics to undermine and even repeal federal regulations it doesn’t like, even when judges rule against it in court.

  • An Overeager Legal Strategy May Endanger Trump’s Energy Goals

    Revesz said many of the court losses can be tied to a conundrum for the administration: If they complete scientific and thorough analysis to justify what they want to do, that work will show why their goal is harmful to the public. But if they complete haphazard analysis, judges will see through it. “So they’re caught between a rock and a hard place,” Revesz told CQ. “I think in some cases there is not good analysis that they could do, so they resort to bad analysis.”

  • How State Power Regulators Are Making Utilities Account for the Costs of Climate Change

    • Iliana Paul

    Every additional ton of the greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity contributes to climate change. This carbon pollution has many negative consequences, both to the physical world and also to global social and economic systems. But utilities don’t always tally the costs of these consequences. Because dealing with climate change is astronomically expensive, we believe that this should change.

  • Obama-Era Oil Leases Broke the Law by Not Assessing Climate Impact, Judge Rules

    “What this decision says is, in evaluating the environmental consequences of the lease, an agency has to look not just at the consequences of the impacts immediately surrounding the lease but also the consequences down the road of burning the fuel once it’s extracted,” said Richard L. Revesz, an expert on environmental law at New York University. “That’s enormously important.”

  • The Real Reason the Trump Administration Is Constantly Losing in Court

    Two-thirds of the cases accuse the Trump administration of violating the Administrative Procedure Act, a nearly 73-year-old law that forms the primary bulwark against arbitrary rule. The normal “win rate” for the government in such cases is about 70 percent, according to analysts and studies. But as of mid-January, a database maintained by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law shows Trump’s win rate at about 6 percent.

  • Trump’s Changes to Title X Put the Health of Low-Income Women in Danger

    • Jack Lienke

    The Department of Health and Human Services’ new rule was accompanied by an assessment of its probable costs and benefits. Conspicuously absent from the tally: any acknowledgment of harms that the rule will impose on low-income women by reducing their access to affordable healthcare.