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  • Climate Week Ahead: White House Official Talks NEPA; Oil Firms Chart Lower-Carbon Path

    New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity and the Energy Department (DOE) are hosting a May 11-12 conference to bolster steps to “help make deep decarbonization efforts more consistent with the tenets of energy justice.” Speakers include Shalanda Baker, DOE’s deputy director for energy justice.

  • Why A Tool for Reversing Trump Era Rules is Seldom Used

    CRA, aka the Congressional Review Act, became law in 1996 to provide a mechanism through which the U.S. Congress could repeal recently adopted Executive Branch rules and regulations, with simple majority votes in both the House and the Senate. Professor Richard Revesz of New York University School of Law has a different take on things. “It would be wrong … to say that this result [meaning the limited use of the CRA] confirms Democratic antipathy to the CRA,” Revesz has written. “Quite to the contrary, for the first time in its history, the CRA was invoked to disapprove regulations promulgated by a prior Republican administration. And the Biden administration found ways to rid itself of the five offending regulations [that Revesz had previously highlighted as particularly egregious] without needing to avail itself of either the CRA or of lengthy notice-and-comment rulemaking.”

  • 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.

  • Has Biden Ditched the Environment?

    It is one thing to sell leases, but getting an oil rig online takes a long time. “Developers already have vast reserves of both productive and currently undeveloped fossil-fuel leases, and any leases that occur today are unlikely to produce oil for many years,” says Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity. “There is considerable value in curtailing fossil-fuel leasing now and preserving the option to lease or not lease in the future,” he adds.

  • Democracy Can Lead to Climate Change Solutions, But it May Be Up to States to Act First

    What is standing in the way of democracy doing what it is supposed to do to represent demands of the majority by adopting aggressive climate action? Panelists at ASU's conference on democracy and climate change last week say it might be the U.S. Constitution. Richard Revesz, a professor at the New York University School of Law and director of the American Law Institute, said during last Tuesday's panel that the elephant in the room is something that "is not really a constitutional doctrine, but is informed by constitutional ideas." "The current real challenge to climate change regulation is something that we've never thought of as a serious thing until a few years ago, called the major questions doctrine," Revesz said.

  • Time Is Running Out for Biden’s EPA to Act on Climate

    In making new policy, the EPA needs to exercise a lot of caution: It’s important that the agency checks all its boxes in putting forward new regulations to ensure they aren’t just overturned by the next Republican president. “The Trump administration had this huge loss rate in court for its rollbacks in part because it skipped a lot of those steps and did a lot of terrible analysis,” NYU Law’s regulatory policy director Jack Lienke said. “An agency can’t seem to be doing anything too ambitious or novel,” Lienke explained. “Agencies have to do even more in terms of building up an incredibly detailed record, cataloging exactly why they have authority to do this, and why the benefits of doing it outweigh the costs. They’re up against a more hostile judiciary.”

  • California Wants to Lead the World on Climate Policy

    The Trump administration revoked California’s waiver in 2019, arguing that it should not set standards for other states. The decision was the most serious manifestation of President Donald Trump’s resentment of California’s environmental leadership, says Richard Revesz of New York University.

  • Report: Gas Stove Emissions Are Dangerous, Need Federal Regs

    Environmental lawyers are urging federal officials to do more to protect the public from gas stoves' emissions, saying the pollution is dangerous and not adequately regulated. In a new report, researchers at the Institute for Policy Integrity said the stoves should be sold with warning labels similar to those on portable generators warning of carbon monoxide poisoning, the authors said. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) should also start public education campaigns about the dangers of stove emissions, they added. "Something needs to be done. We know that [gas stoves] are dangerous. You can't just ignore it," said Laura Figueroa, a co-author of the report and a legal fellow at the institute. "The CPSC ... is in a position to address these dangers, and we think they should take action," she added.

  • FERC Issues 1st Proposal out of Transmission Proceeding

    FERC on Thursday proposed changing transmission planning and cost allocation processes in the first in what may be a series of initiatives to help build out the grid in response to electrification and the shift to renewable generation. Sarah Ladin, senior attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity, said the proposal was “a modest but important step toward more efficient planning that can facilitate decarbonization.”

  • CEQ Says Critics Fail To Justify Claims NEPA Rule Will Delay Key Projects

    Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney at the New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, praises the changes CEQ made in the rule, noting they restore “several key NEPA requirements in place for over 40 years starting in 1978, in the form they were in.” It also removes “provisions that were added in 2020 that not only would have weakened environmental review but also were in violation of the statute . . . and how it was interpreted by the courts.” Sarinsky expects facial litigation over the phase 1 rule but notes challengers may face standing and ripeness hurdles as environmental groups did in seeking to challenge the 2020 rule.