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  • Agencies Seek Early Mitigation For Disparate Impacts In NEPA Reviews

    In a report issued late last month, the Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) at New York University urged agencies to prioritize equity consideration across federal regulations. The Sept. 30 report, “Making Regulations Fair: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Promote Equity and Advance [EJ],” recommends rigorous guidance on assessing and weighing the distributional impacts of regulations. “This insufficient analysis is an enormous obstacle in the effort to make policies, environmental and otherwise, fair for all communities,” IPI says in a release on the report.

  • FERC Hears Support for Proactive Transmission Planning, With Caveats

    Policy Integrity claimed that existing ties between neighboring systems operated by MISO and the Southwest Power Pool demonstrated the value of interregional transmission during a deadly mid-February cold weather event. Those ties allowed customers in the MISO and SPP footprints to avoid widespread blackouts, while the siloed grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas Inc. flirted with complete collapse.

  • In First, EPA Asks State To Weigh New Plant Site To Avoid Disparate Impacts

    EPA is urging Michigan regulators to consider asking an asphalt company to move its planned facility to a different location rather than building it in an already-overburdened community, a first-time request in an air permit review that underscores agency efforts to address civil rights and other environmental justice (EJ) concerns. Max Sarinsky of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University praises EPA for “wisely recommend[ing] consideration of alternatives that would avoid causing disparate impacts on environmental justice communities.”

  • Symposium on Michael Livermore and Richard Revesz’s “Reviving Rationality”

    Prof. Daniel Farber weighed in with a post titled "Regulatory Analysis in Unsettled Times," writing that "CBA can most effectively be defended as a guardrail against bad decisions rather than a monorail to ideal ones." Prof. Amy Sinden's piece contends that CBA is often not the most effective tool in situations with data gaps and unquantified benefits, while Prof. Caroline Cecot writes, "Critics attack CBA simultaneously for being easy to manipulate, anti/pro-regulatory, not transparent, & persistently net costly for some groups—but their preferred alternatives all perform worse by these same measures."

  • EPA Power Plant Rules Could Be Part of Bigger Initiative

    Richard Revesz, a New York University Law School professor who was discussed as a possible Biden pick for EPA administrator, said one option would be for EPA to roll out several rules as an “umbrella proceeding." “Typically EPA has done [rulemakings] sort of one at a time and the government has done them one at a time, but one could sort of think of this as a whole-of-government package so that the power sector could be regulated in an intelligent way that reduces the cost of the regulation and increases the environmental benefits,” Revesz said.

  • Federal Officials Link Climate Change Concerns to North Jersey Gas Pipeline Compressors

    Federal officials have tied a certain, yet undefined concern over climate change impact to a proposal to develop and upgrade natural gas compressor stations in North Jersey. Attorneys representing New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity claim the staff's assessment regarding climate change fails to aid in a meaningful review of the public benefits of the project. The attorneys said the climate damage costs if the stations run continuously could total more than $131 million a year based on estimates from the federal government's Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases.

  • How Biden’s NEPA Plan Could Change the Energy Sector

    The cases challenging the Trump NEPA rules aimed to ensure that agencies would continue to assess factors such as the cumulative and indirect impacts of major projects like pipelines. "The cases are presumably not moot, because this is not a full rollback," said Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law.

  • FERC Chair Glick Calls for Tougher Reviews of Natural Gas Projects as Commission Staff Reject EPA Advice

    FERC staff said issues like the social cost of carbon methodology, how the commission decides if a project is needed and what a "significant" amount of GHG emissions is are being tackled in the agency's broad review of its gas policy, and it is inappropriate for staff to consider them in the East 300 Upgrade EIS. The EIS underscores how important it is for FERC to change its policy statement on natural gas infrastructure, according to Max Sarinsky, a senior attorney with New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • Economists Hope Improved Data Will Strengthen Climate Policy

    More granular data and improved computing power are allowing economists to refine their climate change predictions — and, they hope, influence policy, said experts during a Climate Week NYC panel hosted by the New York University School of Law's Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • The Climate Costs of Keeping Line 5 Open Would Be Very High

    According to the analysis, the tunnel project and pipeline could contribute an additional 27 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere annually, and generate $41 billion in climate damages between 2027 and 2070. The testimony was provided by Peter Erickson, a senior scientist and climate policy director for the Stockholm Environment Institute, as well as by Peter Howard, an economic policy expert at New York University’s School of Law.