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  • Environmental, Public Interest Groups Seek Stricter EPA Lead Regulation

    Environmental and public interest groups are using meetings with White House Office of Management & Budget and EPA officials to reiterate their push for the agency to tighten its pending revisions to the lead and copper drinking water rule, including seeking quicker replacement of lead pipes and a new analysis of the rule’s benefits. The environmental group Clean Water Action met with OMB and EPA officials Sept. 4, and New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity non-partisan think tank met with the officials Aug. 28.

  • FERC’s Carbon Blind Spot

    According to Bethany Davis Noll and Burcin Unel of the Institute for Policy Integrity, the Commission has embraced “market efficiency” as the primary measure of just and reasonable rates. It relies on market mechanisms to set wholesale energy prices, and its regulatory agenda is mainly aimed at promoting competition and economic efficiency in energy markets. The problem, Davis Noll and Unel say, is that energy markets have completely failed to account for the environmental and social cost of carbon emissions. Given FERC’s obsession with promoting economic efficiency, its reluctance to address such a glaring inefficiency is puzzling, Davis Noll and Unel argue. Like others before them, they suggest that an agency-imposed surcharge on the wholesale price of high-carbon energy—a “carbon adder”—could be a workable fix.

  • Administration Reviewing 50 Major Projects for Environmental Waivers

    The Natural Resources Defense Council noted, “Nothing in NEPA gives the president the authority to side-step the environmental review and public participation the statute requires.” New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity added that any exemptions allowed are for “true emergencies” that threaten lives and that it is “an enormous stretch to claim the economic crisis from COVID-19 fits.”

  • Trump Administration Can’t Slash Fuel Efficiency Penalties

    The Trump administration can’t roll back a penalty imposed on car manufacturers that fail to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, the Second Circuit ruled Monday. “This ruling ensures that NHTSA and the automakers it regulates are held accountable for actions that are harmful to the public,” said Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the Institute for Policy Integrity, which submitted a brief in the case.

  • Court Scraps Lower Fines for Polluters

    In a win for environmentalists, a federal court struck down a Trump administration rule that lowered penalties for polluting car companies. The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, whose analysis found that the reduced penalties would effectively lower average vehicle fuel economy by 5 mpg by 2032, filed an amicus brief in the case. "This ruling ensures that NHTSA and the automakers it regulates are held accountable for actions that are harmful to the public," Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the institute, said in a statement. "With this decision, NHTSA's rule joins the ever-growing list of legal losses for the Trump administration."

  • Democrats Could Target These 4 Trump Rules

    A handful of Trump administration environmental rules could be the first on the chopping block under a Biden administration and a Democratic Congress. Actions on methane emissions, the National Environmental Policy Act, cost-benefit analyses and an EPA science rule may die under the Congressional Review Act, experts say. "The Trump Administration's successful use of the Congressional Review Act demonstrates that it is a powerful option for any President whose party also controls both branches of Congress," wrote regulatory experts Bethany Davis Noll and Richard Revesz in The Regulatory Review. "And the threat of a Congressional Review Act disapproval now hangs over any new President, putting pressure on agencies to finalize important rules before the summer prior to an election."

  • EPA Touts Winning Record, but Some Attorneys Dispute Its Numbers

    The EPA’s top lawyer is trumpeting the agency’s success rate in court, saying it’s won two-thirds of “significant” environmental cases during the Trump administration. But the assertion, made by the agency’s general counsel, Matthew Z. Leopold, clashes with—and also comes in response to—other tallies showing judges have largely sided with the EPA’s state and environmental adversaries. A New York University Institute for Policy Integrity analysis, for example, lists just nine EPA wins out of 47 regulatory cases tracked. Policy Integrity's litigation director Bethany Davis Noll, who oversees the institute’s tracker, said the EPA’s list had nearly two dozen cases that she had left off because they were either duplicative, still pending, not focused on Trump-era actions, or resolved on procedural grounds rather than on the merits.

  • Amid Our Coronavirus Crisis, GOP Convention Doubles Down on Individual Liberty

    Trump Jr. delivered a forceful indictment: "The other party is attacking the very principles on which our nation was founded: Freedom of thought. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The rule of law.” Never mind that the Trump administration has been forced to reverse course more than 100 times after being sued for violating the rule of law, according to the New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • How Biden Could Thwart Trump’s Arctic Push

    The decadeslong fight over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is nowhere near over, despite the Interior Department taking a big step Monday toward allowing development. "[P]laintiffs will almost certainly seek a preliminary injunction in court to stop any sale from going forward. And a new administration could decline to defend the ROD in court," Jayni Foley Hein tells Axios in an email. "Second, it seems very likely that a Biden administration could seek to reopen the [National Environmental Policy Act] analysis, and it could also decline to issue permits to drill based on flaws in the ROD and underlying analysis," says Hein, who is with NYU's Institute for Policy Integrity.

  • Environmental Groups Urge Court to Uphold Stay Of WOTUS In Colorado

    Environmental and academic groups are urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to uphold a lower court’s stay of the Trump administration’s waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The Institute for Policy Integrity uses its Aug. 11 amicus brief to take aim at the rule's economic analysis. "Time after time, the economic analysis relies on irrational and ill-informed assumptions, violates regulatory guidance and precedent, and makes claims about water connectivity that are inconsistent with science -- all with the effect of making the Rule's extensive harms seem minor in relation to its alleged cost savings," Policy Integrity says.