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  • To Be Clear, the Major Questions Doctrine Is Not a Clear-Statement Rule

    One of the most important features of West Virginia’s articulation of the major questions doctrine—and perhaps the feature most overlooked—is that it is not a clear-statement rule. At least not yet. Even though the West Virginia majority ultimately agreed with the petitioners that EPA lacked authority to issue the Clean Power Plan under the major questions doctrine, the majority did not use the petitioners’ framework and never used the phrase “clear statement” in its legal analysis.

  • A Key Climate Metric Gets an Overdue Update

    The government has consistently undercounted the societal benefits of reducing climate pollution when assessing regulations and other policies, tipping the scales toward polluters over people. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a critical step to correct this problem by proposing a comprehensive update to the social cost of carbon. Consistent with the scientific and economics literature from independent researchers, the update would raise the metric’s central value from $51 to $190 for each ton of carbon-dioxide emissions in 2020.

  • Banking Regulators Take Critical Steps to Account for Climate-Related Financial Risks

    Key U.S. authorities have acknowledged the urgent need to act on climate risks to the banking system. Recent actions and remarks are beginning to shed light on what the next wave of policies to address these risks might entail. They’re likely to look a lot like many other, existing financial risk regulations.

  • How the Government Can Avoid Subsidizing Carbon-Intensive Hydrogen

    The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act allocated billions of dollars toward “clean” hydrogen. Now federal agencies need to specify what counts as clean. Matt Lifson explains why a marginal-emissions approach is essential.

  • Achieving Climate Goals Through Tax Policy: Why Public Interest Stakeholder Input Is Important

    The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes the most significant investment in climate that Congress has ever made. Getting input from a range of relevant stakeholders will help Treasury and the IRS ensure the IRA meets its goals. Building off Mike Kaercher’s remarks at the Institute for Policy Integrity’s conference A New Era of Climate & Energy Policy, this post provides a brief overview of the climate provisions, discusses the importance of public interest stakeholder contributions in implementing them, and presents two examples of high-priority projects that could benefit substantially from public interest stakeholder input.

  • ‘West Virginia v. EPA’ Will Shape, But Not Stop, Power Plant Regulation

    After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this year, many speculated on what it does—and does not—mean for future power plant rules. One key point is clear: the decision will shape, but not stop, power plant regulation, writes Attorney Dena Adler.

  • After West Virginia, the Major Questions Doctrine Remains Limited to Extraordinary Cases

    The major questions doctrine boils down to the following: under rare circumstances that would transform the underlying statute, the Court may depart from its normal approach to agency deference and look more skeptically on agency authority in the absence of clear congressional authorization. Many have noted the ill-defined parameters of this interpretive principle,1 but one key feature is not reasonably in dispute: it remains the exception, not the rule.

  • Is the Inflation Reduction Act the End of the Wholesale Clean Attribute Market?

    The IRA may reduce any real or perceived tension between wholesale markets and state policies and the need for other mechanisms to harmonize wholesale markets and state policies.

  • Liquefied Natural Gas Reviews: Reforms for Rigorous and Durable Decisionmaking

    After a meteoric rise in production over the past decade, the United States has become the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world. Yet, the analysis behind LNG terminal and export approvals overlooks climate and environmental justice impacts, despite promises of imminent reform. Policy Integrity’s new report provides a comprehensive look at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) past practice in this space and offers recommendations for improving their review of the climate and environmental justice impacts of LNG approvals.

  • Major Questions About Climate Regulation

    Shortly after his inauguration, President Biden promised to reduce climate pollution in every sector of the economy. One obstacle to achieving this goal: the Trump Administration. Although President Trump is no longer in office, the way the Trump Administration approached Obama-era regulations may have developed a blueprint for states and industry groups to challenge climate regulations adopted by the Biden Administration, warn Richard L. Revesz of NYU School of Law and Natasha Brunstein, a student at Yale Law School. Revesz and Brunstein argue that the Trump Administration manipulated what lawyers and judges have come to refer to as a “major questions” doctrine to justify striking down any regulation it disfavored.