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  • Inquiry Prompted by Trump’s Hurricane Dorian Claim Is Being Blocked, Investigator Says

    Richard L. Revesz, a law professor and director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University Law School, said events described in the memo amounted to “uncharted waters” and reflected a broader pattern of the Trump administration’s actions toward inspectors general at other agencies. “The inspectors general are part of a system of ensuring that agencies operate within the law,” Mr. Revesz said. “Every citizen should actually care about that.”

  • High Court Rulings Highlight Trump’s Administrative Law Stumbles

    Bethany Davis Noll, who directs NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity, noted that “Republican-appointed judges are finding against the administration at a similar rate to the Democratic judges.” And these losses at the hands of Republican appointees run the gamut, from immigration to environment to health care. Both the census and DACA cases “went against the administration even though the Supreme Court is majority Republican,” Noll said.

  • Trump Administration’s ‘Sloppy’ Work Has Led to Supreme Court Losses

    The rulings showed that in key instances Trump's administration has been unable to craft high-profile policies that will stand up in court. The administration has lost 79 out of 85 cases involving federal agencies on deregulatory or policy issues tracked by the Institute for Policy Integrity, a think tank connected to New York University School of Law.

  • Trump Shows His Cards on Environmental Protections — or a Lack Thereof

    • Richard L. Revesz

    Looking at three proceedings, completed within weeks of one another, exposes the shameless analytic opportunism of the Trump EPA. The result is a slate of deregulatory actions that put thousands of lives at risk each year, cause serious adverse health impacts on many more, and impose net harms on the American people. A heedless commitment to dangerous deregulation is the only logic that explains its actions.

  • The Firm Administering the Coronavirus Rescue Considers Climate Risks in Its Ordinary Investments

    • Madison Condon

    Senate Republicans are worried that BlackRock could take climate change–related financial risks into account in making its securities purchase recommendations, as the firm has pledged to do when shaping its own investment strategies. If BlackRock is going to make the best decisions for American taxpayers, it must be allowed to assess these climate risks as it does for other clients.

  • Staff Scientists: Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Find Opposition Within

    When the civil servants were directed to undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan and create a more coal-friendly version, some of those who remained at the EPA made sure the documents accompanying the proposed replacement included the fact that increased coal pollution would cause 1,400 new premature deaths a year. The EPA later deleted the number from the final rule, but Richard Revesz, an expert on environmental law at New York University, said it would still play a role in the legal fight against the rollback. “That number was a devastatingly bad conclusion for the administration,” he said.

  • Coronavirus Doesn’t Slow Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks

    With an election looming, the urgency of completing regulations is real. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can overturn a regulation or federal rule within 60 days of it being finalized. If Democrats win control of the White House and Senate in November, and keep control of the House, any rule completed after late May or early June would be vulnerable. “The administration understands the electoral map has turned against it,” said Richard Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University.

  • Regulatory Rollbacks Have Changed the Nature of Presidential Power

    • Richard L. Revesz
    • Bethany A. Davis Noll

    Using three instruments—Congressional Review Act disapprovals, requests that courts hold in abeyance pending cases challenging Obama-era regulations, and suspensions of final regulations—the Trump Administration was able to reach a far greater proportion of regulations than would have been possible under prior practices. And in this way, the Trump Administration has ushered in a new era of aggressive regulatory rollbacks that is likely to become an enduring feature of American politics and to radically change the nature of the presidency.

  • When Safety Rules on Oil Drilling Were Changed, Some Staff Objected. Those Notes Were Cut.

    As the offshore oil industry’s federal regulator completed its overhaul of a major well-drilling safety rule in 2018, Scott Angelle, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, told a staff engineer to delete language from memos showing that the changes would contradict guidance from the agency’s own engineers. The internal correspondence could prove a liability, as environmental groups challenge the agency’s rationale for its decision. “What these communications show is that the agency was not relying on expertise,” said Richard Revesz, dean emeritus of New York University School of Law and an expert on environmental and regulatory legal matters. “It was making a political decision that went against the advice of the experts and the experts were being sidelined.”

  • Are Carbon Credits Vanishing Into Thin Air?

    • Derek Sylvan

    Tax credits for companies that “capture” carbon dioxide have been a success, by some measures. Even before the expansion, companies have claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits—possibly as much as $1.3 billion—and reported 63 million tons of carbon dioxide kept out of the air. There’s one big problem, though. All of that carbon is supposed to be stored securely underground and monitored by an Environmental Protection Agency program, to be sure it doesn’t leak out or create other complications. But so far, only 17 million of those 63 million tons have been registered with the EPA as legally required—about one-quarter of the carbon that companies have taken credit for.