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  • Livermore quoted on changes to EPA’s CBA guidelines (sub. req.).

    The Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) at New York University, which generally supports expanded use of cost-benefit analysis, applauded the changes to the guidelines, and also pointed out that the SAB encouraged the use of cost-benefit analysis when looking at deregulatory or non-regulatory proposals. A source with the IPI says that, during the last administration, economic analysis was not conducted for many deregulatory actions, including changes to the new source review rules, which require new or modified sources to install strict pollution controls. The source says it is “important that the SAB realized the systemic problem about how cost-benefit analysis has been used in the past” by pointing out the need for analysis for deregulatory actions.

  • The three things Cass Sunstein should do on his first day

    As I’ve mentioned before, Sunstein’s appointment is pivotal for environmental regulation and green advocates should be looking forward to his first official day on the job. His inbox is probably overflowing with tasks, but here are the top three that he should work on first.

  • Advisers urge stronger climate focus in regulation analyses

    The board also recommends that the agency better account for technological innovation when estimating the costs of compliance, according to Michael Livermore, executive director at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity, who read its draft. Typically, said Livermore, EPA inflates compliance costs, because it does not account for industries’ motivation to innovate once actually faced with costly restrictions.

  • Advisers urge agency to revamp regulatory analysis

    Michael Livermore, executive director of New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity, said he expects the Obama administration to ultimately adopt most, if not all, of the science advisory board’s recommendations. “I’d be surprised if they disagreed with the [Science Advisory Board],” he said. The full board is expected to consider the draft report in August before sending its final comments to EPA.

  • Low-profile changes at EPA could have major environmental impacts.

    EPA has been quietly working on some serious changes to the guidelines it uses to conduct cost-benefit analysis. Tweaks to the powerful but low-profile Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses could have major impacts on the environment. The Guidelines is little known outside of EPA, but is used in the design of every major environmental regulation.

  • Here Comes the Sunstein: Cass Sunstein Takes Over as Regulatory Czar

    “The fact that he’s not a stereotype is definitely a good thing, both for public health and the environment and for businesses,” says Michael Livermore, executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University’s School of Law. “If you fit him in the stereotype, he’s either going to be bad for business or bad for the environment, and that’s not a choice we want to have to make. He’s going to be looking to make sure we achieve our environmental public health goals in a way that gives companies maximum flexibility to achieve our social goals at the lowest possible costs.”

  • Sotomayor’s “Green” Decision

    Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s paper trail on the environment is slim, but one decision has drawn praise from environmentalists, and some concerns from business. In Riverkeeper v. EPA, Sotomayor wrote the opinion for the court of appeals. She found that the Clean Water Act prohibited EPA from conducting cost-benefit analysis when deciding whether to impose regulations at power plants that would protect fish, but have high costs for utility companies.

  • Murky reg-review process set stage for frenzy over OMB memo

    OMB and its regulatory review office are walking a fine line on transparency, said Michael Livermore, executive director of New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity. “It’s a good thing to have the public being able to be responsive to these kinds of interagency discussions,” Livermore said. But if agencies had to take full responsibility for anything they said, it could have a “chilling effect,” he added.

  • Cass Sunstein For Regulation Czar

    Sunstein is well known for his academic writings, which touch on everything from constitutional law to behavioral economics. His appointment to director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is a harbinger of the administration’s commitments—yes, we need to grow the economy, but sound economics need not conflict with smart regulation.

  • Hopes and fears for Senate confirmation hearings

    The Institute for Policy Integrity, on the other hand, endorses Professor Sunstein to head OIRA, arguing that cost-benefit analysis, if done in an unbiased way, could be used to support progressive environmental and public safety regulations.