June 30, 2021
June 2021 at Policy Integrity
- Shaping the Future of a Key Climate Metric
- Leading the Charge on Climate-Related Risk: New Initiative
- Commentary: FERC vs. State Clean Energy Policies
- In the News: Clean Water Protections, Climate in the Courts
- Policy Integrity Articles Selected as Year’s Best
- More from June 2021
Earlier this year, the Biden administration reestablished the centrality of the federal government’s most useful tool for gauging the climate impacts of federal actions: the social cost of greenhouse gas metrics. The Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases recently called for input, so we published and submitted five original reports on key issues—like how to broaden the use of the metrics, maintain an appropriate focus on global climate damages, and apply more rational discount rates. In addition to our own reports and comment letter, we collaborated with nine partner organizations to submit joint comments.
Climate Change Business Journal discussed related topics in its most recent issue, which features an interview with Richard Revesz on the crucial role that social cost values play in crafting strong climate policies, as well as a piece by Justin Gundlach and Peter Howard discussing how the values can be further improved.
As the climate crisis intensifies, it is critical that policymakers protect the American public against the serious dangers that climate change poses to infrastructure, businesses, financial markets, and the broader economy. The Institute for Policy Integrity—alongside partners from Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Vanderbilt Law School—founded the Initiative on Climate Risk and Resilience Law to advocate for smarter policies on this issue.
ICRRL’s work formally got underway with the launch of its new website and with a Securities and Exchange Commission filing detailing its recommendations for climate change disclosure for businesses. We offer 15 major recommendations guiding the SEC to quickly establish mandatory disclosure requirements that would yield specific and decision-useful information for investors.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners, grid operators, states, and stakeholders continue to collide over what to do about the minimum offer price rule, which alters wholesale electricity market rules in an effort to address state policies that often benefit clean energy resources. Dr. Burçin Ünel and Sarah Ladin discuss the issue in Utility Dive, discouraging FERC and other stakeholders from conflating legal standards and economic tests. They urge FERC to be more judicious when applying such measures and consider more narrowly tailored, evidence-based tools beyond MOPR that can help preserve wholesale market efficiency.
In the News: Clean Water Protections, Climate in the Courts
The Environmental Protection Agency in June began its effort to revive federal protections for millions of streams, marshes and other bodies of water that were rolled back by the Trump administration. Richard Revesz spoke with The New York Times about the EPA announcement, noting that the agency’s decision to start early on revising the policy makes it more likely that the revisions will survive expected legal challenges.
A court decision ordering Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions has serious implications for fossil fuel companies involved in similar climate cases around the world. Rachel Rothschild spoke with The Wall Street Journal about whether the ruling will have a big influence in the United States. Should a case end up at the Supreme Court, she explains, the conservative-leaning panel could be skeptical of allowing U.S. cities to get involved in regulating global matters.
Policy Integrity Articles Selected as Year’s Best
Each year, Thomson Reuters’ Land Use & Environment Law Review recognizes and republishes five recent articles on environmental law topics. The 2021 selections include: