July 1, 2014
June at Policy Integrity: Supreme Court Ruling of Greenhouse Gas Regulation, New EPA Carbon Rules, In the News: Michael Livermore on Court Decision, On the Docket: Wildfire Report, Spotlight: Ben Cady
Supreme Court Decision on Greenhouse Gas Regulation
The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gasses reaffirms the agency’s ability to cut carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act. Policy Integrity submitted an amicus brief in the case, and our legal experts provided commentary to a number of news outlets after the decision was announced. While the Court did slightly narrow the scope of the EPA’s authority, Richard Revesz explained to The Hill, “the only thing that EPA could have done if it had won across the board that it won’t be able to do now is regulate another 3 percent of emissions.”
The centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s effort to address climate change through executive action is now a known quantity with the release of the EPA’s proposed carbon pollution guidelines for existing power plants. Policy Integrity has long argued that regulating existing plants is a crucial step, and our recent policy brief analyzes the debate around these new guidelines. We plan to submit public comments on the proposed rule in the coming months.
Policy Integrity co-founder Michael Livermore told Newsweek that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling solidifies the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gasses. “There’s a big center of gravity on the court that recognizes the EPA’s authority to move forward,” Livermore said. Though some justices don’t seem entirely comfortable with the agency regulating greenhouse gases, “it appears they are not going to interfere too much with the actual implementation of the [Clean Air] Act—even if they occasionally reprimand the agency in overly harsh language.”
Wildfires could worsen as the climate warms, and we believe these damages are being undervalued in government estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC). This summer, we will complete our report on wildfires and the SCC. The report is part of our ongoing collaboration with EDF and NRDC to quantify the omitted damages in the government’s SCC calculations in order to enhance the economic case for limiting carbon pollution.
Alumni Spotlight: Ben Cady
Ben Cady (NYU Law ’12) is an Assistant Executive Secretary at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He coordinates internal processes and works on legal and policy projects for Director Richard Cordray. He previously served on Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s climate policy team and on the DNC/Obama for America voting rights litigation team. “For me, the Regulatory Policy Clinic was the difference between merely knowing the relevant law and being able to think critically about regulatory policy,” Ben said. “I also loved the lively debates and conversations we had with Ricky and the Policy Integrity staff. After that experience, I felt ready to take on any challenge in DC.”