November 30, 2019
November 2019 at Policy Integrity
- New Report: Getting the Value of Distributed Energy Resources Right
- Courts Strike Down Conscience Protections Rule
- Carbon Pricing in New York’s Energy Sector?
- In the News: Paris Agreement, CA Waiver, Oil Company Liability
- Policy Integrity Staff Speak at PJM Task Force, Duke Climate Symposium
- New Publication: Regulation in Transition
- More from This Month
- Giving Tuesday
Our new report notes the growing presence of distributed energy resources, like solar panels and energy storage installations, and explains how they should be compensated for providing electricity services valued by utilities and their customers. Currently, 40 states use net energy metering programs to compensate DERs. We describe a promising alternative, “value stacking,” which better reflects DERs’ value, and provide suggestions for how to implement this approach.
Three federal courts—in the Southern District of the New York, the Northern District of California, and the Eastern District of Washington—vacated the Department of Health and Human Services’ conscience protections rule, which would have reduced healthcare access for women and LGBT individuals. In amicus briefs, Policy Integrity had criticized HHS for, among other things, failing to consider the rule’s likely health costs. The SDNY decision was consistent with our argument that HHS failed to provide a reasoned explanation for the rule.
Richard Revesz and Dr. Burcin Unel’s piece in The Wall Street Journal explains how carbon pricing is one of the most important tools for achieving clean-energy goals. They focus on New York, where the state’s independent grid operator has proposed a carbon charge in its energy markets. Revesz and Unel encourage Governor Cuomo to support NYISO’s proposal and pave the way for other states to adopt cost-effective energy transitions. Unel also published an op-ed in the Albany Times Union, highlighting the many merits of NYISO’s carbon pricing proposal.
Richard Revesz’s new op-ed in The Hill criticizes the contradictions within the Trump administration’s assault on climate change policy. The president recently pulled the United States from the Paris agreement on grounds that it would have a catastrophic impact on the economy, whereas the Environmental Protection Agency stated earlier this year that implementation of similar emissions reductions under the Clean Power Plan would have no costs. Revesz details how the administration flips its rhetoric when convenient, misleading courts and policymakers at the expense of the American public.
Revesz also spoke with The Washington Post about the unfolding litigation over California’s right to set vehicle fuel-efficiency standards. “The Trump administration is on very weak footing in its attempt to revoke the waiver,” he said, calling the action “unprecedented.”
Justin Gundlach wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal’s energy series that took the Yes side of the question, Should fossil-fuel companies bear responsibility for the damage their products do to the environment? Noting past examples of corporate liability for harms to public health, Gundlach argues for adhering to the principle that liability should follow from knowingly causing such harms.
Avi Zevin presented at a November meeting of PJM’s Carbon Pricing Senior Task Force, which is currently investigating the potential for incorporating carbon pricing efforts into the market rules for the nation’s largest interstate electric grid operator. Zevin’s presentation focused on jurisdictional and other legal considerations for state-implemented and RTO-implemented approaches to carbon pricing.
Bethany Davis Noll participated in the Duke Law School symposium, Climate Policy in Practice. She joined a panel focused on the role that litigation can play in addressing climate change and spoke about litigation over Trump administration rollbacks.
Bethany Davis Noll and Richard Revesz published an article in the Minnesota Law Review that discusses strategies the Trump administration used to roll back Obama-era regulations. They argue that this approach to aggressive regulatory rollbacks is likely to become an enduring feature of American politics. Davis Noll and Revesz highlight some of the ways that the new approach will affect transition planning, timing of regulatory actions, and electoral strategies.
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