November 30, 2020
November 2020 at Policy Integrity
- Policy Priorities for the Biden Administration
- Litigation Updates: “Public Charge” Rule, Coal Mining Expansion
- Upcoming Events on Livermore and Revesz’s New Book
- Report Series on the Clean Cars Rollback
- 12/14 Event on the Future of the U.S. Power Grid
- Commentary: Trump’s Record in the Courts, Biden’s Energy Policy Agenda
- More from This Month
The Biden administration will need to undertake aggressive reforms in order to address serious challenges in climate, energy, and environmental policy, and related social equity outcomes. We published a series of reports highlighting actionable, near- and medium-term policy recommendations in several key areas, including:
- Public Lands and Waters
- Federal Energy Regulation
- Regulatory Review
- Levers for Undoing a Prior Administration’s Policies
The majority of our recommendations focus on executive-branch actions that can be taken without new congressional legislation. Richard Revesz spoke with E&E News, InsideClimate News, and Inside EPA about how the Biden administration can launch an effective and resilient regulatory agenda in the environmental area.
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed injunctions of the Department of Homeland Security’s “Public Charge” rule, which seeks to deny lawful permanent residency to immigrants who have participated in public assistance programs. Our amicus brief in the case played a key role in shaping the decision. The court adopted our core arguments and specifically cited our brief when criticizing one of Homeland Security’s faulty claims.
The expansion of the Bull Mountains Mine project in Montana would allow for an increase in coal production likely resulting in more than $9 billion in climate damages. We filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit criticizing the Office of Surface Mining’s analysis of the project, which fails to monetize climate impacts using the social cost of carbon. We explain that the project’s full economic benefit is, at most, just one-third of its expected climate costs.
This Friday, December 4, Policy Integrity is hosting an online event following the release of Michael Livermore and Richard Revesz’s new book, Reviving Rationality: Saving Cost-Benefit Analysis for the Sake of the Environment and Our Health. Pulitzer Prize winner Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post will speak with Livermore and Revesz about the outlook for regulatory policy in the wake of the Trump administration. Additionally, the authors will be joining other experts in environmental regulation to discuss their book in online events hosted by NYU School of Law on December 8 and Resources for the Future on December 10.
You can also hear Livermore and Revesz discuss their book on recent podcast episodes of Resources Radio, hosted by RFF, and Arbitrary and Capricious, hosted by the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State.
The Trump administration’s rollback of federal Clean Car Standards eviscerates critical public health benefits and hundreds of billions of dollars in consumer fuel savings. We released a series of reports that detail how the analysis underlying the rollback rule is skewed to hide serious costs to the American public. Most recently, we examined the administration’s flawed assumptions about vehicle prices and faulty estimates of vehicle sale price elasticity.
Expanding and strengthening the transmission grid is a key enabler of the transition to a zero-carbon power sector. On December 14, we are co-hosting an event with Columbia SIPA’s Center on Global Energy Policy that will explore how the U.S. Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can advance transmission development, even without new congressional action. Experts will discuss research by Policy Integrity and CGEP and potential next-steps for federal agencies.
Commentary: Trump’s Record in the Courts, Biden’s Energy Policy Agenda
Even as President Trump’s term comes to a close, he continues to lose in courtrooms at an unprecedented rate. Bethany Davis Noll and Christine Pries’ piece in The Hill highlights Policy Integrity’s data and scholarship on Trump-era legal challenges, revealing that the administration has won just 17 percent of cases in which its regulatory policies were challenged. Trump has lost more than any other president and has even lost the majority of the cases before Republican-appointed judges.
The upcoming runoff election in Georgia will help determine the degree to which the Biden administration can enact ambitious climate policies. Bethany Davis Noll and Richard Revesz joined Energy Policy Now, a podcast hosted by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, to discuss how Biden can pursue his clean energy agenda with or without Democratic control in the Senate.
More from November 2020
We also submitted comments on:
- FERC’s statement on carbon pricing
- New York State’s use of the SCC
- Clean resources in NYISO’s capacity market
- Valuation of coal from public lands
- Coal mining in Montana
- Oil and gas leasing in Colorado
- Energy conservation standards for air conditioners
- Economic guidelines of EPA’s Science Advisory Board
- Department of Education’s rulemaking procedures