October 31, 2020
October 2020 at Policy Integrity
- Aligning Public Lands Policy with Climate Priorities
- Policy Approaches for Sustainable American Infrastructure
- The Path Forward to Effective Regulatory Review
- Reviving Rationality: New Book by Livermore and Revesz
- Examining Trump-Era Attacks on Science and Economics
- Litigation Updates: Fracking Regulations, Healthcare Conscience Rule
- Policy Integrity Welcomes New Advisory Board Members
- More from October 2020
U.S. public lands and waters are the source of almost 30 percent of annual domestic energy production, primarily from fossil fuels. The federal government, however, has yet to develop a comprehensive plan that aligns its land management decisions with climate change priorities. We released a report describing immediate and longer-term actions that the Department of Interior can take to improve its natural resources policy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from public lands and waters.
Most categories of American infrastructure—from transportation and water systems to public school buildings and electricity meters—are in dire need of modernization, and climate change is compounding this challenge. Our report provides policy recommendations at each stage of the infrastructure lifecycle, from project planning and analysis, through financing, construction, and maintenance. We explain how a realigned approach to infrastructure can boost the economy while addressing threats from climate change and prioritizing social equity goals.
In recent years, federal leadership has distorted the practice of regulatory analysis and eroded the integrity of the government’s regulatory review structure—as coordinated by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. We released a report detailing how OIRA can restore and improve regulatory review by addressing recent missteps while affirming best practices and making key enhancements. Implementing these recommended reforms would refocus OIRA on helping agencies once again use regulations to improve the health and safety of the American public.
The Trump administration has destabilized the decades-long bipartisan consensus that federal agencies must base their decisions on evidence, expertise, and analysis. Michael Livermore and Richard Revesz’s new book, which will be published by Oxford University Press in November, analyzes the Trump administration’s actions and details how future administrations must approach the difficult task of rebuilding a rational regulatory system. More information on their book, Reviving Rationality: Saving Cost-Benefit Analysis for the Sake of the Environment and Our Health, is available from Oxford University Press and Amazon.
Examining Trump-Era Attacks on Science and Economics
As the election approaches, many are scrutinizing the Trump administration’s prolonged record of problematic deregulation. In addition to his forthcoming book, Richard Revesz has written several academic articles examining these attempts to undermine vital safeguards. He has analyzed attacks against greenhouse gas regulations and the Clean Air Act and the administration’s patently inconsistent approach to policy analysis. Revesz has also described the specific strategies employed by the administration to weaken environmental and public health protections, further summarizing these strategies in a piece directed at economics and policy audiences.
Litigation Updates: Fracking Regulations, Healthcare Conscience Rule
Our amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit criticized the Bureau of Land Management’s flawed decision to repeal an Obama-era rule that tightens environmental regulations for fracking on public lands. We focused on BLM’s irrational analysis, which dismisses the rule’s significant benefits and disregards longstanding practices.
We also filed a brief opposing the Department of Health and Human Services’ conscience rule, which sought to expand healthcare providers’ rights to deny care on religious or moral grounds. Our brief focused on HHS’s failure to acknowledge the rule’s likely health costs for women and LGBT individuals.
This month, five new members joined our advisory board.
- Norman Bay is a Partner and Head of the Energy Regulatory and Enforcement Group at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, and previously served as a Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
- Tomás Carbonell is Senior Counsel and Director for Regulatory Policy in the U.S. Clean Air Program at Environmental Defense Fund, and teaches at Howard University School of Law.
- Brenda Mallory is the Director of Regulatory Policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center, and previously served as General Counsel of the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the Obama administration.
- Albert Monroe is an Economist in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, and previously served as Chief of Staff of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
- Kevin Poloncarz is a Partner at Covington & Burling LLP, and co-chairs the firm’s Environmental Practice Group and Energy Industry Group.
Each new board member brings tremendous experience in climate and energy policy, and we look forward to benefiting from their guidance. You can learn more about our advisory board here.
More from October 2020
We also submitted comments on: