September 30, 2019
September 2019 at Policy Integrity
- EPA’s Uphill Battle Against California
- Conference on the Costs of Climate Inaction
- Revesz: Trump’s EPA Chooses Rodents Over People
- Amicus Briefs on Healthcare Conscience Rule
- Petition to NHTSA on Fuel Economy Penalties
- New Economic and Legal Fellows Join Policy Integrity
- More from This Month
In September, the Trump administration revoked California’s legal authority to set its own standards on auto emissions. Richard Revesz spoke with The New York Times, calling the move “unprecedented and a tremendously big deal.” Revesz also shared insights with CNBC and NPR’s KQED Forum. Jack Lienke spoke with E&E News, explaining how the rollback might pose a problem for other states that have adopted California’s standards — even if California wins in court.
Our report, No Turning Back, provides detailed analysis showing that the Clean Air Act does not legally authorize EPA to revoke the federal waiver that allows California to set auto emissions standards more stringent than the federal standards. In an op-ed and public comments, we have discussed the significant costs of withdrawing the state’s authority to enforce its own vehicle pollution standards.
Our annual conference, which was an affiliated event of Climate Week NYC and the UN General Assembly, took place at NYU School of Law last week. Experts and policymakers from around the country discussed how we can better estimate, prepare for, and communicate the high cost of inaction in the face of the climate crisis. Video of the conference is available here.
Richard Revesz’s new op-ed in The New York Times discusses EPA’s harmful and misleading decision to reduce animal testing. He explains how the policy shift is largely driven by the chemical industry, which has long pushed to curtail mammal studies because they often prove the toxicity of chemical substances. “If the agency gets its way,” Revesz warns, “it will become more difficult, and in some cases impossible, to regulate harmful substances that cause tens of thousands of premature deaths each year.”
We recently filed three amicus briefs in district court challenges to a Department of Health and Human Services’ healthcare rule that permits discrimination against women, LGBT patients, and HIV-positive patients. Under the HHS rule, health workers can refuse to provide certain medical care, such as reproductive health services or HIV-related treatment, if doing so would violate their religious or moral beliefs. Our briefs in the Southern District of New York, Northern District of California, and District of Maryland detail how HHS’s inaccurate analysis relies on speculative benefits while ignoring severe costs to patients.
Our petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requests that the agency reconsider and rescind a new rule reducing penalties for automobile manufacturers that fail to meet corporate fuel economy standards. We explain how NHTSA’s analysis arbitrarily ignores forgone fuel savings and environmental harms of the rule and relies on flawed, contradictory evidence.
We welcomed four new fellows this past month. Economic fellow Matt Butner and legal fellows Isabel Carey, Natalie Jacewicz, and Max Sarinsky come to Policy Integrity with experience in electricity policy, environmental law, science communications, and public health.