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Recent Projects

  • Public Comments

    Comments on the Replacement of the Clean Water Rule

    April 15, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers are proposing to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule with a new rule that would harm many waterways by removing critical federal protections. We submitted comments detailing how the agencies provide flawed analysis in support of the proposal. Dr. Peter Howard and Dr. Jeffrey Shrader also submitted an expert report detailing the flaws in the agencies’ new valuation of wetland benefits.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to DOE on Energy Conservation Standards for Direct Heating Equipment

    April 12, 2019

    The Department of Energy (DOE) recently issued a request for information on the energy conservation standards for direct heating equipment. We submitted comments that advise the Department to monetize climate benefits from greenhouse gas emissions reductions and discuss market-based approaches to energy conservation standards.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief in Atlantic Coast Pipeline Case

    April 12, 2019

    If constructed, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project would be responsible for greenhouse gas emissions resulting in over $1.3 billion per year of climate damages. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) analysis estimates the quantity of the project’s emissions but does not analyze the context, intensity, or significance of the incremental climate damages they will cause. We submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that explains how FERC’s failure to monetize the project’s climate damages using Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) estimates is arbitrary.

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  • News

    Court Overturns Repeal of Valuation Rule

    April 12, 2019

    The Institute for Policy Integrity helped contribute to a significant legal victory, as a federal district court in California today overturned the Trump administration’s repeal of the Interior Department’s Valuation Rule. The Valuation Rule sought to ensure that states and the federal government receive the full value of royalties due for oil, gas, and coal extracted from public lands. While the administration has lost numerous court cases related to deregulation, this is the first decision overturning a repeal of a rule. Policy Integrity submitted an amicus brief in the case and comments on the original rule and the repeal efforts.

    In our amicus brief, we argued that the repeal was unreasonable because of the agency’s inaccurate assessment of the repeal’s economic impact. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong’s opinion echoed some of the arguments from our brief and cited an academic article on deregulation written by Bethany Davis Noll and Denise Grab.

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  • Reports

    Pipeline Approvals and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    April 9, 2019

    In light of growing public awareness of the environmental effects of pipeline projects, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has faced competing pressures regarding how to balance the need for new natural gas pipelines with their environmental consequences. Concerns about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and resulting climate change effects have become a flashpoint in the debate. Our report examines the legal context surrounding FERC’s evaluation of the environmental impacts of proposed interstate natural gas pipelines. We look at FERC’s obligations under the Natural Gas Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as potential improvements the agency can make to its analyses to better inform policy makers and the public about the impacts of proposed projects.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on the Good Neighbor Provision of the Clean Air Act

    April 5, 2019

    The Clean Air Act includes a Good Neighbor Provision, which requires states to prohibit their own sources of pollution from emitting in quantities that “contribute significantly” to another state’s inability to achieve national ambient air quality standards. When upwind states fail to abide by this requirement, the Act authorizes downwind states to petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for relief.

    In 2018, EPA denied five such petitions filed by Maryland and Delaware, which sought tighter limits on ozone-forming emissions from power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Maryland and Delaware, supported by other states and a coalition of environmental groups, have now challenged those denials in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In our amicus brief supporting the challenges, we focused on EPA’s erroneous claim that no further emission reductions at the specified plants would be cost-effective.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on Harmful Changes to Title X Women’s Health Services

    April 5, 2019

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule that makes detrimental revisions to the federal Title X program, which funds free or low-cost reproductive health services for millions of women each year. HHS would impose onerous restrictions that will likely force the shutdown of key health clinics that rely on federal funding. We submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in support of the plaintiff’s motions for preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs argue that the final rule is arbitrary and capricious because HHS failed to accurately assess the rule’s health costs, compliance costs, and alleged benefits. Our brief provides the court with context on the legal and economic standards for regulatory impact analysis to detail how HHS’s assessment of the rule thoroughly flunks those standards.

    We also filed briefs in Title X cases in the District of Oregon, Eastern District of Washington, and District of Maine.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to the FCC on Regulation of Space Debris

    April 5, 2019

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments on economic approaches that might be feasible and effective in reducing the negative impacts of orbital debris in space. We submitted comments offering initial suggestions for what the Commission might consider in choosing a market-based regulation. We also recommend that any impact assessment of the regulation takes into account the full range of direct and indirect benefits.

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  • Reports

    Opportunities for Valuing Climate Impacts in U.S. State Electricity Policy

    April 2, 2019

    With an absence of federal leadership on climate change, many states have worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their own, often by incorporating a broader range of considerations into electricity policy. Our report assesses the potential to expand the valuation of climate damages in state electricity policy using Social Cost of Carbon metrics. We examine existing statutes and regulations in all 50 states to identify opportunities for valuing climate impacts around the country.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Electricity Rule Changes

    March 29, 2019

    The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is amending its rules relating to utilities, electric resource planning, and renewable energy standards. We submitted comments explaining why the Commission should use Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases estimates to monetize the externalities of carbon pollution. Our recommendations include rule revisions and new language that will help include monetized estimates of climate impacts in all relevant decisionmaking.

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