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Recent Projects

  • Irreplaceable: Why States Can't Make Up for Inadequate Federal Enforcement of Environmental Laws Cover

    Irreplaceable: Why States Can’t Make Up for Inadequate Federal Enforcement of Environmental Laws

    Budget cuts threaten EPA’s ability to enforce federal environmental laws, and states have neither the means nor the will to substitute for it. Our issue brief on EPA enforcement explores the financial and political constraints that state regulators already face when implementing federal environmental laws and how the Trump Administration’s budget cuts would exacerbate these problems.

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  • The Senate's Midnight Rules Relief Act Would Bring Chaos, Not Relief Cover

    The Senate’s Midnight Rules Relief Act Would Bring Chaos, Not Relief

    The Midnight Rules Relief Act, approved by the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on May 17, 2017, would turn the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) from a scalpel into a sledgehammer. Our issue brief describes how this shift in regulatory policy would allow for quick repeals of public safeguards after only 10 hours of Senate debate and prevent similar rules from being enacted in the future.

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  • The REINS Act Is Burdensome, Irrational, and Legally Questionable Cover

    The REINS Act Is Burdensome, Irrational, and Legally Questionable

    The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (“REINS Act”) would prevent agencies from issuing statutorily required rules unless approved by Congress. Our issue brief describes how this bill would create substantial burdens for Congress, worsen outcomes for the American public, and raise constitutional red flags by allowing Congress to repeal earlier statutes through inaction.

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  • Senate Regulatory Reform Bills

    Several bills that recently won Senate committee approval could have devastating impacts on the efficiency and effectiveness of government. Our new fact sheets describe the dangers of these bills.

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  • Comments on California Electricity Policy Order Instituting Rulemaking to Create a Consistent Regulatory Framework for the Guidance, Planning, and Evaluation of Integrated Distributed Energy Resources

    California’s state government is moving forward on electricity and climate policy, likely setting a blueprint for future state and federal action. We submitted comments to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on factual disputes flagged by stakeholders, related to how utilities will use cost-benefit analysis in decisionmaking. We encouraged staff at CPUC to use the Social Cost of Carbon for its interim greenhouse gas adder, use a 3% discount rate for future damages, include other environmental externalities like air pollution in its analysis, and continue considering societal costs to ensure that the benefits justify the costs of a proposed policy.

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  • Comments on EPA’s Proposal to Further Delay the Amendments to the Risk Management Program

    We recently submitted comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to delay the effective date of EPA’s amendments to the Risk Management Program for twenty more months and to put off the compliance deadlines indefinitely. The original rule was issued under section 112®(7)(A) of the Clean Air Act and updated chemical accident prevention rules at manufacturing plants, after a fatal explosion at a fertilizer plant in West Texas.

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  • Comments to EPA on Evaluating Existing Regulations

    We recently submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regarding its obligation to evaluate existing regulations and identify some for repeal, replacement, or modification under Executive Order 13,777. Our comments are meant to ensure that EPA stays focused on its objective to identify outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, or net-costly regulations for repeal, replacement, or modification and does not prioritize recently promulgated and overwhelmingly cost-benefit justified rules, some of which have been targeted by industry commenters.

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  • Resources on Congressional Regulatory Bills

    The House of Representatives has passed several bills that could have devastating effects on the federal regulatory process. To help journalists and policymakers understand the potential impact of some bills currently moving through Congress, we recently published a series of fact sheets.

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  • The Senate's Misguided and Wasteful Regulatory Accountability Act Cover

    The Senate’s Misguided and Wasteful Regulatory Accountability Act

    The Senate’s Regulatory Accountability Act would rewrite notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures and create extraordinarily burdensome hurdles in rule implementation by requiring trial-like public hearings. Our issue brief describes how this change to regulatory reform would give opponents of major public safeguards a valuable tool to delay implementation for years, without any regard to the harm that delay would impose on the health and safety of the American public.

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  • Comments to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue on the Reform Rule

    We recently submitted two sets of comments to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), making the case against repealing an Obama-era reform that promised to recover millions of dollars in royalties from mining companies—a reform that would have ensured that taxpayers receive fair market value for the use of public lands. Our first set of comments objects to the proposed repeal of the Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform Rule (the “Reform Rule”), while our second set responds to ONRR’s request for comments on whether revisions are necessary to the regulations governing coal, oil, and gas royalties. We previously submitted comments to ONRR on the proposed Reform Rule.

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