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Recent Projects

Viewing recent projects in Climate and Energy Policy
  • Comment Letter on BLM Waste Prevention Rule

    In November, the Bureau of Land Management proposed a regulation to reduce the waste of natural gas on federal lands through venting, flaring, and leakage. In our comment letter, we recommend avenues for BLM to bolster its legal and economic support for the proposal. In particular, we recommend that BLM more expressly disavow its prior position that waste-prevention regulations must benefit regulated industry, more closely evaluate the proposal’s effects to ensure that its analysis fully captures resulting benefits and royalty revenues, and recognize the significance of the rule’s climate benefits. 

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  • Comments on NRCS Agriculture Funding Strategy

    Policy Integrity submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in response to its Request for Information about how it can most effectively distribute its share of Inflation Reduction Act funding. This $19 billion in funding, which is allocated across NRCS's core conservation programs, must be given out to support agricultural practices that reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. Our comments encourage NRCS to award the funding to practices that will maximize net social benefits and to increase the transparency of its project-ranking process. We urge NRCS to consider a range of factors in its analysis, including a practice's potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, produce knowledge, and offer ecosystem services.

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  • Comment Letter Calling for Rescission of DOE Categorical Exclusion Rule for LNG Exports

    In response to the Department of Energy’s recent request for information on its categorical exclusions, we submitted a comment letter recommending that the Department rescind its 2020 regulation establishing categorical exclusion B5.7 for discretionary authorizations to export liquefied natural gas. As our comment letter explains, long-term expansion of export capacity may lock in fossil-fuel usage over the long term and thereby impede global decarbonization efforts. Yet when promulgating its categorical exclusion rule, the Department erroneously argued that indirect climate effects are not relevant to its assessment of applications for export authorization, and based its sweeping categorical exclusion on that improper legal conclusion. Our comment letter provides a proper understanding of the Department’s broad authority, which compels the agency to robustly consider impacts on climate change as part of its authorization process.

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  • Best Practices for Energy Substitution Analysis Cover

    Best Practices for Energy Substitution Analysis

    In recent years, numerous federal agencies have made a controversial claim: that projects locking in fossil fuels over the long term will decrease aggregate greenhouse gas emissions, or that their effects on total emissions will be limited. In many of those cases, however, agencies have reached this counter-intuitive conclusion using a flawed consideration of energy substitution. This report identifies some of the recurring problems with agency analysis of energy substitution and offers best practices to apply moving forward.

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  • Amicus Brief in D.C. Circuit Defending BOEM’s Authority to Robustly Consider Climate Impacts in Offshore Leasing

    Earlier this year, a group of environmental organizations successfully challenged an offshore oil-and-gas lease sale held by the Bureau Ocean Energy Management on the basis that BOEM inadequately assessed the impacts on climate change from the combustion of the fossil fuels that the lease sale would facilitate. In its appeal to the D.C. Circuit, the American Petroleum Institute countered that any analytical limitations were harmless because the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act bars BOEM from considering climate-change impacts when administering leasing policy. Our amicus brief rebuts this argument and defends BOEM’s authority to consider downstream climate impacts in its administration of the offshore leasing program. Our brief explains that the consideration of downstream emissions is consistent with OCSLA’s text, legislative history, regulatory history, and caselaw.

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  • Advancing Energy Justice Conference Brief Cover

    Advancing Energy Justice Conference Brief

    Tools for Justice40 and Equitable Deep Decarbonization

    This brief summarizes some of the major points of discussion from our May 2022 conference, “Advancing Energy Justice: Tools for Justice40 and Equitable Deep Decarbonization.” The event brought together federal agency staff working to implement Justice40 with researchers to discuss how academic research can be more responsive to communities’ needs. This brief summarizes the varied views expressed by conference participants and is not intended to be a consensus or recommendation document.

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  • Comments to EPA on Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

    The Environmental Protection Agency recently solicited public input on how to implement the Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which provides $27 billion to support zero-emission technologies and other projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of air pollution, including in low-income and disadvantaged communities. We recommended that EPA require funding applicants to submit cost-benefit analyses for their proposed projects and, where otherwise consistent with statutory requirements, use the results of such analyses to prioritize funding allocations. We further recommended that such analyses account for significant unquantified effects, include assessments of distributional impacts, and consider the project’s potential to increase (or reduce) resilience to climate change. Finally, we suggested that, in tracking the success of the program, EPA identify climate resilience as a relevant program outcome.

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  • Enacting the  “Polluter Pays” Principle Cover

    Enacting the “Polluter Pays” Principle

    New York’s Climate Change Superfund Act and Its Impact on Gasoline Prices

    This policy brief analyzes how New York State’s recently proposed Climate Change Superfund Act is most likely to affect consumer gasoline prices. The Act would require payments from fossil-fuel companies based on their historical contributions to current greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. The payments would be used to build green infrastructure to help the state adapt to climate change. The brief finds that the Act would likely have a negligible impact on current and near-term oil prices, while potentially lowering future energy prices in New York, including for transportation.

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  • Who Knows What: Information Barriers to Efficient DER Roll-Out Cover

    Who Knows What: Information Barriers to Efficient DER Roll-Out

    Published in International Association of Energy, Environment and Economy Journal

    While academic research on Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) has been mostly focused on first-best systems, we hypothesize that in reality multiple information barriers to efficient DER roll-out exist. We thus study the prevalence and importance of information issues arising in the context of deployment of DERs by reviewing the existing engineering and economic literature on distributed resources, analyzing DER-related regulatory proceedings, and surveying the relevant electricity sector stakeholders for their perception of information relevance and accessibility.

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  • Policy Integrity Research Shapes New Federal Climate Damage Estimates

    In its updated climate damage estimates for greenhouse gas emisisons, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cited Policy Integrity scholarship and analysis dozens of times and adopted some of our key arguments. EPA calculated damages based on averaging three damage functions, one of which was based on a paper by Peter Howard and Thomas Sterner. In setting the scope of damages to examine, the agency also adopted Policy Integrity's argument for the need to consider global damages. EPA similarly relied on our arguments about the need to use lower discount rates when assessing the value of future damages.

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