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Recent Projects

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  • Amicus Brief in SDNY on Healthcare Nondiscrimination Rule

    A rule by the Department of Health and Human Services would narrow the scope of civil rights protections for patients under the Affordable Care Act. We filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York explaining how HHS fails to acknowledge, let alone weigh, the significant social harms resulting from the rule.

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  • Amicus Brief in D.C. Circuit on Tennessee Pipeline Extension

    If constructed, the Tennessee pipeline extension and related projects would be responsible for substantial greenhouse gas emissions. We submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that explains how FERC’s failure to quantify the project’s emissions and monetize climate damages using Social Cost of Carbon estimates is arbitrary.

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  • Amicus Briefs on Navigable Waters Protection Rule

    In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers published the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which considerably restricts the waters and wetlands that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. We filed briefs in the Northern District of California and District of South Carolina focusing on the agencies’ economic analysis, which the agencies use to obscure the rule’s anticipated harms. We later filed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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  • Amicus Brief on EPA’s Revocation of the California Auto Emissions Waiver

    We filed a brief in the D.C. Circuit supporting a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to revoke the waiver of preemption that allowed California (and more than a dozen states following California's standards) to set critical auto emission standards to further restrict greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollutants. EPA wrongfully concluded that it has virtually unconstrained authority to revoke a preemption waiver under Section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act. We explain how the agency overlooks key countervailing principles and misconstrues the purpose and mechanics of the waiver provision.  

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  • Amicus Brief on Borrower Defense Rule

    We filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York supporting a challenge to the Department of Education’s replacement for a 2016 regulation known as the Borrower Defense Rule. The replacement rule makes it much harder for student borrowers who have been defrauded by for-profit colleges to get their loans discharged—and for the government to recover the value of those discharged loans from the offending institutions. Our brief focuses on serious flaws in the Department’s economic analysis of the new policy. Most notably, the Department fails to consider the costs of forgone debt relief for borrowers and refuses to acknowledge that reducing financial accountability for institutions will encourage them to engage in more fraud.

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  • Amicus Brief on Revisions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

    Under recent revisions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, nearly 700,000 current beneficiaries would lose eligibility—harming the health of those individuals and likely causing economic disruption in the food sector. We filed an amicus brief in a federal lawsuit challenging the rule, detailing how the Department of Agriculture’s analysis fails to assess the profound and widespread costs of substantial disenrollment from SNAP assistance. Our brief was cited several times in the State Plaintiffs' reply brief to support their argument that the federal government did not adequately consider the indirect costs of the rule. 

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  • Amicus Brief in Rio Grande LNG Case

    If constructed, the Rio Grande liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline would be responsible for greenhouse gas emissions resulting in billions of dollars in 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 estimates is arbitrary.

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  • Fourth Circuit Amicus Briefs on Title X Rule

    Last year, the Trump administration finalized its Title X “gag rule,” which prohibits funded family planning service providers from referring clients for abortion and requires Title X facilities to be physically separate from facilities that provide abortion. We’ve filed two briefs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the ongoing challenge of the rule.

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  • Amicus Brief on EPA’s Clean Power Plan Replacement Rule

    Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) replaced the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which sought substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, with the so-called Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, a far weaker policy that will, at best, yield modest reductions below business-as-usual emissions and, at worst, increase pollution from the electric sector. We filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit highlighting three key errors in EPA’s rationale for repealing the Clean Power Plan. Specifically, we explain, EPA misstates regulatory precedent and Clean Air Act legislative history supporting the Clean Power Plan and disregards the substantial harms that the ACE Rule will cause.

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  • Amicus Brief on New Jersey’s Zero-Emissions Credits Program

    In 2018, New Jersey established a Zero-Emissions Credits (ZECs) program, which provides subsidies to the state’s nuclear power plants for reducing carbon emissions in the energy sector. Our amicus brief explains how the Social Cost of Carbon is the best available estimate for valuing harms caused by carbon dioxide emissions. We also argue that the ZECs program should account for the benefits of avoided emissions both inside and outside of New Jersey.

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