Institute for Policy Integrity logo

Twitter @policyintegrity

Recent Projects

Viewing recent projects in Jobs and Regulation
  • Academic Articles/Working Papers

    Environmental Standards, Thresholds, and the Next Battleground of Climate Change Regulations

    February 15, 2019

    This article addresses a central battleground of the debate about the future of greenhouse gas regulations: the valuation of particulate matter reductions that accompany reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The benefits from particulate matter reductions are substantial for climate change rules, accounting for almost one half of the quantified benefits of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. These benefits are also significant for regulations of other air pollutants, making this issue one of far-reaching importance for the future of environmental protection.

    Opponents of environmental regulation, including the Trump Administration, have recently embraced an aggressive line of attack on particulate matter benefits. They argue alternatively that these benefits are not real; are being “double counted” in other regulations; or should not be considered when they are the co-benefits, rather than the direct benefits, of specific regulations. This article collects and analyzes for the first time the robust support for valuing particulate matter benefits. An examination of the scientific literature, longstanding agency practices under administrations of both major political parties, and judicial precedent reveals that particulate matter benefits deserve a meaningful role in regulatory cost-benefit analysis.

    Read more

  • Academic Articles/Working Papers

    Will You Be There for Me the Whole Time?

    February 7, 2019

    This paper discusses how variations in the availability of various resources (generation seasonality) and the fluctuations in the electricity usage (load seasonality) relate to efficient capacity market design. Even though capacity markets have been around for two decades, the necessity as well as the design of these markets are subjects of ongoing debates. Many design questions, such as how to determine the amount of capacity to be procured, how to prevent market power, or how to provide incentives for performance dominate both the academic literature and the policymaking discussions. Another design aspect that plays a crucial role for market participants is the length of the capacity product procured (“obligation period”), because it defines the length of time for which a seller commits to maintaining its capacity available. However, a thorough analysis of obligation periods has been overlooked by literature and policymaking discussions. Our article works to provide this analysis.

    Read more

  • Public Comments

    Comments to FERC on NYISO and Energy Storage Resources

    February 7, 2019

    A new wholesale energy market policy proposal in New York could undermine market efficiency by limiting the compensation available for energy storage resources. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) recently submitted changes to its market rules to encourage energy storage, as required by an order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Order No. 841). The filing prevents energy storage resources from participating in the wholesale markets if they also participate in retail compensation programs. We submitted comments explaining how this participation barrier is inconsistent with FERC’s requirements and should be changed.

    Read more

  • Public Comments

    Comments to FERC on Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Project

    February 4, 2019

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently released an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Adelphia Gateway Project. FERC quantifies nearly 90,000 tons per year of direct carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions, but offers no meaningful analysis of the pipeline’s climate impacts. We submitted joint comments urging FERC to better weigh the significance of project’s impacts using the social cost of greenhouse gases methodology.

    Read more

  • Public Comments

    Comments to FERC on Annova Natural Gas Project

    February 4, 2019

    In the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Annova LNG Brownsville Project, the agency quantifies over 350,000 tons per year of direct operational carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions from the proposed natural gas terminal. But FERC fails to provide meaningful analysis of the resulting climate impacts. We submitted joint comments urging FERC to better contextualize the project’s impacts using the social cost of greenhouse gases methodology.

    Read more

  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Delay of Landfill Emission Guidelines

    January 3, 2019

    In 2016, EPA finalized Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. Once implemented, the regulation will deliver significant net benefits from reducing pollution that contributes to climate change and other harmful impacts to human health. EPA, however, is proposing to substantially delay the implementation of these protections. We submitted comments that point out how EPA fails to justify the proposed delay and assess its social costs.

    Read more

  • Public Comments

    Supplemental Comments to NHTSA and EPA on Vehicle Emissions Standards

    December 21, 2018

    In October, we submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) critiquing the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule. We now have also submitted supplemental comments rebutting an analysis, prepared by NERA Economic Consulting and Trinity Consultants and submitted by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, in support of the proposed rule.

    Read more

  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Reconsideration of Methane Standards for New Sources

    December 17, 2018

    In 2016, EPA finalized a set of performance standards for new, reconstructed, and modified sources of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the oil and natural gas sector. A recent proposal, however, aims to weaken the 2016 rule in a variety of ways, with the goal of reducing the regulatory “burden” on industry. We submitted comments that focus on inadequacies in the cost-benefit analysis accompanying the proposed rule.

    Read more

  • Academic Articles/Working Papers

    Regulation and Distribution

    December 17, 2018

    This article, published in the New York University Law Review, tackles a question that has vexed the administrative state for the last half century: how to seriously take account of the distributional consequences of regulation. Academic literature has largely accepted the view that distributional concerns should be moved out of the regulatory domain and into Congress’s tax policy portfolio. In doing so, it has overlooked the fact that tax policy is ill suited to provide compensation for significant environmental, health, and safety harms. And the congressional gridlock that has bedeviled us for several decades makes this enterprise even more of a nonstarter. The time has come to make distributional consequences a core concern of the regulatory state – otherwise, future socially beneficial regulations could well encounter significant roadblocks. This article provides the blueprint for the establishment of a standing, broadly constituted interagency body charged with addressing serious negative consequences of regulatory measures on particular groups.

    Read more

  • Public Comments

    Comments on EPA Rollback of Refrigerant Substitutes Regulation

    November 15, 2018

    EPA recently proposed rolling back regulatory provisions that curb emissions of refrigerant substitutes, which are highly potent greenhouse gases. The agency admits that the rescissions would significantly increase the release of refrigerator hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) but fails to monetize the climate damages caused by forgone emissions reductions. We submitted comments explaining how EPA should value the climate damages of these greenhouse gases.

    Read more