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Recent Projects

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Caballo West Federal Coal Lease

    June 17, 2019

    The Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSM) issued its environmental assessment of extending the Caballo Mine West Tract federal coal lease. The mining plan would extend the life of the mine by approximately nine years, from 2042-2051, and increase the amount of coal mined from an average of 10.1 million tons per year to approximately 13.5 tons per year. Despite quantifying over 23 million tons of yearly carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, OSM does not include a monetized estimate of the climate damages those emissions will produce. We submitted joint comments asking that OSM use the social cost of greenhouse gases to better weigh the real-world impacts of potential coal leasing.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to BLM on Evans McCurtain Oklahoma Coal Lease

    June 10, 2019

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its environmental assessment of the Evans McCurtain coal lease in Oklahoma, which includes 3.28 million tons of recoverable coal. BLM quantifies around 9.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from direct, upstream, and downstream sources over about eight years. The agency, however, does not provide a monetized estimate of the climate damages those emissions will produce. We submitted joint comments asking that BLM use the social cost of greenhouse gases to better weigh the real-world impacts of potential coal leasing.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on BLM Coal Leasing Environmental Assessment

    June 10, 2019

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) for its decision to lift the Obama administration’s pause on the federal coal leasing program. We submitted comments explaining how the EA provides flawed and incomplete analysis of BLM’s legal authority, alternatives to resuming leasing, and environmental effects.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to BLM on Oil and Gas Lease Sales

    May 24, 2019

    We recently submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) about environmental assessments for three planned oil and gas lease sales in Oklahoma and New Mexico. BLM estimates and quantifies some direct, upstream, and downstream greenhouse gas emissions from the leasing plans, but fails to include a monetized estimate or meaningful assessment of the real-world climate damages those emissions will cause.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to BLM on Environmental Impacts of Federal Oil and Gas Leases

    April 22, 2019

    In response to a District Court order, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently prepared a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) for five federal oil and gas leasing decisions issued in 2015 and 2016. We submitted comments that focus on the agency’s failure to adequately quantify greenhouse gas emissions and monetize their climate impacts.

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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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  • Public Comments

    Comments to BLM on Oil and Gas Leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    March 13, 2019

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for an oil and gas leasing plan within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Coastal Plain. We submitted comments explaining how fossil fuel extraction in ANWR would pose serious threats to a delicate ecosystem and would contribute significantly to climate change. Our criticism of the DEIS focuses on the methodological flaws in BLM’s analysis and their failure to consider viable leasing alternatives.

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  • 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.

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