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Viewing recent projects in Public Comments
  • 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 to SEC on Major Questions Doctrine

    In June 2022, the Institute for Policy Integrity jointly submitted three comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its Proposed Rule on the Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors. One of those comments highlighted regulatory precedents reaching back nearly sixty years that support the SEC's approach in the Proposed Rule. On January 30, 2023, we submitted as supplemental comments a recent article from Natasha Brunstein and Donald L. R. Goodson, Unheralded and Transformative: The Test for Major Questions After West Virginia, forthcoming in the William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, which analyzes the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA, 142 S. Ct. 2587 (2022). This new article bolsters the relevance of the regulatory precedents cited in Policy Integrity's previous joint comments as support for the Proposed Rule.

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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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  • Comments to PUCT on Wholesale Electricity Market Design

    The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUCT) requested public input as part of an ongoing effort to ensure the reliability of its wholesale electricity market design following Winter Storm Uri. We submitted comments on how the PUCT can achieve its reliability goals in a manner that ensures just and reasonable rates for consumers. For any new mechanism it may deem necessary, we encouraged the PUCT to choose a design that accords with economic principles. Such a design would compensate both dispatchable and non-dispatchable resources according to their reliability value, include an efficient penalty structure for non-performance of generation units, reduce uncertainty for market participants, and mitigate market power exercise.

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  • Policy Brief and Supplemental Comments on the FERC Transmission Planning Rule and the Major Questions Doctrine

    Together with Harvard’s Electricity Law Initiative, we prepared a policy brief and supplemental comments defending the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) proposed rule on transmission planning reform from arguments that the proposal would trigger the major questions doctrine. We review previous transmission planning regulations and orders by FERC to explain that the major questions doctrine does not apply because the proposed rule is neither unheralded nor transformative.

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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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  • Comments to Department of Transportation on Airline Ticket Refunds

    DOT recently proposed a rule that would require airlines to issue refunds or non-expiring vouchers to consumers whose flights are significantly delayed or canceled or who decide not to travel for certain health reasons. Policy Integrity submitted comments in support of the proposal, and made recommendations to clarify and strengthen the final rule.

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  • Comments to FTC on Commercial Surveillance and Data Security

    In August, the Federal Trade Commission released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on avenues to regulate commercial surveillance and data security practices that harm consumers. Policy Integrity submitted comments recommending that the FTC regulate “immortal accounts,” a practice by which entities make it difficult or impossible to delete a consumer account in order to retain and profit from the user’s data and continue charging subscriptions. Our comments were based on a report that we recently published establishing the Commission’s authority to regulate this pervasive practice.

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  • Comments on BSEE Well Control Rule

    Policy Integrity submitted comments to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), located within the Department of the Interior, in support of its proposed rule to strengthen regulations for well control and blowout preventer systems in the Outer Continental Shelf. This rule aims to reduce the risk of loss-of-well-control events, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, by tightening well operator reporting requirements and equipment standards. Our comments encourage BSEE to strengthen the Proposed Rule's cost-benefit analysis by performing a break-even analysis and quantitatively assessing and/or qualitatively describing the full range of harms that result from well blowouts.

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