A Review of BOEM’s Economic Analysis for Its Proposed Five-Year Program
In July 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its proposed Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program for 2023–2028. That plan contemplates holding up to 11 lease sales over the next five years, and conducts an economic analysis concluding that the benefits of those lease sales would exceed the costs. This report provides comprehensive feedback on BOEM’s economic analysis. As the report details, BOEM vastly understates the environmental and social costs of offshore leasing in several key ways.
Published in Applied Energy
This paper proposes a decision-making framework to optimize electricity tariffs and remuneration policy for renewable energy sources operating in transmission- and distribution-level (T&D) marketplaces. The authors develop perfect and imperfect foresight models with a multi-level structure to investigate the effects of the inability of actors to correctly predict future remuneration on the efficiency of the decisions made by policymakers.
After a meteoric rise in production over the past decade, the United States has become the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world. Yet, the analysis behind LNG terminal and export approvals overlooks climate and environmental justice impacts, despite promises of imminent reform. Policy Integrity’s new report provides a comprehensive look at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) past practice in this space and offers recommendations for improving their review of the climate and environmental justice impacts of LNG approvals.
As states step up on climate action, they need a way to weigh climate goals against other policy objectives. The social cost of greenhouse gases (SC-GHG) can help policymakers understand the costs and benefits of climate action and inaction. This new guide for state officials explains why the SC-GHG is a useful policy tool and how it can be applied.
Federal agencies frequently provide no justification for their analytical time frame when analyzing the costs and benefits of a policy. This is true even when there are costs and benefits that clearly occur beyond the time frame chosen by the agency. In so doing, agencies risk overlooking key long-term impacts that may justify more stringent regulation.
This report argues that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should take steps to improve how agencies consider analytical time frames in their cost-benefit analyses.
The 2020 Steam Electric Reconsideration Rule and Potential Future Methods
EPA is considering regulations that would clean up the wastewater discharges from power plants, after they were stalled and then rolled back under the Trump administration. As it conducts that analysis, this report urges EPA to provide a robust assessment of the benefits of the regulation, improving on analysis that was conducted in the Obama era. The report reviews the economic framework, literature, and analyses performed to support both the original Obama-era rule and Trump-era revisions, building on Davis Noll and Rothschild (2021), which detailed numerous impacts of the 2020 Rule that EPA neglected to examine. This review highlights key considerations that will strengthen future regulations.
How the FTC Can Limit Unwanted Data Retention
The report argues that an FTC rule requiring reasonable cancellation practices for all market actors and providing clear and specific guidelines would address the harms of immortal accounts. Such regulation would fall under the FTC’s authority and advance the Commission’s mission to protect consumers and competition by preventing deceptive, unfair, and anticompetitive business practices.
Six Priorities for CEQ’s Phase 2 Rulemaking
In April 2022, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) finalized a limited, “Phase 1” rulemaking to restore several longstanding features of the regulations that guide agency assessments under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which CEQ had removed in 2020. In that rule, CEQ reaffirmed its intentions to further revise the regulations to better ensure that agencies make decisions that “advance environmental, climate change mitigation and resilience, and environmental justice objectives.” This policy brief outlines six simple regulatory revisions that CEQ should prioritize for its “Phase 2” rulemaking to improve consideration of climate change during environmental review.
How the Consumer Product Safety Commission Can Address the Risks of Indoor Air Pollution from Gas Stoves
Gas stoves are found in over a third of American homes, and these appliances generate dangerous indoor levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) within just a few minutes of cooking. This report suggests several ways the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) can and should take action to address the unreasonable health risks posed by gas stove emissions.
Taking a Closer Look at the Need for New Natural Gas Infrastructure
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) uses a flawed process to evaluate the need for new, long-lasting gas infrastructure such as interstate pipelines, resulting in a certification process that fails to serve the public interest. As FERC begins to re-examine its approval process for new natural gas infrastructure, our report analyzes the Commission’s authority to consider a broader range of factors when deciding whether a proposed project is in the public interest. The report offers four key recommendations for reform.
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