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Recent Projects

Viewing recent projects in Safety and Consumer Protection
  • News

    Fuel-Economy Standards, Corporate Penalties, and a Very Costly Rollback

    February 20, 2020

    The mistake of setting corporate fuel-economy penalties just a little too low can be magnified by automakers’ decisions to produce millions of cars with worse fuel-economy. And the Trump penalty appears to be way too low to motivate compliance. Here’s a breakdown of the reduced penalty and how it will likely affect cars, consumers, and our climate.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Connecticut’s Study of the Value of Distributed Energy Resources

    February 14, 2020

    Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) are conducting a study to determine how it can best compensate distributed energy resources, like solar panels and residential battery installations, which can provide provide significant value to the grid. DEEP and PURA’s study involves an electric system dispatch simulation model and various DER technology use cases. We submitted comments on the model’s outputs and how they can be improved to better serve the study.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to SEC on Shareholder Proposal Regulations

    February 3, 2020

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule that would limit investors’ ability to propose shareholder resolutions for a vote by fellow shareholders. The rule would raise requirements on the amount of stock required to be owned, impose requirements for the length of time the stock must have been held, and make it harder to resubmit resolutions that had failed to reach majority support in prior years. We submitted comments critiquing the rule, which will limit shareholder monitoring and likely have an outsized impact on shareholders’ role in environmental oversight.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation

    February 1, 2020

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule that would likely reduce Medicaid funding, provider payments, and beneficiaries’ access to care. We submitted comments explaining serious flaws in the agency’s analysis, which fails to quantify funding reductions and assess the health impacts of reduced care.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Coal Combustion Residuals Rule

    January 31, 2020

    Coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash, are the residual substances that remain after burning coal. They contain several chemicals that are toxic to human health, including arsenic, boron, lead, and mercury. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that amends the regulatory framework for the disposal of coal ash. We submitted comments detailing how EPA fails to analyze the forgone benefits of the regulatory changes, which extend deadlines and eligibility for facilities that lack appropriate disposal capacity.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on Dust-Lead Hazard Standards

    January 22, 2020

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule revising standards for lead found in dust on floors, window sills, and in soil. Our amicus brief critiques the rule, which forgoes net beneficial options in favor of weaker standards that will cause significant harms to public health.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Briefs on Homeland Security’s “Public Charge” Rule

    January 21, 2020

    In August, the Department of Homeland Security finalized the “public charge” rule, which seeks to deny lawful permanent residency to immigrants who have participated in public assistance programs like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Section 8 housing voucher program. Multiple federal district courts have since enjoined the rule from taking effect and Policy Integrity filed amicus briefs supporting those injunctions on appeal. Our briefs explain how the Department failed to meaningfully assess many of the substantial social costs of the large-scale disenrollment from public assistance programs that will result from the rule, and also failed to identify any significant social benefits from the rule.

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  • Reports

    Look Before You Lease

    January 7, 2020

    While the Trump administration’s goal of “energy dominance” has increased the public lands available for oil and gas development, no effort has been made to modernize the leasing system, even in the face of climate change. Our report explains how option value—which accounts for the informational value gained by delaying leasing decisions—can and should be factored into the Bureau of Land Management’s land use planning processes. Accounting for option value at multiple stages of the land use planning process would significantly improve BLM’s public lands stewardship, better protect the environment, and regain some of the economic and strategic advantages it has ceded to private developers. The report also describes case studies where BLM’s failure to consider option value has led to costly litigation and missed opportunities.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on HHS Changes to Grant Recipient Regulations

    December 19, 2019

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing to change regulations governing grant recipients, such as foster-care and adoption programs. The rule would allow discrimination on the basis of non-merit factors including sexual orientation or gender identity, likely leading to more denials of service to qualified LGBT individuals and same-sex couples. We submitted comments detailing how HHS fails to provide any analysis of the proposed rule’s costs.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to the Department of Labor on Tip Pooling

    December 9, 2019

    The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing to implement new tip regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. We submitted comments asking DOL to provide a more detailed explanation of the proposed rule and improve its underlying analysis.

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