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Recent Projects

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Coal Combustion Residuals Rule

    October 15, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed to significantly weaken requirements for the disposal of coal combustion residuals from coal-fired power plants. We submitted comments focusing on inadequacies in EPA’s assessment of the rule’s costs and benefits.

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  • Reports

    Opportunities for Valuing Climate Impacts in U.S. State Electricity Policy

    April 2, 2019

    With an absence of federal leadership on climate change, many states have worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their own, often by incorporating a broader range of considerations into electricity policy. Our report assesses the potential to expand the valuation of climate damages in state electricity policy using Social Cost of Carbon metrics. We examine existing statutes and regulations in all 50 states to identify opportunities for valuing climate impacts around the country.

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  • Issue Briefs

    A Lower Bound

    January 31, 2019

    The Social Cost of Carbon, developed by the Obama-era Interagency Working Group (IWG), is the best available tool for measuring the economic damages from greenhouse gas emissions. It has been used in analysis for over 100 federal regulations that affect greenhouse gas emissions, as well as by a number of states in electricity and climate policy. Still, many significant impacts identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are difficult to quantify and so have been omitted from the IWG SCC estimates. Impacts such as increased fire risk, slower economic growth, and large-scale migration are all unaccounted for, despite their potential to cause large economic losses. Our new issue brief discusses these omissions and other variables that will influence climate outcomes. We encourage policymakers to account for this likely underestimate by viewing the SCC as a lower bound for damages.

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  • Academic Articles/Working Papers

    Congress and the Executive

    January 30, 2019

    Critics of the administrative state have been urging Congress to rein in regulatory action, claiming that regulations created by executive agencies are undesirable as a matter of policy and are in violation of constitutional principles. In a troubling development, the Trump Administration has also turned away from cost-benefit analysis in order to carry out its anti-regulatory agenda, disregarding an established bipartisan consensus that stretched back several decades. This article, published in the Michigan State Law Review, argues that this anti-regulatory position is unwarranted. These executive regulatory actions produced large net benefits to the American people, were carried out pursuant to authority delegated by Congress, and were reviewed by the courts. By contrast, more robust action by Congress, as long as Congress continues to exhibit its current gridlock on important policy issues like climate change, is unlikely to be beneficial.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to BLM on Resource Management in the Powder River Basin

    December 21, 2018

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering amending Resource Management Plans for the Miles City and Buffalo field offices in the Powder River Basin. The agency will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposal. We submitted comments at the scoping phase urging BLM to provide analysis that quantifies the external costs of fossil fuel development in the region and evaluates critical land management alternatives.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to BLM on Foidel Creek Mine Expansion

    December 21, 2018

    A proposed expansion of the Foidel Creek Mine in Colorado would allow Peabody Energy to recover nearly five million additional tons of federal coal, extending the mine’s life by an additional two years. We submitted joint comments that critique the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) environmental assessment of the expansion, which miscalculates downstream emissions and fails to monetize the climate damages those emissions will produce.

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  • News

    Roundup of Trump-Era Deregulation in the Courts

    December 10, 2018

    The Trump administration has undertaken numerous deregulatory actions through rule suspensions; repeals; rescissions; efforts to weaken regulations through guidance, memoranda, amendments, or replacements; and more. Many of these actions have been challenged in court and decisions have been reached in several cases.

    The Institute for Policy Integrity maintains a publicly available list of the outcomes of those lawsuits. This “Roundup,” which we update regularly, has been cited by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, E&E News, and the Brookings Institution.

    The Roundup provides an overview of each court decision, with relevant links to the government actions and court rulings. It also tallies the successful and unsuccessful outcomes for the administration for ease of reference. Updates should be submitted to bethany.davisnoll@nyu.edu.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Environmental Impact Statement for Changes to Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument

    November 30, 2018

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument and Kanab-Escalante Planning Area. We submitted comments explaining why the agency should analyze the impacts of each land management alternative using Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases estimates.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Environmental Impact Statement for Changes to Bears Ears Monument

    November 15, 2018

    The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on their land management proposal for the Bears Ears National Monument. The EIS does not consider the environmental impacts of shrinking the monument’s boundaries. We submitted comments explaining why the agencies are responsible for providing detailed environmental analysis of their proposal to alter the Bears Ears planning area.

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  • Reports

    Deregulation Run Amok

    November 13, 2018

    Our report provides a survey of the legality of Trump Administration’s regulatory suspensions. Looking at a number of cases, we discuss the administration’s disregard for notice-and-comment requirements, statutory restrictions, and the reasoned explanation requirement. We also lay out some of the challenges facing advocates, and the strategies by which agencies have evaded review.

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