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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 those decisions. This “Roundup,” which we update regularly, has been cited by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, 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

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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

    For the first year and a half of the Trump administration, deregulatory efforts focused on suspending regulations across many agencies. But those suspensions flouted public input requirements, ignored statutory mandates, and failed to fully and honestly address the impact of the delays on the valuable benefits conferred by the original regulations. As a result, many have been struck down in court.

    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. It is worth reflecting on the era of suspensions as the administration moves into repealing rules. The legal principles that applied to suspensions will also apply to repeals, and the same flaws are already appearing in many of the proposals to repeal regulations.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Carlsbad Region Fossil Fuel Leasing

    November 5, 2018

    We submitted two sets of comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in response to their Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP), which focuses on mineral development potential in the Carlsbad region of New Mexico. Our comments recommend that BLM not offer more lands for fossil fuel leasing, but instead consider alternatives with the greatest amount of conservation and wildlife protection. In particular, we focus on shortcomings in the RMP’s analysis and its failure to monetize climate damages.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Proposed Clean Power Plan Replacement

    October 31, 2018

    EPA recently issued a proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP) with a far weaker rule that will increase greenhouse gas and soot- and smog-forming emissions from the electric sector. Our comments explain why repealing the CPP is unnecessary, irrational, and harmful.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on Proposed Weakening of Vehicle Emissions Standards

    October 26, 2018

    In August 2018, the Trump administration issued a proposal to dramatically weaken federal emissions standards for cars and light trucks, and to revoke the waiver that allows California to set its own standards. Federal emissions standards have been enormously successful at reducing greenhouse gas pollution and lowering fuel costs for consumers, and we recently submitted five separate sets of comments detailing the flaws with the Trump administration’s proposal.

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  • Academic Articles/Working Papers

    Congress and the Executive

    August 15, 2018

    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 EPA on Increasing Transparency in Cost-Benefit Analysis

    August 13, 2018

    Claiming an unsubstantiated need to improve consistency and transparency in its economic analyses, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering revisions to how it weighs costs and benefits in rulemakings. In our comments to EPA, we argue that this proposal is searching for a problem that does not exist. In implying that the agency’s past analyses have somehow inappropriately considered costs and benefits, EPA relies on vague or false assumptions and misleading examples. In fact, through 2016, EPA’s past analyses of regulatory costs and benefits were among the most thorough, consistent, and transparent regulatory impact analyses conducted in the federal government and had justified some of the most net beneficial rules in the history of federal regulation.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to Interior on Offshore Oil Well Control Revisions

    August 6, 2018

    After the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued regulations designed to improve the safety of offshore drilling operations. Finalized in 2016 after six years of extensive public involvement, these safeguards are now in the process of being rolled back by BSEE. Our comments to BSEE argue that it should not move forward with its notice of intent to repeal and/or modify the Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Rule, because BSEE has not provided a reasoned explanation for weakening and repealing safety requirements that it found necessary in 2016. BSEE must analyze all of the forgone societal benefits from rolling back the finalized safeguards, including safety and environmental risk reduction, time savings, industry cost savings, reduced fatalities, and lower externality costs.

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