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Recent Projects

  • Comments to New York DEC on the Value of Carbon

    New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted a damage-cost approach to valuing carbon dioxide pollution. We submitted comments on the DEC's draft guidance supporting the policy. Our comments also raise points about the appropriate use of discount rates, calculating damages for other greenhouse gases, inclusion of co-benefits in analysis, and further considerations for a marginal abatement cost approach.

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  • Comments to ONRR on Its New Proposal to Roll Back the Valuation Rule

    ONRR has proposed to roll back large portions of the Valuation Rule, after previously failing in court to both suspend the rule and repeal the rule.  We submitted comments explaining that the agency has failed yet again to provide a reasoned explanation for the rollback. 

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  • Amicus Brief in Ninth Circuit on Montana Coal Mine Expansion

    The expansion of the Bull Mountains Mine project in Montana would allow for an increase in coal production likely resulting in more than $9 billion in climate damages. We filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit criticizing the Office of Surface Mining’s analysis of the project, which fails to monetize climate impacts using the social cost of carbon. We explain that the project’s full economic benefit is, at most, just one-third of its expected climate costs. 

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  • Comments to BLM on December 2020 Lease Sale in Colorado

    A proposed oil and gas lease sale in Colorado would offer over 45,000 acres in areas valuable for recreation, wildlife, environmental conservation, and tourism. We submitted comments explaining how the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) environmental assessment neglects its duties to manage public lands for multiple uses and consider more limited leasing scenarios.

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  • Harmonizing States' Energy Utility Regulation Frameworks and Climate Laws Cover

    Harmonizing States’ Energy Utility Regulation Frameworks and Climate Laws

    A Case Study of New York

    Unless the institutional framework and laws pertaining to fossil fuels are modified appropriately, decarbonization efforts will likely be stymied by confusion and related opportunities for opposition. This article, published in the Energy Law Journal, aims to start a wider conversation about the process of conforming existing energy law with novel, climate-oriented legislation. We concentrate on New York’s situation to illustrate how these tensions can manifest and what might be done to address them. 

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  • Efficiency in Wholesale Electricity Markets Cover

    Efficiency in Wholesale Electricity Markets

    On the Role of Externalities and Subsidies (Working Paper)

    In our latest working paper, we use economic modeling to analytically show the relationship between generation subsidies and energy and capacity markets. We show that the feared capacity price suppression can happen only under limited circumstances and that in the short-run, the subsidies will tend to increase capacity prices. We also demonstrate that while subsidies cannot produce the first-best outcomes, there exists a range of welfare-enhancing subsidy rates and designs that improve welfare, such that regulators should think of subsidies as one of the tools available for increasing electricity market efficiency.

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  • Overinflated Cover

    Overinflated

    The SAFE Rule’s Overstated Estimates of Vehicle-Price Impacts

    This report is part of a series that documents how the assumptions underlying The Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Final Rule for Model Years 2021–2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks are skewed to make the rule look less harmful than it actually is. In the SAFE Rule, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have significantly rolled back the greenhouse gas emission and fuel economy standards for light vehicles established under the Obama Administration. This report highlights three critical problems in the agencies’ assumptions about vehicle prices.

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  • Presidential Transition Guidance

    As the presidential transition begins, the Institute for Policy Integrity has outlined recommended policy priorities for the Biden administration on climate, energy, and environmental policy, and related social equity outcomes. It is crucial that the incoming administration undertake aggressive reforms that are grounded in science and economics. In recent months, we published a series of reports highlighting actionable, near- and medium-term policy recommendations in several key areas.

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  • Comments to FERC on LNG Compression Project in New York

    Iroquois Gas Transmission System’s Enhancement by Compression Project would provide a significant increase in natural gas compression and transportation, potentially resulting in over 2.4 million metric tons in downstream greenhouse gas emissions. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, however, failed to estimate the project’s total emissions and climate damages. We submitted comments recommending that FERC consider the full range of upstream and downstream emissions and contextualize their impacts using the social cost of carbon.

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  • Building a Foundation for Sustainable Infrastructure Cover

    Building a Foundation for Sustainable Infrastructure

    Barriers to Infrastructure Development and Federal Policy Solutions

    Most categories of American infrastructure—from transportation and water systems to public school buildings and electricity meters—are in dire need of modernization, and climate change is compounding this challenge. Our report provides policy recommendations at each stage of the infrastructure lifecycle, from project planning and analysis, through financing, construction, and maintenance. We explain how a realigned approach to infrastructure can boost the economy while addressing threats from climate change and prioritizing social equity goals.

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