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Publications

Viewing all publications in Academic Articles/Working Papers
  • Costs, Confusion, and Climate Change Cover

    Costs, Confusion, and Climate Change

    Yale Journal on Regulation

    Recently, some prominent public policy experts and scholars have proposed that a “marginal abatement cost” (MAC) could be used as an alternative to the social cost of carbon (SCC). This article provides conceptual clarity about these metrics, focusing on how a MAC-based threshold could sensibly be used in climate policy, and explaining why it is not a substitute for the SCC.

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  • Valuing the Future: Legal and Economic Considerations for Updating Discount Rates Cover

    Valuing the Future: Legal and Economic Considerations for Updating Discount Rates

    Yale Journal on Regulation

    This article explores the legal and economic considerations for updating discount rates and details the compelling economic evidence for lowering the current default rates for regulatory analyses. It argues that a declining discount rate framework can consistently harmonize agency practices and so put agencies on sound legal footing in their approach to valuing the future.

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  • Poisoning America Cover

    Poisoning America

    A “Reasoned Consistency” Response to the Trump Administration’s Regulatory Shell Game

    Published in the NYU Environmental Law Journal, the article analyzes the inconsistent manner in which the Trump administration dealt with cost-benefit analysis, federalism, and the treatment of dirty, old sources of pollution in the design of environmental policy. The article finds that though inconsistencies across different regulations— as opposed to inconsistencies within a single regulation—have not been a core concern of the Administrative Procedure Act, its prohibition on “arbitrary and capricious” agency action is sufficiently capacious to embrace egregious inconsistencies.

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  • Mangling the Major Questions Doctrine Cover

    Mangling the Major Questions Doctrine

    Published in Administrative Law Review

    The Trump Administration construed the major questions doctrine enormously expansively and inconsistently, in ways untethered to the Court’s jurisprudence, turning it into little more than an invitation for courts to strike down regulations the Administration did not favor for policy-based reasons. Under the similarly wrongheaded and even broader arguments made by the Administration’s allies, all greenhouse gas regulations could be suspect on major question grounds. Bringing to light these argument's enormously problematic application of the doctrine is important to foreclose their successful revival in future administrations.

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  • Distributional Consequences and Regulatory Analysis Cover

    Distributional Consequences and Regulatory Analysis

    Published in Environmental Law

    This article examines what it would take for the Biden effort at incorporating environmental justice into regulatory decisionmaking to succeed where the Clinton and Obama efforts failed. It argues that agencies will need to be provided with clear guidance on the methodologies used to conduct distributional analysis, and that the lack of a standardized approach is part of the reason prior efforts failed. It further argues that agencies will need to take seriously the already existing requirement of analyzing the distributional consequences of different regulatory alternatives. Otherwise, they will never be in a position to answer the key question in this area: when are the better distributional consequences of one alternative sufficient to overcome another alternative’s higher net benefits?

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