Regulatory Antecedents and the Major Questions Doctrine
In recent years, federal courts have increasingly assessed the legality of regulatory action by considering its antecedents, or lack thereof, in prior agency actions. Yet as this article explains, federal agencies have insufficiently adapted to this increased judicial focus on regulatory antecedents. While significant agency rulemakings typically include extensive dockets with many different types of analysis, they have generally provided limited analysis of regulatory antecedents. This article suggests that agencies more extensively catalog regulatory antecedents at all stages of the rulemaking process, from drafting to promulgation.
Do Non-Damaging Earthquakes Shake Mortgage Lenders’ Risk Perception?
Working paper in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
This study examines how banks respond to earthquakes that convey seismic risk salience but do not cause damage, i.e., noticeable non-damaging earthquakes (NNDEs). Using evidence from California, we find loans more likely to be denied or sold after increased NNDEs. Banks with fewer assets, more diversified branching markets, or stronger sales capability relied more on securitization to transfer the perceived seismic risk. We show evidence that banks likely learned about the NNDEs through personal experience and local news. The effects of NNDEs persisted up to three years. Meanwhile, the NNDEs only caused moderate and temporary collateral devaluation but did not increase the observable default risk. Thus, banks' responses most likely resulted from the increased risk salience of future damaging earthquakes during the mortgage term. Our findings call for reevaluations of the heuristics in banks' risk-perception updating and have implications for designing more efficient disaster risk-sharing mechanisms in the financial market.
Who Knows What: Information Barriers to Efficient DER Roll-Out
Published in International Association of Energy, Environment and Economy Journal
While academic research on Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) has been mostly focused on first-best systems, we hypothesize that in reality multiple information barriers to efficient DER roll-out exist. We thus study the prevalence and importance of information issues arising in the context of deployment of DERs by reviewing the existing engineering and economic literature on distributed resources, analyzing DER-related regulatory proceedings, and surveying the relevant electricity sector stakeholders for their perception of information relevance and accessibility.
Air Pollution and Environmental Justice
Published in Ecology Law Quarterly
The article examines the failures of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address the environmental justice harms from air pollution and identifies three recent development that could augur beneficial change.
Impact of Imperfect Foresight on Optimal DER Deployment, Remuneration and Policy
Published in Applied Energy
This paper proposes a decision-making framework to optimize electricity tariffs and remuneration policy for renewable energy sources operating in transmission- and distribution-level (T&D) marketplaces. The authors develop perfect and imperfect foresight models with a multi-level structure to investigate the effects of the inability of actors to correctly predict future remuneration on the efficiency of the decisions made by policymakers.
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