How the Trump Administration’s Deregulatory Push Has Exacerbated the Covid-19 Pandemic
The failure of the federal government to adequately safeguard the health, environment, and economy of the United States with efficient regulatory protections is not a new phenomenon. For over three years now, the Trump administration has systematically delayed, undermined, and erased key regulations that protect our health, our environment, our workplaces, our living conditions, and our economy. The steady erosion of regulatory safeguards has severely compromised our baseline defenses against Covid-19.
Shortchanged: How the Trump Administration’s Rollback of the Clean Car Standards Deprives Consumers of Fuel Savings
The Trump administration recently replaced the Obama administration’s strongest climate policy, the Clean Car Standards, with a significantly weaker rule. We explain how EPA and NHTSA, to justify the rollback, rely on an analytical gimmick that contravenes decades of agency practice across administrations as well as the principles of basic economics.
The Concealed Costs of the Clean Water Rule Rollback
In restricting the scope of the Clean Water Act through two regulatory rollbacks, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers claim that the estimated compliance-cost savings exceed the environmental harms (in the form of forgone benefits). Yet these analyses suffer from severe methodological flaws. And correcting the analyses would very likely show that the rollbacks are net costly to society, depriving the public of potentially billions of dollars in annual forgone benefits. As detailed in this report, the agencies’ failure to meaningfully assess the substantial harms that will result from their rollbacks violates both regulatory precedent and the agencies’ legal obligations.
An Economic and Legal Guide
This report explains how carbon-pricing rules in organized wholesale electricity markets can improve economic efficiency. It then explores the economic principles and legal requirements for RTOs, states, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider when implementing a carbon-pricing rule in organized wholesale electricity markets. And it identifies several policy-design approaches that, to varying degrees, meet those economic principles and are likely to be found legally permissible.
Reducing Fossil Fuel Dominance on Public Lands by Accounting for Option Value
While the Trump administration’s goal of “energy dominance” has increased the public lands available for oil and gas development, no effort has been made to modernize the leasing system, even in the face of climate change. Our report explains how option value—which accounts for the informational value gained by delaying leasing decisions—can and should be factored into the Bureau of Land Management’s land use planning processes. Accounting for option value at multiple stages of the land use planning process would significantly improve BLM’s public lands stewardship, better protect the environment, and regain some of the economic and strategic advantages it has ceded to private developers. The report also describes case studies where BLM’s failure to consider option value has led to costly litigation and missed opportunities.
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