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James Goodwin | September 20, 2023
Last month, the Biden administration rolled out the latest piece of its comprehensive Modernizing Regulatory Review initiative: a proposed guidance on how to account for “ecosystem services” in regulatory analysis. As I explained in my comments, if implemented well, this guidance will reinforce the administration’s broader efforts to reprogram an important step in the rulemaking […]
Daniel Farber | September 12, 2023
In three weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court starts its 2023 Term. There are two blockbuster cases on the docket. In one case, the issue is whether to overrule the Chevron case, which has been foundational to administrative law for the past four decades. In the other, the issue is agency power to sanction violations of the law. Given the Court’s conservative supermajority, there’s a real threat to the power of agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue regulations and enforce the law.
Joshua Briggs | September 5, 2023
In the coming years, key decisions that will greatly impact state efforts to address climate change will be made by agencies that the public often thinks very little about. Public utility commissions (PUCs) are state agencies that regulate energy markets. They set electricity prices, plan energy resource development, and oversee the utility providers within their states. For decades, these agencies have advanced an energy policy that is informed by a straightforward need to provide dependable electricity to consumers at fair rates.
Federico Holm, James Goodwin | August 24, 2023
When French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville toured the United States nearly 200 years ago, he famously marveled at the degree and diversity of the American people’s civic engagement. Through a recent, little-noticed guidance, the Biden administration is now working to further infuse this unique tradition into one of our nation’s most important governing institutions: the federal regulatory system. The White House guidance’s recommendations will be essential for empowering ordinary people to shape the policies we care about, whether it’s keeping our drinking water clean or protecting our wallets against predatory banks. Despite this, the regulatory system is not yet achieving its full democratic potential.
Federico Holm | August 7, 2023
Under the Biden administration, the U.S. regulatory system is experiencing a welcome renaissance, changing the way agencies see their role in society and the relationship between policymaking and public participation. However, the regulatory process is still providing outsized opportunities for large, sophisticated "repeat players" to shape our public protections because of the “two-tiered” nature of public participation that currently exists.
Daniel Farber | July 31, 2023
Former President Donald Trump hasn’t been at all secretive about plans for a possible second term. He has plans, big plans. So big, in fact, that they may collide with a conservative judicial rule called the major questions doctrine. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has mostly used the major questions doctrine to block initiatives by Democratic presidents, it would be more than fair to apply it to Trump. What’s sauce for the goose, after all, is sauce for the gander.
Daniel Farber | June 22, 2023
In the recent debt ceiling law, Congress extensively revamped the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law governing environmental impact statements. An obscure White House agency, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), will have the first opportunity to shape the interpretation of the new language.
Daniel Farber | June 20, 2023
Shortly after President Joe Biden signed the new National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rewrite as part of the debt ceiling law, I wrote a blog post about a major drafting glitch at the heart of the new provisions. Today, I’d like to follow up with more examples.
James Goodwin | June 15, 2023
Following all the partisan rancor on the Hill lately, yesterday’s hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the House Natural Resources Committee was a breath of fresh air. It focused on two important bills that can help Appalachian communities transition to a post-carbon economy in a way that addresses the harmful environmental […]