Showing 263 results
James Goodwin | September 29, 2022
Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released what is almost certainly the best regulatory analysis it has performed in over 40 years. (To be clear, though, the bar for these analyses is pretty low.) More importantly, it provides President Biden with new impetus to finally follow through with the long overdue implementation of his administration’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memorandum.
James Goodwin | September 28, 2022
What does President Joe Biden believe on regulatory policy? It is striking that after 20 months of his administration, we still do not know. Unfortunately, rather than shed light on this crucial issue, September 29th's Senate confirmation hearing to consider the nomination of law professor Richard Revesz as the next administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is likely to raise more uncertainty.
Alexandra Rogan, James Goodwin | August 18, 2022
With the signature of President Joe Biden, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) now marks the most significant climate policy action the United States has ever taken. The defining feature of this law is that it seeks to wring carbon dioxide emissions out of the U.S. economy by relying heavily on policy "carrots," like subsidies, instead of policy "sticks," such as regulating the fossil fuel industry or attempting to capture the external costs of greenhouse gas emissions through carbon pricing.
Alexandra Rogan, James Goodwin | August 18, 2022
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will subsidize our nation's clean energy revolution and have a positive impact on climate-driven economics, as noted in Part I of this series. That said, the IRA isn't flawless. Notably, it includes several subsidies for fossil fuels, which will be counterproductive as our nation works toward its climate goals. Worse still, not all "carrots" for clean energy technologies are good, and the IRA includes a potentially bad one. Specifically, the IRA risks subsidizing the clean energy transition through perpetuating environmental injustice in how we obtain and use energy to fuel our economy.
James Goodwin | August 10, 2022
After more than 50 years, the Clean Air Act is due for an upgrade to account for changing circumstances. We can now recognize how the law is insufficiently attentive to the realities of structural racism and systemic disparities in environmental protections. Polluters have exacerbated these problems by weaponizing uncertainty to oppose stronger protections for those who need them most. In speaking to both challenges, the Public Health Air Quality Act would help ensure that the Clean Air Act is well positioned to continue serving the American people for the next 50 years.
James Goodwin | July 27, 2022
The Biden administration’s path forward on climate change -- as the widely deployed metaphor goes -- has become more difficult with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in West Virginia vs. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If the Biden administration is to successfully navigate that path -- and it must if we are to avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis -- the president will need to abandon the “compass” that his predecessors have relied on for decades to guide their policy agenda: Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review.
James Goodwin, Shelley Welton | June 29, 2022
These days, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can no longer be described as a technocratic, under-the-radar agency that sets policies on energy infrastructure and market rules, rates, and standards. As energy policy has become front-page news, FERC has begun updating its regulations to meet new exigencies. The agency has taken big steps to support affordability and a transition to cleaner energy, including proposing updates to the way it permits natural gas pipelines and beginning to overhaul how regions plan and pay for the expansion of electricity transmission infrastructure. These moves have provoked controversy because their stakes are high: Billions of dollars of infrastructure expenditures are on the table. What gets built, who pays, who hosts this infrastructure, and who makes those decisions also have major implications for equity and racial justice.
James Goodwin | June 23, 2022
Any high school student can tell you that water follows the path of least resistance. A similar rule might be said to apply to corporate polluters and small government ideologues who now see the federal judiciary -- especially a U.S. Supreme Court stocked with Trump-era judicial activists -- as the path of least resistance in pursuing their agenda of the "deconstruction of the administrative state." The first case they have teed up for the October session of oral arguments is Sackett v. EPA, which the Court could use to gut the Clean Water Act.
James Goodwin | April 27, 2022
Few policy questions have a more profound impact on our day-to-lives than how we produce, transport, and use energy. Whether it's a fight against the siting of a polluting natural gas facility in a historically Black community, the catastrophic failure of an electric grid following a winter storm, foreign wars causing price shocks that further hollow out the fixed incomes of America's older adults, or an abiding concern over leaving our grandchildren a habitable climate — all these issues and more make energy policy a central concern for the public. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — which oversees much of the country's energy infrastructure and helps set rules, rates, and standards for energy markets — is undertaking new efforts to level the playing field. A new Center for Progressive Reform report examines one of these efforts: the establishment of the Office of Public Participation (OPP). After decades of delay, FERC finally began setting up the office this past year.