Michael A. Livermore

Michael A. Livermore is the executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. He is the author, with Richard L. Revesz, of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environmental and Our Health.

Cleantech

Wellinghoff hypes IT for electricity

In his vision of an America transitioning away from fossil fuels, Jon Wellinghoff, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, sees information technology as the basis for tremendous financial and employment opportunities. And with the right policies and incentives, this could happen soon. But in our current political reality, it feels like light years away. Speaking on the future of American energy in the United States at Princeton recently, Wellinghoff got into the details of the technologies, many sitting on the shelf today, that could change individuals’ use of electricity and fuel — and would change some of how America does …

Habits making our world uninhabitable

Congress is making ignoring science a habit

In a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee climate hearing, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) jokingly asked if some of his fellow colleagues were going to overturn the law of gravity, “sending us floating about the room.” It seems funny until you realize that it’s in response to a disturbing trend in Congress of misusing, manipulating, or ignoring scientific facts and academic research. As Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA, put it, if they keep it up, “[p]oliticians overruling scientists on a scientific question would become part of this committee’s legacy.” Just one example: in another Energy and Commerce Committee …

baby steps

New EPA regulations better but not good enough

The regulations will require the installation of scrubbers at plants like this one.Photo: Duke EnergyEPA released revised regulations for industrial and commercial boilers and incinerators this week. Implemented under the Clean Air Act, the move is a step in the right direction for reducing air pollution. But it misses out on opportunities to maximize net economic benefits for the American public.  In this version, revised in the face of significant political backlash, the rules were made less stringent to lower compliance costs. Compared to an earlier draft of the rule, emissions limits for many pollutants are more forgiving, and some …