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.

get a little bit louder

Why enviros should have a more active voice about regulations

Speak up!Photo: theparadigmshifterBecause the political arena is often fraught with hyperbole, misinformation, and special interest pandering, facts and reason don’t count for as much as they should. Despite that, green advocates have smartly and effectively engaged in the political arena to help protect the environment and public health. But to augment that advocacy, it is equally important for greens to engage in the regulatory process, which offers a refuge from the dysfunction of political discourse. Because of the legal structure that undergirds it, it is one of the few bastions in American government where truth can trump rhetoric. Whenever a …

fair shake

Obama's regulatory reform will focus on fairness

Obama's executive order adds "human dignity" and "fairness" to the list of considerations.

Off discourse

Obama’s executive order could actually be a win for the environment

Progressives have weighed in on Barack Obama's regulation executive order with criticism. A close look reveals much of the complaints are unwarranted.

in heinz sight

Who can fill Lisa Heinzerling's shoes?

Lisa Heinzerling's departure from the EPA's Office of Policy and Planning doesn't need to mean the winding-down of aggressive action at the EPA.

Lewd conduct

Senator blocks budget director nominee over offshore drilling ban

Jack Lew, the would-be budget director, is sidelined by Louisiana Sen Mary Landrieu's attempts to force Obama to lift the offshore drilling moratorium

Power-plant play

EPA announces proposal to cut power-plant pollution

The EPA announced a proposal today that will cut power-plant pollution in 31 states, replacing a Bush administration cap-and-trade system overturned by the courts.  The announcement comes as the chatter on Capitol Hill has turned to a utility-only approach to cap-and-trade.  The targets of EPA’s proposed rule are not greenhouse gases, but two unhealthy toxins released into air when coal is burned — sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The substances are dangerous thanks in part to the tiny particles that can wreak havoc on our respiratory systems. The consequences: asthma, heart disease, and cancer.  Adding to the drama …

keeping score

Will the EPA score the true costs AND benefits of the climate bill?

This afternoon, the EPA is said to be sending its economic analysis of the climate bill proposed by Kerry and Lieberman to the Senators’ offices. It’s a scoring of how the legislation would affect the American economy. Hopefully that analysis will include the benefits, not just the costs of the measure. The agency has not incorporated benefits into its past economic analysis of climate legislation. Usually it looks exclusively at the price tag, giving legislators nervously poised to vote on the controversial proposal a clear view of the downsides but none of the upshots. It’s like telling someone in the …

Google climate change chief wants price on carbon

Dan Reicher, Google’s director of climate changePhoto: Steve Rhodes via FlickrGoogle wants a price on carbon and wants it now — both for lofty reasons like combating global warming, but also because it could be good for business.  As the Senate inches closer to climate legislation that could give the Internet giant what it wants, I checked in with Dan Reicher, the director of climate change and energy initiatives at Google to see what surfing the web had to do with reining in greenhouse gases.  Turns out, the answer is technology. Reicher — a former Department of Energy assistant secretary …

The EPA weighs the hidden costs of carbon

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency will do more than set new fuel efficiency standards for cars. It will put a price on carbon. Within this historic climate change regulation is a powerful new way of thinking about greenhouse gas emissions: as costs that will borne by society. Burning oil in cars imposes a steep price tag, from dirtier air now, to more expensive flood insurance in a decade, to potential climate catastrophe for our grandchildren. The federal government has taken note of these hidden costs and is now using them to weigh the benefits of curbing our emissions. It’s …

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