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.

No need to cave yet

Obama could create a cap-and-trade system without Congress

The new Congress has been making up for lost time on climate change. Senators and Representatives have been rushing to get a cap-and-something passed this year. At the same time there are fears that it may be impossible to build a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for a good climate bill, leaving greens with two options: either accept a bad bill, or accept inaction. But things might not be as bad as they seem. In a report released today, the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law found that if push comes to shove, Obama could …

Obama is right to return most carbon revenue to taxpayers

As a climate change policy, President Obama’s carbon cap is a winner. It gets greenhouse reductions at the lowest possible cost and spurs the innovation and invention that will drive us to a clean-energy economy. But if folks are eyeing the carbon cap as a way to raise money to pay for clean energy programs, they are barking up the wrong tree. Unless these funds are returned to the American public, the cap will have severely regressive effects on lower-income Americans. And in the end, it would come back around to bite us by sapping support for environmental spending in …

Car crash

Who’s to blame for the crisis in the auto industry?

Detroit is in a free fall. Some say it’s their own doing by deciding to push big gas guzzlers rather fuel efficient cars. With that choice, the Big Three maximized their short-term profits but conceded the auto market of the future to foreign companies. There is plenty of blame to pass around. Executives made exceedingly poor investment decisions. Union officials were blinded by the good times and failed to protect their members’ future. An army of lobbyists was hired to protect the industry from tighter laws. The most recent casualty: Congressman Dingell made one too many concessions to the auto …

Bush administration missed its own memo

‘Midnight regulation’ abounds after June 1 deadline

In less than a week, this country will have a new president … but the old administration will still be hard at work, potentially pushing through last minute regulations for three more months. That leaves plenty of time for more bad news for the environment and public health. This spring, the White House chief of staff Josh Bolten instructed [PDF] all agencies that June 1 would be the deadline for any changes to regulations past, present, or future unless there are “extraordinary” circumstances. This is a smart measure considering the urge some regulators might get to unleash an avalanche of …

Fighting the full court press

Cost-benefit analysis can help environmentalists battle offshore drilling

In a time of fiscal crisis, environmentalists will have to make a strong case against the economic wisdom of offshore oil drilling to ensure that Congress does not pay dearly for its continued opposition.

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