Michael A. Livermore

The Fatal Flaw in Industry’s Case Against Stricter Smog Rules
August 15, 2011

Recently, a choir of industry voices has risen up in opposition to strengthened controls on smog proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. As with other recent environmental rules, opponents have made lots of noise about the potential economic harm and job losses, while attempting to downplay the environmental benefits. House GOP members, for example, decried the “potentially devastating impacts of [the EPA’s] proposed new standards on the U.S.

Does Flood Insurance Just Make Things Worse?
August 27, 2010

When Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeastern Louisiana on August 29, 2005, it caused extreme flooding up and down the Gulf coastline. Four years later, the Gulf has made a dramatic recovery—thanks in part to the billions of dollars in aid sent via the national flood insurance program. The hurricane certainly underscored the need for federal aid in the event of a natural disaster. But was the federal flood insurance program the best way to get aid to those in need? Some background: The National Flood Insurance Program, run by FEMA, provides insurance to homes that lie in floodplains.

No, Peter Orszag Is Not Declaring War On Green Regulations
March 24, 2010

Earlier this week, several environmental groups fired off a letter to the Obama administration condemning the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Their complaint? The green groups believed that OMB was incorrectly devaluing the cost savings that would come from a new EPA rule on vehicle fuel efficiency. Many greens were outraged.

Can't The EPA And Congress Get Along?
March 22, 2010

Details about the forthcoming Kerry-Graham-Lieberman climate bill are still as hazy as the smog over the San Fernando Valley. But one tidbit has already trickled out: The Senate proposal would, in all likelihood, eliminate the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases under existing law. This is something industry groups have demanded in exchange for the creation of a CO2 cap-and-trade program set by Congress. Environmentalists, by contrast, see the EPA's Clean Air Act authority as sacrosanct.

Does Obama Need 67 Votes For A Climate Treaty? Not Necessarily.
December 17, 2009

President Obama will arrive in Copenhagen tomorrow to weigh in on the talks over a global climate treaty. But will he and his envoys be "hemmed in" by Congress, as John Kerry suggested on Thursday? After all, even if the United States does agree to an international climate treaty, many observers have argued that the treaty would still need 67 votes in the Senate for ratification. And, given how difficult it's proving just to round up 60 votes for a climate bill, the odds of 67 look dim. So are there any other options available? Actually, yes.

What's Next For The EPA?
December 08, 2009

Michael A. Livermore is the executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. He is the author, along with Richard L. Revesz, of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health. Many U.S. businesses will likely see yesterday's endangerment finding from the EPA as a call to the congressional negotiating table on a climate bill.

Why The 'Post' Is Dead Wrong About Carbon Regulation
September 22, 2009

Michael A. Livermore is the executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. He is the author, along with Richard L. Revesz, of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health. The Washington Post ran an interesting editorial yesterday on regulating carbon—interesting, but ultimately wrong. The Post is correct that putting a price on carbon is the surest way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and that it would be preferable for Congress to do this through legislation.

Putting The "benefit" Back In Cost-benefit Analysis
July 23, 2009

Michael A. Livermore is the executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. He is the author, along with Richard L. Revesz, of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health. The climate-change bill that passed the House last month and is currently being considered by the Senate represents America's last chance to seriously address its contributions to global warming before we head to the international climate talks in Copenhagen this December.

Is It Too Late To Go Back To 100% Auctions?
May 20, 2009

Michael A. Livermore is the executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. He is the author, along with Richard L. Revesz, of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health. The Waxman-Markey climate change bill is now inching closer to passage in the House. If it can get through Waxman's Energy and Commerce Committee, it's likely to survive whatever amendments House Republicans will try and throw at it on the floor. While not perfect, the bill is still a transformational step.

Why Offshore Drilling Can Wait
April 08, 2009

Michael A. Livermore is the executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. He is the author, along with Richard L. Revesz, of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health. Last summer, when oil prices shot past $140 per barrel, offshore oil drilling became the biggest topic in politics for a short while. In the months leading up to the election, congressional Democrats went ahead and let the offshore-drilling moratoria expire—kicking the issue up to the administration.

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