Buildings

Public Comments to the NYC Department of Buildings on the Proposed Rules on Penalties under Local Law 97

The Guarini Center submitted comments to the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) on its proposed rules establishing penalties for noncompliance with Local Law 97, specifically Article 320 of Chapter 3 of Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code. The proposed rules provide expansive definitions of “good faith compliance” with Local Law 97 that […]

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Brief as Amicus Curiae in Support of Defendant in Cal. Restaurant Ass’n v. Berkeley

The Guarini Center has submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of the City of Berkeley’s pending petition for rehearing en banc in California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley. CRA v. Berkeley concerns a restaurant trade group’s challenge to Berkeley’s 2019 ordinance restricting the installation of natural gas

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Equitable Electrification: Could City and State Policies Aggravate Energy Insecurity?

Progressive cities and states have begun enacting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, one of the leading sources of such emissions in the United States. The same jurisdictions have also generally committed to pursuing decarbonization equitably, without exacerbating the disadvantages faced by historically marginalized communities. Electrification is currently a favored policy for decarbonizing

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Beyond Gas Bans: Alternative Pathways to Reduce Building Emissions in Light of State Preemption Laws

At the federal level, opportunities to advance emissions reductions from buildings have expanded due to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to speed the nation’s transition to carbon-free energy sources. However, many municipalities have seen their powers to steer building decarbonization curtailed in recent years. Notably, between 2020 and 2021, 20 states

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Equitable Electrification: Could City and State Policies Aggravate Energy Insecurity?

Progressive cities and states have begun enacting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, one of the leading sources of such emissions in the United States. The same jurisdictions have also generally committed to pursuing decarbonization equitably, without exacerbating the disadvantages faced by historically marginalized communities. Electrification is currently a favored policy for decarbonizing

Equitable Electrification: Could City and State Policies Aggravate Energy Insecurity? Read More »

Impact Fees in NYC? A Summary of Potential Sources of Legal Authority, Constraints, and Options

New development offers a variety of potential social and economic benefits for New York City. At the same time, new development puts additional pressure on the local environment, including on critical physical and social infrastructure, much of which is already overburdened and in need of upgrades. In this context, some have called upon the City

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Following the Money: The Role of Penalties in Encouraging Compliance with Building Performance Standards

In response to growing public concerns about climate change, many American cities have begun to set goals for reducing energy usage, decreasing reliance on non-renewable energy sources, and helping building owners upgrade inefficient properties. To aid in this transition, several jurisdictions have created Building Performance Standards (BPSs). BPSs regulate either greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or

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Toward Tradeable Building Performance Standards

Long a mainstay of environmental policy, emissions trading programs have faced increasing criticism in recent years. Critics have assailed trading programs for failing to generate the scale of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reductions necessary to mitigate the climate crisis and have argued that trading exacerbates the burdens imposed on environmental justice communities. This essay offers

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