Scott Gottlieb and the FDA

The FDA nominee compares favorably with some of Trump’s choices. But there are still problems.

There was a time when it might not have seemed particularly noteworthy that a presidential nominee was competent and sane. But we do not live in those times. So it is actually worth taking notice of the fact that Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s nominee to head FDA, is competent and sane. And unlike some other Trump […]

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Trump’s EPA Budget in Perspective

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An new analysis highlights how harmful the cuts would be.

The Environmental Protection Network, a coalition of former EPA professionals, has issued a detailed analysis of Trump’s proposed EPA budget.  We knew the proposal was bad, but the new analysis shows just how damaging the proposed cuts would be on many different dimensions.  Here are a few key takeaways. First EPA’s budget is already lean.  Adjusting […]

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The Future Of Energy In 2030

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Register now for the California State Bar Environmental Law Conference in Los Angeles on April 12th

How we generate, distribute and use electricity is key to meeting California’s environmental and greenhouse gas reduction goals. We need to be much more efficient with the electricity we use, while ensuring that it comes from greenhouse gas-free sources, like solar, wind, and geothermal, coupled with energy storage technologies. We also will need to electrify […]

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A Motley Crew

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Trump has placed about a dozen people in EPA. They’re already causing problems.

ProPublica has a list of Trump appointees to agencies. They can be aptly described as a motley crew. The most significant is probably Senior White House Advisor Donald Benton, a former Washington State senator and Trump’s regional campaign manager. Once ran a county environmental office. According to the Seattle Times, “he has an almost perfect […]

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Gorsuch and the Environment: A Closer Look

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Gorsuch doesn’t seem to have a strong agenda in this area, with several pro-environmental rulings.

What could we expect from Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice in environmental and energy cases?   After reading all the opinions I could find, I’d say the best news is this: He doesn’t seem to have any particular agenda in the area.  That distinguishes him from some past appointees such as Clarence Thomas, who […]

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Climate Change is the new He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

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And Scott Pruitt is the new High Inquisitor at EPA

Last week, after saying that he did not believe that carbon dioxide is the primary cause of climate change, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reminded me for the second time since he took office of someone I met at age fifteen: Dolores Umbridge. Yes, that Dolores Umbridge, the one that functions as the main villain of the […]

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Trump’s Environmental Budget

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The proposal to Congress was released today. It’s very bad news.

I’ve been posting budget news as it has come out.  Now that we have Trump’s proposal, I’ve replaced all the earlier information with the official numbers in this version.  The bottom line: the budget would be a disaster for the environment, for science, and for the country.   The general philosophy behind the budget was […]

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Env. Budget Update

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The budget is an unfolding story. It’s not looking any better right now.

Because budget news comes in stages, I’m planning to periodically update this post. Here’s what we know as of now. Material since the last update is in green. Environmental Science. I have posted previously about the threat to scientific research posed by the Trump Administration. The Administration’s attack on environmental science – climate science in particular – […]

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The Trump Administration’s False Stories About the Environmental Protection Agency Are Meant to Take the Agency Down

Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt Distort the Facts About EPA’s Mission, History, and Success

The Trump Administration has made clear its plans to systematically dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.  Destroying the EPA will be a key element of the administration’s fight, in the words of White House policy advisor Steve Bannon, to achieve the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”  Republicans in Congress appear to support this effort.  EPA Administrator Scott […]

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What is the “Left Coast” Doing About Climate Change?

Pacific States

Quite a lot, as it turns out. But stronger coordination is needed.

The three West Coast states have a lot in common, including strong commitments to address climate change. They are all taking action on this front, but so far coordination efforts seem weak. Given the situation in D.C., it would make sense for these states to go further in terms of making a collective effort. It […]

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Pruitt Shows His True Colors

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Still skeptical of climate science, EPA’s regulatory authority, and the Paris Agreement.

Pruitt made conciliatory noises when he arrived at EPA. I suspect the honeymoon is over. On Thursday, he was asked on CNBC whether CO2 is the main cause of climate change.  His answer? ““I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about […]

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