Trump Names New Secretary of the Interior Choice

Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers Tabbed

The New York Times and other sources are reporting this morning that Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is President-elect Trump’s pick as Secretary of the Interior. Rodgers has served in the House of Representatives since 2005, and represents eastern Washington State, including the Spokane area.  She’s the highest ranking woman Republican in the House, where she […]

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Trump Has Thrown Down the Gauntlet

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Trump’s latest cabinet appointment confirms the pattern: he plans to govern from the far Right.

Given that Trump has shifted his positions so often, there’s always been at least a faint hope that he would rethink his vehement opposition to environmental protection. True, he had called climate change a Chinese hoax, but he later said he had an open mind about the Paris Agreement and then he had an apparently […]

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And the EPA Pick Is…

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

According to reports this morning, the EPA pick will be Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. We’ll hear more about him in the coming days.  For me, the story that sticks out most about him is this one – revealing his history of copying and pasting letters written by fossil fuel lobbyists and sending them under […]

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Gone, Baby, Gone: The Death of Appalachian Coal

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It’s not just cheap natural gas. Even a coal industry revival wouldn’t help Appalachia.

Trump has promised to end the “war on coal” and bring the industry roaring back. The NY Times appropriately called this a “cruel promise,” because cheap natural gas has driven coal to its knees economically.  That won’t change under Trump, who has promised even more fracking and gas production.  But, as it turns out, even […]

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California’s internecine water war

California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer

Dianne Feinstein versus Barbara Boxer; maximizing water deliveries versus protecting the environment

If you thought California was immune to the season of political craziness, think again. California Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were elected to the Senate together in 1992. They are usually on the same side, but not always. Water is one of the issues on which they often part company. Feinstein is a water […]

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Revised SLCP Strategy Demonstrates the Impact of SB 1383

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Many in the environmental community, myself included, heralded the passage of SB 1383 in the California legislature. This bill is the first state law to target short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), and it codified the reduction goals that ARB had adopted as part of its general GHG reduction agenda. This is not a trivial accomplishment – […]

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Turnabout is Fair Play

The same tools that have been used to stymie the Obama Administration can be turned against Trump.

Conservatives and industry have perfected some legal tools to block regulation by the Obama Administration.  Those tools can be turned against them, by using the same tools to block anti-regulatory moves by the Trump Administration.  As a professor, I don’t necessarily agree with all of them.  But as a lawyer, I wouldn’t hesitate to use them […]

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Scientific integrity in the Trump administration

The widely quoted statement of a Trump advisor that NASA's Earth Science Division should be eliminated has heightened fears that the new administration will undermine or ignore science. (Image credit: NASA."

We can’t tell yet what role science will play in the new administration’s policy choices, but there is reason for concern

  There has understandably been a great deal of hand wringing in the environmental policy world since the US presidential election, including on this site (see, for example, Sean’s post here, Dan’s here, and Ann’s here). There are so many hands to be wrung, however, that we’re nowhere near through them all. One topic that […]

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Searching for Votes in the Senate

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Q: Can the Dems scrounge up the votes to block anti-environment actions? A: Maybe.

Paul Ryan and Donald Trump have vowed to roll back many environmental protections.  The Senate seems to be the one barrier against anti-environmental moves by Congress.  How strong is that barrier? The answer depends in part on whether the filibuster option remains open. If the filibuster rule remains intact, the Democrats’ 48 votes in the Senate […]

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Trump’s Public Statements Aren’t Relevant in Assessing His Likely Climate Policy

The Media Need to Take Trump’s Advisors, and Their Policy Proposals, More Seriously Than They Take Trump’s Off-the-Cuff Comments

The media need to get their act together when they report and editorialize about President-elect Donald Trump’s public statements.  Chief among many failures in reporting on the campaign was the tendency of major newspapers and television outlets to focus on candidates’ rhetoric, symbolism, and character, to the virtual exclusion of governance and policy. This contributed […]

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Surviving the Trump Research Funding Drought

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A Model for State Support of Climate and Energy Research

Federal funding for research on renewable energy and climate change is likely to take a nose-dive under Trump. For instance, a senior advisor recently announced that NASA’s earth sciences research program would be scrapped. In a previous post, I argued that state governments should help pick up the slack. Doing so could have economic benefits […]

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