A Coalition of the Willing

2016-election-map

States need to work together to make progress happen in the age of Trump.

In the short time since the election, it’s already become a truism that state governments will have to keep the flame alive for environmental protection. But it’s not just individual state governments. It’s also crucial for states to work together. There’s been a lot of loose talk about “Calexit” out here. Secession is unconstitutional. (As […]

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Public Lands Watch: HJR 44

Resolution would eliminate updates to planning process for BLM lands

Update:  This is currently being considered in the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution 15. House Joint Resolution 44 – A proposal to overturn the BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule for preparing and amending resource management plans. Today the House passed HJR 44, the latest in a flurry of joint resolutions introduced in the House to disapprove […]

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Trump’s 2-for-1 Order: Legal Issues

2 for 1

Some applications would be clearly illegal. Others are less clear.

Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) requiring agencies to repeal at least two regs for every new reg and also capping the combined compliance costs of all the regulations issued in a given year.  To see what the legal effect is, we need to tease out several scenarios. Of course, we can never be 100% sure of […]

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Making America Great Again for Dirty Energy

Smokestack

Connecting the Dots on Congressional Action, Trump Appointments

It is hard to imagine a better start to a Presidential Administration for the fossil fuel industry than this one.  Three of Trump’s appointees to cabinet positions — Scott Pruitt as Administrator of  the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy and Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State — are deeply intertwined with […]

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If At First You’re Blocked by Congress, Try, Try Again.

mr-burns-deregulation

How much does the Congressional Review Act preclude follow-up regulation?

Most people probably never heard of the Congressional Review Act before now.  This law — “CRA” to Beltway folks — is an obscure statute — previously used only once — that allows Congress to strike down an agency rule with an expedited procedure (no filibuster). The GOP is gleefully taking advantage of its control of the […]

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How States Can Defend Themselves Against Trump

united-states-of-america-bright-color-state-map

States have a number of tools for protecting their own environments from the Feds.

Suppose the Trump Administration launches environmentally harmful projects in a state or wants to allow more pollution there than the state wants.  Does the state have any possible recourse? The answer is yes, although states’s defenses have their limitations.  There are a number of mechanisms states can use to defend their own environments, if not the […]

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Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 36

A proposal to revoke an Obama Administration rule on methane flaring on public lands

Additional Update:  It is being considered in the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution 36. Update:  The resolution passed the House on the morning of Saturday, Feb 4.  It will next go to the Senate. House Joint Resolution 36 (now being considered as part of House Resolution 74) “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives […]

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Getting involved on public lands issues

Some resources and advice on how to engage Congress

I’ve gotten some requests about how our readers can be involved in the public lands issues that we are tracking. If you are interested in engaging with your Congressional representatives around any of the public lands bills that we are tracking, whether to support or oppose them, here is some advice and resources. First, it […]

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Predicting How Neil Gorsuch Would Rule on Environmental Issues

neil-gorsuch

If he’s ever confirmed by the U.S. Senate

Donald Trump just announced his nomination to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.  Here are some very preliminary thoughts. Assuming Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is confirmed by the U.S. Senate (by no means a certainty), what do we know about how he would be likely to rule on environmental questions?  As far as I can tell, he […]

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Public Lands Watch: HR 5 and Land-Use Planning

Bill passed by house would increase burden on agency for land-use planning

HR 5 The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) Passed House 1/11 Received in the Senate 1/12 Referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs This post was co-authored by law student Emma Hamilton. On January 11th, the House passed HR 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which includes a provision mandating new […]

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