Air Quality

“California Alone” Should Not Govern State Climate Policy

SB 775 Turns California Inward and Diminishes Its Role As Global Leader

Last week, Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) introduced a new bill, SB 775, that would replace California’s cap-and-trade system with a new approach to regulating California’s greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2021.  There is much to admire in the new bill, including an aggressive pricing approach that would ensure that California’s carbon price remains high.  The […]

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The California Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket: A Tale of Two Arguments

Justices Seem Likely to Reach Environmentally-Friendly Result in One Case, But Reject Environmentalists’ Claims in Other

Last week I posted a preview of three key environmental law cases that were scheduled for argument over two days in the California Supreme Court.  I attended the arguments in two of those cases, held in San Francisco last Thursday.  Here’s an account of what transpired, along with my predictions of the likely outcomes in […]

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When EPA Pays Lip Service to Public Comment, the Environmental Community Steps Up

Environment and public health advocates voice their concerns about EPA’s regulatory reform efforts under EO 13777

The public health and environmental communities took a small victory on an EPA conference call yesterday. In a three-hour public comment call that could have been dominated by industry seeking regulatory rollbacks, about half of the speakers supported strengthening environmental and public health protections. And many of them took EPA to task for such a […]

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Guest Blogger Ben Levitan: The Tenth Anniversary of Massachusetts v. EPA

The opinion stands for EPA’s responsibility to address climate change based on law and science, and to safeguard public health and the environment under adverse political conditions

If it feels like we’re being inundated with bad news about federal climate policy, here’s a cause for hope: this month marks the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, one of the most important environmental cases in our nation’s history. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Massachusetts came when the […]

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Cutting Through the Smog

New research highlights the importance of reducing ozone pollution and suggests ways to do it.

As a change of pace, here’s a post that’s not about Trump, Pruitt, or their friends in Congress.  Two recent papers highlight the importance of EPA’s tightening of the air quality standard for ozone and suggest some ways of doing so that could be more acceptable to industry. (We’re talking about ground-level smog here, not […]

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Should the Feds Leave Regulation to the States?

The more we’ve learned about environmental problems, the less they seem purely local.

Voices in and out of the Trump Administration have called for a shift responsibility for environmental protection to the states. Given that none of them has ever shown enthusiasm for state environmental protection, it’s possible whether their rule concern is federalism or deregulation. (In fact, as NYU’s Ricky Revesz points out, Pruitt has generally opposed […]

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Trump’s EPA Budget in Perspective

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 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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The Car Industry’s Rollback Effort — Disappointing But Not Surprising

The struggle to force the car industry to cut pollution goes back six decades.

The car industry is appealing for President Trump’s help against stricter carbon standards for cars. The industry’s action is disappointing for those who believed industry claims to embrace sustainability and technological innovation. There’s no good excuse for the industry’s about-face on a regulation it had originally agreed to.  As one of the architects of the […]

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“States’ Rights” and Environmental Law: California on the Front Lines

EPA’s Assault on Air Quality Protection Will Aim at California’s Standards, While Other States Have Given Up Their Authority to Protect Public Health and the Environment More Strictly

This article just published in the Atlantic explains well one of the many ways that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt may attempt to deeply harm our environment for decades to come: through declining to grant, or revoking, the waivers that allow California to regulate air pollution from new motor vehicle engines more strictly than the federal government does. […]

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