Federal Climate Policy

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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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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Conflicting News about President-Elect Trump and Climate Change

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Transition Team Uniformly Anti-Climate but Trump Signals Open Mind to NY Times

Today we got a sliver of hope from President-Elect Trump about remaining in the Paris Agreement.  He also acknowledged a connection between human activity and climate change, something obviously at odds with his campaign rhetoric.  Trump told the New York Times he would “keep an open mind” about the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement.  He […]

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Be Thankful for Millennials – Our Best Environmental Hope

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The present belongs to Trump. The future is a lot greener.

We may not have much to be thankful right now, but I do have one bright thought for Thanksgiving. These are dark days for the cause of environmental protection, and it would be easy to give way to despair. But I continue to believe that prospects will improve.  This election was a huge and costly […]

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Environmental Law under Trump: A Threat Assessment

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Environmental law may face attack on many fronts during the Trump Administration. As we were all forcefully reminded last week, predictions are always uncertain. Trump’s own intentions are not yet clear, and there are many permutations that could affect the end result. Rather than trying to predict exactly what will or won’t happen, it may […]

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What Will Trump Do? Maybe Not What We Expect.

Donald Trump

If he cares about 2020, he’ll have to do some recalibrating.

To be honest, no one really knows what Trump will do. Maybe not even Trump. The obvious is often the safest best. In this post, I’m going to speculate about another, slightly less dire, possibility. He may take the most obvious path – which would mean ripping the heart out of our environmental laws. For instance, he […]

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