Federal Climate Policy

Finally, some good news from Congress

The Senate voted 51-49 Wednesday morning against considering a resolution to repeal Obama-era regulations targeting methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal lands. The Senate was considering whether to vote on rolling back the rule under the Congressional Review Act, which allows the Senate to repeal rules within 60 days of enactment. Three […]

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Environmental Budget Update

Trump’s brutal attack on environmental spending seems mired in Congress.

It was clear early on that the stop-gap funding measure rejected Trump’s budget priorities.  Emerging details about the bill demonstrate how starkly Trump lost. Environmental and energy programs survived with very little damage. Let’s begin with the EPA budget.  Trump sought an immediate cut, followed by a 33% cut in the next budget.  Instead, EPA […]

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Thinking Globally, Acting Soldierly

Looking for people who care about climate change? Try the Pentagon.

Sometimes, it seems like the world is upside down: the head of EPA is a climate skeptic; the head of DOD takes climate change very seriously. But the view of the Secretary of Defense isn’t a fluke. There’s a liong list of Pentagon documents about the risks of climate change, going back over twenty years. […]

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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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This Wolf Came as Dressed as a Wolf

Trump’s views on energy & environment were clear before the election. He’s doing what he said.

In terms of energy and environmental issues, Trump has turned out to be as advertised. Last June, I did a post contrasting Clinton and Trump’s views about the environment. Below, I revisit the June post in order to compare what Trump said before Election Day and what he’s done since. In case you’ve forgotten, Clinton’s position […]

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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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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 Executive Order: Bad Policy and More Uncertainty

President Trump’s Executive Order on climate policy is an invitation to bad policymaking and legal uncertainty. The big-ticket item targeted by the Order, of course, is the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan and related rules on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The EO has limited immediate legal impact: none of the major rules can […]

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A House Divided

The climate change executive order shows the signs of the bitter divisions within the White House.

Actually, there are two divided houses. One is the House of Representatives. The other is the White House. The divisions in the House of Representatives were on display in the abortive effort to pass a health care bill.  Similar fissures in the White House are just below the surface of yesterday’s executive order on climate […]

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Some Resources for Non-Experts (and for Experts Too!) on the Executive Order Rolling Back Federal Climate Change Regulations

Cutting Through the Information Overload

The President’s Executive Order rolling back climate change-related initiatives, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” just came out today, and there’s already plenty of analysis to help people to understand its likely impact.  While the short answer is that it is terrible for our country, the long answers tend to make people’s eyes glaze over if […]

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