A few weeks ago the Trump Administration announced a new proposed plan to drastically increase the amount of offshore areas available for leasing for oil and gas development – essentially opening up almost all of the waters off of the lower 48 states. The announcement at the time attracted a lot of media attention, but […]
Human impacts on global natural systems are large and diverse
Climate change is well known now as a major impact of humans on the planet. But climate change is only one of a wide range of ways in which humans are dramatically changing natural systems at the regional, continental and planetary levels. For instance, greenhouse gas emissions are the driver of anthropogenic climate change. But […]
House bill would give states control of oil and gas leasing process, weaken Presidential power to restrict leasing
Tom Schumann drafted this blog post. Provisions tucked in a House oil and gas development bill would repeal one of the oldest conservation laws and scale back another. The provisions show House Republicans working to make rollbacks by the Trump Administration permanent, consistent with the administration’s “America First” energy campaign. H.R. 4239, reported out of […]
Report Lacks Details on Boundaries but Recommends Management Changes to Permit Wider Range of Uses
Late last night, the Washington Post reported that Secretary Ryan Zinke had recommended making changes–by downsizing and/or by loosening restrictions–to a total of 10 national monuments. The list of monuments goes beyond what had been reported last month. The Post released a leaked copy of Zinke’s recommendations that were submitted to President Trump on August […]
Hawaii completely depended on imported oil and coal. But it has a plan for kicking the carbon habit.
In June, Hawaii adopted a law endorsing the goals of the Paris Agreement and reinforcing its efforts to deal with climate change. Until that law made the news, I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t paid any attention to Hawaii’s impressive record in this area. In fact, Hawaii may get the prize for passing the […]
Report Analyzes State Public Trust Responsibilities on the Coastline, Coincides With Coastal Commission Staff’s Release of Draft Residential Adaptation Policy Guidance
UPDATE (September 1, 2017): The statement’s drafters have provided a link (shared at the end of the post) for California attorneys who wish to sign on to the statement discussed here. Last month, a group of public trust and coastal land use experts, working under the auspices of the Center for Ocean Solutions, released two […]
Trump ordered agencies to reconsider Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Easier said than done.
President Trump ordered EPA and the Army Corps to review the Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule, which sets expansive bounds on federal jurisdiction over water bodies and wetlands. The agencies have sent the White House a proposal to rescind the WOTUS rule and revert to earlier rules until they can come up with a replacement. In my […]
Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket
In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law. That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]
Approval of regional ocean management plans, California planning for gray wolf return provide grounds for hope
It’s not exactly been the best of weeks for those of us committed to environmental protection, and it doesn’t look like the best of years coming up. But there is some good news, even in these difficult times. Two items in particular have helped lift the gloom for me this week. First, the National Ocean […]
When you look at the whole of his legacy, it’s a stunning record.
When he leaves office in January, President Obama will have compiled a remarkable record of environmental achievements. The record spans everything from climate change to endangered species and ocean protection. We can only hope that next Tuesday’s election doesn’t undo many of these gains. Here is a list, in no particular order, of twenty of […]