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 […]
Pollution & Health
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
The Order is Designed to Prevent Federal Agencies from Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment
Dan Farber just posted an insightful, brief analysis of the executive order “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” that was issued this morning. As Dan notes, the order is absurd and arbitrary – but more than that, it’s extraordinary in its potential for doing harm to our country and its residents. It is meant to kneecap […]
Court of Appeal Justices Appear Inclined to Reject Industry’s Constitutional Attack on State’s Cap-and-Trade Auction System
On Tuesday, the California Court of Appeal in Sacramento heard oral arguments in the most formidable legal challenge to the State of California’s ambitious, multifaceted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That challenge takes the form of two cases, consolidated on appeal: California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board and Morning Star Packing v. California Air […]
The Scott Pruitts of the Trump cabinet face some tricky challenges.
There’s even a name for it in sports: “rookie error.” That’s the kind of mistake that talented players make when they’ve been bumped up into the big time.The big issue for appointees like Pruitt is to avoid that kind of mistake — and in the meantime, to accomplish their agendas. By all accounts, Scott Pruitt […]