I’ve been posting budget news as it has come out. Now that we have Trump’s proposal, I’ve replaced all the earlier information with the official numbers in this version. The bottom line: the budget would be a disaster for the environment, for science, and for the country. The general philosophy behind the budget was […]
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. […]
Scott Pruitt’s invasion of EPA probably won’t be met with flowers.
Scott Pruitt has spent his career at war with EPA, and he has now invaded the homeland. What he encounters may look more like a guerrilla war than a bureaucratic surrender. To be blunt, it’s generally a mistake to expect an invading force to be greeted with flowers and hugs from the grateful inhabitants. Agencies like […]
Eric Biber posted last week about the proposal from several heavyweight Republicans for a carbon tax, outlined in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Much has been said about the merits and problems of a carbon tax, including on this blog, so I will try not to repeat those points here. However, I wanted to expand […]
Courts are supposed to defer to agencies. But that happens less often when an agency lacks credibility.
Two themes in the Trump Administration are distrust of experts and a willingness to overrule them on ideological grounds. But undermining the government’s claims to expertise may come back to haunt the Administration. Because Trump is marginalizing government scientific and economic expertise, his regulatory initiatives may get less deference from the courts. There is already a great deal of concern […]
Clean Power Plan, Waters of the U.S. Rules First on the Chopping Block But What Remains in Place Varies Dramatically
The Washington Post is reporting that the Trump Administration will very shortly roll out two executive orders to curtail environmental protection. These rollbacks follow on the heels of the Senate’s confirmation of Scott Pruitt, who has made no secret of his antipathy for federal environmental regulations. The first executive order, as widely expected, will tell the […]
A promising proposal from conservative leaders, but important questions remain
An impressive lineup of senior Republican leaders has embraced a carbon tax as an approach to address climate change. The proposal is to trade away the Obama Administration Clean Power Plan and tort liability against fossil fuel companies for a $40/ton carbon tax that would increase over time. All revenues from the tax would be […]
An anti-environmental opinion by Scalia could provide ammunition against Trump.
As environmentalists search for weapons to use against the Trump Administration, one place to turn could be an important opinion by Justice Scalia – one that many of us criticized sharply at the time. The case in question, Michigan v. EPA, involved mercury emissions from power plants, in which the Supreme Court instructed EPA to consider regulatory […]
Some applications would be clearly illegal. Others are less clear.
Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) requiring agencies to repeal at least two regs for every new reg and also capping the combined compliance costs of all the regulations issued in a given year. To see what the legal effect is, we need to tease out several scenarios. Of course, we can never be 100% sure of […]