Regulation

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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CRA Update: What’s Been Overturned, What’s Still Standing?

Congress and Trump have done some major harm with this tool, but so far, not as much as feared.

We’re getting close to the deadline for Congress final chance to use its override authority under the Congressional Review Act to eliminate Obama Administrations regulations. The deadline for introducing new resolutions has already passed, and the deadline for voting ends around May 10. It’s not clear whether the Senate in particular will have time for […]

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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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The Implementation Gap

What lawmakers expect isn’t necessarily what happens — sometimes for better, often for worse.

The public drama revolves around efforts to make and unmake environmental regulations. But as we all know, what statutes and rules say isn’t necessarily what happens on the ground. Often, the result is that environmental goals are frustrated. Deadlines are missed, standards are ignored or fudged, or enforcement efforts misfire. The result is incomplete implementation, […]

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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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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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Scott Gottlieb and the FDA

The FDA nominee compares favorably with some of Trump’s choices. But there are still problems.

There was a time when it might not have seemed particularly noteworthy that a presidential nominee was competent and sane. But we do not live in those times. So it is actually worth taking notice of the fact that Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s nominee to head FDA, is competent and sane. And unlike some other Trump […]

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Trump’s Environmental Budget

The proposal to Congress was released today. It’s very bad news.

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 […]

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The Trump Administration’s False Stories About the Environmental Protection Agency Are Meant to Take the Agency Down

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 […]

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“States’ Rights” and Environmental Law: California on the Front Lines

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. […]

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