While the Trump Administration’s assault on the environment is alarming, courts are continuing to hand the administration an impressive string of losses that mean that, at least in the short term, the assault is much less effective than the administration’s claims of deregulating the economy would lead us all to believe. In just the […]
California’s Proposition 65 law has been consistently making the news lately — but not for the reasons it should.
This summer, California’s unique-in-the-nation law governing human exposure to toxic chemicals, Proposition 65, has been consistently making Page 1 — but in ways that belie the adage that “all publicity is good publicity.” Most heavily reported, and acutely politically perilous to the law’s supporters, has been a state trial court ruling that coffee must bear […]
G. H. W. Bush Appointee Issues Nationwide Injunction Because Agency Rescinded Prior Rule Without Public Discussion of the Rule’s Merits
Today, Hon. David Norton of the Federal District Court for the District of South Carolina (an appointee of George H. W. Bush) issued a nationwide injunction barring the implementation of the so-called “Suspension Rule” that effectively rescinded the Waters of the United States Rule (also called the WOTUS Rule or the Clean Water Rule) previously issued […]
Ninth Circuit reverses Pruitt decision to allow a dangerous pesticide on food.
Last Thursday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Scott Pruitt had no justification for allowing even the tiniest traces of a pesticide called chlorpyrifos (also called Lorsban and Dursban) on food. This is yet another judicial slap against lawlessness by the current Administration. Chlorpyrifos was originally invented as a nerve gas, but it turns out that […]
New Article Addresses Hot Spot Pollution and the Clean Air Act
Over the last fifty years, we have made huge progress in cleaning up the nation’s air. Overall pollution levels have dropped by 70 percent since the 1970s, cars are 99 percent cleaner, and we’ve essentially eliminated lead from the atmosphere. The Clean Air Act is the main reason for this success, saving countless lives and […]
Reflections From a Review of Kavanaugh’s D.C. Circuit Opinions
As we await the outcome of President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, journalists and legal scholars have been scouring Judge Kavanaugh’s past decisions and legal writings for indications as to how he might resolve pressing legal questions if installed on the Court. I’m adding here a few thoughts to the many […]
The Legal Grounds For Doing So Are Dubious At Best
As expected, the Trump Administration has released its proposal that recommends freezing combined fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards at 2020 levels for model years 2021-2025. The proposal also recommends revoking the waiver EPA granted California in 2013 to issue its own greenhouse gas emissions standards and to continue the state’s program to gradually increase […]
On June 13th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting comments on how to improve the consistency and transparency of the cost benefit analyses that guide EPA’s regulatory decision making. Both are praiseworthy goals, particularly because executive orders issued by the Trump administration last year resulted in cost benefit analysis being used not […]
FERC’s GOP majority has taken a swipe against renewable energy. It might work, or it might backfire.
At the end of June, in a vote divided along partisan lines, FERC handed down a sweeping order that will impact electricity markets in a wide swath of the country. — likely at the expense of renewable energy and nuclear power. Unfortunately, like Trump’s power plant bailout, the result may be to delay the closing […]
Scientists’ Brief Argues Federal Agencies and Courts Must Use Science in Interpreting “Habitat” Under the Endangered Species Act; Clinic Clients Include Profs. Stuart Pimm & E.O. Wilson, Along With Three MacArthur “Genius” Award Recipients & Ten Other Esteemed Scientists
Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect species at risk of extinction. Congress viewed species extinction as an urgent threat requiring urgent, decisive action. The result was a bipartisan law designed to apply scientific knowledge and expertise to managing the threats to U.S. species. While the Act has been controversial, and characterized […]