Regulatory Policy

South Carolina Federal Court Blocks Trump EPA Attempt to Suspend Clean Water Rule

G. H. W. Bush Appointee Issues Nationwide Injunction Because Agency Rescinded Prior Rule Without Public Discussion of the Rule’s Merits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W. Bush) issued a nationwide injunction barring the implementation of the so-called “Suspension Rule” that effectively rescinded the Waters of the United States Rule (also called the WOTUS Rule or the Clean Water Rule) previously issued […]

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NYC’s Cap on Uber and Lyft Is an Important Step for Cities

A temporary pause to identify regulatory solutions to social and environmental impacts

Last week, the New York City Council enacted a temporary cap on Uber, Lyft and other transportation network company (TNC) vehicles in the city, blocking the issuance of new vehicle licenses for a 12-month period while the city conducts a study to determine whether to enact long-term regulations limiting the number of TNC vehicles on […]

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Does the Clean Air Act Mask One of Our Worst Remaining Air Pollution Problems?

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 […]

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The Trump Administration Just Released Its Proposal to Eviscerate Car Standards, Revoke California Authority

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 […]

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Awaiting the Climate Change “Trial of the Century”

Juliana v. U.S. “Atmospheric Trust” Federal Trial Set to Begin in October

The Trump Administration really, really doesn’t want the Juliana v. United States case, a.k.a. the “atmospheric trust litigation,” to go to trial. But despite the persistent efforts of President Trump’s Justice Department to have the Juliana case dismissed, it now appears that the most important currently-pending climate change case in the nation will indeed go to trial […]

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Weakening Vehicle Standards Ignores Decades of Successful Innovation in Emissions Control

EPA appears poised to abdicate their responsibility to protect public health

As my colleague Ann Carlson explained, the EPA is expected to announce a catastrophic rollback this week to freeze national vehicle emission and fuel economy standards and challenge California’s authority to set their own, more stringent standards. The Trump EPA’s decision to weaken the vehicle standards despite thorough midterm reviews by both the Obama-era EPA and California that […]

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Trump’s Contradictory Policies

Trump’s policies clash with each other remarkably often.

A certain amount of policy inconsistency is inevitable in any Administration. But the Trump Administration seems to be breaking all records.  The Administration does have strong impulses. The trouble is that its goals keep colliding.  Here are some examples. Favoring gas at the expense of coal. . .  And vice versa. Trump wants to promote […]

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Wheeler EPA Looking to Freeze Auto Standards, Revoke California Waiver

Lawsuits will follow

According to a Bloomberg report this morning, the Trump Administration, under new EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, will release a proposal later this week to freeze greenhouse gas emission and fuel economy standards at 2020 levels. The effect is that automakers will face standards of about 35 miles per gallon rather than seeing the standards increase […]

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Responsibility for Historic Harm

Tort law embodies our society’s view of fairness. What does teach us about climate change?

Is it fair to hold companies responsible for past emissions, even if they didn’t know at the time the emissions were harmful? Shouldn’t it be a defense that they didn’t appreciate the risk at the time?Not if tort law is any guide. Tort law imposes liability for ongoing harm even though a company did not […]

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Guest Blogger Benjamin Miller: Suggestions to help EPA Successfully Implement Retrospective Reviews

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 […]

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