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 […]
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 […]
Register now for the California State Bar Environmental Law Conference in Los Angeles on April 12th
How we generate, distribute and use electricity is key to meeting California’s environmental and greenhouse gas reduction goals. We need to be much more efficient with the electricity we use, while ensuring that it comes from greenhouse gas-free sources, like solar, wind, and geothermal, coupled with energy storage technologies. We also will need to electrify […]
Trump has placed about a dozen people in EPA. They’re already causing problems.
ProPublica has a list of Trump appointees to agencies. They can be aptly described as a motley crew. The most significant is probably Senior White House Advisor Donald Benton, a former Washington State senator and Trump’s regional campaign manager. Once ran a county environmental office. According to the Seattle Times, “he has an almost perfect […]
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. […]
As you dive into the details, things keep looking worse.
Trump is proposing huge cuts to EPA and other agencies. That’s bad enough. We’re beginning to learn more details, and the message is grim. While these cuts may not emerge from Congress at the end of the day, they do express the Administration’s goals. In particular, they demonstrate that the Administration is deeply hostile to environmental science and […]
How will we cope with a huge population increase and climate change?
Let’s look past today’s political travails and think longer-range. What will things look like in 2050? There are more details below, but here’s the general picture. World population will probably grow by 2.5 billion people between now and 2050, with about half of the increase in Africa. Given historically weak economic growth in those areas […]
Trump is targeting regulations for elimination even if their benefits exceed their costs.
Some scholars have proclaimed a vision of the regulatory state centering on cost-benefit analysis (CBA). They mean that quantitive comparisons of costs and benefits is now the foundation of regulatory decisions, arguably blessed by the Supreme Court in one of Scalia’s last opinions. Environmentalists weren’t convinced this was a good idea. Neither, as it turns out, is Donald Trump. He doesn’t seem […]
Environmentalism isn’t an aberration in conservatives. It has deep roots going back to the 1960s.
Scott Pruitt’s appointment as head of EPA illustrates how conservatism has become synonymous with anti-environmentalism. But that’s really a drastic oversimplification, as I explain in a new paper about the history of conservative environmentalism. There were moments of strong environmentalism in the earlier days of the conservative movement. When he was running for mayor of New York City, William […]