It’s a myth (of course) that ostriches hide their heads in the sand when they’re afraid. Hiding one’s head is about the worst possible way to react to danger: it won’t make a threat go away, but it will make it awfully difficult to respond effectively. Ostriches are not that stupid. (They apparently do sometimes […]
The Trump Administration presents a barrage of threats to the environment. Which threats are worst?
This is the last in our series on the state of play concerning U.S. environmental protection at this point of the Trump Administration. We can classify threats along three dimensions: the likelihood of harm, the seriousness and irreversibility of the harm, and the irreversibility of the institutional or legal change. Here’s an assessment of our […]
The potential impact of a Trump Administration on our federal public lands.
The federal government owns almost one-third of the land in the United States, primarily concentrated in the Western states. In addition, the federal government is the primary manager of the oceans off the coast of the United States (with the exception of oceans within three miles of the coastline, which are primarily under state authority). […]
What are the implications of changes to the federal budget for environmental law?
The Trump Administration has proposed draconian cuts to a range of environmental and science agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior, NASA’s climate science work, and NOAA’s science and regulatory programs. Here we’ll talk about the potential implications of dramatic budget cuts, and then the likelihood they will occur, at least for […]
Congress Should Ensure that Money Is Available to Address Pollution on Public Lands
In recent legal battles, the State of Utah has rarely sided with the environment. It is a significant moment, therefore, when Utah files a lawsuit aimed to force polluters to pay for contamination they have caused, as it did last week when it sued mine owners and contractors for the EPA related to the Gold […]
What are the prospects for major environmental legislation in the near future?
From the perspective of environmental law, one of the most important questions is whether full Republican control of Congress and the White House would lead to fundamental changes to significant environmental laws. These are the kinds of changes that would be most important over the long-run, from a legal perspective. Laws are hard to pass […]
The start of a series on the future of environmental law after 200 days of the Trump Administration
As of August 6, President Trump has been in office for 200 days. When he was elected and inaugurated, there was a great deal of concern about what his Presidency might mean for environmental law. We’ve now gone about 1/8 through his first-term, so we have a little better sense of what the future might […]
BLM Proposes to Rescind 2015 Rule on Hydraulic Fracturing
On July 25, 2017 the Bureau of Land Management published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would rescind the Obama Administration’s 2015 Rule titled “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands.” This proposal has been anticipated since the Interior Department announced in March earlier this year that the Department intended […]
EPA Administrator Resorts to Misleading Rhetoric in Possible Prelude to Revisiting Massachusetts v. EPA
Since he was confirmed to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency six months ago, Administrator Scott Pruitt has relied on three points when discussing the issue of climate change. He has cast doubt on the science by claiming it’s difficult to know the human role “with precision.” He has questioned the ability of the agency […]