Trump Administration

United States v. California and SB 50

Federal lawsuit against California’s law to protect federal public lands may not be an easy win

Monday the federal government filed a lawsuit against the state of California challenging SB 50, a state law that attempts to give the state the ability to purchase federal public lands that are sold or disposed of.  The lawsuit has gotten a lot of attention in the press, some with assessments that the federal government’s […]

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Why California gets to write its own auto emissions standards: 5 questions answered

Authored by Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins

Rush hour on the Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles, September 9, 2016. AP Photo/Richard Vogel This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Editor’s note: On April 2, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Trump administration plans to revise tailpipe emissions standards negotiated by the Obama administration for motor […]

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The importance of intra-executive branch checks and balances

We are used to thinking of the different branches of government checking each other. Scott Pruitt’s behavior illustrates the need for stronger checks and balances within the executive branch

As Dan recently pointed out, Scott Pruitt has a lot of explaining to do these days, about his housing situation last year, about his travel as EPA Administrator, about how two of his close aides ended up with hefty pay raises, and more. Even Fox News is asking questions. I want to make a different […]

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Enquiring Minds Want to Know (Scott Pruitt edition)

If the House flips, Pruitt had better be ready for some tough questioning.

Control of the House matters for a number of reasons. It would allow the Democrats to block any further “reconciliation” bills (budget bills that can’t be filibustered). It would increase their leverage in negotiations. But at least as importantly, it would empower them to conduct investigations. Here’s a list of some of the question they […]

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Coal and Nuclear Generators are Still Seeking Federal Help

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s January denial of an Department of Energy (DOE) request that FERC ensure grid reliability by propping up coal and nuclear generating plants did not end industry attempts to obtain assistance from the Trump administration. FirstEnergy, an Ohio-based utility that serves 6 million customers, made an emergency request last week to […]

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Will Pruitt join Sessions In Expanding the Federal Government’s Attack on California?

California Vehicle Emissions Standards At Stake

It’s no secret that the Trump Administration has it out for California.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions just sued the state for its refusal to aid Immigration and Customs Enforcement in detaining undocumented immigrants.  Donald Trump just claimed that highly popular Governor Jerry Brown is doing a terrible job, despite Brown leading California out of a […]

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The Disagreeable Mr. Pruitt

The list of his six worst traits starts with paranoia and ends with unbounded ambition.

I’m sure that Scott Pruitt has his good side. Probably he loves dogs. But his bad traits are, well, pretty hard to overlook. Here are some of the main characteristics of the man who is now charged by statute with protecting our environment: Paranoia. As Grist says, “in just his first year, he has reportedly […]

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Public Lands Watch: BLM Methane Rule (Again)

BLM proposes repeal of rule restricting methane emissions from oil and gas development on federal lands

Tom Schumann drafted this blog post. As previously announced, the Interior Department has published its proposal to roll back an Obama-era regulation aimed at reducing climate change-causing methane releases from oil and gas operations on federal lands. The Obama-era regulation—commonly known as the methane rule—would (1) limit the amount of methane produced by wells that […]

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Scott Pruitt’s Faulty Logic

There’s a gaping hole in Pruitt’s argument for repealing the Obama’s climate change rule.

An earlier blog post pointed to a logical gap in the current EPA’s justification for repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Obama Administration effort to cut emissions from electrical power plants. He makes an argument that EPA can only base rules on actions that polluters can take within a facility, and jumps from there […]

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Small Hands/Small Infrastructure

It’s not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a plan for toll road and local tax hikes.

The initial response to Trump’s infrastructure plan has been justifiably critical.  Jennifer Rubin, my favorite conservative columnist, says the plan doesn’t pass the straight-face test.  A good deal of it is designed to encourage privatization of infrastructure or to eliminate environmental safeguards for new projects.  I want to focus on a different aspect of the […]

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