Quite understandably, the attention of the media, environmental organizations and the general public has been focused on the myriad misadventures of the Trump Administration, now rumbling and stumbling through its fifth month. And, as recounted on Legal Planet since mid-January, those contretemps include a great deal of environmental mischief emanating from the Executive Branch. But it […]
Trump ordered agencies to reconsider Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Easier said than done.
President Trump ordered EPA and the Army Corps to review the Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule, which sets expansive bounds on federal jurisdiction over water bodies and wetlands. The agencies have sent the White House a proposal to rescind the WOTUS rule and revert to earlier rules until they can come up with a replacement. In my […]
Environmental Justice Expert Camille Pannu Selected to Lead Pioneering Clinic
The U.C. Davis Martin Luther King, Jr. School of Law has launched an exciting new Water Justice Clinic designed to advocate for clean, healthy and adequate water supplies for all Californians. The new Clinic is a project of the Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies, in partnership with the California Environmental Law and […]
The more we’ve learned about environmental problems, the less they seem purely local.
Voices in and out of the Trump Administration have called for a shift responsibility for environmental protection to the states. Given that none of them has ever shown enthusiasm for state environmental protection, it’s possible whether their rule concern is federalism or deregulation. (In fact, as NYU’s Ricky Revesz points out, Pruitt has generally opposed […]
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 […]
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 […]
Clean Power Plan, Waters of the U.S. Rules First on the Chopping Block But What Remains in Place Varies Dramatically
The Washington Post is reporting that the Trump Administration will very shortly roll out two executive orders to curtail environmental protection. These rollbacks follow on the heels of the Senate’s confirmation of Scott Pruitt, who has made no secret of his antipathy for federal environmental regulations. The first executive order, as widely expected, will tell the […]
Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket
In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law. That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]
Dianne Feinstein versus Barbara Boxer; maximizing water deliveries versus protecting the environment
If you thought California was immune to the season of political craziness, think again. California Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were elected to the Senate together in 1992. They are usually on the same side, but not always. Water is one of the issues on which they often part company. Feinstein is a water […]