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 […]
Q: Can the Dems scrounge up the votes to block anti-environment actions? A: Maybe.
Paul Ryan and Donald Trump have vowed to roll back many environmental protections. The Senate seems to be the one barrier against anti-environmental moves by Congress. How strong is that barrier? The answer depends in part on whether the filibuster option remains open. If the filibuster rule remains intact, the Democrats’ 48 votes in the Senate […]
Make infrastructure a top priority for the new Congress
There’s actually one policy that Clinton and Trump agree on: the need for a massive investment in infrastructure. However the election comes out, that should be a top legislative priority, combining economic, safety, and environmental benefits – and political benefits for the next President because of its popularity. It would help get the country moving […]
In only 25 years, a dynamic new field of law has taken root.
Climate Change Law, the first volume of Elgar’s Encyclopedia of Environmental Law has just appeared. There are a number of excellent edited collections about aspects of climate change law. What distinguishes this one is that breadth of the coverage, including both international and domestic aspects of carbon reduction and adaptation to climate change. The book confirms how quickly climate change […]
California Supreme Court case indicates substantial authority for states to act
Sean has already reported on the recent Rinehart decision by the California Supreme Court, in which the Court concluded that a state law imposing a temporary moratorium on the use of suction dredge equipment in California waterways was not preempted by federal mining law. Here, I just want to add to Sean’s excellent summary by […]
This past week, I hosted a workshop at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. This is the idyllic Bellagio beside the shores of Lake Como in Italy rather than the one in Vegas with the cool fountains. For Star Wars fans, it is across the lake from the site of the wedding scene at the end […]