Public Lands Watch: Repeal of Interior valuation rule

Interior Department repeals Obama Administration reforms to the prices paid by energy companies for public oil, gas, and coal resources

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONNR) of the Interior Department published a final rule in the Federal Register earlier this week on August 7th, 2017, that the Department is repealing the “Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform Final Rule.” The 2017 Valuation Rule was published on July 1, […]

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Continuing Efforts to Put a Price on Carbon

New York regulators and transmission operators consider a carbon adder for wholesale electricity.

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) operates the state’s electric grid and conducts wholesale power markets. The New York Department of Public Service regulates the state’s investor-owned electricity providers. Together, they have issued a report concluding that the state, ratepayers, and the environment would benefit from placing a charge on wholesale electric power to […]

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200 Days & Counting: Environmental Threat Assessment

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 […]

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200 Days & Counting: State and Local Action

States and cities can do a lot to push back against Trump, but they do face some legal challenges.

In the Trump era, what avenues are open to state and local governments to use self-help to protect the environment? I’ve posted before about the opportunities for state and local governments taking action to protect their own environments. (here and here). Perhaps the most important recent development is the extension of California’s cap-and-trade program to […]

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200 Days & Counting: Executive Orders

Trump loves issuing executive orders. Mostly, they don’t mean much.

Trump has issued a flood of executive orders. Many of them are “full of sound and fury. . . signifying nothing.” They actually concern actions that he doesn’t have the power to take himself. Instead, they relate to responsibilities that Congress gave to an administrative agency like EPA, not the White House.  There are a […]

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200 Days and Counting: Public Lands

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). […]

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200 Days & Counting: Enforcing Environmental Laws

Don’t expect the Administration to take the lead in enforcement. Others will need to step up.

As the Bush Administration learned, it can be difficult to pass new legislation or enact new regulations. But another way of gutting environmental rules is much easier: just stop enforcing them. An agency’s enforcement decisions receive essentially no judicial review and precious little publicity. Cuts in enforcement budgets receive even less public notice and are […]

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Center for Ocean Solutions Releases Consensus Statement and Report on the Public Trust Doctrine, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Land Use in California

Report Analyzes State Public Trust Responsibilities on the Coastline, Coincides With Coastal Commission Staff’s Release of Draft Residential Adaptation Policy Guidance

Last month, a group of public trust and coastal land use experts, working under the auspices of the Center for Ocean Solutions, released two documents that are likely to be influential in shaping the future of California’s coastline.  The documents, Consensus Statement on the Public Trust Doctrine, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Land Use in […]

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200 Days & Counting: Pollution and Climate Change

Trump and Pruitt want to take an ax to EPA regulation. That will be harder than they think.

Rolling back EPA regulations is one of the Trump Administration’s priorities. The most notable example is Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which aimed to cut CO2 emissions from power plants. The other rule that has gotten considerable attention is the so-called WOTUS rule, which defines federal jurisdiction to regulate wetlands and watersheds. But these are not […]

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200 Days and Counting: Budget

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 […]

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Setback for EPA in Regulating Gases with High Global Warming Potential

DC Circuit vacates 2015 rule on HFCs

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 2015 EPA rule targeting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases that are used as refrigerants and propellants for a variety of purposes as a substitute for ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The court’s decision is a setback for President Obama’s […]

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