Bush Administration

The Social Cost of George W. Bush

Bush promised climate action but reversed himself. The result: billions of dollars in global harm.

When Bush ran for President in 2000, he endorsed mandatory limits on CO2 emissions.  Within three months of taking office, he reversed himself to the dismay of some members of his own administration.  The upshot was that the US resisted any effort to address climate change and embraced a “drill baby drill” energy policy. You …


The Least Surprising Disaster in History

Some disasters come as shocking surprises. Climate change is the opposite.

Whatever you want to say about climate change, you can’t say we’ve been blindsided.  The US has had decades to take action against climate change, and we spent nearly half that time deliberately making things worse. Scientists have had reasons for concern about climate change for over a century, and the first government report on …


One reason for anti-EPA riders

There’s been a lot of (appropriate) outrage over the efforts in the past year and a half by House Republicans to gut environmental protections through the use of appropriations riders.  Those efforts might well continue in the next appropriations cycle, especially since bashing the EPA is apparently a popular election-year activity for Republicans.  One of …


Bush-era EPA § 404 veto survives judicial review

A federal court in Mississippi has rejected a legal challenge to EPA’s 2008 veto of a Clean Water Act § 404 permit for the Yazoo Pumps flood control project. (Hat tip: PLF Liberty Blog.) The Yazoo Pumps project was an anachronism, even by pre-environmental era standards. (This brief history of the project is based on …


Finally, a national ocean policy

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. Last year, I noted that the interim report of the Interagency Ocean Task Force appointed by President Obama marked a promising step toward a national ocean policy. Now the Task Force has issued its final recommendations, which the President promptly began implementing. A national ocean policy has been a long time coming. …


A red-letter day for washing machines

Under the Bush administration, which was implacably hostile to state environmental regulations exceeding federal minimum requirements, the Department of Energy refused to consider California’s request for permission to issue state rules setting water efficiency standards for washing machines. The Ninth Circuit has now set aside that action as arbitrary and capricious, and ruled that DOE …


More on the Bush-era greenhouse gas endangerment recommendation

The release of documents discussed in Holly’s post ends the story of one of the more ridiculous of the last Administration’s unceasing efforts to delay climate change regulation.  Scientists and policymakers at EPA had concluded that greenhouse gases were a danger to the public and should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.  They sent an email, …


EPA releases Bush-era endangerment finding

UPDATE: Cara has more here, including a link to the draft that does not require a subscription. In Dec. 2007, EPA was ready to issue a proposed finding under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gas pollution endangers public welfare. E&E News has now obtained a copy of the draft proposal (subscription required) through a …


Court to Interior: Not so fast on rule change

In April, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asked a federal court to vacate a last-minute Bush administration rule relaxing stream buffer zone requirements for dumping waste from mountaintop removal mining. Salazar said that the rule didn’t pass the smell test, and that it had been improperly issued without ESA consultation. Environmental groups which had challenged the …


Waxman Markey, the Clean Air Act and State Climate Legislation

As I suggested last week, the prospects for the Waxman-Markey bill passing Congress this term don’t seem particularly high.  President Obama is expending significant political capital on health care reform.  The Senate is occupied with the Sotomayor Supreme Court hearings.  And the politics of climate legislation may be even tougher in the Senate than in …