A 6-3 conservative court is bad news for climate action. Here’s a threat assessment.
With Romney’s announcement this morning that he would support consideration of a nominee before the election, it now seems virtually certain that Trump will be able to appoint a sixth conservative Justice. How will that affect future climate policy? Here is a preliminary threat assessment. The answer varies, depending on what policies we’re talking about. …CONTINUE READING
For now, at least, environmentalists and economists are aligned in criticizing Trump’s rollbacks. Will this alliance last?
If it’s true that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” environmentalists might want to take another look at cost-benefit analysis. The Trump Administration is certainly doing its best to gut economic analysis of its rollbacks. Both economists and environmentalists are resisting. Is this an alliance of convenience or will it be the start …CONTINUE READING
The Court’s ruling could have important implications for environmental cases.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Department of Homeland Security v. UC Regents was great news for 700,000 “Dreamers” who would otherwise face deportation. It also has important implications for administrative law — and for environmental law cases in particular. Here are three main takeaways. Requiring Reasoned Explanation. Chief Justice John Roberts reinforced the principle that …CONTINUE READING
The effects are more gradual, but deregulation could be as deadly as the pandemic.
The Trump Administration has been busy repealing pollution laws that protect public health. The health impact of these rollbacks isn’t as dramatic as an epidemic. There’s a credible argument, however, that it will be just as deadly. In order to put some numbers on the effects of deregulation, we need to make some assumptions on …CONTINUE READING
Much of environmental law is about protecting public health. But the Trump Administration won’t listen.
During the coronavirus crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the voice of reason. Much of the public turns to him for critical information about public health, while even Trump finds it necessary to listen. In the Trump era, no one plays that role in the environmental area. The result is a mindless campaign of deregulation …CONTINUE READING
The Trump administration moves ahead with plans to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards.
After months of delay, the Trump administration has reportedly chosen this coming week—in the middle of a nationwide crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic—to finally release the second part of its two-part rollback of Obama-era automotive fuel economy standards. This isn’t the only environmental rollback action the administration is planning to take during the coming …CONTINUE READING
Trump’s Scientific Advisory Board Slams Proposed EPA Rules
Trump has appointed most of the members of EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), many of them selected from industry. That effort to stack SAB in favor of deregulation apparently wasn’t a complete success. In draft reports issued this week, the SAB scathingly criticized those efforts and even went so far as to give a nod …CONTINUE READING
Is there any legal basis for the Trump Administration’s actions?
Prompting rage by President Trump, California and several carmakers entered a voluntary agreement on carbon emissions from new cars that blew past the Administration’s efforts to repeal existing federal requirements. Last week, the Trump Administration slapped back at California. Although there’s been a lot of editorializing about that response, I’ve seen very little about the …CONTINUE READING
The answer: His rollback promises them little profit and much uncertainty.
Usually, you’d expect a regulated industry to applaud an effort to lighten its regulatory burdens. So you would think that the car industry would support Trump’s effort to roll back fuel efficiency standards for new vehicles and take away California’s authority to set its own vehicle standards. But that effort is being met by silence …CONTINUE READING
They’re all bad, but this regulatory rollback effort stands out for sheer incompetence.
The Trump Administration has many energy and environmental initiatives, none of them good. But in terms of shoddy analysis and tenuous evidence, the worst is the Administration’s attempt to freeze fuel efficiency standards. For sheer lack of professionalism, the Administration’s cost-benefit analysis is hard to match. And you can’t even say that the Administration is …CONTINUE READING