CEQ

Misunderstanding the Law of Causation

Trump’s NEPA proposal flunks Torts as well as Environmental Science 101.

Last week’s NEPA proposal bars agencies from considering many of the harms their actions will produce, such as climate change. These restrictions profoundly misunderstand the nature of environmental problems and are based on the flimsiest of legal foundations. Specifically, the proposal tells agencies they do not need to consider environmental “effects if they are remote …

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Pride Goeth Before a Fall

Trump thinks he can tell courts how to interpret NEPA. He’s wrong.

White House has just released its proposed revisions to the rules about environmental impact statements. The  White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) simply does not have the kind of power that it is trying to arrogate to itself. The proposal is marked by hubris about the government’s ability to control how the courts apply the …

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Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Next President

If it’s Trump, we’ll see more of the same. But what if a Democrat wins?

Under executive orders dating back to Reagan, regulatory agencies like EPA are supposed to follow cost-benefit analysis in making decisions. Under the Trump Administration, however, cost-benefit analysis has barely even served as window-dressing for its deregulatory actions.  It has launched a series of efforts to prevent full counting of regulatory benefits, as well as committing …

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Executive Order calls for climate adaptation

Presidential directive holds potential to move federal adaptation efforts forward, but implementation will be the key.

Cross-posted at The Berkeley Blog. Today, President Obama issued an Executive Order intended “to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience.” In some respects, this order simply continues ongoing efforts. Under this administration, the executive branch has already been doing a great deal of …

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New NEPA procedures for offshore drilling

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. Today the White House Council on Environmental Quality issued a report on the NEPA analysis that preceded exploratory drilling at the ill-fated Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, together with recommendations for improving NEPA analysis in the future. According to CEQ, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (successor to the …

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A promising step toward a national ocean policy

In June, President Obama created an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, and directed it to make recommendations for a national ocean policy.  The Task Force got right to work.  Now, after convening two dozen expert roundtables, inviting public comment, and holding the first of six public sessions, the Task Force has issued an Interim Report …

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Deputy Director Named for CEQ

The White House has announced that Gary S. Guzy, former general counsel and counselor to the administrator of EPA during the Clinton administration and previously a senior attorney in DOJ’s environmental division, will  be named deputy director of the Council on Environmental Quality. Guzy has also been a partner at  Foley Hoag, a consultant to …

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Executive Branch Agreement on Mountaintop Removal: A Positive Step, but Only a Step

Cross-posted with permission from CPRBlog. Over the past few months, the Obama Administration has sent mixed signals on mountaintop mining, the practice of blowing the tops off mountains containing coal and piling the left-over rubble in valleys and streambeds. Early on, things seemed to be going well for the environment. First, EPA objected to the …

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Climate Change and Environmental Impact Statements

Government agencies are struggling with how to fit climate change into the process of environmental review.  At one level, this is a no-brainer.  Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, and climate change is the biggest environmental impact of all.  But as always, the devil is in the details. 

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Van Jones to CEQ

Another potentially great Obama appointment today to CEQ — a White House entity that might as well stand for Climate and Energy Questions these days.  This from Greenwire: Author and activist Van Jones will serve as a special White House adviser for “green” jobs, enterprise and innovation. Jones, 40, will work within the Council on Environmental …

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