Proposal for massive government investment in decarbonization of the economy could have long-term political benefits, if it’s done right
The new House Democratic majority takes over this week. In the period between the midterm elections and now, one major issue that has been discussed is the path forward for the Democrats on climate policy. Led by freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, activists have called for the new majority to set up a special House committee …CONTINUE READING
House Democrats have power to use appropriations process to stop Trump Administration environmental rollbacks
Dan has already posted about some of the big deregulatory steps the Trump Administration is likely to take in the next year. But the new Democratic majority in the House could have something to say about those steps, if they wanted to. Democrats will have even more leverage over spending bills than they had in …CONTINUE READING
House Subcommittee Considering Clean Air Act Amendments to Weaken Bedrock of Stationary Source Permitting
Proposed changes to NSR could have significant impact on EJ communities
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment is currently considering amendments designed to weaken the New Source Review permitting program. The GOP proposal has been floating around since a discussion draft was released in May based on a bill introduced last year by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), but seems to have flown under the radar until …CONTINUE READING
Can Congress prevent state and federal courts from hearing WaterFix lawsuits?
The journey of California’s proposed delta tunnels project (also known as California WaterFix) has been anything but straightforward and already faces a slew of ongoing legal challenges.[i] Last week, Congress added a different kind of twist when the proposed Department of Interior budget for FY 2019 was introduced in the House Appropriations Committee. The relevant …CONTINUE READING
Senate budget resolution being considered this week could open refuge to oil drilling
One of the longest lasting fights over the federal public lands has been whether to open up portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development. The Refuge is one of the most important and largest protected areas in North America – it is unusual in that it protects the …CONTINUE READING
Political structures affect how environmental law works
In case you haven’t noticed recently, there’s been some national attention paid to how the US Senate operates. In particular, a lot of attention has been focused on the filibuster, the requirement that for legislation (as opposed to judicial or executive nominees), 60 Senators must vote to close debate on the legislation for a vote …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
What are the prospects for major environmental legislation in the near future?
From the perspective of environmental law, one of the most important questions is whether full Republican control of Congress and the White House would lead to fundamental changes to significant environmental laws. These are the kinds of changes that would be most important over the long-run, from a legal perspective. Laws are hard to pass …CONTINUE READING
EPA Administrator Resorts to Misleading Rhetoric in Possible Prelude to Revisiting Massachusetts v. EPA
Since he was confirmed to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency six months ago, Administrator Scott Pruitt has relied on three points when discussing the issue of climate change. He has cast doubt on the science by claiming it’s difficult to know the human role “with precision.” He has questioned the ability of the agency …CONTINUE READING
Congress and Trump have done some major harm with this tool, but so far, not as much as feared.
We’re getting close to the deadline for Congress final chance to use its override authority under the Congressional Review Act to eliminate Obama Administrations regulations. The deadline for introducing new resolutions has already passed, and the deadline for voting ends around May 10. It’s not clear whether the Senate in particular will have time for …CONTINUE READING