This Administration specializes in arguments for ignoring the evidence.
The Trump Administration’s major deregulatory efforts share a common theme. They assiduously avoid having to rely on scientific or economic evidence. Confronting that evidence is time-consuming and difficult, particularly when it often comes out the other way. Instead, the Administration has come up with clever strategies to shut out the evidence. The effort to repeal …CONTINUE READING
Even for deregulators, the latest rollback makes no sense.
The Washington Post reported this morning that EPA is getting ready to roll back yet another Obama Administration climate regulation — this time, one regulating natural gas leaks. I wanted to add a brief postscript to Ken Alex’s post on this. What struck me most immediately was the sheer economic weirdness of making this rollback …CONTINUE READING
OIRA may have had its problems. What we have right now is much worse.
If you’re like most environmentalists, you probably don’t have a high opinion of OIRA, the White House office that’s supposed to oversee regulations. (For those who are new to this, OIRA stands for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.) The complaints are legion: that OIRA lacks transparency, that it acts as a back door …CONTINUE READING
He probably doesn’t know he has a theory, but he does. It’s shaping his deregulatory agenda..
OK, using the word “theory” in connection with Trump may seem like a stretch. But he does seem to have an implicit theory of law, which helps explain a lot of his approach to regulatory change. He’s also an intuitive believer in a strong form of the unitary executive. Theories of law can be classified …CONTINUE READING
Trump has been in office for nearly two years. Where do things stand?
In September 2017 – that seems so long ago! — Eric Biber and I released a report assessing the state of play in environmental issues 200 days into the Trump Administration, based on an earlier series of blog posts. As we end Trump’s second year, it’s time to bring that assessment up to date. This is the …CONTINUE READING
Trump’s “take no prisoner’s” deregulatory strategy carries big litigation risks.
Some people, it would seem, prefer using an ax to a scalpel. That’s the Trump Administration. That strategy can be a great way to cut down a tree, but it doesn’t work so well for surgery. And there’s always the chance of cutting off your own foot. In many environmental domains, the Administration seems set …CONTINUE READING
Where are we, after continual environmental assaults by Trump, Pruitt, and Zinke?
Trump has been in office for a year and a half. Where do thing stand? How permanent will the damage be to environmental protection? Answer: bad, but not nearly as it might have been. The degree of resistance especially impressive when you consider the circumstances just how much of American government is controlled by Republicans. …CONTINUE READING
When land-use deregulation gets characterized as regulation, and why
Perhaps the biggest topic in land-use law and housing affordability in California over the past couple of months has been a piece of legislation introduced by State Senator Wiener, SB 827. Ethan has blogged quite a bit about the bill – the basic concept of the legislation is to eliminate or significantly restrict a number …CONTINUE READING
How much does the Congressional Review Act preclude follow-up regulation?
Most people probably never heard of the Congressional Review Act before now. This law — “CRA” to Beltway folks — is an obscure statute — previously used only once — that allows Congress to strike down an agency rule with an expedited procedure (no filibuster). The GOP is gleefully taking advantage of its control of the …CONTINUE READING
The Trump plan of deregulation and tax cuts has been tried. It didn’t work.
President-elect Trump has promised to unleash economic growth by cutting taxes and regulation. In terms of regulations, he has said: “One of the keys to unlocking growth is scaling-back years of disastrous regulations unilaterally imposed by our out-of-control bureaucracy. “Regulations have grown into a massive, job-killing industry – and the regulation industry is one business …CONTINUE READING