In terms of business size, small may not be beautiful where the environment is concerned.
There has been a surge of concern about how big business may be undermining competition at the expense of consumers and workers. Two signs are Biden’s big executive order on competition and the appointment of antitrust hawk Lina Khan to head the FTC. Paradoxically, however, big business may be better for the environment. According to …CONTINUE READING
The Environmental Pollution Agency Prioritizes Environmental Rollbacks While Dropping Environmental Enforcement
New Policy Allows Companies to Use Covid-19 As an Excuse to Pollute
The covid-19 epidemic is providing the Environmental Protection Agency with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate its priorities: full speed ahead with environmental roll backs, including greenhouse gas/fuel economy standards for cars, cutting back on the regulation of mercury from power plants, loosening regulations on coal ash from coal plants and more. Employees at EPA have …CONTINUE READING
News broke this afternoon that Trump has forced Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to resign — naming Sessions’ chief of staff, the Marbury v. Madison critic and sports take tweeter Matthew Whitaker acting AG. This move obviously has some pretty horrifying implications for the country at large, but it’s worth thinking about how the …CONTINUE READING
Enforcement of environmental laws is spotty. But there are ways to change that.I
As I wrote earlier this week, environmental enforcement is not nearly as effective as it should be. EPA and others have been working on finding creative ways of obtaining compliance, often with the help of new technology. One aspect of enforcement that has become clear is the need to focus on small, dispersed sources that may …CONTINUE READING
Environmental enforcement could use a big boost.
The political debate over regulation tends to focus on the regulations themselves. But enforcing the regulations is just as important. Despite what you might think from the howls of business groups and conservative commentators, the enforcement system is not nearly as strong as it should be. Twenty years after passage of the Clean Water Act, roughly …CONTINUE READING
What Broader Environmental and Worker Safety Enforcement Lessons Can Be Learned Here?
A federal district judge on Wednesday sentenced Don Blankenship, the former Chief Executive of Massey Energy, to serve one year in federal prison–the maximum term allowed by law–and to personally pay a criminal penalty of $250,000 for Blankenship’s acts of omission and commission that led to the notorious 2010 coal mining disaster at Massey’s Upper …CONTINUE READING
California Attorney General, L.A. District Attorney File New Enforcement Prosecutions
The massive leak from Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon natural gas field in northwestern Los Angeles County was discovered on October 23rd of last year and, more than three months later, shows no sign of abating. Public prosecutors have pretty clearly lost patience with SoCal gas and its ineffective remediation efforts to date. This …CONTINUE READING
California’s Highest Court Has Far More Environmental Cases Pending Than Ever Before in Its History
The California Supreme Court, perhaps the most influential state supreme court in the nation, has of late become unusually and intensely focused on environmental law. More than ever before in its history, the California Supreme Court currently has before it a large docket of environmental cases that, individually and collectively, promise to alter the legal …CONTINUE READING
No government employees means less environmental enforcement
There’s lots of news coverage about the federal government shutdown. Here’s an environmental angle to the impact of the shutdown. Most of the employees for the various environmental agencies are “non-essential” personnel – including many of the enforcement personnel. Here’s a local example from the Bay Area. It seems a bunch of folks are taking …CONTINUE READING
UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that late Sunday, February 26th, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier announced a one-week postponement of the trial in the BP oil spill case that had been scheduled to begin the next day. The postponement is reportedly due to substantial progress that has been made in marathon settlement talks that …CONTINUE READING