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 …CONTINUE READING
The Court refused to hear two cases, but with noteworthy separate opinions.
The Supreme Court declined to hear two cases today. Neither case was earthshaking, but conservative Justices wrote revealing separate opinions. The case with the greatest import for environmental law was Paul v. U.S. The facts of the case had nothing to do with environmental law, but the issue involved has large implications for environmental statutes. …CONTINUE READING
Our institutions have been battered. How will we be able to fix them?
Much of Trump’s damage to the environment is obvious: his efforts to increase gas and oil production, his regulatory rollbacks, and his efforts to gut the agencies charged with protecting the environment. But he has also done deeper damage to the institutions we need to address climate change and other daunting environmental challenges. These problems …CONTINUE READING
Florida’s GOP Governor proves unexpectedly pro-environmental.
There was little reason to expect much from Governor DeSantis. The GOP candidate for Governor was expected to be Adam Putnam, the Agriculture Commissioner. Instead, due to Trump’s personal intervention, Ron DeSantis snagged the nomination. DeSantis pledged to “reduce bureaucracy, eliminate unreasonable regulations and crack down on lawsuit abuse.” He called himself the #1 conservative …CONTINUE READING
Hardly anything Trump says about the environment is actually true, or even arguable.
The Washington Post has a list of false statements by Trump, which turns out to be searchable by topic. They’ve found that “In the first eight months of his presidency, President Trump made 1,137 false or misleading claims, an average of five a day.” As of March 17, he was up to 9,179 false statements. …CONTINUE READING
EPA seems unsure of the legal authority for its proposal — and for good reason.
“They sat at the Agency and said, ‘what can we do to reimagine authority under the statutes to regulate an area that we are unsure that we can but we’re going to do so anyway?’” When he said those words, Scott Pruitt was talking about the Obama Administration. But it seems to be a pretty …CONTINUE READING
Ironically, the proposal calling for greater transparency provides little clue into the agency’s thinking.
EPA recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” The proposal would prohibit the agency from considering studies of health risks unless enough data is made publicly available to allow EPA or industry to validate the results. That sounds fine, but these studies often involve either confidential health records or …CONTINUE READING
The Trump Administration is doubling down on its efforts to silence politically inconvenient science.
We knew about the Administration’s disdain for scientific evidence from the beginning but the situation has only continued to deteriorate. The campaign against objective science is now becoming embedded within the government. Far more than its predecessors, the Administration has embarked on a campaign to impose political control on science within the government and in …CONTINUE READING
Trump’s target isn’t just Obama. His rejection of environmental protection goes much deeper.
We often hear about the Trump Administrations’s plans to “roll back Obama’s regulations.” But the Administration’s goals go much deeper. Hyperbole is always a risk when discussing opposing policy views, but to call this Administration a profound threat to environmental regulation is only to echo their own words. When he announced the executive order directing EPA to …CONTINUE READING
With the enthusiastic support of the House Science Committee, Trump is out to shackle scientific inquiry.
Trump’s anti-science views, on topics ranging from climate change to vaccines, got a lot of attention during the campaign. His budget puts these attitudes into operational form, and he has also left the White House science office empty, without replacing the presidential science advisor or other scientific staff. But he’s certainly not alone in his …CONTINUE READING