Auto companies continue campaign against progress on vehicle pollution
At the top of Franklin Pass last week, 11,710 ft above sea level and deep in Sequoia National Park, I stopped to catch my breath. There’s no doubt the altitude was affecting me, but looking back towards the thick inversion layer sitting over the western San Joaquin Valley, I had to wonder to whether pollution …CONTINUE READING
Some Possible Replacement Phrases for the Trump Administration Rollback
In the original proposal to eviscerate national car standards to reduce carbon pollution, the Trump Administration used a made-up justification: lower standards would lead to safer cars. Hence the Administration originally named the rollback of the standards the “SAFE” Rule. SAFE stands for “Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient” Vehicle Rule. But the justification was a sham. …CONTINUE READING
What the effort to pack the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board can teach us.
Many people distrust environmental science, though for different reasons. Progressives may discount science that they see as supporting business interests. Meanwhile, conservatives may think scientists come to “politically correct” conclusions in order to get grants. It’s reasonable to think that these things may sometimes happen. But how strong are these effects? Unwittingly, the Trump Administration …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
Emmett Institute faculty submit letter opposing Trump’s proposed rollback on methane regulations
Recently, my colleague Sean Hecht and I jointly submitted a comment letter opposing a new EPA Proposed Rule that would roll back standards limiting methane emissions from oil and natural gas production, processing, transmission, and storage facilities. This Proposed Rule essentially revokes two Obama-era regulations, finalized in 2012 and 2016, that first established these methane …CONTINUE READING
EPA Cites an Inapplicable “Housekeeping Statute” to Justify Its Rule to Limit the Use of Science In Important Regulatory Decisions
Over a year ago, EPA issued a proposed rule , ostensibly to promote transparency in the use of science to inform regulation. The proposal, which mirrors failed legislation introduced multiple times in the House, has the potential to dramatically restrict EPA’s ability to rely on key scientific studies that underpin public health regulations. The rule, …CONTINUE READING
Surprise, surprise, EPA has tried to stonewall an investigation.
EPA’s Acting Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan took the extraordinary step last week of notifying Congress that EPA was stonewalling his investigation of potential misconduct involving EPA’s Chief of Staff. This was a gutsy move for Sheehan, especially given the extra vulnerability created by his Acting status. Sheehan, it is worth noting, is a career …CONTINUE READING
Bill Wehrum steps down as Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.
This morning, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced that Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum will be stepping down at the end of this month. The language of EPA’s press release seems intended to suggest that the departure was voluntary, but the resignation comes amid ongoing scrutiny about the Assistant Administrator’s connections to a number of industry clients …CONTINUE READING
Guest Blogger Nick Bryner: Cooking the Books While Cooking the Planet: A First Look at the EPA’s ACE Rule
Final Rule Changes Baseline Assumptions & Approach to Cost-Benefit Analysis in Attempt to Justify Weak Standards
Yesterday, the Trump EPA released its long-awaited response to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. At first glance, the final rule has been carefully crafted in an attempt to avoid several glaring legal vulnerabilities of the rule—and to obscure the obvious inadequacy of the Administration’s response to climate change. The EPA has found many contradictory ways …CONTINUE READING
Trump Mischaracterizes His Administration’s Attempt to Defund Important Program to Protect Environmental Quality in the Great Lakes
Late last week, Donald Trump promised to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program of the Environmental Protection Agency that provides resources to address environmental quality issues in the Great Lakes. His hollow promise obscures the fact that the Trump administration has worked hard to dismantle this program through taking away its funding, and …CONTINUE READING