Here’s a timeline of events.
It’s no wonder that one EPA staffer’s reaction to the Supreme Court ruling was a single word: “Heartbroken.” In 2023, the Supreme Court ended fifty years of broad federal protection to wetlands in Sackett v. United States. It is only when you look back at the history of federal wetland regulation that you realize just …CONTINUE READING
Bush promised climate action but reversed himself. The result: billions of dollars in global harm.
When Bush ran for President in 2000, he endorsed mandatory limits on CO2 emissions. Within three months of taking office, he reversed himself to the dismay of some members of his own administration. The upshot was that the US resisted any effort to address climate change and embraced a “drill baby drill” energy policy. You …CONTINUE READING
Here’s a timeline of the victories and defeats since 1992.
Thirty years ago, the United States joined the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The decades since then have been a saga of victories and defeats for U.S. climate policy. Progress has been made under one President, only to be battered down by the next one. This to-and-fro is a sobering reminder of how …CONTINUE READING
The Supreme Court is almost certain to cut back on EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. What then?
In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court is reviewing Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) itself no longer has any practical relevance, but there’s every reason to predict the Court will strike it down anyway. The ruling will also restrict EPA’s future options. The big question is what the Biden Administration …CONTINUE READING
The CPP no longer serves any useful purpose, and keeping it on the books invites mischief by the Supreme Court.
The Clean Power Plan (CPP) was the Obama Administration’s signature climate effort. This 2015 regulation aimed to move state power grids away from coal and toward renewable energy. It immediately became ensnared in litigation and never went into effect. It’s now considered irrelevant for all practical purposes. Yet the Supreme Court is now set to …CONTINUE READING
Despite Trump’s efforts, he couldn’t actually reset the clock to the pre-Obama era.
Obama moved us forward. Trump moved us backwards. Are we back where we began? No. Biden starts from a significantly stronger position than Obama did in 2008. In 2008, like today, the outgoing Republican President had adamantly opposed climate action, favored the oil and gas industry, and turned a cold shoulder toward environmental regulation. Trump …CONTINUE READING
Trump has had a single-minded focus on eliminating any traces of Obama’s presidency. But it’s not too late to turn the tide.
We’ve now had nearly four years of Trump’s all-out war on environmental protection. Trump has single-mindedly tried to wipe out every trace of Obama’s legacy. It’s time to see what’s left of Obama’s achievements. And what could a new President do to revive his legacy? In a Legal Planet post a week before the last …CONTINUE READING
What Trump accomplish in his first year? In terms of energy & environment, less than Obama.
There’s been a lot of sound and fury, and many proposals are in the works. But what have the concrete results been so far? And how does Trump’s effectiveness stack up again Obama’s? I was prompted to ask that question by a note from Jonathan Rosenbloom, an environmental law scholar at Drake University. I had …CONTINUE READING
DC Circuit vacates 2015 rule on HFCs
Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 2015 EPA rule targeting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases that are used as refrigerants and propellants for a variety of purposes as a substitute for ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The court’s decision is a setback for President Obama’s …CONTINUE READING
Politicians and Commentators Who Criticize Recent National Monuments Are Making Up Their Own Version of History
Republican Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Herbert Hoover Designated Millions of Acres Under the Antiquities Act
As several colleagues and I noted here recently, President Trump recently issued an executive order that will result in “review” of national monuments created since 1996. (The Antiquities Act grants Presidents the authority to reserve federal lands as national monuments, protecting them from much new resource extraction and development that would otherwise potentially be available on those …CONTINUE READING