Obama Administration

Trump vs. Obama: Comparing Their First-Year Records

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

Setback for EPA in Regulating Gases with High Global Warming Potential

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

Bears Ears: A Monumental End to the Obama Era

Will the Antiquities Act survive the new administration?

With one week left in his second term, President Obama’s “monumental” legacy is again at the forefront. Just yesterday, the President expanded, by proclamation, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and the California Coastal National Monument, and created three additional national monuments: the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and the Freedom Riders National Monument in …

CONTINUE READING

Scientific integrity in the Trump administration

We can’t tell yet what role science will play in the new administration’s policy choices, but there is reason for concern

  There has understandably been a great deal of hand wringing in the environmental policy world since the US presidential election, including on this site (see, for example, Sean’s post here, Dan’s here, and Ann’s here). There are so many hands to be wrung, however, that we’re nowhere near through them all. One topic that …

CONTINUE READING

Obama’s Public Lands Conservation Legacy

Progress, but still much more to do

President Obama has gotten some high praise lately from the New York Times editorial board, and this op-ed from Prof. David Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice noted for his biography of President Theodore Roosevelt.  Brinkley compares Obama favorably to Teddy Roosevelt for his conservation legacy. The specific recent actions by President Obama that prompted …

CONTINUE READING

The National Park Service and Climate Change

Does the agency have the legal tools to respond to climate change?

This past weekend President Obama visited Yosemite, helping the National Park Service celebrate its 100th anniversary.  As part of his remarks, the President noted that climate change is already causing major impacts on the resources in National Parks around the country—for instance, causing the disappearance of the glaciers in Yosemite and increasing fire risks in …

CONTINUE READING

Political systems and environmental law

The other day I posted about Australia’s repeal of its carbon tax. Australia is not the only country that is going through some retrenchment in environmental law. In Canada, the government made some substantial alterations to the requirements for environmental review for government projects (reducing the scope of the requirement and limiting it to certain …

CONTINUE READING

The 2014 Midterm Elections and the EPA Greenhouse Gas Rule

Why Republicans probably won’t be able to eliminate the EPA rules before 2016

I wrote earlier about why the 2016 Presidential election will be the election that matters (politically) for the long-term success of the new greenhouse gas rules proposed by EPA.  (The status of legal challenges is a different question.)  I want to elaborate a little more now about why the 2014 midterm elections are pretty much …

CONTINUE READING

A Bailout By Any Other Name…

Weak environmental laws are another form of bailouts for private industry

Bailouts – the payment of public funds or resources to rescue or support a private enterprise – are politically very unpopular. The primary challenger who defeated Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia excoriated Cantor for supporting big banks in the wake of the financial crisis. The bailout of banks after the crisis that …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING