Obama Administration

Broadening the “scientific integrity” discussion

Scientific integrity was a high-profile issue under the last administration, but only in a very negative sense, with a continual drumbeat of stories accusing the Bush White House and political appointees of interfering with the proper role of science.  President Obama has brought new positive attention to the topic, first with his inaugural address promise …

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Both Sides are Right on Waxman-Markey

Cara asks what people think about the Waxman-Markey bill.  It seems clear to me that both sides are right.  And no, this isn’t a case of realism versus idealism. Waxman-Markey might be the strongest thing that can get through Congress right now.  And even that might be over-optimistic: Waxman can move the thing through the …

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Nominee for key USDA post

President Obama has nominated Homer Lee Wilkes, a career employee of the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and currently the head of NRCS’s Mississippi office, to become undersecretary for natural resources and environment. That’s a key post for environmental policy because it oversees the US Forest Service as well as the much smaller NRCS. The …

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Breaking News: Interior Nominee Blocked

HuffPost reports: Republicans have blocked President Barack Obama’s pick for the No. 2 job at the Interior Department because of a flap over oil leases in Utah. In a 57-39 Senate vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes they would have needed to advance the nominee past GOP obstacles. It’s the first time Republicans …

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Polar bears, wolves, and Obama’s Interior Department

Environmentalists have been absolutely thrilled with the EPA under the leadership of President Obama and Administrator Lisa Jackson. The Department of Interior under Secretary Ken Salazar has drawn more mixed reviews so far. (Dan Tarlock and I wrote about the first 100 days at Interior on the Center for Progressive Reform blog.) Recent news out …

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New life for new source review

The Obama Administration is beyond its 100th day, but still busy on the environmental front undoing the work of its predecessor. One thing that means at EPA is breathing life back into the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review program, which the Bush Administration had been busily trying to write out of existence. In the …

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Ruling by Justice Scalia Makes it Easier to Repeal Bush-Era Rules

Ironically, an opinion by Justice Scalia will indirectly help the Obama Administration repeal Bush-era environmental rules.

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The fat lady is warming up — make that singing

UPDATE 4/28: The Secretaries of Interior and Commerce have announced that they are revoking the Bush administration’s midnight rule on ESA section 7 consultation. They apparently are not revoking the special rule on the polar bear (as they were also authorized to do under the omnibus spending bill). We will have more when the formal …

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Cars, Obama and Climate Change

There’s big news coming out of Washington and Detroit this week about the fate of U.S. automakers.  Rumors surfaced yesterday that G.M. will furlough its U.S. factories for most of the summer due to declines in auto sales.  And the Obama Treasury Department is said to be pressuring Chrysler to prepare for bankruptcy, to be filed as …

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Cleaning Up the Bush EPA’s Dry Cleaning Rule

The Washington Post reported that EPA “is reconsidering whether to compel dry cleaners to phase out a cancer-causing chemical used in tens of thousands of operations nationwide.”  In 2006, the Bush Administration issued an air toxics rule for professional dry cleaners using perchloroethylene in which it tightened technology requirements, but refused to phase out use …

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