Clean Water Act, CERCLA, Native American Law and Trump’s Border Wall Lead the List
It’s become customary for critics and observers from many disciplines to publish a wide variety of lists at year’s end, nominating the most important or best movies, music, plays, etc. of the preceding year. Why not follow that tradition in the fields of environmental law and policy? With that objective in mind, I plan over …CONTINUE READING
Republican-Led Senate Prepared to Preserve Public Lands–and Political Careers?
Over the past decade, we’ve become resigned to the sad fact of congressional gridlock: a hopelessly partisan and paralyzed Congress, seemingly unable to pass major legislation on the environmental protection, natural resource conservation or, indeed, any number of other policy fronts. So it has to come as a shock to most observers that this week …CONTINUE READING
The President does have considerable power, but there are serious limitations.
Now that Trump has belatedly declared a national emergency, what powers does he have to respond to the coronavirus pandemic? There has been a lot of talk about this on the Internet, some of it off-base. it’s important to get the law straight. For instance, there’s been talk about whether Trump should impose a national …CONTINUE READING
Rather Than “Improve” ESA, Newly-Adopted Regulations Dramatically Erode Its Historic Protections
The Endangered Species Act, enacted in 1973, has for most of its history been the most controversial and politically-charged of all the foundational environmental laws adopted by Congress in the 1970’s. But despite its contentious history, opponents of the ESA have been unsuccessful in their efforts to weaken the law, either through significant Congressional amendments …CONTINUE READING
If the Supreme Court upholds Trump, it will have to uphold an emergency declaration for climate change.
Trump finally pulled the trigger today and declared a national emergency so he can build his wall. But if illegal border crossings are a national emergency, then there’s a strong case for viewing climate change in similar terms. That point has been made by observers ranging from Marco Rubio to Legal Planet’s own Jonathan Zasloff …CONTINUE READING
If Trump can stretch emergency powers, maybe they can be used for other purposes too.
Could a future President invoke emergency powers against climate change? Republicans are apparently worried that if Trump could use emergency powers by declaring border security a national emergency, the next president could do the same thing for climate change. There’s no doubt that this would be far more legitimate than Trump’s wall effort. Border crossings …CONTINUE READING
He probably doesn’t know he has a theory, but he does. It’s shaping his deregulatory agenda..
OK, using the word “theory” in connection with Trump may seem like a stretch. But he does seem to have an implicit theory of law, which helps explain a lot of his approach to regulatory change. He’s also an intuitive believer in a strong form of the unitary executive. Theories of law can be classified …CONTINUE READING
Personal Reflections on the Raging Debate Over Trump’s Utah Monument Reductions
One of most highly visible disputes arising out of the Trump Administration’s multifaceted efforts to roll back and nullify the natural resources policies of previous administrations is the decision by President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Zinke to substantially reduce two national monuments in Utah created by former President Obama under the Antiquities Act. President Trump’s December …CONTINUE READING
The Administration is Poised to Act, But Legal Challenges, Procedural Hurdles, and Internal Conflict Are Likely to Make It Difficult
On Monday, I posted a quick summary of the Trump administration’s recent action to start rolling back the Clean Water Rule, a joint rule by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that defines the range of waterways the Clean Water Act protects. The proposed action the agencies announced last week, …CONTINUE READING
This Action is Just the First Step Towards Reducing Clean Water Act Protection for Many Waterways and Wetlands
With much fanfare, the Trump administration announced last Tuesday that it is proposing to rescind the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. This rule is intended to govern determinations of which waterbodies and wetlands are “waters of the United States,” protected under the Clean Water Act. The …CONTINUE READING