Even in bad times, some things move in the right direction.
Yes, it was a grim year in many ways. But there actually were some bright spots. Here are just the high points, but if you want more detail, I’ve added links to relevant earlier blog posts at the end of this post on the website. Scott Pruitt. Pruitt resigned under fire. While his successor may …CONTINUE READING
EPA seems unsure of the legal authority for its proposal — and for good reason.
“They sat at the Agency and said, ‘what can we do to reimagine authority under the statutes to regulate an area that we are unsure that we can but we’re going to do so anyway?’” When he said those words, Scott Pruitt was talking about the Obama Administration. But it seems to be a pretty …CONTINUE READING
Trump hasn’t had things all his own way. Not by any means.
The Trump Administration has begun some bold initiatives but it’s too soon to know how they will fare. It also had some early success with blocking Obama’s regulation in Congress. But it has also had some significant setbacks, with courts or Congress rejecting positions it had embraced. Those setbacks make it clear that, bad as …CONTINUE READING
The Order is Designed to Prevent Federal Agencies from Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment
Dan Farber just posted an insightful, brief analysis of the executive order “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” that was issued this morning. As Dan notes, the order is absurd and arbitrary – but more than that, it’s extraordinary in its potential for doing harm to our country and its residents. It is meant to kneecap …CONTINUE READING
It makes businesses look obstructionist and often gains them nothing. So why do they do it?
It seems like every time EPA makes a move, industry says it’s another job-killing power grab by the government and files court challenges within about an hour of EPA’s action. But why? The rule often survives judicial review, so industry spends millions on lawyers and gets nothing in return. It’s true that industry does often win at …CONTINUE READING
His Amtrak dissent would wipe out most regulations of the last 40 years.
It didn’t get much attention, but Justice Thomas’s dissent two weeks ago in the Amtrak case was extraordinarily radical, even for him. The case involved a relatively obscure issue about the legal status of Amtrak. Justice Thomas used the occasion for a frontal attack on administrative law, including most of environmental law.. The heart of …CONTINUE READING
New labels proposed by the federal government would give new cars letter grades reflecting their fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are expected to get the highest grades. The rule isn’t final yet; the public can comment and make suggestions on the label design. Most of us are familiar with …CONTINUE READING
UPDATE: regarding the standard of judicial review of any on-the-record hearing (discussed below), see the comments: commenter Steve Taber disagrees with my initial analysis, and he may be right (though I don’t have time to look into it further today). ORIGINAL POST: Holly has written a thoughtful post discussing the meritlessness and cynicism of the …CONTINUE READING
As Dan has mentioned, there has been a bit of a dust-up over a document in EPA’s rulemaking docket relating to EPA’s recent finding that greenhouse gases pose an endangerment to public health and welfare. As Dan notes, the memo, apparently originating at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is harshly critical …CONTINUE READING