Trump Administration

The Car Industry’s Rollback Effort — Disappointing But Not Surprising

The struggle to force the car industry to cut pollution goes back six decades.

The car industry is appealing for President Trump’s help against stricter carbon standards for cars. The industry’s action is disappointing for those who believed industry claims to embrace sustainability and technological innovation. There’s no good excuse for the industry’s about-face on a regulation it had originally agreed to.  As one of the architects of the …

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“States’ Rights” and Environmental Law: California on the Front Lines

EPA’s Assault on Air Quality Protection Will Aim at California’s Standards, While Other States Have Given Up Their Authority to Protect Public Health and the Environment More Strictly

This article just published in the Atlantic explains well one of the many ways that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt may attempt to deeply harm our environment for decades to come: through declining to grant, or revoking, the waivers that allow California to regulate air pollution from new motor vehicle engines more strictly than the federal government does. …

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Trump’s Budget Cuts: Even Worse Than You Thought

As you dive into the details, things keep looking worse.

Trump is proposing huge cuts to EPA and other agencies. That’s bad enough. We’re beginning to learn more details, and the message is grim.  While these cuts may not emerge from Congress at the end of the day, they do express the Administration’s goals. In particular, they demonstrate that the Administration is deeply hostile to environmental science and …

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Using Scalia Against Trump

An anti-environmental opinion by Scalia could provide ammunition against Trump.

As environmentalists search for weapons to use against the Trump Administration, one place to turn could be an important opinion by Justice Scalia – one that many of us criticized sharply at the time. The case in question, Michigan v. EPA, involved mercury emissions from power plants, in which the Supreme Court instructed EPA to consider regulatory …

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Earth Day, 2017 Should Be The Next Massive Rally

The 47th Earth Day falls this year on April 22, a Saturday.  The fortuity of a weekend date makes Earth Day the perfect opportunity to marshall the energy of the wildly successful Women’s marches around the world to demand that Congress and the Trump Administration protect our planet (hat tip to Emmett Fellow Julia Forgie …

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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 …

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The Perils of Inexperience

The Scott Pruitts of the Trump cabinet face some tricky challenges.

There’s even a name for it in sports: “rookie error.” That’s the kind of mistake that talented players make when they’ve been bumped up into the big time.The big issue for appointees like Pruitt is to avoid that kind of mistake — and in the meantime, to accomplish their agendas. By all accounts, Scott Pruitt …

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It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Reagan, Gingrich, Bush — and Now Trump. This is a battle we’ve fought before.

As the choice of Scott Pruitt to head EPA confirms, we’re about to face a radical attack on environmental protection. We’ve seen this movie before. Three times, actually, starring Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, and George W. Bush. So this feels in a way like the fourth installment in a horror film franchise. Call it “Return of the …

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What’s wrong with a business-heavy presidential cabinet?

It’s not just the revolving door problem or the different ways of conducting work; it’s the difference in fundamental purpose

I know this doesn’t sound like a post about environmental law and policy, but bear with me. There is a connection. Donald Trump ran for president largely on the claim that his experience as a businessman, and lack of experience as a politician, qualified him to shake up Washington. Just enough people in just enough …

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Legal Mandates to Consider the Social Cost of Climate Change

Considering climate impacts isn’t just a good idea. It’s the law.

Many people seem to think that considering climate impacts and the social cost of carbon was just a policy decision by the Obama Administration, which Trump if he doesn’t buy the reality of climate change. But it’s not that easy.  But there are strong arguments that considering climate change is mandatory. First, the whole idea of considering …

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