Air Quality

Trump’s EPA May Cause as Many U.S. Deaths as the Coronavirus

The effects are more gradual, but deregulation could be as deadly as the pandemic.

The Trump Administration has been busy repealing pollution laws that protect public health.  The health impact of these rollbacks isn’t as dramatic as an epidemic.  There’s a credible argument, however, that it will be just as deadly. In order to put some numbers on the effects of deregulation, we need to make some assumptions on …

CONTINUE READING

We Need an Environmental Dr. Fauci

Much of environmental law is about protecting public health. But the Trump Administration won’t listen.

During the coronavirus crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the voice of reason. Much of the public turns to him for critical information about public health, while even Trump finds it necessary to listen. In the Trump era, no one plays that role in the environmental area. The result is a mindless campaign of deregulation …

CONTINUE READING

The SAFE Rule: Sham Acronyms Foul Environment

Some Possible Replacement Phrases for the Trump Administration Rollback

In the original proposal to eviscerate national car standards to reduce carbon pollution, the Trump Administration used a  made-up justification:  lower standards would lead to safer cars.  Hence the Administration originally named the rollback of the standards the “SAFE” Rule.  SAFE stands for “Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient” Vehicle Rule. But the justification was a sham. …

CONTINUE READING

Still Not SAFE

The Trump administration moves ahead with plans to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards.

After months of delay, the Trump administration has reportedly chosen this coming week—in the middle of a nationwide crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic—to finally release the second part of its two-part rollback of Obama-era automotive fuel economy standards.  This isn’t the only environmental rollback action the administration is planning to take during the coming …

CONTINUE READING

How the Coronavirus is (Not) Like Climate Change

The two have some informative parallels, although some observers draw the wrong conclusions

The coronavirus dominates the news and much of our minds. Here at Legal Planet, we have written about the coronavirus and presidential powers, disaster declarations, fossil fuel production, decision-making under uncertainty, inequality, and cities. I will join the party and consider what are the parallels and differences between the coronavirus crisis and anthropogenic climate change, …

CONTINUE READING

An Oil and Gas Setback in Los Angeles Would Not Create Billions in Liability

A recent report from the Petroleum Administrator relied on incorrect and incomplete legal assumptions about the City’s potential liability to oil and gas operators. Here’s why it matters.

This week, Sean Hecht and I (in our capacity as attorneys in the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at UCLA School of Law) sent a letter on behalf of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust to Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, and the Los Angeles City Council. (Our letter built …

CONTINUE READING

Things to Be Thankful For

Despite the Trump Administration’s efforts, there are rays of hope.

Three years into the Trump Administration, we’re now accustomed to waking up every morning to learn about a new attack on the environment.  But there are also some things to be thankful for. Here’s how I started a similar post in 2017, just a year after the 2016 election: “Overall, it’s been a pretty lousy …

CONTINUE READING

EPA’s Draft Update to Its “Science Transparency Rule” Shows It Can’t Justify the Rule

EPA Cites an Inapplicable “Housekeeping Statute” to Justify Its Rule to Limit the Use of Science In Important Regulatory Decisions

Over a year ago, EPA issued a proposed rule , ostensibly to promote transparency in the use of science to inform regulation. The proposal, which mirrors failed legislation introduced multiple times in the House, has the potential to dramatically restrict EPA’s ability to rely on key scientific studies that underpin public health regulations. The rule, …

CONTINUE READING

What to Expect from Trump’s Second Term

Basically, a second term would be like Trump’s first term, but worse.

Here we are, one year from Election Day. As of now, there is a significant chance that Trump will be reelected in 2020, though experts disagree on the precise odds.  In terms of the environment, what would his second term look like? The President. It’s conceivable that Trump might rethink his policy positions after reelection, …

CONTINUE READING

Are You Sure That’s What You Want?

Automakers might get a federal “one national standard”…just not the one they seem interested in.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the Trump administration will move to finalize its rollback of federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards by the end of the year, and that, unlike the freeze previously proposed by the administration, the rule will require annual fuel economy improvements of 1.5 percent.  That’s still much …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING