Biodiversity & Species

Public Lands Watch: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Senate budget resolution being considered this week could open refuge to oil drilling

One of the longest lasting fights over the federal public lands has been whether to open up portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development. The Refuge is one of the most important and largest protected areas in North America – it is unusual in that it protects the […]

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Ryan Zinke’s Troubling Remarks Undercut Dept. of Interior’s Core Mission

Comments to Oil Trade Association Attack Agency Staff, Dismiss Environmental Safeguards

At a recent meeting of the American Petroleum Institute (the national oil company trade association), Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made clear some of his plans for the Department of the Interior.  According to AP reporting, he called almost 1/3 of employees disloyal, said he plans to speed up oil and logging permits, and revealed a […]

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Zinke’s Report Recommends Downsizing or Loosening Restrictions in 10 National Monuments

Report Lacks Details on Boundaries but Recommends Management Changes to Permit Wider Range of Uses

Late last night, the Washington Post reported that Secretary Ryan Zinke had recommended making changes–by downsizing and/or by loosening restrictions–to a total of 10 national monuments. The list of monuments goes beyond what had been reported last month. The Post released a leaked copy of Zinke’s recommendations that were submitted to President Trump on August […]

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State of Play: Trump v. the Environment

Here’s a roadmap to what he’s done — and how things will probably unfold.

How has Trump impacted environmental law? What’s going to happen next? CLEE has issued a new report assessing the state of play in environmental law seven months of the Trump presidency. The report, 200 Days & Counting, reviews the Administration’s environmental proposals and offers a glimpse into what may be coming down the pike. The report focuses […]

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Guest Bloggers Rob Verchick and Matt Shudtz: Law Professors from Every Coast Ask SCOTUS to Weigh in on Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Case

Professors Argue Fifth Circuit Decision Upsets Federal/State Court Balance, Will Prevent States from Relying on Their Own Laws to Protect Important Natural Resources

Last month, more than two dozen law professors from around the country filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging a fresh look at a lower court decision with sweeping implications for the balance of power between states and the federal government. The issue is vital to Louisiana because it affects whether oil and gas […]

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200 Days & Counting: Environmental Threat Assessment

The Trump Administration presents a barrage of threats to the environment. Which threats are worst?

This is the last in our series on the state of play concerning U.S. environmental protection at this point of the Trump Administration. We can classify threats along three dimensions: the likelihood of harm, the seriousness and irreversibility of the harm, and the irreversibility of the institutional or legal change. Here’s an assessment of our […]

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Public Lands Watch: HR 2936

Resilient Federal Forests Act would reduce or eliminate environmental protections for logging projects on National Forests

The House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017,” out of committee on June 27th and the bill is now waiting in the House for debate. The bill would expedite National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) review for U.S. Forest Service projects in order to improve forest management on federal […]

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France Pushes for Global Pact on the Environment

President Macron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and others support proposal for global environmental treaty

In Paris this past Saturday, a high-level group of legal experts endorsed a new proposal for a worldwide environmental treaty: the Global Pact on the Environment. President Emmanuel Macron of France gave the concluding speech at a launch event for the Pact (text and video in French); other speakers included former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Laurent Fabius […]

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Is the Endangered Species Act a success?

Why the number of listed species that are no longer endangered is not a good measure of the Act’s success

The Republican-controlled Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held hearings a couple of weeks ago on “reforming” the Endangered Species Act.  (Coverage here and here, second link behind a paywall.)  An important theme of the hearing was arguments by Republican Senators that the ESA has failed because only a small fraction of species listed for […]

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Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 69

House passes resolution to nullify regulation restricting hunting on Alaska National Wildlife Refuges

Additional update: The President signed SJR 69. Update: The Senate just passed S.J.R. 69. The House voted last week to pass House Joint Resolution 69. The resolution disapproves of the Fish & Wildlife Service rule, “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska,” which was finalized on […]

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