It’s time to rethink the amount of power presidents have claimed over regulatory policy.
If there was ever a time to think hard about presidential power, that time is now. That’s a very broad question, but the part most relevant for this blog is the President’s role in controlling government regulation. There is no question that presidents have and will continue to have a huge influence on regulatory policy. …CONTINUE READING
Conservatives keep repeating the same arguments, even though the world has changed.
There used to be some fairly plausible arguments against fighting climate change. I don’t mean crackpot theories about hoaxes or the “I’m not a scientist” hokum. Instead, the arguments I have in mind could be made with a straight face by serious people. I don’t think these arguments were ever truly persuasive, but they weren’t …CONTINUE READING
Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a piece by a scientist who was helping villages in Alaska prepare for climate change, until the Trump Administration abruptly transferred him to an accounting job. Here’s another sign of the Administration’s contempt for science: Pruitt’s idea for a televised debate on the reality of climate change between climate scientists …CONTINUE READING
California Supreme Court Upholds Regional Planning Agency’s Greenhouse Gas CEQA Analysis, and Sets Out Principles to Ensure Better Analysis in the Future
Decision Will Help Ensure Development and Transportation Planning in California Supports GHG Reduction Efforts
In May, Rick Frank posted his reflections on the oral argument in the California Supreme Court on Cleveland National Forest Association v. San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and predicted that SANDAG would win the case. His prediction has proved correct with the release of the Court’s opinion last week – but SANDAG’s narrow win provides a …CONTINUE READING
Some of it is bad news — but despite Trump, there are many positive signs.
Climate and energy issues have been hot topics in the news. Consider yesterday’s issues of the NY Times and the Washington Post. Of course, both papers have featured coverage of the G20 conference. They emphasized that the U.S. is isolated internationally by its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Trump was unable to get …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
With the enthusiastic support of the House Science Committee, Trump is out to shackle scientific inquiry.
Trump’s anti-science views, on topics ranging from climate change to vaccines, got a lot of attention during the campaign. His budget puts these attitudes into operational form, and he has also left the White House science office empty, without replacing the presidential science advisor or other scientific staff. But he’s certainly not alone in his …CONTINUE READING
The opinion stands for EPA’s responsibility to address climate change based on law and science, and to safeguard public health and the environment under adverse political conditions
If it feels like we’re being inundated with bad news about federal climate policy, here’s a cause for hope: this month marks the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, one of the most important environmental cases in our nation’s history. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Massachusetts came when the …CONTINUE READING
The Trump Administration’s False Stories About the Environmental Protection Agency Are Meant to Take the Agency Down
Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt Distort the Facts About EPA’s Mission, History, and Success
The Trump Administration has made clear its plans to systematically dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency. Destroying the EPA will be a key element of the administration’s fight, in the words of White House policy advisor Steve Bannon, to achieve the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” [Update 8/22/17: Bannon is out, but that doesn’t change the Administration’s …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING