General

House Subcommittee Considering Clean Air Act Amendments to Weaken Bedrock of Stationary Source Permitting

Proposed changes to NSR could have significant impact on EJ communities

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment is currently considering amendments designed to weaken the New Source Review permitting program. The GOP proposal has been floating around since a discussion draft was released in May based on a bill introduced last year by Rep.  Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), but seems to have flown under the radar until […]

Continue Reading

Senate Update

Will environmentalists have any leverage in the Senate? Here are the races to watch.

Where are we in the battle to control the Senate? I’ve posted previously about eight key races. Here are the current predictions from two leading forecasters. In every case where both candidates for these Senate seats have LCV scores, the Democrat’s score is at least 40% better than the Republican’s, and often the disparity is […]

Continue Reading

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Record on the Environment

He’s highly conservative but has acknowledged the seriousness of climate change

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, has been pretty staunchly conservative in his environmental rulings on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the last 12 years. He voiced serious skepticism about the validity of the Clean Power Plan during oral arguments on the case in 2016. He struck down […]

Continue Reading

UCLA Law Wells Environmental Law Clinic Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief on Behalf of Scientists in Endangered Species Act Case

Scientists’ Brief Argues Federal Agencies and Courts Must Use Science in Interpreting “Habitat” Under the Endangered Species Act; Clinic Clients Include Profs. Stuart Pimm & E.O. Wilson, Along With Three MacArthur “Genius” Award Recipients & Ten Other Esteemed Scientists

Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect species at risk of extinction.  Congress viewed species extinction as an urgent threat requiring urgent, decisive action.  The result was a bipartisan law designed to apply scientific knowledge and expertise to managing the threats to U.S. species.  While the Act has been controversial, and characterized […]

Continue Reading

NEWSFLASH: Pruitt Resigns

Under pressure, Pruitt finally exits EPA.

President Trump tweeted today that he had accepted Scott Pruitt’s resignation and appointed Robert Wheeler as Acting Administrator of EPA.  Wheeler is likely to be just as bad on policy and could well be more competent and effective than Pruitt. But Pruitt was a disgrace to the office, and it is good to see him […]

Continue Reading

Senate Races and the Environment

Eight races will determine the balance of power in the Senate.

There’s a lot riding on the 2018 elections. The midterms will decide whether the GOP has a large enough majority to pass legislation weakening environmental protection, whether either house of Congress is willing to investigate misconduct by Pruitt and others, and who Trump can appoint to agencies and the judiciary. I’ll post more detailed information […]

Continue Reading

Tribal Fishing/Environmental Justice Rights Prevail After Supreme Court Ruling

Justice Kennedy’s Recusal Proves Decisive in Preserving Tribes’ Legal Victory

Perhaps the most consequential environmental case of the rapidly-concluding U.S. Supreme Court Term ended this week with a whimper rather than a bang: in a curt one-sentence order, the Court ruled that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ earlier decision in Washington v. United States “is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” The justices split 4-to-4 on […]

Continue Reading

What Does Sports Gambling Have To Do With Environmental Law?

A Lot, Potentially, Following the Supreme Court’s Murphy v. NCAA Decision

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a major decision invalidating a federal statute that had prohibited states from allowing betting on competitive sporting events.  Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, is one of those relatively rare Supreme Court decisions that directly affects a substantial portion of the American public.  So it’s no great surprise that […]

Continue Reading

CARB Seeks to Maintain Stringency of California’s Vehicle Standards

Emmett Institute submits public comment in support of CARB’s efforts

Back in the halcyon days of 2012 when EPA, NHTSA, California, and the automakers crafted a grand bargain to adopt national vehicle emission standards, California agreed that compliance with vehicle emission standards adopted at the federal level would be “deemed to comply” with California’s standards. Now, as it becomes clear that the federal government intends […]

Continue Reading

Plastics and our Future

How to turn off the plastics spout?

Kudos to National Geographic for its stunner of an issue on plastics and the environmental harms they cause. As this latest report and many other recent stories make clear, we are drowning in plastics. Bits of plastic have been found in beer, in major brands of bottled water, in 75% of deep sea fish, in […]

Continue Reading