When it comes to California water policy, the federal-state relationship has always been both strained and challenging. That intergovernmental tension harkens back at least to the Reclamation Act of 1902. In section 8 of this iconic federal statute that transformed the American West, Congress declared that the federal government “shall proceed in conformity with” state […]
Written in Collaboration with Camila Gonzalez*
Coastal communities are bracing themselves. Thirty years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and almost nine years after the BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, they are facing the threat of another catastrophic oil spill. The Trump Administration is paving the way. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will […]
The answer: His rollback promises them little profit and much uncertainty.
Usually, you’d expect a regulated industry to applaud an effort to lighten its regulatory burdens. So you would think that the car industry would support Trump’s effort to roll back fuel efficiency standards for new vehicles and take away California’s authority to set its own vehicle standards. But that effort is being met by silence […]
Segment Provides Legal Context for Groundbreaking Children’s Climate Case
Our colleague Ann Carlson appeared on 60 Minutes this past Sunday for a lengthy on-camera interview with Steve Kroft, discussing the Juliana v. U.S. lawsuit filed by Our Children’s Trust. Begun in 2015, the lawsuit has survived several appeals so far, and is headed to oral arguments in June at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Portland, Oregon. […]
Sleeper Supreme Court Case Could Upend Environmental Regulations
“I don’t want to know what the law says. I want to know who the judge is.” — Roy M. Cohn Roy Cohn was one of the most disgusting figures of 20th century American law, whose red-baiting and homophobia were exceeded in awfulness only by his mentoring of Donald Trump. But when it comes to […]
Climate change may devastate future generations. Is there a way to get their interests before the courts?
Climate change is not just a long-range problem; it’s one that will get much worse in the future unless major emissions cuts are made. For instance, sea levels will continue to rise for centuries. But the people who will be harmed by these changes can’t go to court: they haven’t been born yet. How can […]
Quiet changes buried behind the big de-regulatory headlines spell disaster for the environment
As I explained back in August, the Trump Administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan replacement (the “Affordable Clean Energy” or ACE rule) came with a significant change to how the EPA has traditionally interpreted the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) provisions mandating pre-construction environmental review and the installation of air pollution controls to offset […]
He probably doesn’t know he has a theory, but he does. It’s shaping his deregulatory agenda..
OK, using the word “theory” in connection with Trump may seem like a stretch. But he does seem to have an implicit theory of law, which helps explain a lot of his approach to regulatory change. He’s also an intuitive believer in a strong form of the unitary executive. Theories of law can be classified […]
Here’s what to expect environmentally.
What are the key things to watch for in 2019 in the environmental area? Regulations. According to the Administration’s schedule, three big rules should be issued in March: repeal of the Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS), repeal and replacement of the Clean Power Plan, and the freeze on fuel efficiency standards. This seems […]
Trump has been in office for nearly two years. Where do things stand?
In September 2017 – that seems so long ago! — Eric Biber and I released a report assessing the state of play in environmental issues 200 days into the Trump Administration, based on an earlier series of blog posts. As we end Trump’s second year, it’s time to bring that assessment up to date. This is the […]