Trump Administration

Battle for the Senate: Arizona and Nevada

These two states offer Dems badly needed pick-up opportunities.

Here are two key Western races. The contrast between candidates on environment and energy is striking. Arizona: Sinoma v. McSally (primary Aug. 28).  Incumbent Jeff Flake (R) isn’t running for reelection. Flake’s lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) was a mere 9%. The likely match-up is Martha McSally, a Republican with a […]

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Separated at Birth? No, not really.

Trump’s pro-coal EPA plan equates two legal provisions with little in common.

Trump’s plan for coal-fired power plants, like Obama’s plan to cut carbon emissions, is based on section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  But much of the legal argument relies on an analogy to section 165 to support EPA’s very restrictive interpretation of section 111(d). It’s that restrictive interpretation that leads the agency to reject […]

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Trump Administration Announces Revisions of NAFTA with Strengthened Environmental Provisions

Revised Environmental Obligations in Preliminary Agreement With Mexico Appear to Track Environmental Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has just announced that it reached preliminary agreement with Mexico for a renegotiated NAFTA. The 24-year old trade agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. was a major topic during the 2016 presidential campaign and has been a centerpiece of USTR activity in the Trump administration. The […]

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What’s Ahead for Trump’s Pro-Coal Rule?

Be prepared: this is going to remain a live issue for at least two years.

You’ve already heard a lot about Trump’s pro-coal ACE rule. You’re likely to keep hearing about it, off and on, throughout the next couple of years, and maybe longer. I’ve set out a rough timetable below, and at the end I discuss some implications. Step 1: The Rulemaking  Aug. 2018 Notice of proposed rule issued  […]

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When Republicans Fought for a Clean Environment

Environmentalism Used to Be a Bipartisan Issue

It is not unreasonable and overly rigid environmental regulations and restrictions that stand in the way of the expanded use of the nation’s coal reserves. It is the reluctance, and at times the refusal, to recognize the very serious health hazards and environmental, social and cultural impacts associated with a rapid rise in coal use. […]

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A Loss for Trump — and for Coal

Trump Administration Loses Yet Another Environmental Case

Understandably, most of the attention at the beginning of the week was devoted to the rollout of the Trump Administration’s token effort to regulate greenhouse gases, the ACE rule. But something else happened, too. On Tuesday, a D.C. Circuit ruling ignored objections from the Trump Administration and invalidated key parts of a rule dealing with […]

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EPA Makes a Pit Stop at the “Chevron” Station

EPA’s latest proposed rollback relies heavily on the Chevron Doctrine.

The ACE rule, The Trump Administration’s proposed rule for carbon emissions in the carbon sector, purports to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants. Its real goal seems to be minimizing the burden on coal-fired plants. Legal Planet has already carried some excellent posts about the proposal’s policy flaws.  I’d like instead to talk about its […]

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Does California need “Trump insurance”?

State legislature nears decision time over SB 49, which could protect California against federal environmental rollbacks

This Sacramento Bee article is remarkable in describing how aggressively the Trump Administration is now going after California’s efforts to protect the state’s natural resources, including its water resources (see also this LA Times article).  Interior Secretary Zinke is demanding that his agency look for ways to override California water law and force more water […]

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The Clean Power Plan Replacement Comes With a Major Change to NSR (Part 1)

Important pre-construction environmental review for power plant modifications at risk

Last month, I discussed a proposal before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment to amend the Clean Air Act to weaken pre-construction review for modifications to equipment at large stationary sources. Since then, the Subcommittee voted H.R. 3128 out on a party line vote, and it’s currently waiting for the full House Energy […]

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The Costs, Benefits, and Health Impacts of EPA’s Proposed Replacement for the Clean Power Plan

EPA’s New Proposed Rule Will Cost Billions of Dollars, Largely in Health Impacts and Avoidable Mortality

As my colleagues Cara Horowitz and Meredith Hankins, and others, including the New York Times, have reported, the Trump EPA today proposed a replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan, which was a plan to transform our electrical grid away from coal (with associated health and climate benefits). The essence of the new proposal is to replace […]

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