Trump Administration

The Changing Politics of Coal

Coal has gone from a national conservative rallying cry to a niche state concern.

The “War Against Coal” was a major conservative theme eight years ago. Now it seems almost forgotten even by Donald Trump, who was once coal’s caped crusader.  But although protecting coal production is no longer much of a national issue, keeping coal-fired power plants open has percolated as an issue at the state level.  It …

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Ranking Presidents on Climate Change

Seven presidents, seven very different legacies.

Although a 1977 memo alerted Jimmy Carter to the problem of climate change, the first tentative responses to climate change didn’t emerge until he left the White House. Since then, there have been seven very different men in the White House.  You may find the rankings surprising. Here’s how I would rank them, from best …

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Climate Election 2024: “Drill, Baby, Drill” but Then What?

Conservatives have a Trump 2.0 energy policy built on outright lies, some surprising ideas, and risky reversals of America’s clean energy transformation.

If you’ve missed the sound of a crowd shouting “Drill, Baby, Drill” you’re in luck. That chant is back in vogue, as the general election heats up. The 2008-era slogan is shorthand for the Trump campaign’s energy policy, but we know much more about current conservative thinking on the subject thanks to Project 2025, the …

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The Long Life and Sudden Demise of Federal Wetlands Protection

Here’s a timeline of events.

It’s no wonder that one EPA staffer’s reaction to the Supreme Court ruling was a single word: “Heartbroken.” In 2023, the Supreme Court ended fifty years of broad federal protection to wetlands in Sackett v. United States.  It is only when you look back at the history of federal wetland regulation that you realize just …

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Climate Change and “The Chosen One”

The plan of this messianic figure is clear — expanding fossil fuels and eliminating climate action.

A leading presidential candidate recently reposted a video that called him  the “Chosen One,” echoing the view of many of his followers that God has chosen him to lead the country. “And on June 14, 1946,” the video tells us, “God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God …

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Climate Election 2024: Trump Plans to Drain the EPA

The battle plan for a second Trump term includes reinstating Schedule F to remove climate experts from the U.S. government.

Donald Trump could “F” the federal government. Literally. Far-right policy strategists are laying plans, largely endorsed by the Trump campaign, for getting rid of federal government workers who might otherwise stand in the way of a radical deregulation agenda. It’s called “Schedule F,” and it could be used to strip employment protections from as many …

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Windmills are Killing Our Donuts! And It’s All Biden’s Fault!

A peek inside the mind of a leading presidential candidate.

Donald Trump has been talking a lot about donuts lately. Donuts, it seems, are threatened by renewable energy and depend on fossil fuels. Maybe because he’s heard that they’re cooked in oil? Trump’s knowledge of cooking is likely pretty minimal, given that it’s unlikely he’s ever been inside a kitchen. And windmills are terrible, just …

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Election 2024: Climate Action vs. Radical Deregulation

Voters should consider the radical, right-wing deregulation agenda that would await on Day One of a second Trump administration.

The Iowa Caucuses are 12 days away. The South Carolina Republican Primary comes 5 weeks later. And just two weeks after that is Super Tuesday. In the lead up to all these primary contests, anti-democracy candidate Donald Trump continues to march toward capturing the GOP nomination with a commanding lead in national polls. While headlines …

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Have We Begun the Third Age of Climate Law?

Some thoughts for Environmental History Week.

An international agreement in 1992 committed the world’s nations to addressing climate change but contained few specifics. The US ratified that agreement, but there was little concrete action here through the end of the 20th Century. As this century began, things looked optimistic, with both presidential candidates favoring reductions in carbon emissions.  Promptly after taking …

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Environmental Policy on the Political Firing Line

“The Empire Strikes Back” or “The Return of the Jedi”? Either is possible on Election Day.

We’re now a year away from Election Day, but things are already starting to heat up. And the outcome couldn’t be more important. The next election could transform U.S. environmental policy, for better or worse. A GOP trifecta in 2024 would put Trump in the White House with GOP control of Congress. That would be …

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