Trying to stop renewables is like playing whack-a-mole.
When you try to reduce use of fossil fuels in one place, you can actually increase emissions elsewhere, because some of the same fuels may just move to another country. In a sense, the carbon that used to be emitted in your country has “leaked” outside your borders. This is a well-known headache for climate …CONTINUE READING
Trump has sparked resistance in many forms from many directions.
There are clear signs of a strong backlash against Trump. Consider support for environmental organizations. A report in February indicated that giving to the Sierra Club was up 700% over the same period of the preceding year, as part of a major trend across environmental NGOs. According to the same report, other environmental groups were …CONTINUE READING
Comments to Oil Trade Association Attack Agency Staff, Dismiss Environmental Safeguards
At a recent meeting of the American Petroleum Institute (the national oil company trade association), Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made clear some of his plans for the Department of the Interior. According to AP reporting, he called almost 1/3 of employees disloyal, said he plans to speed up oil and logging permits, and revealed a …CONTINUE READING
Report Lacks Details on Boundaries but Recommends Management Changes to Permit Wider Range of Uses
Late last night, the Washington Post reported that Secretary Ryan Zinke had recommended making changes–by downsizing and/or by loosening restrictions–to a total of 10 national monuments. The list of monuments goes beyond what had been reported last month. The Post released a leaked copy of Zinke’s recommendations that were submitted to President Trump on August …CONTINUE READING
Today’s important ruling on standing, public lands, and climate change
In an important ruling this morning, the Tenth Circuit rejected the government’s assertion that it could ignore carbon emissions tied to renewing coal leases. In WildEarth Guardians v. BLM, the court also rejected the mining company’s attack on the standing of environmental groups to raise this claim.The mines in question are in the Powder River …CONTINUE READING
Zinke’s review has been anything but transparent
Last Thursday, Secretary Zinke submitted a report to President Trump, recommending changes to national monuments. Although Trump’s Executive Order in April called for a “final report” within 120 days–the deadline was Thursday–the Interior Department’s press release called the report a “draft.” And as Holly Doremus explained on this blog, it has still not been made …CONTINUE READING
Secretary Zinke announced that his Department has submitted its review of national monuments to the President, but he’s not ready to let you and me see it
Today, the Department of Interior announced that it had sent to the White House its report of the review demanded by an April Executive Order of national monument designations under the Antiquities Act over the last 20 years. In an ordinary world, I would have expected that announcement to be accompanied by a link to …CONTINUE READING
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
Ostriches actually don’t hide their heads in the sand, but the Trump administration sure wants to
It’s a myth (of course) that ostriches hide their heads in the sand when they’re afraid. Hiding one’s head is about the worst possible way to react to danger: it won’t make a threat go away, but it will make it awfully difficult to respond effectively. Ostriches are not that stupid. (They apparently do sometimes …CONTINUE READING
The Trump Administration presents a barrage of threats to the environment. Which threats are worst?
This is the last in our series on the state of play concerning U.S. environmental protection at this point of the Trump Administration. We can classify threats along three dimensions: the likelihood of harm, the seriousness and irreversibility of the harm, and the irreversibility of the institutional or legal change. Here’s an assessment of our …CONTINUE READING