Is there an urban/rural split in America? Definitely so, in politics, demography, and economics — and on the environment. Consider this, from Dan Balz at the Washington Post: “in the 2,332 counties that make up small-town and rural America, [Trump] swamped his Democratic rival, winning 60 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 34 percent.” But Balz reports […]
Celebrating a Half Century of Protecting America’s Rivers–& Hoping for More River Conservation Ahead
1968 was an especially tumultuous year in modern American history. The nation endured the assassinations of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy; then-President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek reelection due to growing public dissatisfaction with the government’s conduct of the Vietnam War; and protests and riots consumed Chicago, Detroit, Washington, […]
A Senate seat and the Governor’s Mansion are both in play.
Florida has not one but two races this year with national significance. One is the Senate race. The other is the Governor’s race. We all know why Senate races matter, especially this year when the Senate is so closely divided. A gubernatorial race, in contrast, normally would be considered mostly a local matter. But there […]
Report Suggests That Poor Management Intensified Kerala Flood Devastation
The Economic and Political Weekly is one of India’s most prestigious journals: for decades it has enjoyed a unique role in driving the Union’s policy conversation, partly because it is peer-reviewed. And this week, it contains a devastating report about how poor dam management exacerbated Kerala’s horrific floods. It’s an obvious issue: if dams have […]
Court Rejects Claim That SGMA “Displaces” Public Trust’s Application to California Groundwater
The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District has issued an important decision declaring that California’s powerful public trust doctrine applies to at least some of the state’s overtaxed groundwater resources. The court’s opinion also rejects the argument that California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) displaces the public trust doctrine’s applicability to groundwater […]
G. H. W. Bush Appointee Issues Nationwide Injunction Because Agency Rescinded Prior Rule Without Public Discussion of the Rule’s Merits
Today, Hon. David Norton of the Federal District Court for the District of South Carolina (an appointee of George H. W. Bush) issued a nationwide injunction barring the implementation of the so-called “Suspension Rule” that effectively rescinded the Waters of the United States Rule (also called the WOTUS Rule or the Clean Water Rule) previously issued […]
FEMA has a lot of work to do to get up to the mark on disaster response and risk mitigation.
We face a future of increasing peril from disasters. One reason is climate change; another is that more people live in coastal areas where risks are especially high.We’re currently seeing the results of climate change in the California fires, and we saw both factors at work in last year’s flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. […]
EPA needs to take a hand to keep the restoration plan on track. We’ll see how that goes soon.
The effort to restore Chesapeake Bay is something I knew vaguely about but had never looked into. A new on-line dashboard of relevant material inspired me to take a deeper dive. The restoration plan is definitely worth a closer look., It’s the U.S. leading effort to reduce“nonpoint source” water pollution such as agricultural runoff. It […]
Wide Array of Important Environmental Questions Confront California Voters
California’s Secretary of State has certified 12 ballot measures (“propositions,” in California election parlance) to appear on the state’s November 6, 2018 general election ballot. Many of those propositions–indeed, fully half of the dozen measures with which state voters will be confronted this fall–involve important environmental policy and legal questions. I’ll write in greater detail […]
Standards for levees, seawalls, and other infrastructure urgently need attention.
The federal government is responsible for responding to major floods and runs the federal flood insurance program. It also has millions of dollars of its own infrastructure at risk from floods. Yet the government is failing to deal effectively with flood risks before the fact. Let’s begin with the levees that are the main defense […]