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  • When Safety Rules on Oil Drilling Were Changed, Some Staff Objected. Those Notes Were Cut.

    February 26, 2020 – The Wall Street Journal

    As the offshore oil industry’s federal regulator completed its overhaul of a major well-drilling safety rule in 2018, Scott Angelle, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, told a staff engineer to delete language from memos showing that the changes would contradict guidance from the agency’s own engineers. The internal correspondence could prove a liability, as environmental groups challenge the agency’s rationale for its decision. “What these communications show is that the agency was not relying on expertise,” said Richard Revesz, dean emeritus of New York University School of Law and an expert on environmental and regulatory legal matters. “It was making a political decision that went against the advice of the experts and the experts were being sidelined.”

  • Are Carbon Credits Vanishing Into Thin Air?

    February 24, 2020 – Politico (Opinion)

    Tax credits for companies that “capture” carbon dioxide have been a success, by some measures. Even before the expansion, companies have claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits—possibly as much as $1.3 billion—and reported 63 million tons of carbon dioxide kept out of the air. There’s one big problem, though. All of that carbon is supposed to be stored securely underground and monitored by an Environmental Protection Agency program, to be sure it doesn’t leak out or create other complications. But so far, only 17 million of those 63 million tons have been registered with the EPA as legally required—about one-quarter of the carbon that companies have taken credit for.

  • What Is Amy Klobuchar’s Favorite Statistic?

    February 14, 2020 – FiveThirtyEight (Video)

    538: “What is your favorite statistic?”

    Amy: “I think it would be how many times Donald Trump has had his agency decisions overturned. It’s extraordinary. It shows his lack of respect for the rule of law but also how he actually doesn’t get things done.”

    According to NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity, Trump administration agencies lost a court case or backed off their plans 66 out of 70 times when facing lawsuits over actions they’d taken. NYU Law Professor Richard Revesz told The New York Times that typical administrations lose suits over these actions about 30 percent of the time.

  • The Trump Administration’s Attempt to Kill One of America’s Strongest Climate Policies

    February 12, 2020 – The Atlantic

    “You didn’t have the A team doing the analysis here… If you shut out the people who know what they’re doing, this is what you get,” Jack Lienke, a law professor at NYU and the regulatory-policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity, told me. “If the experts—who are actually within the agency issuing this proposal—thought that the assumptions being made were unreasonable, that makes a judge a lot more comfortable saying it is arbitrary and capricious.”

  • New See-No-Evil Trump Rule Undercuts Climate-Change Efforts

    January 15, 2020 – San Francisco Chronicle (Opinion)

    It is impossible to ignore the incongruity of the Trump administration’s latest attack on environmental protection with the dire effects of climate change now being felt around the world. Thousands have fled burning towns in Australia and California, helpless in the face of catastrophic wildfires, and Arctic sea ice is declining at an unprecedented rate. Rather than develop even modest solutions to this grave crisis, the Trump administration has focused its efforts on a newly unveiled proposal to weaken the United States’ bedrock environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act, enacted in 1970.

  • Trump Moves to Exempt Big Projects From Environmental Review

    January 9, 2020 – The New York Times

    The White House on Thursday will introduce the first major changes to the nation’s benchmark environmental protection law in more than three decades. Richard L. Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University, said he did not believe the changes would hold up in court. In fact, he argued, it is more likely that federal agencies will be sued for inadequate reviews, “thereby leading to far longer delays than if they had done a proper analysis in the first place.”

  • Exposing the Contradictions in Trump’s Assault on Climate Change Policy

    November 27, 2019 – The Hill (Opinion)

    The Trump administration said the decision to exit the Paris agreement was made because of its “unfair economic burden” on the U.S. economy. These dire predictions about the costs of addressing climate change have been a mainstay of the administration’s rhetoric since its beginning. Yet at times when it was convenient to take the opposite position, the administration has argued that climate regulations in fact impose no costs on the economy. These contradictory efforts have been used to protect the coal industry at the expense of the American people

  • Trump’s EPA Chooses Rodents Over People

    September 26, 2019 – The New York Times

    The agency will curtail its reliance on animal testing, putting public health at risk.

  • Trump’s Regulatory ‘Whack-a-Mole’

    April 10, 2019 – Politico (Opinion)

    Despite its low success rate, the administration is actually winning — at least some of the time. That’s because the administration has learned to use delaying tactics to undermine and even repeal federal regulations it doesn’t like, even when judges rule against it in court.

  • On Climate, the Facts and Law Are Against Trump

    December 4, 2018 – The New York Times

    A recent government report predicts dire consequences from climate change. That complicates efforts to weaken environmental laws.