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Oct. 12, 2012 by A. Dan Tarlock

Forty Years Later, Time to Turn in the CWA Clunker for Something Suited for the 21st Century

As the Clean Water Act (CWA) turns 40, it is useful to compare it to the cars on the road in 1972. Big cars, some still adorned with tail fins and grills, ruled the road, running on 36 cents per gallon gas.  Forty years later, we look back on the early 70s and ask how could we consider these cars, and what we wore driving them, so cool. Today, we are driving smaller, better engineered and designed fuel efficient cars.   

If only it were so for our water protection laws. Instead, we are still trying to maintain and improve the quality of our nation’s waters and the aquatic ecosystems that they support with a clunky piece of legislation written four decades ago.  For a long time, most in the environmental community have recognized that the CWA needs to be traded in.

The environmental community has three options for the future of the Act. First, it could spend all its time keeping the clunker running as industry uses the Republican Party to eviscerate it or return to pre-1972 inconsistent and largely non-existent state protection.  Second, there is a well-developed incremental reform agenda. It includes closing gaps such as non-point sources …

April 29, 2009 by A. Dan Tarlock
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This post is written by CPR Member Scholars Dan Tarlock and Holly Doremus

How has the Department of Interior fared during the first 100 days? If history is any guide, the issue may be more important than many people assume. With one major and one minor exception, Secretaries of the Interior stay put in Democratic administrations. Franklin Lane served from 1913 until the last year of the Wilson Administration. Harold Ickes was FDR's only Secretary and he served until his 1945 registration in the Truman Administration. Stuart Udall served during the entire Kennedy and Johnson Administrations; Cecil Andrus did so under President Carter, and Bruce Babbitt lasted for the full two terms of Bill Clinton's tenure in office. Harry Truman is the exception, but he had only two secretaries during his nearly 8 years in office.

The short answer to the question is the record …

Feb. 3, 2009 by A. Dan Tarlock
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(Dan Tarlock files this post with CPR Member Scholar Holly Doremus.  The two are co-authors of Water War in the Klamath Basin: Macho Law, Combat Biology, and Dirty Politics, published by Island Press in 2008.)

 

Last week, the Oregon Supreme Court agreed to decide whether irrigators in the Klamath Basin "own" water delivered by the federal Klamath Reclamation Project. This latest development is one more twist in an ongoing property rights case that illustrates both how difficult it can be to determine who holds precisely what rights in western water and how property rights claims, even spurious ones, can frustrate ecosystem restoration efforts.

 

Usually, claims of ownership are made to recover a resource from someone else. But that's not the issue here. The United States agrees that when the Project has water available it must deliver that water to these irrigators rather than to anyone else …

Jan. 19, 2009 by A. Dan Tarlock
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Editor's Note:  With the Bush Administration's remaining time in office now measured in hours, we asked CPR Member Scholars to remind us of some of the less publicized moments of the Administration's record on environmental issues.   Following is the first of several entries that we'll run on CPRBlog before President Bush returns to Texas.  A. Dan Tarlock is first up.

 

The record of the Bush II Administration on biodiversity is one of almost unrelenting hostility to the idea and sustained efforts, continuing into the last days of the Administration to gut the Endangered Species Act. The one positive legacy is the establishment of federal marine reserves.

 

The “highlights” of its efforts to gut the Endangered Species Act include the reduction of habitat designation, the subordination of science to politics (which was even worse than first reported in 2006), and the recent regulation that …

Jan. 18, 2009 by A. Dan Tarlock
WorkerSafetyCollage_wide.jpg

Editor's Note:  With the Bush Administration's remaining time in office now measured in hours, we asked CPR Member Scholars to remind us of some of the less publicized moments of the Administration's record on environmental issues.   Following is the first of several entries that we'll run on CPRBlog before President Bush returns to Texas.  A. Dan Tarlock is first up.

The record of the Bush II Administration on biodiversity is one of almost unrelenting hostility to the idea and sustained efforts, continuing into the last days of the Administration to gut the Endangered Species Act. The one positive legacy is the establishment of federal marine reserves.

 

The “highlights” of its efforts to gut the Endangered Species Act include the reduction of habitat designation, the subordination of science to politics (which was even worse than first reported in 2006), and the recent regulation which …

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More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Oct. 12, 2012

Forty Years Later, Time to Turn in the CWA Clunker for Something Suited for the 21st Century

April 29, 2009

The First 100 Days: At Interior, Several Positive Developments, but the Jury is Still Out

Feb. 3, 2009

Takings Claims in the Klamath Basin

Jan. 19, 2009

Bush Record on Biodiversity and Endangered Species

Jan. 18, 2009

Bush Record on Biodiversity and Endangered Species