Environment & Energy

Our planet faces unprecedented environmental challenges, threatening ecosystems, species, coastal communities, and all too often, human life itself. Heading the list of threats is climate change, with its promise of drastic environmental, economic, and cultural upheaval. But we also face persistent problems of air and water pollution, toxic wastes, cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and other Great Waters, and protecting natural resources and wildlife.

Central to the environmental health of the nation and the planet is decreasing our dependence on energy derived from burning fossil fuels. Our continued reliance on these sources is literally endangering the planet's ability to sustain life as we know it. Yet many policymakers, with the financial and rhetorical support of energy companies bent on making a profit at the cost of the planet's health, continue to resist desperately needed reforms. Read about CPR’s work protecting the environment in reports, testimony, op-eds and more. Use the search box to narrow the list.

Webinar: Environmental Justice and Public Health Implications of Extreme Weather and Toxic Chemicals

October 2020 Webinar: High-risk chemical facilities and other hazardous industrial sites are disproportionately located near communities where Black, Brown, and low-wealth families live, learn, and play. In 2012, floodwaters from Superstorm Sandy submerged some of these facilities, carrying chemicals and heavy metals into people’s homes. Join or watch our webinar on the topic. On October 20, 2020, CPR hosted a webinar featuring experts on the topic.

Type: Webinars (Oct. 20, 2020)
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Author(s): Rebecca Bratspies, Darya Minovi
Climate, Energy, Justice: The Policy Path to a Just Transition for an Energy-Hungry America

With the nation approaching a pivotal election, 19 CPR Member Scholars contributed to a series of white papers proposing policy solutions for a just transition from carbon-based energy to renewables, with a particular focus on the environmental justice implications.

Type: Reports (Oct. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Shalanda H. Baker, William Buzbee, Alejandro Camacho, Daniel Farber, Robert Fischman, Victor Flatt, Robert Glicksman, Alice Kaswan, Alexandra Klass, Christine Klein, Sarah Krakoff, Joel Mintz, Uma Outka, Dave Owen, Dan Rohlf, Karen Sokol, Joseph Tomain, Hannah Wiseman, Sandra Zellmer
Pandemic Spawns Dangerous Relaxation of Environmental Regulations

Writing in The Revelator, Joel Mintz and Victor Flatt explain that the Trump EPA's eagerness to waive environmental regulations during the pandemic has taken a toll. And they set forth a prescription for fixing the problem.

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz, Victor Flatt
Repackaged Disinformation: Fossil Fuel’s 'Next Generation' PR Strategy Is Same Old Climate Deception

Writing for DrilledNews, Karen Sokol dissects the oil and gas industry's PR campaign of "aggressively marketing products to create a fossil-fuel dependent society, coupled with massive and systematic disinformation campaigns to counter and obfuscate the clear scientific evidence of the catastrophic dangers of using those products."

Type: Op-Eds (July 20, 2020)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Ellison extends a proud history: Holding ExxonMobil and Koch accountable

Writing in MinnPost, Alexandra Klass applauds the effort to hold major corporate contributors to climate change accountable by means of a consumer protection lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute. The suit seeks restitution and penalties for the harm to Minnesotans from the industry's decades-long effort to mislead the public about climate change and its origins.

Type: Op-Eds (July 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Alexandra Klass
Carbon Pricing Is Not Enough to Fight Climate Change

Writing in The Hill, Alice Kaswan praises the judgment of the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis that carbon pricing is one of several tools necessary to combat climate change. Carbon pricing, she writes, is necessary but insufficient.

Type: Op-Eds (July 6, 2020)
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Author(s): Alice Kaswan
Webinar: Supporting Sustainable Farmers During a Pandemic and Beyond

On June 3, 2020, CPR and Fair Farms hosted a webinar discussion with Maryland and Virginia farmers and organizers on supporting sustainable agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Type: Webinars (June 3, 2020)
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Author(s): Laurie Ristino
Time to decarbonize 'critical infrastructure'

Writing in The Advocate (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Member Scholar Karen Sokol observes that, " During the pandemic, the [energy] industry is using its 'critical infrastructure' status to further accelerate its polluting activities. The industry asked the Trump administration for an indefinite suspension of its obligations to comply with basic environmental and public health protections even though communities near polluting facilities have suffered higher death rates from COVID-19. The administration responded quickly, depriving communities of these vital safeguards with no clear date for reinstating them."

Type: Op-Eds (May 21, 2020)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Webinar: Climate Justice: Vulnerability and Resilience to COVID-19 and the Climate Crisis

On CPR's April 29, 2020, webinar, participants will hear from leading experts on pandemics, public health, and climate change, as part of our series of Climate Justice webinars. Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana is an expert in epidemic and disaster management, with decades of experience advising federal, state, and local officials on health security. Dr. Aaron Bernstein brings experience as a pediatrician on the front lines and cutting-edge expertise on the intersection of public health and climate change. Finally, seasoned environmental lawyer and CPR Member Scholar Daniel Farber offers expertise in legal and policy tools, such as the Stafford Act, that may be used to help protect vulnerable communities from bearing the greatest burden of the pandemic.

Type: Webinars (April 29, 2020)
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Author(s): Daniel Farber, Darya Minovi
Webinar: Climate Justice: Holding the Fossil Fuel Industry Accountable Through State Tort Law

On March 24, 2020, webinar participants heard from from  three leading experts on the climate crisis and tort law about the growing movement of local and state governments, as well as small business owners and workers, seeking climate justice in state courts across the United States. The discussion of these climate justice lawsuits considered recent, ongoing, and prospective litigation, as well as the increasingly clear science showing that the harms of climate change are largely attributable to fossil fuel producers. Presenters also examined the legal, policy, and scientific challenges for plaintiffs, which include local governments in California, Colorado, Maryland, as well as the state of Rhode Island and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.

Type: Webinars (March 24, 2020)
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Author(s): Alexandra Klass, David Flores, Karen Sokol

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