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Showing 41 results

Robin Kundis Craig | July 1, 2024

What’s Next After Supreme Court Curbs Regulatory Power: More Focus on Laws’ Wording, Less on their Goals

The Supreme Court's decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce means that federal courts will have the final say on what an ambiguous federal statute means. What’s not clear is whether most courts will still listen to expert federal agencies in determining which interpretations make the most sense.

James Goodwin | July 1, 2024

With Decision in Corner Post, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Assault on the Administrative State This Term Is Now Comprehensive and Complete

The U.S. administrative state does not merely protect Americans against those threats that we are unable to protect ourselves from on our own. It is essential to a healthy economy, it provides a crucial platform for democratic self-government, and it functions as a great social equalizer. All of this is now at risk after the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservatives issued four separate decisions largely along ideological lines aimed at eviscerating this crucial institution. The administrative state has been built over the course of nearly 250 years, slowly and pragmatically, since the founding; it has taken just three decision days for the Court to undo much of that work.

Robert Fischman | February 29, 2024

A Proposal to Leverage More Conservation Benefits from National Wildlife Refuges

How should the United States manage the largest biodiversity conservation system to be greater than the sum of its parts? This vexing question for the national wildlife refuges has received scant attention for the past quarter century. Now the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service), which administers the refuge system, has proposed a rule to guide specific refuge decisions to ensure they contribute to a national network rather than incrementally fray the web of conservation.

Robin Kundis Craig | January 11, 2024

A Supreme Court Ruling on Fishing for Herring could Sharply Curb Federal Regulatory Power

Fisheries regulation might seem to be unusual grounds for the U.S. Supreme Court to shift power away from federal agencies. But that is what the court seems poised to do in the combined cases of Loper Bright Enterprises vs. Raimondo and Relentless Inc. vs. Department of Commerce.

Dan Rohlf, Zygmunt Plater | January 2, 2024

The Endangered Species Act: Lessons Learned from a Half-century of Protecting Ecosystems

In the history of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — which President Richard Nixon signed just over 50 years ago on December 28, 1973 — no creature looms larger than the snail darter. As some lawmakers today seek to weaken the law’s promise to avoid human-caused extinctions, the long-ago battle over this little fish points […]

Shelley Welton | November 8, 2023

Environmental Justice via Industrial Policy

This summer, we marked the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the United States’ most significant climate change law. Many advocates for environmental justice, myself included, were disappointed by several features of the Act, including the greenlighting of certain fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Nevertheless, the law unlocked unprecedented streams of investment into clean energy via tax credits and direct spending mechanisms.

James Goodwin | October 2, 2023

The Hill Op-ed: Ecosystem Economics: How the Biden Administration Is Finally Giving Nature Its Due

If a tree stands in the forest, and there’s no economist around to tabulate its benefits to humans, do those benefits still exist? For government agencies, the answer has long been, “No.” But the Biden administration is poised to change that.

James Goodwin | September 20, 2023

Proposed Guidance on Ecosystem Services Will Strengthen Regulatory Analysis

Last month, the Biden administration rolled out the latest piece of its comprehensive Modernizing Regulatory Review initiative: a proposed guidance on how to account for “ecosystem services” in regulatory analysis. As I explained in my comments, if implemented well, this guidance will reinforce the administration’s broader efforts to reprogram an important step in the rulemaking process known as regulatory analysis so that it provides a fairer and fuller picture of the impacts of planned rules.

Robert Fischman | July 25, 2023

Beyond Trump Rule Reversals: A Lesson from the Endangered Species Act

Too much of the Biden administration's regulatory effort remains focused on reversing Trump administration environmental rulemakings. This defensive unwinding of rollbacks preoccupies progressive reformers at the expense of implementing a broader vision. A recent proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) rule to restore a “blanket rule” for conserving newly listed threatened species illustrates how the Interior Department can get trapped the anti-regulatory framing of the prior administration.