Showing 202 results
Daniel Farber | February 8, 2024
In 2023, the Supreme Court ended 50 years of broad federal protection of wetlands in Sackett v. United States. It is only when you look back at the history of federal wetlands regulation that you realize just how radical and destructive this decision was.
Hannah Wiseman | November 16, 2023
A recent Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decision has thrown Pennsylvania’s actions on climate change into further disarray. In 2021, through regulatory action by its Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania became a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a collection of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that have agreed to cap emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from electric power plants with 25 megawatts or more of generating capacity. The cap includes an overall regional limit and a cap for each state. Power plants must purchase allowances or offset their emissions (or pursue other options noted below) to collectively meet the state cap. But lawsuits have challenged Pennsylvania’s entry into RGGI, and on November 1, a memorandum opinion of the Commonwealth Court declared that Pennsylvania’s scheme for auctioning CO2 allowances under the state’s RGGI cap was an unconstitutional tax. The court voided the rulemaking.
Uma Outka | November 13, 2023
In his first month in office, President Biden signed an executive order, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” recommitting the federal government to climate action and environmental justice. In April 2023, an additional executive order, “Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All,” reinforced the administration’s commitment to a “whole-of-government approach to environmental justice.” The renewed commitment to environmental justice is gratifying for all who care about these issues — and the challenge of accomplishing whole-of-government implementation is real. Among numerous complicating aspects of this shift, one key challenge is state resistance — even outright hostility — to federal environmental justice priorities.
Shelley Welton | November 8, 2023
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.
John Knox | October 23, 2023
The quest for environmental justice is also a quest for environmental human rights. The fight is the same fight, and the lessons learned in one arena can help in the other.
Sandy Ma | October 3, 2023
President Biden had ambitious plans, with the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), to rebuild America’s aging infrastructure and revitalize our economy by fighting climate change through creating green jobs, reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and championing environmental justice. In the scant few years since the passage of these monumental laws, changes are already taking root. For example, in Maryland, funding is flowing to various sectors of the state — private and public — for grid modernization, transportation planning, funding green banks, and cleaning polluted air, and all of it in the service of environmental justice.
Marcha Chaudry | September 7, 2023
Picture a food system where the responsibility for environmental disasters related to industrial agriculture no longer falls on the shoulders of taxpayers or small-scale farmers. Instead, it places the onus exactly where it should be — on the corporations and industrial operators who are reaping massive profits from the factory farming model. The tide is turning, and it’s high time for these corporations to take responsibility for the system they've created.
Daniel Farber | August 2, 2023
Early on July 28, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the proposed Phase II revisions of its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. The CEQ proposal deftly threads the needle, streamlining the NEPA process while protecting the environment and disadvantaged communities.
Daniel Farber | July 10, 2023
The U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Sackett v. EPA dramatically curtails the permitting program covering wetlands. We urgently need to find strategies for saving the wetlands the Court left unprotected. We have a number of possible strategies and need to start work on implementing them immediately.