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Rena Steinzor | September 16, 2020

The Pandemic’s Toll on Science

Presidents since Ronald Reagan have endorsed the assumption that government is too big and too intrusive. Yet the figurative poster children targeted by these chill words have been public health agencies heavily dependent on science-based decision-making as opposed to—as just one example—the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. No president has spent any concerted amount of time explaining how protective public health interventions, including regulation, make life better. No president has praised the civil servants who weather seemingly endless—and enervating—disputes over science and law that make it possible to deliver those protections. For the sake of the civil service and its broken morale, and for the American people, who are exhausted and rendered hopeless by the indiscriminate attacks on the government’s competence to keep the population safe, the next president should use the bully pulpit to advance a positive narrative about government’s accomplishments.

Matthew Freeman | September 9, 2020

They Can’t Breathe!

CPR Board President Rob Verchick is out with a new episode of the Connect the Dots podcast, the first in a new season focused on climate justice. As he puts it, "We’re looking at people living in the cross hairs of climate change, those disproportionately carrying the burden of the world and suffering on a daily basis."

Rena Steinzor | September 8, 2020

Pandemic’s Other Casualty: Expertise

As the country prays for relief from the global pandemic, what have we learned that could help us protect the environment better? Most alarming, I would argue, are COVID-19's revelations about the power of conspiracy theories and the antipathy they generate toward scientific experts.

Alejandro Camacho, Robert L. Glicksman | August 27, 2020

The Trump Administration’s Latest Unconstitutional Power Grab

Throughout his time in office, President Donald J. Trump has boasted about cutting regulations. His antagonism to environmental regulation has been particularly virulent and incessant. By one count, Trump Administration agencies have initiated or completed 100 environmental rollbacks. By thwarting often bipartisan legislative environmental protection goals adopted over the course of 50 years, President Trump's actions create serious threats to public health and environmental integrity. The Administration's suppression of public participation in regulatory decision-making has also undercut the ability of people and communities harmed by the Administration's deregulatory frenzy to protect themselves. These anti-environmental and anti-democratic practices converged in the Administration's recent revisions to the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

James Goodwin | August 25, 2020

Beyond 12866: New CPR Initiative to Promote Administrative Agenda for Progressive Regulatory Reform

This week, CPR is launching its Beyond 12866 initiative, an online platform focused on promoting a progressive vision for rebuilding the U.S. regulatory system. Such a regulatory system will be essential not only to achieving the progressive vision of a more just and equitable society; it will also do the heavy practical lifting needed for implementing key elements of a progressive policy agenda, such as the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and Black Lives Matter movement.

Daniel Farber | August 24, 2020

Pandemic Lessons in Governance

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has driven home some lessons about governance. Those lessons have broader application -- for instance, to climate governance. We can't afford for the federal government to flunk Crisis Management 101 again.

Amanda Cohen Leiter | August 13, 2020

My Growing Understanding of Environmental Justice

Environmental justice problems require a willingness to acknowledge privilege and adopt a more inclusive approach. I hope this post might prompt you to reflect, read, and start an uncomfortable conversation or two. We face existential environmental threats almost everywhere around the world, and we won’t succeed in combating them unless we’re all fighting together, for a healthy environment that everyone can enjoy.

Kim Sudderth, Samuel Boden | August 11, 2020

Toxic Floodwaters and Pipelines in Hampton Roads

On October 20, 1994, rising floodwaters from the San Jacinto River in Houston, Texas, caused a pipeline to break open, allowing gasoline to gush out and the river to catch fire. Such flooding is increasingly likely as the effects of climate change take hold, and yet, in the quarter century since that disaster, the federal government has implemented no new regulations to ensure that oil and gas operators are adequately preparing for the risks from more frequent and intense floods caused by the climate crisis.

James Goodwin | August 4, 2020

CPR Comments Deliver Scathing Critique of EPA ‘Benefits-Busting’ Rule

Yesterday, I joined a group of CPR Member Scholars and staff in submitting comments on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "benefits-busting" proposal, which would drastically overhaul how the agency performs cost-benefit analysis on its biggest Clean Air Act rules. As we explain in our comments, the action is a thinly veiled effort to rig the results of those analyses – more so than they already are – to make it harder to issue appropriately strong safeguards, thereby sabotaging the effective and timely implementation of the Clean Air Act.