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Daniel Farber | July 30, 2021
On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a package of four clean energy bills. These bills move the state to the forefront of climate action. They ban new fossil fuel plants and set aggressive targets for the state's two major utilities, requiring emission cuts of 80 percent by 2030, 90 percent by 2035 and 100 percent by 2040. This is not only a major step forward for the state; it should also clear the path to closer collaboration among Washington State, Oregon, and California on climate issues.
Clarissa Libertelli | July 29, 2021
President Joe Biden has invited four CPR scholars — leaders in climate and energy justice, natural resources, and environmental law — to serve in his administration.
Karen Sokol | July 22, 2021
On the last day of June, an entire village in Canada was engulfed in a wildfire after the country recorded its highest temperature ever. That same day, Greenpeace UK's investigative team published a striking tape of two Exxon senior employees' candid accounts of the fossil fuel industry's surreptitious lobbying efforts to undermine climate action.
Joel A. Mintz | July 22, 2021
Recent events have dramatized the urgent need for prompt and bold action to respond to climate change. Raging rivers in Germany and Belgium, unheard of "heat domes" over large sections of North America, and uncontrolled wildfires and flooding around the globe, have made it absolutely clear that humankind must quickly limit the emission of greenhouse gases and adapt to the increasingly calamitous consequences of climate disruption. In view of this situation, what is and ought to be the substance of environmental leadership?
James Goodwin | July 21, 2021
The Biden administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently seeking public input on its efforts to revamp an important Clean Air Act program called the Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule for facilities that produce, store, or use large amounts of dangerous chemicals. It is meant to prevent catastrophes -- like the 2017 Arkema explosion in Crosby, Texas -- which not only put human lives and health in danger (especially for the communities of color that are disproportionately overrepresented in the shadows of these facilities), but also cause costly disruption for local economies.
David Driesen | July 20, 2021
Environmentalists have complained for years about presidential control of the administrative agencies charged with protecting the environment, seeing it as a way of thwarting proper administration of environmentally protective laws. But the U.S. Supreme Court in two recent decisions -- Seila Law v. CFPB and Collins v. Yellen -- made presidential control over administrative agencies a constitutional requirement (with limited and unstable exceptions) by embracing the unitary executive theory, which views administrative agencies as presidential lackeys. My new book, The Specter of Dictatorship: Judicial Enabling of Presidential Power, shows that the unitary executive theory is not only bad for environmental policy, but a threat to democracy’s survival, upon which environmental policy and all other sensible policy depends.
Colin Hughes | July 19, 2021
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan recently announced that $50 million from the American Rescue Plan will go toward environmental justice programs at the agency. This award will be accompanied by another $50 million to enhance air quality monitoring to target health disparities. This funding will double the amount of grant dollars for EPA’s environmental justice programs by adding $16.7 million in grants and funding for other programs such as school bus electrification, expanded environmental enforcement, and drinking water safety improvements.
Alina Gonzalez, Minor Sinclair | July 15, 2021
President Joe Biden is breaking the status quo: He has pledged to write a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change. Unlike any other president, he has outlined specific and aggressive targets to reduce carbon emissions and has backed them up with a $2 trillion plan to fight climate change. In the meantime, our climate continues to change rapidly and dramatically, raising the ever more urgent question: Will the politics of climate change shift in time to curb its worst effects, including in states like Georgia? We think it will.
Karen Sokol | July 13, 2021
"When you are at the verge of the abyss, you must be very careful about your next step, because if the next step is in the wrong direction, you will fall." So warned United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in a recent interview on NBC Nightly News. He was calling on the world's wealthiest nations to meet their obligations under the Paris climate accords to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels and to help developing countries to transition and to adapt to threats that can no longer be averted. Wealthy nations simply must meet these obligations to achieve the Paris goal of holding global temperature rise to a sustainable level.