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Katie Tracy | February 3, 2021
Since taking office, President Joe Biden has signaled a new openness to the concerns of our nation’s workers -- and we at CPR are joining our allies today in calling on his administration to go much further to make workplace safety a top priority.
Darya Minovi | February 2, 2021
Last week, I joined Maryland Del. Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery County) and State Sen. Katie Fry Hester (D-Carroll and Howard counties) to discuss pollution threats to the state’s drinking water and legislation that, if enacted, would create a private well safety program in Maryland.
Hannah Wiseman | February 2, 2021
As President Biden continues to roll out executive orders prioritizing climate change, it is increasingly clear that there will be a relatively rapid U.S. shift toward renewable energy from the sun, wind and other sources. Indeed, many states are already pushing ahead with ambitious renewable and clean energy policies. These policies will reduce air pollution, spur extensive economic development in rural areas and make progress on the climate front. This "revolution," as Biden calls it, is critical. But the bulk of renewables that have been built in the United States are large, centralized projects requiring thousands of miles of transmission lines -- primarily in rural communities. A revolution that continues to prioritize these projects risks failure.
Daniel Farber | February 1, 2021
Big Tobacco’s Master Settlement Agreement in 1998 was the largest civil settlement in the nation’s history and a transformative moment in the industry’s control. The accord reached by 46 states, five United States territories, and the District of Columbia required tobacco manufacturers to pay the states billions of dollars annually in compensation for the public health crisis their products had created. Today, an even bigger crisis looms, with increasing demands for accountability. Over a dozen federal cases have now been filed against oil companies, seeking damages for their role in causing climate change. With one exception, the cases have been brought by states or local governments that claim they and their citizens are suffering harm from climate change. The oil companies have made it clear that they will fight every inch of the way, with all of their considerable resources, against these lawsuits.
Hannah Wiseman | January 27, 2021
When President Trump took office in 2017, the Department of the Interior quickly moved to lease nearly all offshore lands for oil and gas development. The map was astounding; for decades, there had been relatively limited drilling in offshore waters, and many state officials and advocates were shocked to see a proposal for such extensive leasing of offshore federal lands. Indeed, notoriously conservative Rick Scott of Florida entered into a handshake deal with former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to avoid drilling near the state. Trump's Interior Department also attempted to lease vast swaths of onshore public lands for fossil fuel development. President Biden has predictably followed a different approach, announcing his intent to place a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal onshore and offshore lands. This is a sensible solution.
Katie Tracy, Katlyn Schmitt | January 27, 2021
The Maryland General Assembly is kicking into full gear -- and we at the Center for Progressive Reform are tracking bills that would protect the health and safety of Maryland workers in the food and farm sectors. These protections are urgently needed to protect these workers from COVID-19 infections and keep the public healthy and safe.
Daniel Farber | January 25, 2021
The Trump administration dedicated itself to deregulation with unprecedented fervor. It rolled back scores of regulations across government agencies, including more than 80 environmental rules. The Biden administration can reverse some of those actions quickly -- for instance, as president, Joe Biden can undo Donald Trump’s executive orders with a stroke of the pen. Undoing most regulatory rollbacks, however, will require a review process that can take years, often followed by further delays during litigation. There is an alternative, but it comes with risks.
Joseph Tomain | January 22, 2021
President Joe Biden named Commissioner Richard Glick as Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) January 21. Glick succeeds Chairman James Danly. The Commission is expected to retain its Republican majority until Commissioner Neil Chatterjee's term is up on June 30. What's next for the agency?
Katlyn Schmitt | January 22, 2021
The Maryland General Assembly is back in session -- and we at the Center for Progressive Reform are tracking a number of bills that, if passed, will have a lasting impact on the people of Maryland and their environment. Several could also spur other states to improve their own environmental and public health protections.