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Showing 442 results

A family exiting their electric vehicle

Daniel Farber | April 24, 2023

The Car Rule and the Major Questions Doctrine

Ever since the Supreme Court decided West Virginia v. EPA, conservatives and industry interests have claimed that just about every new regulation violates the major question doctrine. When the Biden administration ramped up fuel efficiency requirements through 2026, ideologues such as the Heritage Foundation and states like Texas were quick to wheel out this attack. No doubt the same attack will be made on the administration's ambitious proposed post-2026 standard. Maybe Judge Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, crusader against abortion pills and all things liberal, would buy that argument. But opponents won’t be able to handpick their judge this time, and the chances that this argument will win in the D.C. Circuit are slim to none.

A construction worker wipes sweat from his forehead

Cinthia Moore | April 24, 2023

Nevada Is Pioneering Efforts to Protect Laborers from Heat and Pollution

Nevada is considered one of the hottest states in America, and it consistently tops the list of places with the most heat-related deaths per year in the country. But what a lot of people don’t know is that it is also the second most polluted state, with wildfires, vehicles, factories, and the mining industry being the biggest sources. The deadly combination of scorching heat and poor air quality makes Nevada a hazardous place to work, especially for migrants who work under the heat of the sun. Even those working indoors are exposed to poor air quality with no climate controls every single day.

James Goodwin | April 20, 2023

Center Scholar Rob Fischman Defends Endangered Species Protections Against House Assault

On April 18, congressional conservatives turned their favorite anti-regulatory weapon toward a new target: the Endangered Species Act (ESA). At a hearing of the Water, Wildlife and Fisheries Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, the majority pushed no less than three Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions aimed at blocking ESA protections. Testifying at the hearing in response to these attacks was Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Rob Fischman, a law professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a widely recognized ESA expert.

Scales of justice, a gavel, and book

Daniel Farber | April 19, 2023

The Revenge of the Lawyers

As you’ve probably heard, the Biden administration has proposed aggressive new targets for greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles. That’s great news. One really important aspect of the proposal relates to the justification for the proposal rather than the proposal itself. Following a recent trend, the justification is based on the factors specified by Congress rather than on a purely economic analysis. That may not sound like much, but it’s a really big deal. Among other things, this will shift influence on the regulatory process somewhat away from economists and toward lawyers.

Daniel Farber | April 17, 2023

Revamping Cost-Benefit Analysis

On April 6, the Biden White House released proposed changes in the way the government does cost-benefit analysis (CBA). CBA has been a key part of rulemaking for 40 years. The proposal is very technical and low-key, but the upshot will be that efforts to reduce carbon emissions will get a leg up. In particular, the changes will support higher estimates of the harm done by each ton of carbon emissions (the “social cost of carbon” in economics lingo).

Kimberly Shields | April 17, 2023

Chester, Pennsylvania: An Example of the Toxic Flooding Risk in the Delaware River Basin

Chester, Pennsylvania, located in Delaware County just southwest of Philadelphia, was founded in 1681, making it the oldest city in the state. Situated directly on the Delaware River, Chester was a manufacturing and industrial community for much of its history, though that activity began to decline starting in the 1950s. That legacy and other factors make the city of 32,000 potentially prone to a catastrophic toxic flooding event, now and in the future as the effects of climate change continue to intensify.

two young girls drinking clean, safe water

Katlyn Schmitt | April 11, 2023

A Legislative Win for Marylanders Who Drink Private Well Water

On April 10, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Private Well Safety Act (HB 11/SB 483) before it wrapped up the 2023 legislative session at midnight (Happy Sine Die!). With its passage, the Private Well Safety Act will provide roughly 830,000 Marylanders who get their drinking water from a private well with the necessary resources and information to monitor and safeguard their household drinking water and ultimately protect their and their family’s health.

Kimberly Shields | April 3, 2023

What Does the Modern History of Flooding in the Delaware River Basin Say about Toxic Floodwater Threats in the Region?

In a recent post, my colleague M. Isabelle Chaudry provided readers with an overview of some of the toxic chemical threats facing the Delaware River basin in the northeastern United States. In this post, I dig deeper into the modern history of flooding in a region that will be home to 9 million people by 2030 and how this poses a growing risk of toxic floodwaters for families and communities in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.

Daniel Farber | March 16, 2023

Cutting 290,000 Tons of Water Pollution a Year, One Coal Plant at a Time

EPA proposed new regulations last week to reduce the water pollution impacts of coal-fired power plants. As EPA regulations go, these count as fairly minor. They got a bit of news coverage in coal country and industry publications. But they will eliminate the discharge of thousands of tons of pollutants, including a lot of metals that pose health problems. The rulemaking illustrates the highly technical nature of regulations and the lawless nature of Trump’s EPA. It also gives some clues about where the Biden administration may be headed in the way it approaches regulatory decisions.