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Daniel Farber | June 20, 2023

The Drafting Puzzles of NEPA 2.0

Shortly after President Joe Biden signed the new National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rewrite as part of the debt ceiling law, I wrote a blog post about a major drafting glitch at the heart of the new provisions. Today, I’d like to follow up with more examples.

Youth activists protest outside

Faith Duggan | June 16, 2023

Connect the Dots Podcast Features Youth Transportation Justice Activist

When pollution from a neighboring freeway was seeping into the playground and classrooms of her middle school, Adah Crandall said enough was enough. She founded an Environmental Justice Club at her school and began protesting the freeway's proposed expansion, citing health hazards to children and an unsustainable future.

U.S. Capitol in the sunshine in late autumn

James Goodwin | June 15, 2023

Member Scholar Hammond Testifies on Just Transition Measures for Appalachia

Following all the partisan rancor on the Hill lately, yesterday’s hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the House Natural Resources Committee was a breath of fresh air. It focused on two important bills that can help Appalachian communities transition to a post-carbon economy in a way that addresses the harmful environmental […]

Shelley Welton | June 12, 2023

Net-Zero Emissions: Good Climate Science, Bad Climate Policy

The scientific concept of net-zero emissions has quickly become an organizing policy paradigm, enshrined in the Paris Agreement and manifested in thousands of “net-zero” pledges developed by countries, states, cities, and private companies. Collectively, these pledges now purport to cover more than 91 percent of the global economy. If this figure sounds too good to be true, that’s because it likely is. Net zero is anti-democratic, inequitable, and imperial. For related reasons that I focus on in this post, it is also unlikely to work as a strategy to achieve the collective global aim of net-zero carbon emissions.

Legislators celebrate inside a state chamber

Faith Duggan | June 9, 2023

Seventh Season of Connect the Dots Podcast Opens With Climate Win

Our first episode of Connect the Dots Season 7 — Climate Win: Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now Act— takes us to Maryland for a major legislative win and its key elements to success. Verchick spoke with the Center’s Katlyn Schmitt, a senior policy analyst who helped steer the Climate Solutions Now Act into law last year.

Power lines in rural North Carolina

Daniel Farber | June 8, 2023

The New NEPA: A User’s Guide

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed over 50 years ago. It created a new tool for environmental protection — the environmental impact statement. It also created the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which issued guidelines for implementing NEPA in 1978. Lawyers will need to retool quickly because of recent changes. Here’s a roadmap to recent developments.

Robert L. Glicksman | May 30, 2023

Supreme Court Delivers Another Massive Blow to Federal Environmental Law

The following post provides detailed analysis of the recent Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Supreme Court decision. It was originally posted to The George Washington Law Review and is  cross-posted with permission.  The current Supreme Court is not a friend of the administrative state. A majority of its members seem to take particular umbrage at administration of the regulatory programs […]

images of wetlands

David Driesen | May 30, 2023

Sackett v. EPA and the Presumption Against Federal Alteration of the Status Quo

In Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the federal government’s power to protect wetlands. The Court required “Congress to enact exceedingly clear language if it wishes to significantly alter the balance between federal and state power and the Power of government over private property.”

A scientist tests water quality in a marsh

William Buzbee | May 25, 2023

The Supreme Court’s Sackett v. EPA Bender

On May 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is the Supreme Court’s fourth foray over several decades into what count as protected “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. This language provides the key jurisdictional hook for all important federal powers under the Act.