Trump Can't Sweep Safeguards Away as Easily as He May Think

Matthew Freeman

Dec. 9, 2016

In a statement Wednesday responding to President-elect Trump’s choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, CPR President Robert Verchick said that the choice was “a clear indication that the administration plans a full-throated assault on environmental protections.”

In an op-ed in The New York Times this morning, CPR Member Scholar William Buzbee describes some of the challenges Pruitt and Trump will face as they undertake that regressive effort to unravel the fabric of rules and regulations protecting the environment. Trump has threatened a wholesale rollback of environmental protections, but Buzbee warns that:

Regulatory reversals lacking a legal or factual basis would result in lawsuits by citizens, states and industries supporting the regulations. Challengers would argue that the rules are rooted in statutory language, court precedents and in careful documentation of environmental, technological and market facts. On the climate, for example, three Supreme Court decisions established that federal climate action is required by the Clean Air Act’s broad language; and the E.P.A. then, via another rule upheld by the judiciary, documented substantial climate risks….

 Mr. Pruitt and the incoming Trump administration cannot simply rely on their preferences or on baseless claims about science and markets. Decades of law, much of it created by conservatives’ judicial heroes, require presidents and agencies to abide by the rule of law and justify regulatory reversals. They have to take a hard look at science and other underlying facts.

You can read the full article here.

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