Environment & Energy

Our planet faces unprecedented environmental challenges, threatening ecosystems, species, coastal communities, and all too often, human life itself. Heading the list of threats is climate change, with its promise of drastic environmental, economic, and cultural upheaval. But we also face persistent problems of air and water pollution, toxic wastes, cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and other Great Waters, and protecting natural resources and wildlife.

Central to the environmental health of the nation and the planet is decreasing our dependence on energy derived from burning fossil fuels. Our continued reliance on these sources is literally endangering the planet's ability to sustain life as we know it. Yet many policymakers, with the financial and rhetorical support of energy companies bent on making a profit at the cost of the planet's health, continue to resist desperately needed reforms. Read about CPR’s work protecting the environment in reports, testimony, op-eds and more. Use the search box to narrow the list.

CPR Comments on EPA's 'Benefits-Busting' Rule

On August 3, 2020, several CPR Member Scholars and staff joined in submitting comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “benefits-busting” proposal, designed to drastically overhaul how the agency performs cost-benefit analysis on its biggest Clean Air Act rules. The proposal is a thinly veiled effort to rig the results of those analyses – more so than they already are – to make it harder to issue appropriately strong safeguards, thereby sabotaging the effective and timely implementation of the Clean Air Act.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Aug. 3, 2020)
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Author(s): Catherine O'Neill, Sidney Shapiro, Amy Sinden, James Goodwin, Darya Minovi
Joint Letter on EPA's 'Benefits-Busting' Proposal

Led by the Center for Progressive Reform, a number of public interest organizations submitted comments to the EPA on August 3, 2020, opposing the agency's efforts to rewrite its cost-benefit analysis methodology as it applies to the Clean Air Act. The "benefits-busting" proposal would tilt the playing field even further than it already is toward industry's profit-making interests at the expense of Americans' health.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Aug. 3, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
EPA Clean Air Act ‘Benefits-Busting’ Rule: Topline Analysis

With the calendar running out of pages on Donald Trump's first term, EPA is pushing hard to adopt its "benefits-busting" rule, hoping to defeat efforts to implement the Clear Air Act's protections by tilting the cost-benefit analysis process ever more to industry's favor. James Goodwin offers an analysis of the effort.

Type: Reports (July 22, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Repackaged Disinformation: Fossil Fuel’s 'Next Generation' PR Strategy Is Same Old Climate Deception

Writing for DrilledNews, Karen Sokol dissects the oil and gas industry's PR campaign of "aggressively marketing products to create a fossil-fuel dependent society, coupled with massive and systematic disinformation campaigns to counter and obfuscate the clear scientific evidence of the catastrophic dangers of using those products."

Type: Op-Eds (July 20, 2020)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Ellison extends a proud history: Holding ExxonMobil and Koch accountable

Writing in MinnPost, Alexandra Klass applauds the effort to hold major corporate contributors to climate change accountable by means of a consumer protection lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute. The suit seeks restitution and penalties for the harm to Minnesotans from the industry's decades-long effort to mislead the public about climate change and its origins.

Type: Op-Eds (July 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Alexandra Klass
Trail Smelter Arbitration Offers Little Guidance for COVID-19 Suits against China

Writing for Just Security Rebecca Bratspies discusses efforts by Senate Republicans to amend the law to allow lawsuits against China related to the spread of the coronavirus, noting that conservatives have in the past been generally hostile to tort litigation in the past. She goes on to discuss the implications of the Trail Smelter Arbitration between Canada and the United States as it relates to coronavirus disputes.

Type: Op-Eds (July 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Rebecca Bratspies
Carbon Pricing Is Not Enough to Fight Climate Change

Writing in The Hill, Alice Kaswan praises the judgment of the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis that carbon pricing is one of several tools necessary to combat climate change. Carbon pricing, she writes, is necessary but insufficient.

Type: Op-Eds (July 6, 2020)
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Author(s): Alice Kaswan
Fact Sheet: Toxic Floodwaters in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Newport News

CPR's June 2020 fact sheet describes the threat of toxic floodwaters resulting from more and more severe weather events combined with a concentration of industrial facilities subject to flooding in the Hampton Roads region. Such toxic floodwater events would have a particularly severe impact on low-income and minority communities in the region.

Type: Reports (June 23, 2020)
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Across the U.S., Anti-Protest Laws Target Movements for Climate and Racial Justice

Writing in Drilled News, Karen Sokol describes efforts in legislatures across the nation to limit free speech in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and recent protests over the dangers associated with oil and gas pipelines.

Type: Op-Eds (June 19, 2020)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Joint letter with Choose Clean Water Coalition to Maryland Department of the Environment re the State Highway Administration and pollution reduction

CPR joined with other members of the Choose Clean Water Coalition in a letter urging the Maryland Department of the Environment to reconsider its proposal to award nutrient credits to the State Highway Administration that it can use toward its pollution reduction requirements under its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit.

Type: Letters to Agencies (June 16, 2020)
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Author(s): Katlyn Schmitt

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