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.

Webinar: Protecting Maryland Drinking Water from Toxic Pollution

Dangerous nitrate pollution has contaminated private drinking water wells and public water utilities in several regions across the United States, posing a significant threat to people's health. A recent Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) report indicates that this problem has reached Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore, an agricultural area that's home to hundreds of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that house millions of chickens. In our January 25 webinar, participants heard from state legislators and an environmental health expert who are supporting legislative measures to provide greater protections for Maryland families who drink well water.

Type: Webinars (Jan. 25, 2021)
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Author(s): Darya Minovi, Katlyn Schmitt
Trump's Big Gamble to Gut U.S. Power Plant Emissions Rules Loses in Court, Opening a Door for New Climate Rules

Joe Biden got a big judicial win for his climate agenda just hours before his inauguration as U.S. president. The case involved federal plans for cutting power plant emissions and a big gamble by the Trump administration.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 20, 2021)
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Author(s): Daniel Farber
Biden Has a Congressional Shortcut to Cancel Trump's Regulatory Rollbacks, but It Comes with Risks

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. He plans to restore U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement that way on his first day in office. 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.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 18, 2021)
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Author(s): Daniel Farber
From Rhetoric to Reality: Achieving Climate Justice

In an op-ed published in The Hill, CPR Member Scholars Shalanda Baker and Alice Kaswan offer recommendations for moving from rhetoric to reality when it comes to delivering climate and energy justice to America's communities.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 4, 2021)
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Author(s): Shalanda H. Baker, Alice Kaswan
How Science Will Save the World

In a commentary for The Hill, CPR Member Scholar David Driesen examines the need to use science in policymaking, environmental and otherwise. He also lays out the consequences of ignoring or censoring science.

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 16, 2020)
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Author(s): David Driesen
Biden Can Restore the EPA, But It Will Require Steadfast Effort

Writing in The Revelator, CPR Board Member Joel Mintz provides recommendations to the incoming Biden-Harris administration for repairing the damage Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Andrew Wheeler have caused at the EPA.

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 9, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz
Joint Letter to Incoming Biden-Harris Administration on Regulatory Process Reform

CPR joined the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards and 94 other organizations in calling on the incoming Biden-Harris administration to direct the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to take on the mission of advancing a strong, proactive agenda for safeguarding the public, workers, and the environment. The groups offered a set of recommendations to help ensure that our regulatory system protects workers, consumers, our environment, and our economy.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Dec. 9, 2020)
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Center for Progressive Reform Launches New Initiative to Create a More Just, Sustainable America

The Center for Progressive Reform launched Policy for a Just America today, a major new initiative to use the tools of democracy to advance justice and equity, protect public and environmental health, and create a more sustainable future. The Trump administration has waged a sustained assault on our democracy and rolled back decades’ worth of health, safety, and environmental protections over the last four years. CPR’s Policy for a Just America aims not only to repair the damage but also to reimagine and rebuild our government so that it works for all people, not just the wealthy and powerful few.

Type: News Releases (Dec. 8, 2020)
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Author(s): Brian Gumm
Joint Comments on the Army Corps of Engineers' Modifications to Nationwide Water Pollution Permits

CPR joined comments opposing nationwide water pollution permits proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers. These permits would result in significant, widespread harm to our nation’s waters and would violate the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Nov. 16, 2020)
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Will There Be a Peaceful Transition at EPA?

Writing in The Hill, CPR Senior Policy Analyst James Goodwin highlights several of the anti-safeguards landmines the Trump administration has placed at EPA — and how the Biden administration can defuse them.

Type: Op-Eds (Nov. 12, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin

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