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 Communities and their Water Resources from Extreme Weather and Chemical Disaster

Join us for a webinar on Thursday, September 24 at 1 p.m. Eastern for a discussion about how climate impacts are compounding industrial disasters and impacting water resources. Toxic spills from industrial sites pollute waterways and threaten the safety of communities already burdened by pollution and the climate crisis. With collaborative research and advocacy in Virginia and the Gulf Coast as a model, you'll learn about analytical and regulatory tools for preventing climate-induced chemical disasters.

Type: Webinars (Sept. 24, 2020)
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Author(s): David Flores, Victor Flatt
Pandemic Spawns Dangerous Relaxation of Environmental Regulations

Writing in The Revelator, Joel Mintz and Victor Flatt explain that the Trump EPA's eagerness to waive environmental regulations during the pandemic has taken a toll. And they set forth a prescription for fixing the problem.

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz, Victor Flatt
The Pandemic’s Toll on Science

CPR's Rena Steinzor, writing in The Regulatory Review, takes on conservatives' conspiracy-mongering around the so-called "Deep State." She writes: "No matter when President Trump walks out the door, his Administration has caused irreparable injury. Civil servants are demoralized. The civil service does not look like a promising career path for young scientists or other professionals who interpret, translate into policy, or defend scientists’ work. Unless leaders in politics, science, economics, law, and other relevant professions declare a cease fire, the damage could be with us for more than a generation."

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor
Joint Letter to Maryland Department of Environment on Phase I MS4 Permits

CPR joined with the Members of the Choose Clean Water Coalition in comments on the draft Phase I MS4 permits for several Maryland jurisdictions, highlighting strengths and weaknesses.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Sept. 10, 2020)
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Trump's deregulatory disregard for law and science

In an op-ed in The Hill, CPR's William Buzbee and co-authors take the Trump administration to task for its deregulatory disregard for law and science.

Type: Op-Eds (Aug. 31, 2020)
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Author(s): William Buzbee
Second Joint Letter to Ben Grumbles on Transparency During COVID

In May 2020, CPR joined with other organizations from the Chesapeake Accountability Project in a letter to Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles urging increased transparency during the pandemic. Having received no response, the group wrote again to urge that all compliance waivers granted/denied & claims of force majeure related to COVID-19 be made public. The letter also reiterates the importance of MDE providing strong and clear notice to permit holders of its expectations during the pandemic.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Aug. 26, 2020)
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Author(s): Matt Shudtz
The Trump Administration’s Latest Unconstitutional Power Grab

In the Regulatory Review, Robert Glicksman and Alejandro Camacho write that, the Trump administration's anti-environmental and anti-democratic practices converged in [its] recent revisions to the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act.

Type: Op-Eds (Aug. 24, 2020)
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Author(s): Robert Glicksman, Alejandro Camacho
Joint Letter to Virginia DEQ re Wegmans Distribution Center

CPR joined a group of 20 organizations in a public comment on a Draft Virginia Water Protection Permit for a proposed Wegmans Distribution Center that would have a permanent and destructive impact on several acres of wetlands in the vicinity of Hanover, Virginia.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Aug. 11, 2020)
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Author(s): Matt Shudtz
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

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