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.

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
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

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