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.

Beyond Environmental Law: Policy Proposals for a Better Environmental Future

Nearly half a century after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring helped launch the modern environmental movement, the nation’s environmental statutes are showing signs of age. New challenges have arisen – climate change, most notably, but others that also threaten the safety of the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat and more. In their new book, Beyond Environmental Law: Policy Proposals for a Better Environmental Future, CPR Member Scholars David Driesen and Alyson Flournoy compile original chapter contributions by leading environmental scholars assessing how to craft effective environmental standards to combat the environmental challenges of the 21st Century. Published in March 2010 by Cambridge University Press, Beyond Environmental Law proposes two new statutes: an Environmental Legacy Act to preserve a defined environmental legacy for future generations, and an Environmental Competition Statute to spark movement to new clean technologies. The first proposal would require for the first time that the federal government define an environmental legacy that it must preserve for future generations. The second would establish a market competition to maximize environmental protection.

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Author(s): Alyson Flournoy, David Driesen
The Future of Environmental Protection: The Case for a National Environmental Legacy Act

The Future of Environmental Protection: The Case for a National Environmental Legacy Act, CPR White Paper #1002, by Alyson Flournoy, Ryan Feinberg, Margaret Clune Giblin, Heather Halter, and Christina Storz

Type: Reports (Feb. 1, 2010)
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Author(s): Alyson Flournoy, Margaret Giblin
Comments on Draft Water Quality Report for the Chesapeake Bay.

Comments on Draft Water Quality Report for the Chesapeake Bay. CPR Policy Analyst Yee Huang's comments on EPA's draft 202a Water Quality Report & 203 Strategy for the Chesapeake Bay

Type: Letters to Agencies (Jan. 8, 2010)
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Author(s): Yee Huang
Cap and trade is preferable to hodgepodge regulation

Cap and trade is preferable to hodgepodge regulation, by Kirsten Engel and David Driesen

Type: Op-Eds (Oct. 10, 2009)
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Author(s): Kirsten Engel, David Driesen
Restoring the Trust: Water Resources & the Public Trust Doctrine: An Index of State Constitutional and Statutory Provisions and Cases on Water Resources & the Public Trust Doctrine

Index of State Constitutional and Statutory Provisions and Cases on Water Resources & the Public Trust Doctrine, to accompany CPR's Restoring the Trust: Water Resources & the Public Trust Doctrine report

Type: Reports (Sept. 23, 2009)
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Author(s): Alexandra Klass, Yee Huang
Mercury and the DEQ: trading our health for economic gain

Mercury and the DEQ: trading our health for economic gain, by Daniel Rohlf

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 5, 2009)
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Author(s): Dan Rohlf
Comments on Endangered Species Act Consultation Rules

Comments on Endangered Species Act Consultation Rules, supporting withdrawal of Bush administration "midnight rule" weakening enforcement

Type: Letters to Agencies (Aug. 3, 2009)
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Author(s): Mary Jane Angelo, Holly Doremus, Dan Rohlf, James Goodwin
CPR Perspective: Carbon Capture and Geologic Sequestration

Carbon Capture and Geologic Sequestration involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from power generation and industrial processes, transporting the CO2 to an area with suitable geology, and injecting it into deep geologic formations, sequestering the CO2 underground for hundreds to thousands of years. Geological formations suitable for CO2 sequestration include oil and gas fields, saline aquifers, and deep coal seams. The goal is to avoid the atmospheric release of CO2 by sequestering the captured CO2 emissions approximately one kilometer underground.

Type: Reports (July 1, 2009)
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Author(s): Alexandra Klass
CPR Perspective: Environmental Justice and Climate Change: Incorporating Environmental Justice into Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Programs

A well-designed cap-and-trade program could increase incentives for alternative energy and for new emissions-reduction technology. Traditional regulations generally take a facility’s basic production technology as a given and then impose rate-based emission reduction requirements in light of that production technology.   In contrast, a cap-and-trade program would put a price on carbon and, if the price signal is successful, would create an ongoing incentive to reduce overall emissions. An effective trading program could give facilities incentives to use less carbon-intensive energy sources and production technologies, not simply reduce end-of-the-stack emissions to comply with a set standard.

Type: Reports (July 1, 2009)
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Author(s): Alice Kaswan

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