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.

On the Environment, Hold Our Ground and Look to the Future

On the Center for American Progress website, Rena Steinzor writes that, when asked about his environmental record during the second presidential debate this fall, President Bush rattled off a series of well focus-grouped phrases – “clean coal,” “clear skies,” and “mak[ing] sure our forests aren’t vulnerable to forest fires” – and touted himself as a “good steward of the land.” The rhetoric ignored reality.

Type: Op-Eds (March 16, 2005)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor
Clear Facts about Clear Skies

Clear Facts about Clear Skies, op-ed by Catherine O'Neill

Type: Op-Eds (March 9, 2005)
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Author(s): Catherine O'Neill
A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment

Writing for the Center for American Progress website, Christopher Schroeder and Rena Steinzor, co-editors of CPR's book, A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment, offer a summary of the work, which features contributions from 20 CPR Member Scholars.

Type: Op-Eds (Feb. 5, 2005)
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Author(s): Christopher Schroeder, Rena Steinzor
Politics and Precaution

Politics and Precaution, op-ed by William Buzbee

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 22, 2005)
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Author(s): William Buzbee
Comments on EPA's proposed mercury pollution credit-trading scheme.

Catherine O'Neill's comments on EPA's proposed mercury pollution credit-trading scheme.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Jan. 3, 2005)
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Author(s): Catherine O'Neill
CPR Perspective: The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment

CPR Perspective: 'The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment,' by Bill Funk. CPR's Perspectives Series is a set of monographs by CPR Member Scholars on timely and important health, safety, and environmental topics. Each Perspective provides a thumbnail sketch of the competing arguments concerning a substantive or procedural principle for developing appropriate health, safety and environmental policies, and closes with the Member Scholar-author's proposed approach to the issue.

Type: Reports (Jan. 1, 2005)
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Author(s): Bill Funk
Maryland Water Standards a Quarter Century Late and Counting

On the Center for American Progress website, Rena Steinzor writes that Maryland's Department is moving "ever so glacially toward developing enforceable standards for a key provision of the Clean Water Act."

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 15, 2004)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor
States Fail to Ensure Water Quality

Clifford Rechtschaffen, writing on the Center for American Progress website: "The federal government relies in great measure on state agencies to enforce many of the key provisions of the Clean Water Act, including the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), a system by which polluters are issued permits to emit specific quantities of pollution into waterways. The sorry truth is that the system doesn't work very well, and enforcement of NPDES provisions is inadequate. That's the conclusion I'm forced to draw from a survey of state environmental protection agencies I conducted earlier this year."

Type: Op-Eds (Nov. 17, 2004)
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Author(s): Clifford Rechtschaffen
Mercury, Risk, & Justice

Mercury, Risk, & Justice, by Catherine A. O'Neill. White Paper 405, October 2004.

Type: Reports (Oct. 13, 2004)
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Author(s): Catherine O'Neill

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