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.

Virus provides lessons on government, science and politics

Joseph Tomain, writing in the Cincinnati Enquirer, discusses lessons to be learned -- so far -- from the coronavirus pandemic.

Type: Op-Eds (April 13, 2020)
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Author(s): Joseph Tomain
Deregulation on Demand: Trump EPA Panders to Polluters in Dismantling Clean Power Plan

Corporate capture of regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency has long been a barrier to promulgation and enforcement of effective safeguards. But under the Trump administration, it has progressed to a dizzying degree of brazenness, helping to power the president’s dangerous assault on public safeguards. In Deregulation on Demand, CPR's James Goodwin, working with researchers from the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, documents the extent to which corporate capture by polluters played a role in the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan.

Type: Reports (April 9, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
The Pandemic and Industry Opportunism

Writing for The Regulatory Review, Rena Steinzor notes that in March 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing, EPA enforcement chief Susan Bodine issued a memo offering businesses assurance that EPA would overlook certain regulatory violations for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Public interest groups roundly criticized the new policy, prompting EPA to cry "fake news."

Type: Op-Eds (April 8, 2020)
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor
Trump's EPA Uses Coronavirus Crisis to Mask Environmental Deregulation and Suspend Enforcement

Writing on ACSBlog, Joel Mintz describes the several ways that the Trump EPA has seized on the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to undercut a range of environmental protections.

Type: Op-Eds (April 7, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz
Joint Letter on Coronavirus and Environmental Justice

CPR joined dozens of environmental and social justice organizations in writing to Congress urging that legislation responsive to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic account for environmental justice concerns.

Type: Legislative Testimony (March 31, 2020)
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Webinar: Climate Justice: Holding the Fossil Fuel Industry Accountable Through State Tort Law

On March 24, 2020, webinar participants heard from from  three leading experts on the climate crisis and tort law about the growing movement of local and state governments, as well as small business owners and workers, seeking climate justice in state courts across the United States. The discussion of these climate justice lawsuits considered recent, ongoing, and prospective litigation, as well as the increasingly clear science showing that the harms of climate change are largely attributable to fossil fuel producers. Presenters also examined the legal, policy, and scientific challenges for plaintiffs, which include local governments in California, Colorado, Maryland, as well as the state of Rhode Island and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.

Type: Webinars (March 24, 2020)
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Author(s): Alexandra Klass, David Flores, Karen Sokol
Comments to SEC on Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers

Comments to SEC on Proposed Rule for Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers. Joint letter from Daniel Farber, Richard Murphy and James Goodwin opposing an effort by the SEC to use the Congressional Review Act to justify issuing a weaker rule than what Congress called for in Dodd-Frank.

Type: Letters to Agencies (March 16, 2020)
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Author(s): Daniel Farber, Richard Murphy, James Goodwin
Tracy Testimony on SB841 (Maryland) re Pollution Control and Poultry Operations

Katie Tracy’s written testimony before the Maryland Senate Committee on Education Health and Environmental Affairs in support of SB 841, a bill addressing Water Pollution Control, Discharge Permits, and Industrial Poultry Operations, March 12, 2020.

Type: Legislative Testimony (March 12, 2020)
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Author(s): Katie Tracy
From border security to climate change, national emergency declarations raise hard questions about presidential power

"Presidential emergency powers could provide useful tools for addressing climate change, but taking this route sets an important precedent," Dan Farber writes for The Conversation. "If presidents increasingly make free use of emergency powers to achieve policy goals, this approach could become the new normal – with a serious potential for abuse of power and ill-considered decisions."

Type: Op-Eds (March 10, 2020)
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Author(s): Daniel Farber
Darya Minovi's Testimony for Maryland Legislature on Discharge Permits

Darya Minovi's testimony before the Maryland House of Delegates Committee on Environment and Transportation in support of HB1312, a bill addressing Water Pollution Control, Discharge Permits, and Industrial Poultry Operations, March 4, 2020.

Type: Legislative Testimony (March 4, 2020)
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Author(s): Darya Minovi

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