Legislation Needed to Protect Maryland Well Owners
If you’re one of roughly 2 million Marylanders whose drinking water comes from a private well, you or your property owner is responsible for maintaining the well and ensuring its water is safe — no exceptions. That’s because federal clean water laws don’t cover private wells or small water systems, and state-level protections vary dramatically. In Maryland, those protections are few and far between.
Author(s): Darya Minovi
Localizing the Green Energy Revolution
As President Biden continues to roll out executive orders prioritizing climate change, it is increasingly clear that there will be a relatively rapid U.S. shift toward renewable energy from the sun, wind and other sources. Indeed, many states are already pushing ahead with ambitious renewable and clean energy policies. These policies will reduce air pollution, spur extensive economic development in rural areas and make progress on the climate front. This “revolution,” as Biden calls it, is critical. But the bulk of renewables that have been built in the United States are large, centralized projects requiring thousands of miles of transmission lines — primarily in rural communities. A revolution that continues to prioritize these projects risks failure.
Author(s): Hannah Wiseman
New National Poll Finds Americans Prioritize Environmental Protections over Faster Economic Growth by Overwhelming Margins
A new poll released by Data for Progress and the Center for Progressive Reform finds broad public support for a progressive climate agenda that relies on regulatory action, even if it means slower economic growth. It also shows that the public opposes the process the government currently uses to assess the costs and benefits of regulations because it undervalues clean air, safe water, and a healthy climate.
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Author(s): Brian Gumm, James Goodwin
The Climate Change Lawsuits Against Big Oil, Explained
Big Tobacco’s Master Settlement Agreement in 1998 was the largest civil settlement in the nation’s history and a transformative moment in the industry’s control. The accord reached by 46 states, five United States territories, and the District of Columbia required tobacco manufacturers to pay the states billions of dollars annually in compensation for the public health crisis their products had created. Today, an even bigger crisis looms, with increasing demands for accountability. Over a dozen federal cases have now been filed against oil companies, seeking damages for their role in causing climate change. With one exception, the cases have been brought by states or local governments that claim they and their citizens are suffering harm from climate change.
Author(s): Daniel Farber
Webinar: Protecting Maryland Drinking Water from Toxic Pollution
Dangerous nitrate pollution has contaminated private drinking water wells and public water utilities in several regions across the United States, posing a significant threat to people's health. A recent Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) report indicates that this problem has reached Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore, an agricultural area that's home to hundreds of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that house millions of chickens. In our January 25 webinar, participants heard from state legislators and an environmental health expert who are supporting legislative measures to provide greater protections for Maryland families who drink well water.
Author(s): Darya Minovi, Katlyn Schmitt
Trump's Big Gamble to Gut U.S. Power Plant Emissions Rules Loses in Court, Opening a Door for New Climate Rules
Joe Biden got a big judicial win for his climate agenda just hours before his inauguration as U.S. president. The case involved federal plans for cutting power plant emissions and a big gamble by the Trump administration.
Author(s): Daniel Farber
Biden Has a Congressional Shortcut to Cancel Trump's Regulatory Rollbacks, but It Comes with Risks
The Trump administration dedicated itself to deregulation with unprecedented fervor. It rolled back scores of regulations across government agencies, including more than 80 environmental rules. The Biden administration can reverse some of those actions quickly – for instance, as president, Joe Biden can undo Donald Trump’s executive orders with a stroke of the pen. He plans to restore U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement that way on his first day in office. Undoing most regulatory rollbacks, however, will require a review process that can take years, often followed by further delays during litigation. There is an alternative, but it comes with risks.
Author(s): Daniel Farber
From Rhetoric to Reality: Achieving Climate Justice
In an op-ed published in The Hill, CPR Member Scholars Shalanda Baker and Alice Kaswan offer recommendations for moving from rhetoric to reality when it comes to delivering climate and energy justice to America's communities.
Author(s): Shalanda H. Baker, Alice Kaswan
How Science Will Save the World
In a commentary for The Hill, CPR Member Scholar David Driesen examines the need to use science in policymaking, environmental and otherwise. He also lays out the consequences of ignoring or censoring science.
Author(s): David Driesen
Biden Can Restore the EPA, But It Will Require Steadfast Effort
Writing in The Revelator, CPR Board Member Joel Mintz provides recommendations to the incoming Biden-Harris administration for repairing the damage Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Andrew Wheeler have caused at the EPA.
Author(s): Joel Mintz