Derek Reinbold  //  4/2/17  //  Topic Update

President Trump signed a landmark executive order to start the process of rolling back many Obama-era climate change policies (NYTThe HillWSJWaPoLA Times). 

  • President Trump’s climate executive order will cause immediate harm to vulnerable Americans, argues Eli Savit on Take Care.
  • At Take Care, Ann Carlson argues that drastic cuts to key climate programs may have the same effect as an explicit withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
  • At Legal Planet, Nicholas Bryner forecasts that the order will hinder agencies’ efforts to make informed, rational decisions.
  • Also at Legal Planet, Dan Farber analyzes key issues the order did not address, including climate change and the Paris Agreement.
  • At Vox, David Roberts argues that the order's most dangerous result is the message it sends to the rest of the world.
  • Tom DiChristopher, at CNBC, projects remaining legal hurdles for the order.
  • At The New Yorker, Carolyn Kormann argues that the Administration’s order denies science and economics.
  • Jonathan Chait contends the order is an angry reflex in search of an idea at New York Magazine.
  • Experts report that the order will not stop the loss of coal jobs, since industry has moved toward natural gas (WaPo).
  • At NYT, Edward Wong predicts that China will now lead the world in complying with the Paris Agreement.
  • Nadja Popvich contends in NYT that this order pushes the Paris Agreement further out of reach.
  • Evan Halper explains that the order delegates greater power to states and localities.
  • John Podesta at WaPo argues that the order demonstrates a denial of science.
  • At Legal Planet, Sean Hecht identifies resources to help non-experts understand the order, while Dan Farber describes this "frontal assault on climate policy."
  • At RegBlog, Bryan Williamson explains how to achieve climate change goals without the Clean Power Plan 
  • At Vox, Brad Plumer argues that Trump's order will not bring back many coal jobs, and David Roberts contends that the order is a gift to coal executives.
  • Democratsliberal states, and green groups are bracing for a fight.
  • The Guardian documents opposition to the order.
  • The Wall Street Journal editorial board applauds the order for unleashing American energy.
  • Further analysis comes from Ars Technica and The Intercept.
  • President Trump will be unable to fulfill his unrealistic promises on coal, writes the Boston Globe Editorial Board.

President Trump approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, reversing an Obama Administration policy (NYTReuters).

  • Environmental groups have sued the Trump administration over its approval of a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, claiming that the information used in their assessment was outdated (The Hill).
  • Brad Plumer notes that significant legal hurdles to construction remain (Vox). 

California may thwart President Trump’s plan to gut fuel emissions standards issued by the Obama-era EPAwrites Gabriel Daly at Take Care. 

EPA decided not to ban the pesticide chlorphyrifos on fruits and vegetables, rejecting an Obama-era conclusion that this chemical must be permanently banned at farms nationwide to avert harm to children and farm workers (NYTWaPoNPR).

  • Environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council plan to ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the decision.
  • The Baltimore Sun points out the lack of scientific evidence backing the decision. 

On Sunday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt called the Paris Agreement on climate change a “bad deal” (The Hill).

The House of Representatives has passed a bill to include more industry members on the EPA’s Science advisory board (The Hill).

Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a unified national automobile emissions standard, which may preempt California's stricter standard. California is challenging the Interior Department's repeal of standards for fracking on federal land.

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

FERC unanimously rejects Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to support coal and nuclear power plants. The Trump Administration backs off of plans for new oil drilling off the Florida coast.

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/4/17  //  Daily Update

The EPA finalized a rule that will maintain the biofuels quota.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School