Sept. 8, 2016 by David Driesen

The Role of the Clean Air Act's Goals in Clean Power Plan Litigation

The Clean Power Plan has been widely touted as significant because it regulates the largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States – the electric power industry. Its significance, however, goes beyond U.S. CO2 emissions because it serves as the linchpin of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases in order to avoid dangerous climate disruption. The rule gave the Obama administration sufficient credibility to persuade the Chinese to pledge limits on their own greenhouse gas emissions for the first time and paved the way for worldwide pledges of significant emission reductions at the Paris Conference last December. If the U.S. fails to promptly implement this rule because of an unfavorable judicial ruling, the Paris agreement could unravel, as developing countries do not consider it equitable to demand reductions from them without significant reductions by the United States and other wealthy countries. 

Given the seriousness of global climate disruption and the Clean Power Plan's international role, the rule's survival matters more to achieving the Clean Air Act's stated goal – protecting public health and the environment – than any pollution reduction standard that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit …

Sept. 2, 2016 by James Goodwin

September 2, 2011, was a lot like today, the Friday before a long holiday weekend.  While many were already turning their attention to backyard barbecues and afternoon naps in hammocks, the then-Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Cass Sunstein, the controversial official charged with supervising federal regulatory activities, dropped a bombshell. In a notice known as a “return letter,” Sunstein publicly announced that President Obama was rejecting what would have been one of the most important public safeguards during his time in office: the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pending rule to strengthen the national air quality standard for harmful ozone pollution. It was, and remains, one of the darkest days of Obama’s time in office, at least where public health and environmental protection are concerned.

Mountains of scientific evidence confirm that ozone pollution is nasty stuff, and high levels …

More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Sept. 30, 2016

'Super Polluters' Under the Microscope

Sept. 29, 2016

Maryland's Environmental and Energy Policy Moving Backward under the Hogan Administration

Sept. 26, 2016

Supreme Court Remains Skeptical of the 'Cost-Benefit State'

Sept. 23, 2016

Federalism Games in the Clean Power Plan Battle

Sept. 21, 2016

Federal Contracting Gets Safer Thanks to New, Common-Sense Regulations

Sept. 20, 2016

New EPA Assessment Shines a Light on a Cause of Chesapeake Bay Woes

Sept. 19, 2016

Landmark California Law Links Emissions Reductions and Environmental Justice Goals