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.

The Supreme Court’s Obscure Procedural Ruling in Baltimore’s Climate Case, Explained

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on an important case about whether major oil and gas companies should be held accountable for engaging in a systematic marketing campaign to deceive the public about the catastrophic threat that fossil fuel products pose to the planet. The Court didn’t consider the merits of the case but rather answered an obscure procedural question in a way that permits the defendants to continue to delay litigation in state court, and thereby also serves to deny the public essential information about the fossil fuel industry’s attempt to spread disinformation about its products’ role in fueling the climate crisis.

Type: Op-Eds (May 26, 2021)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Climate Action Supporters: The Fossil Fuel Industry Is Not Your Friend

A week after taking office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order “on tackling the climate crisis” that aims to face the challenge comprehensively and equitably. Biden has quickly appointed and seen confirmed a team of leaders who are committed to all aspects of this mission. Our country is finally on the cusp of meaningful climate action. The climate action train is so popular that even fossil fuel companies, which have historically sought to derail it, are now saying they’re on board. We should, of course, welcome all sincere collaborators; the fossil fuel industry is not among them.

Type: Op-Eds (May 2, 2021)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Joint Letter to the House on the Environmental Justice for All Act

CPR joined the Choose Clean Water Coalition and other allies in a joint letter to the House of Representatives, urging members to cosponsor the Environmental Justice for All Act (H.R. 2021).

Type: Legislative Testimony (April 22, 2021)
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Joint Letter to the Senate on the Environmental Justice for All Act

CPR joined the Choose Clean Water Coalition and other allies in a joint letter to the Senate, urging senators to cosponsor the Environmental Justice for All Act (S. 872).

Type: Legislative Testimony (April 22, 2021)
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CPR Climate Justice Initiative: Charting a National Path Forward through the California Example

Commitments to ensure an equitable clean energy transition are gaining traction, with some states dedicating a portion of clean energy funding to historically marginalized communities and the Biden-Harris administration proposing to dedicate 40 percent of federal climate funds to achieving climate justice. These commitments are essential to realizing an energy transition for communities that would otherwise be left further behind and can help alleviate longstanding inequities. As these initiatives take shape, CPR is tapping the expertise of our climate and environmental justice scholars and our body of work on climate justice. Over the next two years, we'll dig into the California example, researching the state's track record in implementing climate justice programs.

Type: Reports (April 19, 2021)
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Author(s): Alice Kaswan, Minor Sinclair
Joint Letter to the Maryland Department of the Environment on Fenceline Ammonia Monitoring

CPR joined the Environmental Integrity Project, Assateague Coastal Trust, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and Chesapeake Legal Alliance to provide the Maryland Department of the Environment with information on ammonia pollution monitoring near concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for poultry. Those CAFOs are often located near and can pollute fenceline communities on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Type: Letters to Agencies (March 29, 2021)
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New Initiative Seeks to Secure Safe Drinking Water for Lower Eastern Shore Residents Who Rely on Private Wells

Today, the Assateague Coastal Trust, Center for Progressive Reform, Environmental Integrity Project, and University of Maryland School of Public Health launched a new initiative designed to assess and safeguard drinking water for residents of Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore who rely on private wells.

Type: News Releases (March 24, 2021)
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Author(s): Brian Gumm
Biden Must Defend His Climate Policies from Industry Attack

A week after taking office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order “on tackling the climate crisis” that includes important measures to address the crisis comprehensively and equitably. Specifically, the order directs the federal government to take a “whole of government” approach to the climate crisis that pursues economic security, ensures environmental justice, and empowers workers. The beginning of such a plan is promising, particularly after four years under an administration that wiped the word “climate” from government websites, rolled back the Obama administration’s steps to address the crisis, and made fossil fuel production a centerpiece of its agenda. But it’s just that — a promising beginning. And it’s already under assault.

Type: Op-Eds (March 12, 2021)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Voters Strongly Support Government Regulation to Protect Climate, Health, and Future Generations

A poll conducted by the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) and Data for Progress in January 2021 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. Poll results and analysis are available below.

Type: Reports (Feb. 25, 2021)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Joint Written Testimony to Maryland Legislators on Creating a Private Well Water Safety Program

CPR led the development of written testimony to the Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee on HB 1069, a bill to create a private well water safety program in the state. Twenty-three organizations joined CPR in submitting the testimony.

Type: Legislative Testimony (Feb. 24, 2021)
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