air-pollution-power-lines-wide.jpg
July 22, 2020 by James Goodwin

EPA's 'Benefit-Busting' Proposal Would Add to Trump's Anti-Safeguard Legacy

Donald Trump is no stranger to leaving things worse off than he found them, and this is precisely what his administration now aims to do with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), not just one of the most successful government institutions in the history of the United States, but indeed the world. Having worked quickly, if not sloppily, to dismantle every vestige of the Obama administration's efforts to promote cleaner air and water, the Trump EPA is now heading down a path of self-destruction. The agency's proposed "benefits-busting" rule, released early last month, is a big part of this campaign.

The benefits-busting rule is nominally about overhauling how the EPA does cost-benefit analysis for its Clean Air Act rules, but make no mistake: This action is really about putting that foundational law into concrete boots and shoving it into the nearest body of water. Future efforts to fulfill its protective goals of promoting public health and environmental integrity will be defeated before they're even started.

The public interest community can and must fight back against this dangerous action. To support this effort, my colleagues and I have prepared a new memo that provides a topline analysis of the benefits-busting rule. As …

June 18, 2020 by Daniel Farber
SupCtColumns_wide.jpg

Originally published on Legal Planet. Reprinted with permission.

On June 16, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decided two cases that add to the legal difficulties the Trump EPA will face in court. The difficulties relate to two proposed EPA rules that attempt to hamstring future efforts to impose tighter restrictions on pollution. Both EPA rules rely on vague, general grants of rulemaking authority from Congress. That just became more tenuous.

One of the EPA proposals is the so-called "science transparency rule," which is perversely designed to limit EPA's future ability to utilize well-regarded scientific studies. The other proposal will reduce the agency's flexibility in conducting cost-benefit analysis of future regulations.

In attempting to find legal authority for these rules, EPA has looked to general grants of rulemaking authority. One such law is the Federal Housekeeping Act. That law (which may not actually apply to …

April 17, 2020 by Matthew Freeman
toxlaboratory-chemicals_pixabay-overlay-wide.jpg

Every four years, as presidential elections draw near, the political appointees driving the incumbent administration's regulatory agenda put their feet on the gas, working to cover as much ground as they can before their boss's term is up. It makes no difference whether the current White House occupant is running for reelection or heading off into presidential library-land; they all want to get as much done while they control the steering wheel.

The one thing that usually constrains them, particularly first-termers, is the politics of the moment. Candidates for reelection aren't interested in seeing their agencies promulgate rules that will inflame opposition, and retiring presidents worry a lot about their legacy and aren't so eager to tarnish it with firestorm-inducing midnight regulations. That, at least, has been the norm. But as with so many other things about the Trump administration, standard rules don't apply. And so, we're …

  • 1 (current)
CPR HOMEPAGE
More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
July 22, 2020

EPA's 'Benefit-Busting' Proposal Would Add to Trump's Anti-Safeguard Legacy

June 18, 2020

D.C. Circuit Restricts 'Housekeeping' Regulations

April 17, 2020

Goodwin: Censored Science Rule Lacks Legal Basis