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.

From border security to climate change, national emergency declarations raise hard questions about presidential power

"Presidential emergency powers could provide useful tools for addressing climate change, but taking this route sets an important precedent," Dan Farber writes for The Conversation. "If presidents increasingly make free use of emergency powers to achieve policy goals, this approach could become the new normal – with a serious potential for abuse of power and ill-considered decisions."

Type: Op-Eds (March 10, 2020)
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Author(s): Daniel Farber
Darya Minovi's Testimony for Maryland Legislature on Discharge Permits

Darya Minovi's testimony before the Maryland House of Delegates Committee on Environment and Transportation in support of HB1312, a bill addressing Water Pollution Control, Discharge Permits, and Industrial Poultry Operations, March 4, 2020.

Type: Legislative Testimony (March 4, 2020)
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Author(s): Darya Minovi
Joint letter to the Maryland General Assembly re the Environmental Transparency and Accountability Act

Joint letter from the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, Center for Progressive Reform, Environmental Integrity Project, and Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc., to the Members of the Maryland General Assembly in support of the Environmental Transparency and Accountability Act, March 2, 2020.

Type: Legislative Testimony (March 2, 2020)
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Author(s): Matt Shudtz
Sarah Krakoff's Testimony on Tribal Cultural Sites and Border Wall Construction

Sarah Krakoff's February 26, 2020, testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States on harm done to tribal cultural sites during construction of President Trump's southern border wall.

Type: Legislative Testimony (Feb. 26, 2020)
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Author(s): Sarah Krakoff
Webinar: Climate Justice: How Enforcement Can Help Communities at Risk

On February 26, 2020, CPR Board Member Joel Mintz, Cynthia Rice of California Rural Legal Assistance, and Jon Mueller of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation discussed challenging low-road employers who take advantage of people who face immediate threats from extreme heat, holding polluters accountable for their contributions to the climate crisis, and the challenges of using 1970s-era laws to address community-level impacts of the climate crisis and opportunities for progress.

Type: Webinars (Feb. 26, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz
EPA Enforcement in Distress — and More Trouble Is Brewing

Writing in The Revelator, CPR's Joel Mintz describes yet another White House effort to weaken environmental safeguards, this time by "quietly and ominously ask[ing] polluters to help identify new opportunities for deregulation."

Type: Op-Eds (Feb. 24, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz
Argument preview: Justices to consider whether the Appalachian Trail blocks proposed natural gas pipeline

Writing in SCOTUSBlog, CPR's Noah Sachs previews the Supreme Court's upcoming argument in U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association and Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association. The cases pit a pipeline developer and the U.S. Forest Service against environmentalists fighting to preserve the Appalachian Trail.

Type: Op-Eds (Feb. 18, 2020)
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Author(s): Noah Sachs
Webinar: What Migration Means for Labor and Communities

On January 31, 2020, CPR President Rob Verchick hosted a webinar featuring CPR Member Scholar Maxine Burkett, Resilience Force's Saket Soni, and Florida State's Matt Hauer -- an engaging discussion about the biggest climate migration and resilience challenges that residents and workers are facing in communities across the U.S., legal and policy barriers, emerging research and solutions, and opportunities for engagement. Watch and listen!

Type: Webinars (Jan. 31, 2020)
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Author(s): Robert Verchick, Maxine Burkett, Katie Tracy
Trump Is Trying to Cripple the Environment and Democracy

Writing in The Hill, Robert Glicksman and Alejandro Camacho dissect the Trump administration's latest effort to enfeeble environmental protections, this time by devising new regulations intended to undercut the National Environment Policy Act.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 18, 2020)
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Author(s): Robert Glicksman, Alejandro Camacho
President Trump Shouldn't Neuter National Environmental Policy

Writing in the Dallas Morning News, Tom McGarity looks at the Trump push to gut the National Environmental Policy Act

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Thomas McGarity

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