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.

How Science Will Save the World

In a commentary for The Hill, CPR Member Scholar David Driesen examines the need to use science in policymaking, environmental and otherwise. He also lays out the consequences of ignoring or censoring science.

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 16, 2020)
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Author(s): David Driesen
Biden Can Restore the EPA, But It Will Require Steadfast Effort

Writing in The Revelator, CPR Board Member Joel Mintz provides recommendations to the incoming Biden-Harris administration for repairing the damage Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Andrew Wheeler have caused at the EPA.

Type: Op-Eds (Dec. 9, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz
Joint Letter to Incoming Biden-Harris Administration on Regulatory Process Reform

CPR joined the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards and 94 other organizations in calling on the incoming Biden-Harris administration to direct the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to take on the mission of advancing a strong, proactive agenda for safeguarding the public, workers, and the environment. The groups offered a set of recommendations to help ensure that our regulatory system protects workers, consumers, our environment, and our economy.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Dec. 9, 2020)
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Center for Progressive Reform Launches New Initiative to Create a More Just, Sustainable America

The Center for Progressive Reform launched Policy for a Just America today, a major new initiative to use the tools of democracy to advance justice and equity, protect public and environmental health, and create a more sustainable future. The Trump administration has waged a sustained assault on our democracy and rolled back decades’ worth of health, safety, and environmental protections over the last four years. CPR’s Policy for a Just America aims not only to repair the damage but also to reimagine and rebuild our government so that it works for all people, not just the wealthy and powerful few.

Type: News Releases (Dec. 8, 2020)
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Author(s): Brian Gumm
Joint Comments on the Army Corps of Engineers' Modifications to Nationwide Water Pollution Permits

CPR joined comments opposing nationwide water pollution permits proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers. These permits would result in significant, widespread harm to our nation’s waters and would violate the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Nov. 16, 2020)
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Will There Be a Peaceful Transition at EPA?

Writing in The Hill, CPR Senior Policy Analyst James Goodwin highlights several of the anti-safeguards landmines the Trump administration has placed at EPA — and how the Biden administration can defuse them.

Type: Op-Eds (Nov. 12, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin
Biden Can Leverage Larger Trends to Make Climate Progress

In The Revelator, CPR Member Scholar Dan Farber explains that the incoming Biden administration can leverage energy industry and state policy trends to advance an ambitious climate agenda.

Type: Op-Eds (Nov. 11, 2020)
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Author(s): Daniel Farber
Webinar: Innovative Strategies to Prevent Climate-Driven Pollution and Chemical Disasters

Our current pollution prevention policies are static in a time of great and rapid disruption driven by the climate crisis. The growing risk of harm from climate-driven industrial pollution and chemical disasters demands a just, innovative policy response. In our November 18 toxic floodwaters webinar, participants learned about the legal and policy challenges to addressing these hazards, as well as litigation and regulatory solutions proposed by leading experts and practitioners.

Type: Webinars (Nov. 5, 2020)
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Author(s): Robin Kundis Craig, Noah Sachs, David Flores
New Report Finds Dangerous Nitrate Pollution in Maryland Drinking Water

Dangerous nitrate pollution has contaminated private drinking water wells and public water utilities in several regions across the United States, posing a significant threat to people's health. A new report from CPR indicates that this problem has reached Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore, an agricultural area that's home to hundreds of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and millions of chickens.

Type: News Releases (Oct. 21, 2020)
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Author(s): Brian Gumm
Tainted Tap: Nitrate Pollution, Factory Farms, and Drinking Water in Maryland and Beyond

CPR's close look at nitrate pollution in drinking water on Maryland's Eastern Shore raises serious safety concerns. According to county data in the region, tens of thousands of residents are drinking water with elevated nitrate levels, almost certainly due to animal waste from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) nearby. Moreover, the state's lax requirements for well water testing makes it impossible to know just how widespread the problem is.

Type: Reports (Oct. 21, 2020)
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Author(s): Katlyn Schmitt, Darya Minovi

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