Leadership and the Challenge of Climate Change
Recent events have dramatized the urgent need for prompt and bold action to respond to climate change. Raging rivers in Germany and Belgium, unheard of "heat domes" over large sections of North America, and uncontrolled wildfires and flooding around the globe, have made it absolutely clear that humankind must quickly limit the emission of greenhouse gases and adapt to the increasingly calamitous consequences of climate disruption. In view of this situation, what is and ought to be the substance of environmental leadership?
Author(s): Joel Mintz
Reversing Trump's Rules Not Enough to Prevent Extinctions
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a polarizing statute that imposes seemingly uncompromising mandates. It strictly prohibits activities that degrade habitat in a way that significantly impairs the ability of protected animals to survive and thrive. The ESA mandates appear inflexible, impeding collaboration between and among regulators and stakeholders. Yet, contrary to this conventional wisdom, a newly published analysis shows that ESA implementation embraces conservation collaborations. Rather than simply applying or waiving prohibitions on habitat-impairing actions, many ESA rules incorporate public-private plans or best-management practices that focus on the key threats to species at greatest risk of extinction.
Author(s): Robert Fischman
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.
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.
Author(s): Karen Sokol
Now That Earmarks Are Back, It's Time to Ban 'Poison Pill' Riders
Making Congress functional again is having a moment. The debates over ending the filibuster and legislation to prevent hyper-partisan congressional districts have received the most attention in this space so far. But lawmakers did quietly take an important step forward on mending congressional dysfunction when they reinstated the practice of earmarking the federal budget, reversing a decade-old ban. Lawmakers should build on this fix to the budget process by cracking down on "poison pill" appropriations riders, a gimmick that proliferated in the vacuum left by the earmark ban.
Author(s): James Goodwin
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.
Author(s): Karen Sokol
Attention, Lawmakers -- Regulation Is More Popular Than You Think
Amid the Sturm und Drang (storm and stress) of politics these days, one fact stands out — a large majority of Americans want more regulatory protection in a wide variety of areas, according to a recent poll of likely voters. The results are consistent with previous polls that indicate that Americans understand the importance of government regulation in protecting them from financial and health risks beyond their control. They also indicate majority support for efforts by the Biden administration to renew government regulation — as well as a stark repudiation of former President Trump’s extreme anti-regulatory agenda.
Author(s): Sidney Shapiro
Biden Has the Power to Restore Good Governance
Since taking office, President Biden has pursued an active agenda to address many urgent matters that require his prompt attention. Writing for The Hill, CPR Member Scholar Robert Glicksman and colleague Richard Levy hope one important initiative does not get lost in transition: restoring the norms of good governance.
Author(s): Robert Glicksman
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon Should Hold Biden’s Feet to the Fire on Regulatory Agenda
In the midst of this long dark winter, it’s heartening to see the Biden administration lay out a bold agenda for a more secure, fair, and sustainable future. Holding the Biden administration to its promise to reform the regulatory process to “ensure swift and effective federal action” to “improve the lives of the American people” is a crucial part of that effort. From her perch on a key congressional committee with oversight over agencies and the rulemaking process, the Delaware Valley’s own Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon is well-positioned to do just that.
Author(s): Amy Sinden
Legislation Needed to Protect Maryland Well Owners
If you’re one of roughly 2 million Marylanders whose drinking water comes from a private well, you or your property owner is responsible for maintaining the well and ensuring its water is safe — no exceptions. That’s because federal clean water laws don’t cover private wells or small water systems, and state-level protections vary dramatically. In Maryland, those protections are few and far between.
Author(s): Darya Minovi