April 17, 2020 by Daniel Farber

We Need an Environmental Dr. Fauci

During the coronavirus crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the voice of reason. Much of the public turns to him for critical information about public health while even President Trump finds it necessary to listen. In the Trump era, no one plays that role in the environmental arena. The result is a mindless campaign of deregulation that imperils public health and safety.

We can't clone Dr. Fauci or duplicate the unique circumstances that have made his voice so powerful. However, we can do several things that would make it harder for administrations to ignore science:

  • Congress needs to greatly strengthen laws protecting whistleblowers, which currently are much weaker than most people realize.
  • Congress also needs to codify into law the existing rules protecting scientific integrity within administrative agencies. Currently there are merely internal regulations that agencies can ignore.
  • Either Congress or the courts need to block another proposed EPA initiative. That initiative uses "scientific transparency" as an excuse for telling EPA to ignore important research on public health.
  • We need to have evaluations of the public health effects of environmental regulation from a source that the public trusts. The best way to …

Aug. 6, 2018 by Daniel Farber

Cross-posted from LegalPlanet.

Trump is proposing to gut CO2 standards for cars, freezing 2020 CAFE fuel-efficiency standards in place for years to come. Without the freeze, the standards would automatically ramp up. He also wants to eliminate California's ability to set its own standards, which many other states have opted to adopt. Here are seven key questions about Trump's proposed rollback and some answers.

Do the car companies really want this?

A: Not so much. It's not that they love being regulated. But the big downside for the car companies is regulatory uncertainty. Putting out a new car model costs $1-6 billion and takes 2½ to 3 years. Trump's rollback is going to be tied up in court for at least a year, maybe two, even assuming it's ultimately upheld. In the meantime, manufacturers won't be able to plan for post-2020 models. The manufacturers don't need this …

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More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
April 17, 2020

We Need an Environmental Dr. Fauci

Aug. 6, 2018

Watered Down Standards at the TRUMP CAFÉ