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.

Localizing the Green Energy Revolution

As President Biden continues to roll out executive orders prioritizing climate change, it is increasingly clear that there will be a relatively rapid U.S. shift toward renewable energy from the sun, wind and other sources. Indeed, many states are already pushing ahead with ambitious renewable and clean energy policies. These policies will reduce air pollution, spur extensive economic development in rural areas and make progress on the climate front. This “revolution,” as Biden calls it, is critical. But the bulk of renewables that have been built in the United States are large, centralized projects requiring thousands of miles of transmission lines — primarily in rural communities. A revolution that continues to prioritize these projects risks failure.

Type: Op-Eds (Feb. 2, 2021)
Read PDF
Author(s): Hannah Wiseman
New National Poll Finds Americans Prioritize Environmental Protections over Faster Economic Growth by Overwhelming Margins

A new poll released by Data for Progress and the Center for Progressive Reform finds broad public support for a progressive climate agenda that relies on regulatory action, even if it means slower economic growth. It also shows that the public opposes the process the government currently uses to assess the costs and benefits of regulations because it undervalues clean air, safe water, and a healthy climate.

Type: News Releases (Feb. 2, 2021)
Read PDF Read Online
Author(s): Brian Gumm, James Goodwin
The Climate Change Lawsuits Against Big Oil, Explained

Big Tobacco’s Master Settlement Agreement in 1998 was the largest civil settlement in the nation’s history and a transformative moment in the industry’s control. The accord reached by 46 states, five United States territories, and the District of Columbia required tobacco manufacturers to pay the states billions of dollars annually in compensation for the public health crisis their products had created. Today, an even bigger crisis looms, with increasing demands for accountability. Over a dozen federal cases have now been filed against oil companies, seeking damages for their role in causing climate change. With one exception, the cases have been brought by states or local governments that claim they and their citizens are suffering harm from climate change.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 29, 2021)
Read PDF
Author(s): Daniel Farber
Webinar: Protecting Maryland Drinking Water from Toxic Pollution

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 recent Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) report 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) that house millions of chickens. In our January 25 webinar, participants heard from state legislators and an environmental health expert who are supporting legislative measures to provide greater protections for Maryland families who drink well water.

Type: Webinars (Jan. 25, 2021)
Read Online
Author(s): Darya Minovi, Katlyn Schmitt
Trump's Big Gamble to Gut U.S. Power Plant Emissions Rules Loses in Court, Opening a Door for New Climate Rules

Joe Biden got a big judicial win for his climate agenda just hours before his inauguration as U.S. president. The case involved federal plans for cutting power plant emissions and a big gamble by the Trump administration.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 20, 2021)
Read PDF
Author(s): Daniel Farber
Biden Has a Congressional Shortcut to Cancel Trump's Regulatory Rollbacks, but It Comes with Risks

The Trump administration dedicated itself to deregulation with unprecedented fervor. It rolled back scores of regulations across government agencies, including more than 80 environmental rules. The Biden administration can reverse some of those actions quickly – for instance, as president, Joe Biden can undo Donald Trump’s executive orders with a stroke of the pen. He plans to restore U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement that way on his first day in office. Undoing most regulatory rollbacks, however, will require a review process that can take years, often followed by further delays during litigation. There is an alternative, but it comes with risks.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 18, 2021)
Read PDF
Author(s): Daniel Farber
From Rhetoric to Reality: Achieving Climate Justice

In an op-ed published in The Hill, CPR Member Scholars Shalanda Baker and Alice Kaswan offer recommendations for moving from rhetoric to reality when it comes to delivering climate and energy justice to America's communities.

Type: Op-Eds (Jan. 4, 2021)
Read PDF
Author(s): Shalanda H. Baker, Alice Kaswan
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)
Read PDF
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)
Read PDF
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)
Read PDF

Advanced Search Filters

Reset Filters