The primary task of the US Environmental Protection Agency is to protect public health and the environment. To do so, the agency must ensure that everyone, whether in the private sector or in government, complies with our nation’s laws and regulations. These safeguards are in place to protect health and safety for everyone anywhere in the country. Their enforcement safeguards are also a matter of fairness—all entities that might adversely impact our health and environment are supposed to follow the rules. So, it is particularly disturbing that the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has taken a major hit in staffing over the past 19 months in the Trump Administration. Read more >
September 13, 2018 6:09 PM EDT
August 21, 2018 10:25 AM EDT
Today, with the legal system pinning its back on the ropes, the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new proposed rule for power plant carbon pollution standards.
Or perhaps more accurately, EPA proposed a new version of an old rule, as the content retreads that which the agency already finalized three years ago, previewed four years ago, was directed to pursue five years ago, and solidified the obligation to create nearly ten years ago.
August 14, 2018 2:15 PM EDT
In a new regulatory effort, the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims to be working to increase consistency and transparency in how it considers costs and benefits in the rulemaking process. Don’t be fooled. Under the cover of these anodyne goals, the agency is in fact trying to pursue something far more nefarious. Indeed, what the EPA is actually working to do is formalize a process whereby the decision of whether or not to go ahead with a rule is permanently tilted in industry’s favor. How? By slashing away at what the agency can count as “benefits,” resulting in a full-on broadside to public health. Read more >
August 2, 2018 9:50 AM EDT
President Trump has followed through on his promise to roll back Obama-era fuel economy and emissions standards for passenger cars and trucks, proposing to freeze standards at 2020 levels. Given the tremendous benefits of these rules to-date and the promising future for 2025 and beyond, you can imagine that justifying this rollback requires contortions that would qualify the administration for Cirque du Soleil…and you would be right. Here are just a few of the ridiculous assertions found in the proposal to justify rolling back such a successful policy. Read more >
July 27, 2018 4:32 PM EDT
In April, I blogged about the findings of a new analysis showing how state and federal standards to improve vehicle efficiency and accelerate vehicle electrification could impact jobs and economic growth. The results of the analysis were overwhelmingly positive. Investing in vehicle technologies to reduce spending at the pump isn’t just good for drivers: the money invested in technology development creates jobs, and savings on fuel get pumped back into the economy. So what would happen if instead we decide to take a step backwards and not invest in improving vehicle emissions and efficiency as the Trump administration is anticipated to propose any day now? Spoiler alert: Oil companies win and everyone else loses.