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By Ken Kimmell
Battle lines over President Trump's nominee for a new U.S. Supreme Court justice are now being drawn, as they should be, over crucial issues such as a woman's right to choose, health care, immigration, civil rights and criminal justice. In past nomination fights, little attention has been paid to the court's role in shaping environmental law and science-based regulation. But it would be a major mistake to overlook these issues now. The Supreme Court has an enormous impact on how U.S. environmental laws are interpreted and enforced, and a new justice could tip the balance against science-based rules on climate change, clean air and clean water.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jessica Corbett
A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia is suing the Trump administration for blocking greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles that aimed to reduce air pollution and curb U.S. drivers' contributions to the global climate crisis.
In what critics called an "indefensible and frankly embarrassing decision," last month U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt caved to automobile industry lobbyists' demands and announced that his agency is drafting relaxed manufacturing rules for vehicles made between 2022 and 2025.
To track the levels of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, two pollutants that contribute to smog formation, an international research team used satellite pollution measurements backed up by local air quality monitor readings.
By Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins
Editor's note: On April 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Trump administration plans to revise tailpipe emissions standards negotiated by the Obama administration for motor vehicles built between 2022 and 2025, saying the standards were set "too high." Pruitt also said the EPA was re-examining California's historic ability to adopt standards that are more ambitious than the federal government's. Legal scholars Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins explain why California has this authority—and what may happen if the EPA tries to curb it.
By Ken Kimmell
A major front in the climate change debate has moved to the courtroom, as I've previously discussed. Last week, plaintiffs in two separate cases won significant procedural victories—one against major fossil fuel companies, and a second against the Trump administration. Here are the latest developments and their implications.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt had fighting words for California in an interview with Bloomberg News Tuesday, deepening a rift between the Trump administration and the Golden State over the future of Obama-era fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks.
The EPA faces an April 1 deadline to determine if the emissions standards set by the previous administration are achievable from 2022 to 2025. California, which has been granted a waiver by the Clean Air Act of 1970 to set its own, tougher standards, has already said it will stick to the Obama-era regulations. The state is currently in the process of drafting its own standards through 2030.
Judge Haywood Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said Pruitt violated the Clean Air Act for failing to announce by Oct. 1, 2017 which areas in the country have unhealthy levels of smog, a rule set by the 2015 ozone standard.
A federal judge in San Diego ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration can waive a slew of environmental laws and other regulations to build the president's highly vaunted U.S.-Mexico border wall in California.
Federal laws waived by the Department of Homeland Security for construction of a border wall include the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Antiquities Act and many more.