Environmental Protection Agency

Last-minute Gifts For Pigs And Mines
December 02, 2008

This is very useful: Propublica is compiling a complete, searchable list of all the last-minute regulations the Bush administration is trying to jam through before Obama takes office.

Can Clean-water Laws... Clean The Air?
November 19, 2008

Lawsuits may seem like a quixotic—or even counterproductive—strategy for tackling a problem as big as global warming, but lately they seem to be working. Last week, the EPA's appeals board blocked the permit for a new coal-fired plant in Utah, ruling that before the EPA handed out any more permits, the agency needed to determine whether the coal plants should employ "best available control technology" for carbon-dioxide emissions. The decision was, in effect, an implementation of the Supreme Court's ruling in Massachusetts v.

A Major, Major Setback For Coal
November 14, 2008

Wow, stunning news yesterday: The EPA's appeals board sided (pdf) with the Sierra Club and blocked the EPA from issuing a permit for a new coal-fired power plant in Utah. Kate Sheppard has a round-up, but it's hard to overstate the impact of this story. Basically, the board ruled that the EPA's regional office in Denver needed to reconsider its decision not to require any controls on carbon-dioxide emissions. Environmentalists are, not surprisingly, hailing the decision as a huge step toward limiting greenhouse gases from coal plants. So what, exactly, does the ruling mean?

So Who's In At Epa? (please Not Rfk Jr...)
November 05, 2008

We're closing the new issue of TNR tonight, so, for now, I'll have to put off writing more about what Obama's big win yesterday means for energy policy and the environment. There's plenty to say, trust me! But in the interim, I have to agree with Jason here and Sam Boyd here that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. would be an appalling choice to head up Obama's EPA.

Obama's Sneaky New Climate Strategy
October 21, 2008

Last week, Jason Grumet, one of Obama's main energy advisors, caused a small splash in enviro-policy circles by telling Bloomberg News that, if Obama becomes president, his EPA would probably use the authority given to it by the Supreme Court last year and start regulating carbon-dioxide emissions directly. In other words, an Obama administration wouldn't necessarily have to wait for Congress before starting to curtail greenhouse gases.

Epa To Staff: Shut Your Trap
July 29, 2008

The EPA has instructed its staff "not to talk with congressional investigators, reporters and even the agency's own inspector general," the Associated Press reported yesterday.

More On The Epa's Blocked Endangerment Finding
July 22, 2008

During a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing today, Jason Burnett, a former EPA official turned whistleblower testified on some of the White House's recent attempts to suppress various climate reports drawn up by the agency's staff—including a "public endangerment finding" that would have compelled the EPA to start regulating CO2 immediately. As was reported recently, after Burnett had e-mailed the endangerment finding to the Office of Management and Budget, officials at the OMB were told not to open it.

Epa To America: Your Life Is Worth Less
July 14, 2008

From the Associated Press (via FP): The EPA has decided that the average American life isn't worth as much as it once thought. The agency lowered the statistical value of a life from $7.8 million to $6.9 million--about a $1 million drop from five years ago. The calculation is important because it figures into the agency's cost-benefit analysis of proposed regulations: Consider, for example, a hypothetical regulation that costs $18 billion to enforce but will prevent 2,500 deaths.

Permission To Contaminate, Sir!
June 30, 2008

The Pentagon is resisting the EPA’s orders to clean up its contaminated military sites, the Washington Post reports today. The danger? The Defense Department owns more Superfund sites than anyone else, as well as more than 25,000 contaminated sites nationwide, where the department's toxic legacy could pose serious risks to public health and the environment.   While the Post calls its recent pushback against the EPA’s regulatory efforts “unprecedented,” the Pentagon has been trying to grant itself the license to pollute and contaminate during the entirety of the Bush administration.

Don't Like The News In Your Inbox? Don't Open It!
June 25, 2008

Never underestimate the Bush administration's ability to stick its fingers in its ears and sing "Doop dee doop de doop": The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week. The EPA was responding to last year's ruling in Massachusetts vs.