Environmental Protection Agency

Is The Environment Doomed Once Republicans Take Congress?
October 25, 2010

This is the third in an occasional series examining how Republican control of Congress might affect policy debates in the next two years. (Part 1, Part 2) First, a question: Have the last two years, with Obama in the White House and Democrats running Congress, really been that great for environmental policy? It depends how you look at it. There was that debacle in the Gulf, which obviously wasn't handled well. Then the Senate failed to pass a climate bill, and the Copenhagen talks dragged along without much resolution.

It's The EPA and OSHA, Stupid!
October 22, 2010

This is the second in an occasional series examining how Republican control of Congress might affect policy debates in the next two years. Democrats are warning that if Republicans capture the House—and perhaps also the Senate—in this November’s election, they would abolish cabinet departments, repeal Obamacare, and privatize social security. They might want to do these things, but they won’t be able to overcome a Senate filibuster or a presidential veto.

Cap But No Trade
October 21, 2010

Over the last few months, liberals have been mourning the death of the Obama administration's climate agenda and hurling the corpse onto a funeral pyre, while I've been frantically racing around trying to persuade them that it's not dead, like the hobbit in this scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR3Z388PIew Here's the latest piece of evidence -- new emissions regulations on heavy trucks and buses: The Obama administration will propose the first-ever greenhouse gas emission limits for heavy trucks and buses next week. The proposal will call for a 20 percent reduction in heat-trapping emiss

The Republican Overreach Begins
October 20, 2010

If Republicans take control of the House, apparently their plan is to take revenge upon the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to accede to the demands of lobbyists by tying up agency head Lisa Jackson in endless hearings: On the campaign trail, Republicans have adopted the Environmental Protection Agency as a favorite symbol of the White House’s regulatory overreach.

Is Joe Manchin As Conservative As He Seems?
October 15, 2010

While it's still too early to pick the most surreal ad of the political cycle, the one where West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin grabs a rifle and starts shooting a cap-and-trade bill must rank pretty high. But hey, maybe this little authenticity twofer worked! Previous polls, after all, showed Manchin losing the WV Senate race to GOP businessman John Raese. Whereas today, a new Marshall University survey gives Manchin a ten-point lead. Maybe more struggling candidates should try blasting away at thick reams of legislative text. But that brings up another question.

September 24, 2010

This fall, construction is set to begin on a $4 million pop-up floodwall near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It’s designed to be assembled quickly in the event that torrential rains cause the nearby Potomac River to spill into the city. (Four years ago, heavy storms led to the flooding of buildings like the National Archives and the offices of the IRS.) The ten-foot wall is high enough that it should be able to stop even monster floods like the one in 1942 that caused millions of dollars in damage. But the new barrier will have one glaring flaw.

High Noon For Climate Skepticism
September 14, 2010

It's been a good year for climate skeptics. Not, mind you, because they've been vindicated at all on the merits. Quite the opposite: 2010 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record, Arctic sea ice continues to thin out, heat waves have been torching Russia, and nearly one-fifth of Pakistan has been submerged underwater. The science on global warming is still overwhelming. But politically, skepticism is at its zenith. Consider: During the sweatiest U.S.

EPA Showdown Coming This Week
September 13, 2010

Congress is in session this week and it's not likely that any energy legislation will come up, much less pass.

Why Health Care Reform Beat Out Climate
September 10, 2010

Jonathan Bernstein and Matthew Yglesias have posts discussing why Democrats prioritized health care reform over climate change, when the latter is a more urgent and time-sensitive issue than the latter. I think Yglesias has a strong point that the disparate regional impact of climate change legislation made a partisan bill impossible, and the intense legislative cohesion of the Senate Republicans made a bipartisan bill impossible. I think a factor neither of them considers is public opinion.

Poll Shows Support For EPA Regulation
August 31, 2010

Democratic pollster Joel Benenson has a new poll showing pretty strong public support for EPA regulation of greenhouse gasses. I'm generally skeptical of polls by interested parties that purport to measure public opinion, since it's so easy to craft language that steers respondents toward a desired position.