Previous Legal and Political News 2022

Heading Into 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act Is Bringing ‘a Lot of Confidence’ to the Renewables Industry 12-20-22 Read more

The Federal Program to Rebuild After Hurricane Katrina Shortchanged the Poor. New Data Proves It. 12-11-22

For years, low-income residents of New Orleans have said the state’s Road Home program paid them less to rebuild their homes compared to wealthier residents. Read more

Energy Department rule would cut government building emissions 90 percent 12-07-22

A new proposed rule from the Biden administration would cut emissions from new federal buildings 90 percent from 2003 levels in the next two years. Read more

State delays decision on Enviva Ahoskie air quality permit 12-07-22

The state has put on hold final action on a controversial draft air quality permit for Enviva’s Ahoskie Plant to increase its wood pellet production by more than 30%. Read more

A tiny Wisconsin town tried to stop pollution from factory farms. Then it got sued. 12-05-22

“This is standard operating procedure for the Big Ag boys.” Read more

Herschel Walker, South Park, and the Prius: How loving gas-guzzlers became political 11-28-22

Why do Republicans defend polluting vehicles? Because Democrats love the saintly Prius. Read more

Letters from an American 11-23-22

The past week has brought seven mass shootings in the United States. Twenty-two people have been killed and 44 wounded. I’ll have more to say later about our epidemic of gun violence, but tonight, on the night before Thanksgiving, when I traditionally post the story of the holiday’s history, I simply want to acknowledge the terrible sorrow behind tomorrow’s newly empty chairs. Read more

Report details how Biden can protect 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 without Congress 11-22-22

During U.N. climate change negotiations the United States signaled its support for the adoption of language calling for phasing down the use of fossil fuels. Read more

New York voters approved $4.2 billion for climate infrastructure. Now what? 11-18-22

Voters across New York state approved a $4.2 billion environmental bond measure during last week’s midterm elections that is intended to bolster climate mitigation and land preservation projects. But while the act has been applauded by environmentalists, many are calling on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to do even more now that she has won her first full term as governor. Read more

The Midterms’ Surprising Lesson for 2024: Court the Climate Voter 11-11-22

While crime got a lot of attention during the midterms, just as many voters rated climate change as their top concern. Could this be the next big voting bloc? Read more

Biden to federal contractors: Make plans to cut your greenhouse gas emissions 11-11-22

Companies supplying the largest buyer of goods on the planet could soon have to get in line with the Paris Agreement. Read more

From New York to Texas, climate candidates are gaining momentum in local races 11-08-22

If successful, this new crop of activists-turned-politicians could affect climate action from state to local levels. Read more

Colby Commemorates 50 Years of Clean Water 11-07-22

Maine’s rivers used to be among the country’s most polluted. The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, changed everything. Read more

These 3 governor’s races could determine whether the Midwest reaches its climate goals 11-04-22

Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have clean energy plans, but fossil-fuel-friendly candidates could undermine them. Read more

Three governor’s races that really matter for climate policy 11-03-22

…with Republicans poised to control one or both chambers of Congress after next week’s midterm elections, the prospects for climate legislation on Capitol Hill look bleak. Read more

A new tax credit for biogas could be a boon to factory farms 11-01-22

Experts say the Inflation Reduction Act’s push for biogas is “one step forward and two steps back.” Read more

Tax the rich for climate action? Protect towns from floods? It’s on state ballots this November. 10-27-22

Two major climate initiatives in New York and California, and many more to watch at the local level. Read more

Civilian Climate Corps programs take off in states across the country 10-14-22

Beyond the Beltway, Civilian Climate Corps programs are flourishing in states across the country. Read more

Biden to designate Colorado’s Camp Hale as his first national monument 10-12-22

The move delivers on a key priority for Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat battling for reelection Read more

West Virginia, Kentucky officials ignored plans for catastrophic floods 10-10-22

For years officials have ignored their own completed plans for how to prevent these kinds of disasters from happening in the first place.

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New York is the latest state to ban sales of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 10-07-22

But if you want to buy an EV, the state is making it more affordable. Read more

Hurricane Ian was a powerful storm. Real estate developers made it a catastrophe. 09-30-22

‘Dredge-and-fill’ created thousands of homes vulnerable to storm surge. Read more

‘A much-needed step’: The EPA creates a new environmental justice office 09-28-22

The initiative will give hard-hit communities $3 billion to address pollution. Read more

The Senate just approved an international climate treaty, with bipartisan support 09-21-22

The Kigali Amendment sets a timeline for the world to phase down the use of powerful greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons. Read more

Left Behind 09-21-22

What life is like for the last residents of Staten Island’s Oakwood Beach. Read more

These red states don’t want climate targets — but they do want green jobs 09-12-22

How Georgia and other Republican-led states are trying to benefit from the clean manufacturing boom. Read more

America’s electric utilities spent decades spreading climate misinformation 09-07-22

Utilities knew about climate change as early as the 1960s and misled the public in order to continue turning a profit. Read more

The most influential calculation in US climate policy is way off, study finds 09-01-22

Carbon emissions cost society at least three times more than the government’s official estimate. Read more

Parched California prepares for first-ever Colorado River cuts 09-06-22

An emerging deal would cut water deliveries to Southern California — but fall far short of federal demands. Read more

It’s official: California is phasing out gas-powered cars by 2035 08-25-22

“This is a historic moment for California, for our partner states, and for the world.” Read more

Democrats Designed the Climate Law to Be a Game Changer. Here’s How. 08-22-22

In a first, the measure legally defines greenhouse gases as pollution. That’ll make new regulations much tougher to challenge in court. Read more

Hot deals: A consumer’s guide to the new climate law 08-21-22

Electric vehicles. Solar panels. Even farm improvements. Here’s a tip sheet on how to take advantage of the incentives and tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act. Read more

‘The three climateers’ represent a new type of climate hawk on Capitol Hill 08-18-22

Meet ‘the three climateers’: Sens. Brian Schatz, Martin Heinrich and Sheldon Whitehouse. Read more

The problem with corporate pledges to protect abortion access and the climate 08-18-22

“Companies don’t do anything out of the goodness of their hearts.” Read more

Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act into law 08-16-22

It’s the single biggest climate package in U.S. history. Read more

Massachusetts’ Republican governor signs far-reaching climate bill into law 08-12-22

It’s “a big f****ing deal.” Read more

Senate Democrats Pass Sweeping Climate And Health Care Bill 08-07-22

The Inflation Reduction Act is poised to give President Joe Biden another major legislative victory ahead of November’s midterm elections. Read more

In exchange for climate legislation, Joe Manchin was promised a pipeline. Will he get it? 08-04-22

The agreement might not solve the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s biggest problem: compliance with environmental law. Read more

Manchin, Dems reach deal on climate legislation 07-27-22

The bill would devote $369 billion toward tackling “energy security and climate change.” Read more

Americans Divided Over Direction of Biden’s Climate Change Policies 07-14-22

Several climate policies receive bipartisan support, despite Republicans and Democrats differing on overall approach Read more

The Field Report: In DC, Lawmakers Push ‘Common Sense’ Food Waste Solution 07-13-22

A new bill would make it easier for businesses and organizations to donate surplus food, helping fight hunger and reduce food waste. Read more

How a 50-year-old PR Strategy Influenced the Supreme Court’s EPA Decision 07-06-22

Bruce Harrison developed the “Three Es” in the 1970s. Now the framing is everywhere. Read more

Op-ed: With Food Prices on the Rise, Is a ‘Bean New Deal’ the Answer? 07-01-22

As inflation keeps driving up prices for poultry and beef, the government should ease spending on meat and pay farmers to plant beans. Read more

The Supreme Court’s climate decision came out of a decades-long campaign to kneecap regulation 06-30-22

A brief history of how dark money and the country’s most powerful legal organization brought us to this point. Read more

The climate math just got harder 06-30-22

The Supreme Court has issued one of the most important environmental rulings ever, which will make the battle against global warming even more difficult. Read more

House Democrats probe PR industry’s role in advertising for Big Oil 06-13-22

Two House Democrats are pressing public relations and advertising firms on their work to improve the environmental images of fossil fuel companies, despite their role in the climate crisis. Read more

Meet the group lobbying against climate regulations — using your utility bill 06-07-22

The federal government is considering a rule change that would make it harder for utility companies to recover trade association dues. Read more

In Hawaii, youth are suing over climate inaction 06-02-22

They’re targeting the state’s biggest emitter, the transportation sector. Read more

House Republicans’ climate strategy draws Democrats’ jeers 06-02-22

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) plans to unveil a strategy today outlining how Republicans would address climate change. Read more

A ‘Warehouse’ By Any Other Name 05-25-22

How outdated zoning codes are fueling the sprawl of e-commerce warehouses. Read more

Pennsylvania might really send an anti-fracking advocate to Congress 05-19-22

Summer Lee made environmental justice and a green transition a central part of her campaign. Read more

Environmentalists Cheer as Biden Admin Cancels Millions of Acres of Oil & Gas Lease Sales in Public Waters 05-13-22

Interior Department confirmed it has canceled three lease sales. Read more

Oregon Adopts Nation’s Strongest Farmworker Protections for Heat and Wildfire Smoke 05-12-22

The new law will protect tens of thousands of workers from illness and death when temperatures soar past 80 or when the air becomes clogged with wildfire smoke. Read more

What overturning Roe v. Wade means for pregnant people in pollution hotspots 05-12-22

Communities near polluting sites tend to be disproportionately lower income and people of color — populations that are more likely to need abortion care in the first place. Read more

The secrets to passing climate legislation — even in red states 05-10-22

These Republican states are passing clean energy bills in the name of freedom and economics. Read more

Texas House race poses test for Democrats on abortion and climate politics 05-10-22

The race, which is back in the national spotlight because of the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. Read more

Environmental justice law in New York could prevent new pollution in hard-hit neighborhoods 05-09-22

The state joins New Jersey in passing toughest legislation in country. Read more

A new Office of Environmental Justice is announced 05-06-22

New Justice Dept. office will take on polluters in hard-hit communities. Read more

Supreme Court leak strikes fear among environmental lawyers 05-04-22

Supreme Court leak strikes fear among environmental lawyers about blockbuster climate case. Read more

California opens investigation into ‘decades-long plastics deception campaign’ 04-29-22

The state’s attorney general argues fossil fuel companies have long known recycling is a “myth.” Read more

First all-electric heating mandate for buildings passes in Washington state. 04-26-22

Under a new energy code, most new commercial and large multifamily buildings will have to install heat pumps. Read more

Biden to issue Earth Day order to safeguard old-growth forests. 04-21-22

The order, which the president will sign Friday in Seattle, aims to slow climate change by storing carbon in trees Read more

Earth Day, and the media’s point of view 04-21-22

ON THE FIRST EARTH DAY, in 1970, America’s TV networks were not shy about taking a position on the news of the day. Read more

FEMA’s new flood insurance system is sinking waterfront homeowners. That might be the point. 04-20-22

Premiums are ballooning in states like Florida and Louisiana — and adaptation measures won’t bring costs back down. Read more

The Field Report: Conservation Dollars Funding CAFOs Instead of Soil Health 04-19-22

Plus, Biden gives biofuels a huge boost, the 2025 Dietary Guidelines process kicks off, and more. Read more

They derailed climate action for a decade. And bragged about it. 04-15-22

New research sheds light on the Global Climate Coalition’s efforts to block legislation. Read more

Scientists identify the missing ingredient for climate action: Political will. 04-08-22

The IPCC’s latest report finally recognizes the social barriers to climate action. Read more

Roberts joins liberals in criticizing ‘shadow docket’ pollution ruling. 04-06-22

In a first, chief justice agrees conservatives’ ruling marked an abuse of the court’s emergency powers. Read more

Is your electric utility blocking climate action? 04-14-22

According to a new report, the chances are high. Read more

What’s in Biden’s $5.8 trillion budget proposal? 03-29-22

Funding for green jobs, climate research, and environmental justice. Read more

‘We are unstoppable’: Youth climate strikes return in full force. 03-28-22

Students march for their future in 750 cities across the globe Read more

Why the Senate hasn’t made a climate deal yet 03-25-22

Democrats (including Joe Manchin) say they agree on historic climate spending. So what’s the holdup? Read more

The Senate’s only farmer is an unlikely champion for climate action 03-24-22

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) has something in common with Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.): They both hail from red states that President Biden lost to Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Read more

Jane Fonda’s new climate PAC is taking on fossil fuel-backed politicians 03-18-22

And this isn’t her first rodeo in political funding. Read more

Why the return of earmarks could be good news for the planet 03-17-22

With most of the president’s climate agenda stalled in Congress, every ounce of climate spending counts. Read more

Raskin withdraws as Biden’s Fed nominee 03-15-22

Sarah Bloom Raskin had been stuck in the Senate Banking Committee amid a GOP boycott of a committee vote on her nomination. Read more

House Democrats urge Biden to restart spending bill negotiations and prioritize climate change 03-14-22

“Throughout 2021, we bore witness to the devastating impacts of the climate crisis, further illustrating why transformational action cannot wait,” the 89 lawmakers wrote. Read more

Senate’s Whitehouse Pitches Stiff New Tax on Oil-Company Profits 03-10-22

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is pitching a steep new tax on oil companies, such as Chevron Corp. and Shell Plc, as part of a broader plan to mitigate the impact of inflation on middle-income families. Read more

Some lawmakers want to pair a Russian oil embargo with climate action. Will it work? 03-08-22

A chorus of bipartisan support emerged on Capitol Hill on Monday for fast-tracking legislation to halt U.S. imports of Russian oil following the Kremlin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Read more

UN report could change the conversation on ‘loss and damage’ at November’s climate negotiations. 03-02-22

The new IPCC report spotlighted the issue, despite U.S. opposition. Read more

Biden has picked his Supreme Court nominee. Here’s her environmental record. 02-25-22

Though Ketanji Brown Jackson has a mixed environmental record, green groups want the staunch liberal confirmed swiftly. Read more

Yale, Stanford and MIT’s fossil fuel investments are illegal, students say 02-16-22

Novel legal strategy argues that top schools including Princeton and Vanderbilt are legally obliged to put the public interest first. Read more

Democrats’ climate hopes are riding on a new environmental justice bill 02-16-22

Here’s what Republicans had to say about it. Read more

Six congressional staffers who have played a key role in crafting climate policy 02-14-22

It’s an open secret on Capitol Hill that congressional staffers do a lot of the work that their bosses get recognized for in the press. Read more

House hearing puts pressure on American oil companies’ climate pledges 02-09-22

Three takeaways from the House Oversight hearing on Big Oil’s climate pledges. Read more

This senator thought he had given his 279th and final speech on climate change. He was wrong. 02-03-22

With climate action stalled, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is reviving his “Time to Wake Up” speeches. Read more

What voting rights mean for the planet 02-01-22

The inextricable link between voting rights and environmental justice. Read more

Court Revokes Oil and Gas Leases, Citing Climate Change 01-27-22

A judge ruled that the Interior Department must consider the climate effects of oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico before awarding leases. Read more

The Supreme Court takes on the nation’s bedrock environmental laws 01-25-22

Supreme Court to hear case that could narrow the Clean Water Act. Read more

This ‘super-freshman’ is making a mark on climate policy in the House 01-19-22

Rep. Melanie Ann Stansbury (D-N.M.) is a freshman lawmaker to watch on climate. Read more

EDITORIAL: The peril from climate change crosses political lines, just like the Marshall Wildfire did 01-02-22

A woman reacts to seeing the remains of her mother’s home destroyed by the Marshall Wildfire in Louisville, Colo., Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. Read more