Smog alert in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 1973.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to change the grounds for setting US air pollution targets. An environmental lawyer explains why Pruitt's approach misreads the law and could roll back decades of gains.
The landmark Harvard Six Cities study found a strong link between air pollution and health risks.
The EPA intends to limit what scientific studies can inform policy – a change long sought by industry. A long-time public health researcher explains the single study at the root of the controversy.
Why is bullshit so harmful?
The bullshitter may do even more damage than the liar in politics.
Cutting red tape is a high priority, but the execution hasn’t always led to results.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
A review of Trump's stated war on regulations doesn't find many successful repeals. But it is hurting regulatory enforcement in quieter ways.
Enviva’s wood pellet plant in Ahoskie, NC.
Deriving fuel from trees costs more than wind and solar power and it emits more carbon than coal. There are many heated debates about this kind of energy, known as forest or woody biomass.
March for Science in Portland, Oregon, April 22, 2017.
The March for Science on April 14 and Earth Day on April 22 are likely to generate big crowds demonstrating against Trump administration policies. Here are some issues they'll be marching about.
Rush hour on the Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles, September 9, 2016.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel
Air pollution could be the next battleground between California and the Trump administration, which is reviewing the Golden State's special legal authority to regulate tailpipe emissions.
Customers line up to buy gasoline in San Jose, California, on March 15, 1974, during an Arab oil embargo. The crisis spurred enactment of the first U.S. vehicle fuel economy standards.
Since the federal government started setting fuel economy standards, US-built cars have doubled their fuel efficiency, saving money for consumers and reducing pollution.
One of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s signature moves has been to put the brakes on stringent fuel economy rules.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
An academic suing the EPA over its decision to bar certain scientists from serving on advisory boards says the EPA needs to address legitimate criticisms to rebuild after Pruitt.
Grid operators set the prices for energy markets and are structured to take the lowest prices – a disadvantage for coal and nuclear power.
Two moves by the Trump administration signal a dramatic shift in energy policy to favor coal and nuclear, but markets forces and legal challenges mean changes could take years.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is an unabashed ally of the fossil fuels – industry his agency is supposed to regulate.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
The Trump administration is committed to deregulating industry, as it's done with the EPA Clean Power Plan. But a historian shows how regulations have actually benefited both industry and consumers.
Having an antagonistic debate over climate change will not shed any more light on the fundamentals of climate science.
Why assembling two teams to debate climate change is all about political spectacle and sowing doubt – and has nothing to do with actual climate science.
To comply with air pollution laws, midwest energy companies built tall smokestacks to displace pollutants. This one at Indiana’s Rockport Generating Station is 1,038 feet high, just 25 feet shorter than the Eiffel Tower.
Trump administration officials argue that states can regulate more effectively than the federal government. But without leadership from the top, federalism may allow red states to avoid acting.
Scientists provide key input to government agencies on issues such as improving oil spill prevention and response after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
U.S. Coast Guard
Can federal agencies stack advisory panels with friendly members? Some have tried, but a scientist who has advised many administrations says they will produce bad policies that lack broad support.
Environmentalists are not fans of EPA chief Scott Pruitt.
Green groups fighting Trump's anti-environmental agenda should heed precedents from the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations. They can also learn from the Australian experience.
Snow geese settle on a wetland in North Dakota. If the Trump administration successfully rescinds the Clean Water Rule, many wetlands might lose federal protection.
Krista Lundgren USFWS/Flickr
The Clean Water Rule spells out which streams, wetlands and other water bodies receive federal protection. The Trump administration wants to repeal it, but will face high hurdles in court.
Cleanup at the GE Housatonic Superfund site in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 2007. Years of PCB and industrial chemical use at GE’s Pittsfield facility and improper disposal led to extensive contamination around the town and down the entire length of the Housatonic River.
President Trump's budget would cut funding for Superfund, which cleans up the nation's most toxic sites, by nearly one-third. An economist explains how Superfund cleanups benefit local communities.
The outdoor retail industry is moving its lucrative trade show out of Utah after disputes with state officials over land conservation.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
President Trump says environmental regulation kills jobs. To fight back, conservation advocates need to show that protecting the environment can produce jobs and local benefits.
The current EPA administrator says the agency should prioritize clean air and clean water, rather than deal with greenhouse gases.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said the agency's purview should not include climate change, but a look at its history under both Republican and Democratic presidents says otherwise.
The bad old days: Public and political support for the EPA was highest when environmental problems like air and water pollution were more obvious than current problems like climate change or endocrine disruptors.
U.S. National Archives
Today's political climate gives new EPA head Scott Pruitt a clear path to seriously cut back EPA enforcement – more than previous administrations.