Articles on Environmental law

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Steller sea lions in the eastern Pacific are an Endangered Species Act success story. David B. Ledig/USFWS

Saving endangered species: 5 essential reads

The Trump administration is changing implementation of the Endangered Species Act in ways that conservationists say would reduce protection for some of America's most threatened wildlife.
A polar bear crosses ice In Alaska’s Chukchi Sea area, where a recent court ruling bars the Trump administration from greenlighting offshore drilling. NOAA/OER/Hidden Ocean 2016:The Chukchi Borderlands

A defeat on offshore drilling extends the Trump administration’s losing streak in court

Can presidents undo decisions by their predecessors to protect federal lands from development? A recent court ruling on offshore drilling says no, and could also affect contested lands in Utah.
A worker marks timber logs at a concession area in Sarawak, Malaysia. Rainforest logging in Asia feeds much of the world’s thirst for timber. AP Photo/Vincent Thian

How to keep conservation policies from backfiring in a globally connected world

In a global economy, passing laws to conserve forests, fisheries or other natural resources can simply shift demand for those goods to other countries or regions where they aren't as well protected.
A favourite argument of coal proponents is the idea that if their mine is knocked back, someone else will simply dig up coal elsewhere. Mister Mackenzie/Wikimedia Commons

Landmark Rocky Hill ruling could pave the way for more courts to choose climate over coal

A NSW court's decision to rule out a coalmine on the basis of climate change could signal a turning of the tide in an arena where environmental litigants have previously struggled to gain traction.
Oil refiners are fined for exceeding air pollution limits when rules are enforced. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The EPA has backed off enforcement under Trump – here are the numbers

Data gathered from EPA reports, staffers and retirees show the Trump administration has brought fewer environmental enforcement actions to conclusion and deferred more to states.
At least 30 tourism developments have been proposed for Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness.

Green light for Tasmanian wilderness tourism development defied expert advice

Newly revealed documents show the Commonwealth government approved a controversial tourism plan for Tasmania's World Heritage wilderness without assessing it against federal conservation legislation.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., speaks about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the state of the EPA during a protest on April 25, 2018, in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

What next for the EPA? Here’s what Reagan did

After two years of turmoil at the EPA in the 1980s, President Reagan hit the reset button, choosing a Republican who supported environmental protection to head the agency.
A streamlined NEPA review of replacing New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River, which would normally take 3-5 years, was completed in 1.5 years. Jim Henderson

Trump proposal to weaken project reviews threatens the ‘Magna Carta of environmental law’

Do environmental reviews delay large-scale projects? The Trump administration says yes, but studies show that these reviews lead to better results and can even save time and money.

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