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Articles on US environmental policy

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When in doubt, throw it out – but not in the recycling bin. Basak Gurbuz Derman/Moment via Getty Images

What is wishcycling? Two waste experts explain

Tossing something into your recycling bin that can’t be processed does more harm than good.
President-elect Joe Biden opposes proposals to allow uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, which the Trump administration supports. Michael Quinn, NPS/Flickr

On environmental protection, Biden’s election will mean a 180-degree turn from Trump policies

The Trump administration has used executive orders, deregulation and delays to reduce environmental regulation. Biden administration officials will use many of the same tools to undo their work.
John James Audubon relied on African Americans and Native Americans to collect some specimens for his ‘Birds of America’ prints (shown: Florida cormorant), but never credited them. National Audubon Society

American environmentalism’s racist roots have shaped global thinking about conservation

US ideas about conservation center on walling off land from use. That approach often means expelling Indigenous and other poor people who may be its most effective caretakers.
Fresno, California and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley have some of the nation’s highest levels of fine particle air pollution. AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian

Fine-particle air pollution has decreased across the US, but poor and minority communities are still the most polluted

A new study shows that while fine particle air pollution has declined nationwide over the past 40 years, the health and environmental benefits haven’t been shared evenly.
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.
President George H.W. Bush (right) fishing on the Kennebunk River in Maine, Aug. 27, 1990. AP Photo/Doug Mills

George H.W. Bush understood that markets and the environment weren’t enemies

George H.W. Bush, who pledged to be ‘the environmental president,’ took a market-based approach to pollution control that helped clear the air. Now some experts think it could work on climate change.
Rather than fade into the night, coal plants could stick around longer under Trump’s proposal. Duke Energy

Trump’s coal plan – neither clean nor affordable

Trump’s energy plan may meet the letter of the law but the Affordable Clean Energy Plan reflects the administration’s clear agenda to move slowly or not at all on climate change.
Protesters at a rally on the state of the EPA organized by the American Federation of Government Employees union, April 25, 2018, in Washington, D.C. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

EPA staff say the Trump administration is changing their mission from protecting human health and the environment to protecting industry

Government agencies are supposed to listen to the industries they regulate, but what if they tune out everyone else? Scholars call this regulatory capture, and some staffers see it happening at EPA.
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.
False-color image of ozone concentrations above Antarctica on Oct. 2, 2015. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Is Earth’s ozone layer still at risk? 5 questions answered

Earth’s ozone layer shields us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Nations have been working to reduce ozone-depleting chemicals since the 1980s, but recent studies show that there is still work to do.
One of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s signature moves has been to put the brakes on stringent fuel economy rules. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

I’m suing Scott Pruitt’s broken EPA - here’s how to fix it

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.

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