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The Environment Domain tracks and reports on policies that deal with the use of natural resources, climate change, energy emissions, pollution, and the protection of endangered species. This domain tracks policies emanating from the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Department, and the Interior Department.

Latest Environment Posts


Biden Ups The Ante on Car Fuel Standards

Brief #121 – Environment Policy
By Katelyn Lewis

President Joe Biden’s team is working on a vehicle emissions rule that will not only restore aggressive vehicle mileage standards set under then-President Barack Obama, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and significantly increase electric vehicle drivers in the U.S. by the end of the decade.

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Colorado Takes Big Action Against Single-Use Plastics

Brief # 120 – Environment
By Katelyn Lewis

In a sweeping effort against plastic, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a bill enabling municipalities to enforce local plastic bag and packaging ordinances as well as implementing a ban against the use of single-use plastic bags, polystyrene cups and containers statewide.

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Fishing Boat Dispatch # 6: What Have Subsidies Got To Do With It

Brief # 119 – Environmental Policy
By Katherine Cart

Corporate wealth towers like megalithic fungi about the globe. Imagine the coagulated money of the world sprouting graphically in the areas in which the owners of that money are housed, bedded, fed. This should appear rather like a globular histogram, with, say, Beijing, New York City, Hong Kong, Moscow, Shenzhen, San Francisco etc. etc. sprouting great swaying money towers. Now, conversely, consider a similar globular graph that depicts where the physical goods powering wealth are sourced from.

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Court Blocks Biden Administration Efforts to Suspend Oil and Gas Leases on Federal Lands

Brief # 117 – Environment Policy
By Jacob Morton

On Tuesday June 1, the Biden administration temporarily suspended all oil and gas drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), reversing one of former President Donald Trump’s most sought after and last-minute environmental policy changes.

The suspension comes after President Joe Biden’s executive order, given on his first day in office, placed a moratorium on drilling in the ANWR and requested a new environmental review “to examine possible legal flaws in the program approved by the Trump administration.” 

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Drought and Plans to Deal with Running Dry

Brief # 116 – Environmental Policy
By Todd J. Broadman

A prolonged period with little or no precipitation combined with an extended period of abnormally high temperatures has created “extreme” drought conditions in much of the western half of the U. S. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has placed 41 counties under a state of drought emergency. In some areas of Oregon and California, scientists conclude the drought is the most severe it has been in centuries.

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Aid to Black Farmers Sparks Backlash

Brief #117—The Environment
By Katherine Cart
Intentional social inclusivity is, once again, generating backlash and the vexed use of the word “all” is causing  reaction to a highlighting and attempted remediation of historical discrimination. The March 2021 American Rescue Plan  (ARPA) released by the Biden Administration included a $5 billion dollar package designated for the support of “socially disadvantaged farmers.”  In the bill’s language these include  Black, hispanic, indiginous and other nonwhite farmers. 

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The sobering reality of a post-carbon world starts with lithium

Brief #116—Environment
By Todd Broadman
The Biden Administration has recognized what previous administrations have not: that carbon-based energy has been destroying our planet and must stop, that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to net zero by 2050. Recognition is a major step forward. Government action to replace our fossil fuel economy with renewables is a colossal task and one that Biden aims to tackle.

What we know is that carbon-free energy is actually more mineral intensive than its oil-based counterpart. There are some 35 rare earth minerals that are key components to making the transition from fossil-fuels to clean energy. Lithium has recently garnered much attention for its essential role in the production of lithium-ion batteries that power our next generation of EV cars. (Other essential minerals include aluminum, cobalt, copper, and nickel).

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