On January 30, Professors Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus gave a talk at Harvard Law School examining why the Trump administration portends a historic shift on environmental and energy policy. The event, which was standing room only, drew a wide range of students from across the university and community members. Freeman and Lazarus addressed what makes this election potentially unprecedented for environmental law, what is at stake, and what all of us can do.
Freeman and Lazarus began by discussing the progress on environmental law in the Obama administration across executive agencies, highlighting clean air protections including fuel efficiency standards, the Clean Power Plan, land and ocean conservation through national monument designations under the Antiquities Act, entering the Paris climate agreement, and more. They then turned to potential vulnerabilities for environmental law in the new administration, including rolling back a range of public health protections in the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, weakening fuel standards, and withdrawing from international climate commitments.
For most post-inauguration analysis, don’t miss Professor Freeman’s latest blog post, which weighs in on why Trump’s new Executive Order that requires that two rules be “identified for elimination” for every new one proposed is “arbitrary, not implementable, and a terrible idea.”