The nationwide battle to protect our environment, health, and climate is raging in the courts as well as legislatures. Among the adversaries of the Biden Administration’s environmental progress are a group of state Attorneys General who are fighting to defend the destructive pro-polluter policies of the late and unlamented Trump Administration.
These pro-polluter AGs are in court now, trying to block President Biden’s climate action efforts. They’re attempting to restore the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit, opposing an executive order requiring that federal agencies include the damages and costs from increased carbon emissions when they evaluate proposed new rule changes, and challenging Biden’s pause on new oil and gas drilling permits on federal lands and waters.
Legal observers agree the outcome of these and similar challenges are extremely important to environmental health. However, they caution against assuming the attacks on the Biden environmental agenda will have the same success in court that greeted similar legal appeals of Trump’s environmental moves.
About half of the record 157 multistate lawsuits against Trump policies dealt with environmental matters. Many of the early wins of those court challenges resulted from rushed agency actions which cut procedural corners in their haste to undo the Obama Administration’s environmental progress. Biden agency appointees are more likely to have relevant procedural experience, and aren’t expected to make the same legal mistakes.
Environmental advocates will carefully track these attacks, and be prepared to join in the defense of urgently needed progress in protecting our environment, vulnerable communities, and livable climate.
While he’s under siege by pro-polluter politicians, thank Biden for acting to protect us!