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Environmental Law Institute Issues Nonpartisan Guide to Environmental Regulatory Reform

March 23, 2017

In response to the growing demand for unbiased answers and analysis on how deregulatory initiatives by the new Administration and Congress will impact environmental protection, governance, and the rule of law, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) has released Regulatory Reform in the Trump Era. The report explains the legal mechanisms and processes that may get deployed, how they work, and the effect on the current regulatory landscape. It responds to the questions that are increasingly being asked of ELI:  What are the pathways and impacts of regulatory reform efforts likely to be undertaken?  What are the opportunities for the public and other stakeholders to engage relative to reform initiatives?

"We are entering an era when fundamental changes are being proposed to the basic system that has prevailed since our country set out nearly 50 years ago to reverse the environmental degradation of the industrial age. At the Environmental Law Institute, our mission is to advance effective environmental governance. Though we believe that reform and modernization can play constructive roles in optimizing government performance in the environmental arena, change needs to be carefully considered, and just as carefully managed,” said ELI President Scott Fulton. “We need to avoid eroding the hard-fought gains in environmental quality that our current system of protection has produced. ELI's report provides a much needed expansive review of the nature and meaning of potential vehicles for change in the Trump era."   

The report is organized as a series of short “fact sheets,” each addressing a specific legal tool or pathway—such as executive orders, the Congressional Review Act, or legislation—that could be used to change existing environmental protection. Each fact sheet identifies the relevant actors, describes the applicable procedures, discusses key features of each procedure, and identifies categories or specific examples of current and potential points of focus.