environment

EPA Sets Aside $12 Million for Employee Buyouts in FY 2017
Democrats have criticized plans for deep cuts to the agency

Sen. Thomas R. Carper, the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, has been critical of the Trump administration's plans for the EPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The EPA is setting aside $12 million of its fiscal 2017 budget allocation for a previously announced plan to offer employee buyouts and incentives for early retirements as part of a Trump administration effort to cut the agency’s workforce, according to a memo from its chief financial officer, David A. Bloom.

The $12 million comes from a pool of $24 million in unused money from fiscal 2016, according to the memo.

Maverick McCain Re-Emerges on Methane Vote
Surprise vote sinks resolution

Arizona Sen. John McCain, center, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, left, talk with reporters in the Capitol on May 10, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JEREMY DILLON, ANDY VAN WYE, and ELVINA NAWAGUNA, CQ Roll Call

Sen. John McCain was thought to be a yes. But he says he was always a no. In the end, the Arizona Republican helped sink a resolution to upend an Obama administration climate change policy.

GOP Lawmakers Pushing for Nuclear Waste Facility in Nevada
Yucca Mountain repository project halted by Obama administration.

A “no trespassing” sign warns people to stay away from a proposed nuclear waste dump site at  Yucca Mountain in Nevada. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have released a discussion draft for a bill that would create incentives to put the shuttered Yucca Mountain repository on track to become the nation’s main nuclear waste disposal site.

The draft text to amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act is the first of many steps lawmakers must take to bring the project online again after the Trump administration expressed a willingness to re-engage on the issue following the project’s halt by the Obama administration in 2010.

Photos From the Science March, on Earth Day
Protesters came to D.C. on Saturday in support of science

Marchers — including Bill Nye the Science Guy, at center — lead the March for Science down Constitution Avenue in Washington on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thousands of pro-science and environmental activists rallied on the National Mall before marching toward the Capitol on Saturday, the 47th observation of Earth Day. The march in Washington was accompanied by other science marches across the U.S. and world. It was organized to show support for the scientific community at a time when its members, and supporters, say they feel threatened by the policies and potential policies of President Donald Trump.

7 Major Battles Ahead on the Environment
The environmental state of play on Trump's first Earth Day
Rising Stars 2017: Advocates
On the front lines in a new era

Seven advocates made the CQ Roll Call’s list of Rising Stars of 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

All this week, CQ Roll Call has been looking at 17 Rising Stars of 2017 — people who will now wield power and influence in a Washington that has been turned upside down by the presidency of Donald Trump.

Some of the names are familiar, others have recently burst on the scene. They include members of Congress, congressional and administration staffers, and advocates.

Podcast: Troubled Climate for Trump’s First Earth Day
The Big Story, Episode 50

President Donald Trump is moving on several fronts to deregulate environmental protection, prompting some states to intervene. But deep EPA budget cuts will get tamed by Congress, and the U.S. might stay with the Paris climate accord; even business leaders and conservative voters worry the anti-green push has gone too far, CQ Roll Call’s Mike Magner and Jeremy Dillon explain.

Opinion: Extreme Executive Orders — A Reckless Assault on Life-Saving Protections
President targeting immigrant communities

President Donald Trump has used executive orders to target immigrant communities, Brent Wilkes and Trip Van Noppen write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In January, President Donald Trump took an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” and assumed the awesome responsibilities of that office. Presidents are charged with the responsibility to protect all Americans, but unfortunately, he has yet to do so.

He has particularly targeted immigrant communities with executive orders that tear families apart. Most recently, Trump has engaged in a new campaign with executive orders that attack our access to clean air and water while denying climate change.

Some GOP Lawmakers Push Back Against EPA Cuts
Decimating environmental agency could hurt — even in Trump country

President Donald Trump’s recent budget blueprint proposes eliminating roughly 3,200 positions at the EPA along with 50 programs. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

As President Donald Trump introduces a series of budget cuts and regulatory rollbacks that would cripple the Environmental Protection Agency, he faces one unpredictable obstacle: resistance from fellow Republicans.

A small but vocal number of GOP lawmakers have rallied in support of popular programs in their districts, including clean water programs in the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay, that are among the biggest losers in the budget Trump proposed to Congress last month.

Trump Boasts of Forcing Canadian Firm to Drop Keystone Lawsuit
Claims he threatened to take back his approval of TransCanada’s project

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participate in a joint news conference at the White House in February. On Tuesday, Trump said he threatened to nix a Canadian company's Keystone Pipeline project unless it dropped a lawsuit against the U.S. government. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Updated at 11:25 a.m. | President Donald Trump is asserting he got the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline project to drop a lawsuit seeking more than $10 billion from the U.S. government after he threatened to take back his approval of the project.

In late January, Trump signed an executive order green-lighting TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL after the Obama administration blocked it for years. He did so, however, with a major caveat, saying the pipeline deal was “subject to terms and conditions that will be negotiated by us.”