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The reelection of President Barack Obama means that a long list of new regulations will be issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the coming months. Some had been held up because of their political sensitivity, and others were still in process, but many will soon be ready for further action.

The election results also mean that major new environmental legislation is very unlikely for the next two years. The House of Representatives is still firmly controlled by the Republicans, and their leadership has not signaled any major change from the last Congress’ stance of opposition to many EPA activities. The Democrat majority in the Senate has increased by two seats, but it still lacks the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster. Congress has not enacted a major new environmental statute since 1990 (the year of the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Air Act Amendments), and this paralysis will now continue until at least 2015.


Environmental Law | Law


Sabin Center for Climate Change Law