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From beginning to end, the Trump administration pursued an agenda of climate deregulation. The administration aimed a portfolio of actions at weakening federal climate protections and promoting fossil fuels.1 The executive branch did so by aiming to revise and rescind all major Obama-era agency rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, leasing public lands for fossil fuel development, attempting to curtail climate impact consideration in National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act reviews, and withdrawing energy efficiency measures, among other climate deregulation actions.2 Collectively, this effort served to advance the view that humans are not causing serious climate change and that environmental regulations confer many costs and few benefits.3

Litigants responded and interacted with the administration’s climate deregulation agenda by filing hundreds of lawsuits in jurisdictions across the country. This analysis takes stock of 378 lawsuits during the Trump era where climate change was material to the case and the case implicated issues of federal law and/or federal policy. The vast majority of these suits, 89%, aimed to strengthen climate protection or weaken climate deregulation efforts. The other 11% sought to bolster climate deregulation efforts.


Environmental Law | Law