Document Type


Publication Date



Congress has not enacted a major new environmental law since 1990, when President George H.W. Bush signed the Clean Air Act Amendments and the Oil Pollution Act. He also supported, and the Senate ratified, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. The administration of President Bill Clinton supported the Kyoto Protocol, which was designed to achieve the objectives of the Framework Convention, but could not secure Senate ratification. President George W. Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol and many other actions on climate change. President Barack Obama supported action on climate change; when he was unable to secure Senate passage of climate legislation, his administration utilized existing statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental harms. President Donald Trump has systematically worked to reverse these actions, as followed in the Sabin Center’s Climate Deregulation Tracker and Silencing Science Tracker, though many of these attempts have been stymied by the courts, as followed in our Climate Change Litigation Databases.


Environmental Law | Law