The decision to reduce Bears Ears is expected to set off a legal battle that could alter the course of American land conservation, putting dozens of other monuments at risk and possibly opening millions of preserved public acres to oil and gas extraction, mining, logging and other commercial activities.
A federal judge has denied the Trump administration’s appeal in a climate change lawsuit, paving the way for the unprecedented suit to go to trial. The case — Juliana v. United States — pits a group of youth climate plaintiffs against the federal government and the fossil fuel industry. The plaintiffs allege that the federal government, through its actions and coordination with the fossil fuel industry, have violated their constitutional right to a livable climate. It is the first climate lawsuit to rely on a version of the public trust doctrine — known as atmospheric trust — to make its case, and adds to a growing number of attempts to force climate action through the judicial branch.
The oil industry's most powerful lobbying group met on March 23 with President Trump's interior secretary at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. It also happened to be the same day the administration killed a rule that oil companies opposed. The location of the meeting is raising eyebrows and ethical questions. The Trump International Hotel, situated just blocks from the White House, is ground zero for companies and foreign leaders who may be trying to cozy up to the president by using his properties, critics and ethics experts fear.
A withdrawal by Donald Trump from the Paris climate accord would go down as a hallmark of his presidency. It would be unilateral, reckless and splashy – trademark Trump. But while Trump has often stood on a range of issues as a maverick outlier from mainstream Republican politics, on climate change he is at the centre of the party’s orthodoxy. Twenty-two senators wrote a letter to the president when he was said to be on the fence about backing out. They received more than $10m from oil, gas and coal companies the past three election cycles.