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Jody Freeman

Jody Freeman is the Archibald Cox Professor of Law and the founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental...

Bob Inglis

Representative Bob Inglis is executive director of republicEn, an organization educating the country about free-enterprise solutions to climate change....

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Bob Ambrogi

Bob Ambrogi is a lawyer, legal journalist, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of A former co-host of Lawyer...

Episode Notes

On December 7, 2016, President-elect Trump chose Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as his nominee to head the Environment Protection Agency, better known as the EPA. Some have said that Pruitt is a climate change denier and an advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda, while Trump himself has said, “Scott Pruitt will be a powerful advocate for that mission while promoting jobs, safety, and opportunity.”

In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi joins Jody Freeman, the Archibald Cox Professor of Law and the founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program, and Representative Bob Inglis, executive director of republicEn, as they take a look at the future of the EPA under President-elect Trump’s pick, Scott Pruitt, and how Pruitt will impact regulation and the mission of the EPA.

Jody Freeman is the Archibald Cox Professor of Law and the founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program. Professor Freeman served in the White House as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change in 2009-10, where she was the architect of the president’s historic agreement with the auto industry to double fuel efficiency standards, launching the administration’s greenhouse gas program under the Clean Air Act.

Representative Bob Inglis is executive director of republicEn, an organization educating the country about free-enterprise solutions to climate change.  Bob was also the U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District from 1993 to 1999 and again from 2005 to 2011.

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Bob Inglis: For the first six years in Congress I said climate change was nonsense. I didn’t know anything about it, but that Al Gore was for it. And I represented the reddest district and the reddest state the nation probably, which is Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina.

But then my son got to me, a Science Committee trip got to me, and really it was something of a spiritual awakening, another Science Committee trip, was the awareness of — the opportunity to be a steward of this glorious creation. Those three steps caused me to go from somebody that dismissed it, to somebody that says, really, there’s an answer here in free enterprise and let’s pursue it.

Jody Freeman: I must say that for reasons I don’t fully understand, climate change has become a partisan hot-button issue, where people choose their position based on who they see on the other side, and that approach just seems totally wrong. It’s based on science and it’s based on commitment to, while you want economic growth, you have to maintain sustainability so that your kids and grandkids can enjoy the same healthy environment, and those are nonpartisan issues, they certainly should be, this is kind of a great story to tell.


Intro: Welcome to the award-winning podcast Lawyer 2 Lawyer with J. Craig Williams and Robert Ambrogi, bringing you the latest legal news and observations with the leading experts in the legal profession.

You are listening to Legal Talk Network.


Bob Ambrogi: Welcome to Lawyer 2 Lawyer on the Legal Talk Network. This is Bob Ambrogi, coming to you from just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where I write a blog called LawSites. I also host another Legal Talk Network program called Law Technology Now, along with Monica Bay.

My co-host J. Craig Williams is not able to be with us today. He actually had to go into court. Before we begin today’s show and introduce today’s topic I would just like to take a moment to thank our sponsor Clio.

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The day that we are recording this, it is now official, the Electoral College has done its deed and voted and Donald Trump is our President-elect. Trump had already begun the process of selecting the members of his Cabinet. His choices so far have garnered a broad range of reactions.

One choice that has already generated some controversy is Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has himself led lawsuits against the EPA, he has questioned the science on climate change, and he has criticized environmental regulations as bad for the economy. Trump himself has waffled on climate change, has expressed hostility toward many environmental regulations, and even threatened to abolish the EPA.

So today on Lawyer 2 Lawyer we are going to look ahead to the future of environmental law and policy and the Environmental Protection Agency itself under Trump administration and talk about what we might expect in the coming months and years.

To help us do that today we have two guests who are very knowledgeable about these topics. First of all, let me introduce Jody Freeman. Jody Freeman is the Archibald Cox Professor of Law and the Founding Director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program. She is a leading scholar of both administrative law and environmental law. Professor Freeman’s book, ‘Global Climate Change and U.S. Law’, which was co-edited with Michael Gerrard, was published in 2015.

She served in the White House as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change in 2009-2010, where she was the architect of the President’s historic agreement with the auto industry to double fuel efficiency standards, launching the administration’s Greenhouse Gas Program under the Clean Air Act.

Welcome to the show Jody Freeman.

Jody Freeman: Thank you.

Bob Ambrogi: Also joining us today is Bob Inglis, Executive Director of republicEn, an organization educating the country about free enterprise solutions to climate change.


Bob launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University in July 2012 and serves as Executive Director, where he promotes free enterprise action on climate change.

For his work on climate change he was given the 2015 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. He is a former U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, where he served from 1993-1999, and again, from 2005-2011. Welcome to Lawyer 2 Lawyer Bob Inglis.

Bob Inglis: Great to be with you Bob. Thanks.

Bob Ambrogi: Thanks so much for being with us. Before we turn to the substance of these issues, Bob, I just wanted to ask you if you could give us a little bit of a background on your organization. I am not sure a lot of our listeners will have heard of republicEn, whereas Jody is at Harvard Law School, I think a lot of people have heard of Harvard Law School. I don’t know if they would be as familiar with republicEn. So if I could just ask you to begin by giving me a little bit of background on what you are doing at republicEn.

Bob Inglis: Yes. So we are conservatives reaching out to conservatives on climate change. We believe that what we have here is a problem of economics that has an environmental consequence and that once we show fellow conservatives that there’s a free enterprise solution that fits with their values, that perhaps they can join in this conversation. Up until now they have maybe felt estranged from the conversation, but we think there’s every reason for conservatives to join in.

They have got a good answer called internalizing negative externalities and the very good news is there are many progressives that would agree with that and the result is we can bring America together and lead the world toward a solution on climate change.

Jody Freeman: And by the way, for the record, I happen to believe in internalizing costs, so that’s great.

Bob Inglis: I will tell you Bob and Jody that once I said to a reporter at the Greenville News, the largest newspaper in the District I represented, that what we need to do is internalize the negative externalities. He stopped me and he said, what did you say? And I said we need to internalize negative externalities. He said, I can’t write this in this paper, man. We write at the seventh grade level. I said, reveal the hidden costs. He said, yeah, I can put that in. The next day in the paper it said reveal the hidden cost, so that’s essentially what it is.

Bob Ambrogi: That’s funny. It’s also interesting that you are somebody who has yourself come around on the issue of climate change, if I understand it, is that correct?

Bob Inglis: Right, yeah, for the first six years in Congress I said climate change was nonsense. I didn’t know anything about it, but that Al Gore was for it. And I represented the reddest district and the reddest state the nation probably, which is Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina.

But then my son got to me, a Science Committee trip got to me, and really it was something of a spiritual awakening, another Science Committee trip, was the awareness of — the opportunity to be a steward of this glorious creation. Those three steps caused me to go from somebody that dismissed it, to somebody that says, really, there’s an answer here in free enterprise and let’s pursue it.

Jody Freeman: This is a really important theme I think for listeners, because I must say that for reasons I don’t fully understand, climate change has become a partisan hot-button issue, where people choose their position based on who they see on the other side, and that approach just seems totally wrong. It’s based on science and it’s based on commitment to, while you want economic growth, you have to maintain sustainability so that your kids and grandkids can enjoy the same healthy environment, and those are nonpartisan issues, they certainly should be. So this is kind of a great story to tell.

Bob Ambrogi: Well, it has certainly become a partisan issue in this election campaign and we have a President who has waffled on the issue. We have a potential EPA head who has questioned the science on this issue.

So Jody, let me just ask, Richard Nixon created the EPA by Executive Order back in 1970. Can Donald Trump wake up in the morning after his inauguration and just issue an Executive Order abolishing it?

Jody Freeman: No, he can’t, and there’s this sort of bluster and rhetoric about demolishing or dismantling or destroying the EPA and abolishing it. The President just can’t do that kind of thing with the stroke of a pen through something like an Executive Order.

The reason is Nixon created the agency when Presidents had the authority to reorganize the government, because they were delegated that authority by law by the Congress, and those statutes pretty consistently were in place from the 30s into the 80s, but they have now expired, and Congress hasn’t renewed them, so the President can’t abolish an agency by himself.


Now, that’s not to say Congress couldn’t. Congress can do what it wishes with the agencies that it creates, but I think the likelihood of that is actually zero.

Bob Ambrogi: Bob, what about you, you are a conservative, you are a Republican, are you concerned, do you have concerns about a Trump administration with regard to environmental policy?

Bob Inglis: I have real concerns, especially in the choice of someone who seems, in Scott Pruitt, mostly interested in undoing the work of the EPA rather than doing the work of the EPA, and that’s a great concern.

I think it’s also interesting that people like me, who represent very conservative districts, hear a great deal from small business owners and it’s important to hear them and their concerns about burdensome regulation, but sometimes we extrapolate to and then conclude that the American people don’t like the EPA. But actually polling data shows that the American people very much like the EPA. That it’s not as reviled as we conservative Republicans like to think it is. And so I would agree with Jody, the chances of Congress eliminating the EPA are somewhere near zero.

Jody Freeman: I think it’s interesting on that point about people actually like the EPA. I am curious to know why you think they do that. I think it’s that they understand the basic commitment to public health protection; clean air, clean water, and they don’t want to be deprived of that.

Bob Inglis: Yeah, I think so. I referenced the Greenville News earlier; two years ago there was a front page picture that looked like an angry town hall meeting. The veins were popping out in the picture. You could see the people were angry. You would think it’s maybe something about the Affordable Care Act or something. But it wasn’t. It was a meeting of people complaining about Carolina’s EPA not doing enough to clean PCBs out of their creek.

And so here’s my prediction for you about Scott Pruitt and EPA, I think what he is going to find is if he does this undoing that people like me and perhaps Jody are concerned about, he will pretty soon find himself in front of such an angry town hall meeting that there will be people that say, listen, we want clean water, clean air, and good earth, and we want you to take action, and you are not doing it. And so I think he may find that that is not what people wanted, that was not a message of this election.

Now, it is a message of the election to figure out how to do those regulations — the regulatory function as efficiently as possible so that you don’t unnecessarily burden operations to the point where it’s just completing paperwork or making it onerous for business owners, but people do want their air and water and land protected.

Bob Ambrogi: One of the interesting things I have read about analyzing this is that there is momentum towards environmental protection within the states and within the private sector that businesses themselves are kind of already, many of them, on a path toward more environmentally responsible policies that will continue even if there were to be regulatory change.

Jody Freeman: I think that’s right, and I think that the private sector really understands the trajectory of dynamics like climate change. I mean, look at the oil and gas industry which builds a carbon price into their scenario planning and their strategic planning. They operate all around the world in countries that already are regulating greenhouse gases and they know that four or eight years of the Trump administration isn’t going to change the general direction, sort of the march toward cleaner energy, I think the private sector well understands that.

They also have employees and customers that are demanding attention to basic public health protection and sustainability, and that drives their decision making. And I also think the states, certainly the states that have shown themselves committed to environmental protection and to do something about climate change, those states are going to be fighting very hard, especially if the federal government pulls back.

But I do think it’s important to remind ourselves that all will not be well if we lose the driver that is the federal government apparatus in the work that needs to be done on environmental protection and climate change. In other words, there really is importance here to having the leadership at the federal level.


And so when you see a Scott Pruitt at EPA, that nomination, and you see a Rick Perry at the Department of Energy and a Zinke at the Department of the Interior and a Rex Tillerson at the Department of State, when you see that collection of nominees, the message of that, the image that presents, the signaling is a signaling toward trying to roll back some of the most foundational work that the Obama administration has put in place, and I think that’s very troubling. If you put the collection of nominees together, the extent to which they question the science, the extent to which they seem committed to unwinding and undoing progress that’s been made in the last decade or so, that’s very worrying, even if we know that the states and the private sector will continue to play a role.

Bob Ambrogi: Well, what is that — we know Trump has talked about certain policies that he may or may not target; he has talked about the Paris Agreement on climate change, and at least indicated that that he might want to try and get out of that. He has talked about the Clean Power Plan in particular. What could he do on a fairly immediate basis coming into office? What are the sort of short-term concerns?

Jody Freeman: Well, a President can immediately announce a lot of things, but actually accomplishing them, implementing them takes some time. So I will give you an example.

The President could announce on day one that he is going to withdraw the United States from the International Climate Agreement that was struck in Paris, he could make that announcement, but the legal mechanics really require a four-year process. So that would not happen anytime soon.

Likewise, he could announce that his administration is going to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, unwind, or rescind the Clean Power Plan, which sets the first greenhouse gas standards for our power sector, for power plants around the country. Now, he can announce that, but the legal truth is that the Environmental Protection Agency under a new Pruitt leadership would have to go through a quite demanding, laborious process of rescinding the rule and replacing it with something else, and that could take a year or two years or more.

So what you could see immediately is a lot of announcing of things, but actually operationalizing them has to follow the law and takes quite a bit of time. And there will be a legal struggle every step of the way.

Bob Ambrogi: We need to take a short break right here, so stay with us, we are going to be back in just a few moments after these words from our sponsors.


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Bob Ambrogi: Welcome back to Lawyer 2 Lawyer. This is Bob Ambrogi and with us today is Jody Freeman, the Archibald Cox Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program, and Bob Inglis, Executive Director of republicEn, an organization educating the country about free enterprise solutions to climate change.

And we are discussing President-elect Trump’s pick for the EPA and the President-Elect’s potential impact on environmental policy.

Bob, you served in Congress, what do you see as Congress’ role going forward here? Will Congress be somewhat of a reserve on what’s likely to happen with environmental policy going forward?

Bob Inglis: Yeah, I think what we are about to see is a collision between populism and conservatism within the Republican Conference, and I am putting my money on the conservative side of that configuration, because it has sound philosophy and develop thought about how things should be. The problem with populism is it changes based on the direction of the wind and how the fire is burning and how hot it is.

And what I am talking about specifically, take for example the populist promise that we are going to bring these coal jobs back. Well, it’s easy to say that you are going to repeal the Clean Power Plan, but it’s a lot harder to repeal the price on natural gas, and the result is that those jobs aren’t coming back because of the price of natural gas compared to the price of coal. And so populism is going to hit an object there and an obstacle.

And then in various other ways, berating corporate executives about their plans for expansion or where they are going to expand, that will work in a one-off case, but as that goes on, conservatives are going to recognize that is industrial policy and they are going to be saying, hold up, hold up on this populism here. So I think that’s what we are mostly going to see out of Congress in the Republican Conference is a context between populism and conservatism.


Bob Ambrogi: Regarding the question of regulation, certainly the Obama administration has implemented any number of regulations over the last eight years, but in particular it’s been a flurry of last-minute rulemaking over the last six months or so. How easy would it be for an incoming administration to undo the regulatory framework that’s been set by his predecessor? Jody, if I can ask you that.

Jody Freeman: It’s really an interesting question about sort of the last six months administration and whether or not the finalized rules or leave them without being finished. Most administrations, they do finish things up and they know that the next administration can come in and freeze any rulemaking, anything that’s not quite been completed, and we will see that very likely in the Trump administration.

For any regulation that has been finished since the end of May, beginning of June, there is a process that Congress is entitled to use where it can essentially cancel out those rules. It can formally disapprove them by voting by a majority of both houses, and then sending it to the president for signature, and that essentially eliminates that rule, it has to fall within the timeframe under this law known as the Congressional Review Act that empowers Congress to disapprove these rules.

So anything that’s been finished in the last several months could be vulnerable, but because Congress is unlikely to spend a whole bunch of time, disapproving individual rules, what I think you’re likely to see is a few high-profile rules be subject to disapproval. Things that the Republican-controlled Congress really wants to send a message about.

There are some Department of Labor rules that are actually more frustrating to them than even the big environmental rules. So I don’t think you’re going to see handfuls, you won’t see scores of environmental or energy rules be disapproved, but you may see some. But you saw on the campaign trail was President-elect Trump talked about the same power plan as one big target, but that was completed before this window. So it can’t be subject to disapproval, but other things might fall within it. So the Stream Protection Rule that just came out of the administration falls within it. So you may see some disapproval there.

The other thing I think you’re going to see from Congress, and I’d be interested to know if Bob agrees with this, is sort of death by a thousand cuts in the form of particularly targeted appropriations, riders or prohibitions on agency spending money to implement certain programs. And so you might see the Congress pass a big appropriations bill and in it are some kind of poison pills that tell the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of the Interior that they can’t do certain things with appropriated monies. And that essentially can shut down a particular rule or a particular program and it’s hard to fight back against those things because the rest of the bill that that’s part of is something that most of the Congress wants to approve.

So I’d be on the lookout for those kinds of things.

Bob Ambrogi: Bob, what do you think, do you have a perspective on that?

Bob Inglis: Yeah, I think I agree with Jody, that it’s likely is some riders that would defund or essentially prohibit agencies from doing certain things. The Appropriations Committee typically don’t like there’s all that much because they want to pass as clean the bill as possible, and there are some procedural hurdles they have to go through there, but I think we will see some of those. Those get to be somewhat blunt instruments and you take on a lot of water politically because then you find the place where it really turned out to be quite a blunt implement, and that can get you in trouble. So there is a correction that comes from the overuse of those.

Bob Ambrogi: Jody, what is the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, what role does it play in this rulemaking process?

Jody Freeman: This is the most powerful White House office nobody ever heard of, and it’s known by its acronym OIRA. And it sits in the Office of Management and Budget; basically think of it as the central control mechanism over all of the agencies of the executive branch, over all their major rulemaking.

So when the Environmental Protection Agency or any other executive branch agency issues a major regulation, it must go into this office in the White House and it’s subject to a cost-benefit analysis, a very rigorous cost-benefit analysis. And OIRA then oversees a process where all the other agencies get to comment on the rule and it typically comes out of this process with a stronger justification and perhaps amended to some extent, and if it doesn’t meet the cost-benefit tests that agency is going to run into some trouble.


And this is true of both Republican and Democratic administrations, by the way, the role that this office plays is generally in the direction of testing regulation to make sure they pass the cost-benefit analysis and generally in the direction of in fact weakening them to some extent; that’s what scholars have said about this office. We can expect it to be used much more aggressively I think in an administration that’s already declared itself to be opposed to regulation.

And we’ve seen Trump already say that he wants to try things like for every new rule, we should eliminate two. This is an easy kind of thing to say and very, very difficult to implement. So again, you’ll see a lot of bluster about this kind of thing and this office will be at the center of any effort like that. I think it would be very hard to accomplish and practice. What does that mean? What kind of rules do you have to eliminate, do they have to be at the same scope or scale or cost, is the one that you are actually issuing as a new rule. Nobody really knows how that would work but it certainly makes for a good sound bite.

Bob Ambrogi: Well, we have been talking about rules and statutes on the books, but of course the EPA also has discretion about the extent to which it works to enforce those rules and laws, I would think. How much leeway does the EPA actually have or the administration to decide simply to give up on enforcing a particular set of rules, could it do that, how much leeway does it have?

Jody Freeman: This is another area to watch because we’ve seen examples in the past as long ago the Reagan administration, we saw an example of an EPA that essentially was defanged from enforcing the laws and the rules that it’s responsible for under the leadership of Anne Gorsuch, Reagan’s appointee, and agencies can do this by essentially just pulling back on aggressive enforcement postures, they can move staff around so that staff that are not committed to enforcement are running the enforcement operation. They can decide to cut state to break and not require the states to comply with environmental rules quite as rigorously as before. There are all kinds of subtle and indirect and informal ways to do this.

But if they overreach in a way that Bob suggested sometimes agencies do, there will be a backlash as there was during the Reagan administration when Anne Gorsuch was ultimately deposed and Reagan had to bring in somebody with a very strong reputation, Bill Ruckelshaus to run the agency because they overreached in this sense.

If you go too far in under-enforcing, what happens is citizen start to notice and they start to complain because they noticed about pollution and the under-enforcement, and you also have the potential to trigger citizen suits. Most of these environmental protection statutes allow private citizens to sue to enforce them when an agency doesn’t fulfill its responsibility. So they may well try some of that, but then I think there will be a quite strong response to it.

Bob Ambrogi: Bob, I wonder, we’re talking about some of the sort of legal avenues, in terms of enforcement and regulation, but to what extent does the general policy that the administration sets around control the environmental agenda. Can Trump’s positions alone on environmental issues have an impact on private industry or on the environmental agenda across the country?

Bob Inglis: Well, I think in normal times I would say that words have meaning and they’re very important, but I don’t know that these are normal times. So I think we are really quite uncharted voters here, where I think we’re going to hear things from Donald Trump and read tweets from Donald Trump that then are not reflected at the podium at the White House press room or throughout the official government because I don’t think they can be reflected, I don’t think they can be acted on.

I mean, there are things that he may pop off and say that I don’t think we’ll be acted on it, it’s going to be a rather awkward time I think to be the White House spokesperson, because for example, with the allegations of voter fraud, if he had been in the White House, can you imagine being that person having to explain, yes, he has no data to support the claim, but he said it anyway in that tweet, yes, I know he did. Next question. Because there is really nothing you can say to back it up.

So it’s really a different time and what I’m hoping for is a pass to correction that Jody was just describing that I think is quite interesting and that move to Ruckelshaus at EPA. I’d predict for you that scenario may be repeated with Scott Pruitt because once those citizen complaints start happening that PCB is in my creek and the South Carolina EPA or the Federal EPA didn’t do anything about it, that gets attention, people get upset, they initiate citizen lawsuits, things happen and the result is that we might see the correction in the form of the Ruckelshaus coming later to EPA.


Bob Ambrogi: So I think I’m hearing you both say that there’s a reason for concern but maybe not reason for alarm and that if change is going to come it’s going to come maybe in increments and over time and certainly not overnight.

Jody Freeman: I just want to offer a friendly amendment to that. I think there is actually a concern for alarm. I think there’s a concern for alarm, I wonder if Bob agrees, but I would say, alarm but not panic. That’s where I’m at right now in the temperature scales and the reason is because there are lots of quiet things that are hard to see that administration that’s bent on undoing regulatory agencies can do. So we can see rulemakings, they are very public and you can challenge them in court. So undoing the clean power plant that’s going to be very visible, but I think internally destroying the morale of an agency, moving staff around, really making it hard for them to do their jobs, telling the Congress not to fund the agency in the budget request, all these things really take the wind out of the sails of the federal authority to protect the environment and public health.

And I think that’s something to be very, very worried about and I think collectively these nominees running each of these agencies, if you put together Pruitt, Perry, Zinke, Tillerson and the list goes on, collectively they can really have a significant impact if left unchecked. So I would say I am alarmed, I’m especially alarmed about their deep disregard for facts and science in the running agencies that have to make science-based legal decisions.

So the combination of a deep disrespect for science and combined with sort of Trump’s total disregard for the separation of powers and for the Rule of Law, that I think is a very scary combination. So I think it warrants being alarmed, but as I think both Bob and I have said, there are checks on extremes, and if our institutions work as they should, any extreme moves I think should be checked.

Bob Ambrogi: Alarm, but not panic, Bob, do you go with that?

Bob Inglis: I go with a high degree of concern, and it’s like, I think that Rick Perry is going to find himself pretty bored at the Department of Energy when he realizes that a great deal of the work is about Nuclear Fuel Cycle and not about his supposed expertise as a guy from Texas and Oil and Gas. I think that Rex Tillerson could turn out to be a surprise. I’m hoping that he’s a surprise that he says to the President I changed the story at ExxonMobil. We were funding the disputers of the science until I get sat in the CEO chair and then we change that, and we’re for a revenue-neutral border adjustable carbon tax at ExxonMobil, that could be a surprise.

So I am trying to look on the bright side and see Rex Tillerson as the bright spot, and most of my high degree of concern is mostly about Scott Pruitt EPA but Jody has laid out the past for a Ruckelshaus replacement. So I’m hopeful for that.

Jody Freeman: There is a possible upside story you could tell on all these nominees, right? The idea is that they were playing other roles before, they got these new positions. Scott Pruitt was a State Attorney General and therefore played the role of a very strong advocate for Federalism and State Rights, but perhaps the positive story maybe he’ll have a new role at EPA, he will learn about the agency’s mission, he will be briefed by senior career appointees. He’ll learn the science that he’s been rejecting for so long, and perhaps, he’ll take the mission very seriously. I mean, it’s always a possibility. So we could tell the sort of good news version of the story and the bad news version, and the truth is, we’re just going to have to wait and see.

Bob Ambrogi: Well, that is true and we have run a little bit over time. I’d like to give our guests an opportunity to give their closing thoughts. You may have just given your closing thoughts, but, Jody, let me ask you if you have anything else you’d like to say on this before we wrap up the program?

Jody Freeman: I guess I would say that the suite of Federal Environmental Public Health and Natural Resource Protection Law that Congress passed starting in around 1970 through the next couple of decades have proven very resilient, and I think the public enjoys the benefits of those environmental protections and doesn’t really want to see them fundamentally change.


So I have some faith that what we have come to describe as the sort of Architecture of Environmental Law and Public Health Protection will survive a Trump Presidency, but I do think that as Bob said this is not a typical time. This is not a usual handoff from one administration to another where you win some and you lose some maybe the party that you favor less is running things. It’s an unusual time because we don’t really know anything about what Donald Trump will actually do and we don’t really know whether his picks to run these agencies will be true to their public records or will accommodate and moderate somewhat.

So, I guess, in closing I would say, people should be alert and vigilant and participate in the process, but I think it’s appropriate to have an open mind until we see this unfold.

Bob Ambrogi: Thanks a lot, and Jody, if our listeners want to do find out more about your work or follow up with you in any ways or anywhere you’d point them to, to do that?

Jody Freeman: You can go to Harvard Law School’s webpage and find me there and find our Environmental Law Program with lots of information about me and the program.

Bob Ambrogi: All right, thank you very much, and Bob, you get the final word today.

Bob Inglis: Great to be with you, Bob and Jody, and thanks to your listeners who are tuning in here. We really need the folks that are listening to join us at because if we have conservatives listening who are looking for free enterprise solutions to climate change, or maybe lawyers who understand that we do have to have respect for the facts and the facts are coming in on climate change is an awful lot of data, and we have an ideology that developed, a populist ideology that developed against that data, but eventually the data went. And so, what we hope to do at is accelerate the day that America comes together to lead the world to a solution here, and we think there’s one that is available that’s very acceptable to conservatives. It’s what we started the show with, which is, internalizing negative externalities, and it’s also acceptable to progressives.

It’s actually the solution that Al Gore has been talking about for about 30 years now, but if you want to visit it at you’ll read more about how we think that’s completely consistent with what conservatives believe, and then we need you, because we’ve got to show politicians their support out there, politicians typically follow, they don’t lead, so we have to show them that there are some people that are counting on them to step up, and once they see that crowd forming out on Main Street, they will run around out-front to lead the parade where it’s already going, but they typically don’t step off the curb because they are afraid of being road kill out in  middle of the road, I think. So we’ve got to show them as a crowd out in the street and then they will run around out-front to lead it there, and lead America to the solution, and thus lead the world to that solution.

So I’m optimistic, it’s just what we’ve got to do is show that we’re here, we’ve got a solution, and it’s a solution that works, both left and right, and we can make it work for the whole world.

Bob Ambrogi: Well, thanks a lot. We’ve been talking today with Jody Freeman, the Archibald Cox Professor of Law and founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program.

And also, with Bob Inglis, Executive Director of republicEn, an organization educating the country about free-enterprise solutions to climate.

Thanks very much to both of you for taking the time to be with us today.

Jody Freeman: Thank you! My pleasure!

Bob Inglis: Great to be with you!

Bob Ambrogi: And I have found my new mantra for the next four years, “Alarm not panic”, I’m going to put that over my desk tonight.

Jody Freeman: There you go!

Bob Ambrogi: Look at it everyday.

Jody Freeman: There you go!

Bob Ambrogi: And that brings us to the end of this episode of ‘Lawyer 2 Lawyer’. This is Bob Ambrogi. Thanks to all of you for listening and be sure to join us next time for another great legal topic. When you want legal, think ‘Lawyer 2 Lawyer’. Thanks a lot!


Outro: Thanks for listening to ‘Lawyer 2 Lawyer’, produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join J. Craig Williams and Robert Ambrogi for their next podcast, covering the latest legal topic.

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Episode Details
Published: January 6, 2017
Podcast: Lawyer 2 Lawyer
Category: Legal News
Lawyer 2 Lawyer
Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Lawyer 2 Lawyer is a legal affairs podcast covering contemporary and relevant issues in the news with a legal perspective.

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