We all know the federal government is hamstrung by partisan gridlock. Where once lawmakers recognized that passing legislation required that both parties end up being able to claim success, that no one got everything they wanted, and that progress was never perfect, today there seem to be new rules holding forth: “I will only ‘compromise’ with you if I get everything I wanted, and I get all the credit.” “If you have to eat some crow, that makes me look better.” “I don’t need your help enough to be willing to let you take the credit for what we accomplish.”
Note: this is part 2 of 3 in my series of how the new administration may impact environmental law and policy in the Pacific Northwest. For background, please see Part 1.
One of the key factors influencing environmental law and policy in the Pacific Northwest is the presence of and obligations owed to a number of tribes that are parties to treaties with the United States that extend back to the 1850s. The Federal Government has, historically, taken an active role in defining and enforcing those treaty rights on behalf of the tribes, and takes quite seriously its government-to-government obligations with respect to those tribes as sovereign entities (a good summary list, prepared in 2009 by the White House-Indian Affairs Executive Working Group is available here). Continue Reading The View From The Pacific Northwest: What to Watch in Environmental Law and Policy Post-Inauguration, Part 2
On Friday morning, I boarded a plane in Chicago and by the time I touched down in Seattle, Trump had been sworn into office. We’ve received a number of questions from clients and friends asking us how the regime change will impact environmental law and policy in the Pacific Northwest. The quick answer is one that recognizes that state-level politics (which drives much of the environmental policy in Washington) has not changed in the seismic manner that federal politics have with this election. And, at federal agencies, while we are already seeing leadership changes (for instance, Dennis McLerran is no longer the head of Region 10), the staff of those agencies will not dramatically change—so the people that have made day-to-day decisions across multiple administrations will still be doing so.