Outlook 2016: Decisions, Decisions on Environmental Issues

January Republican debate

Today marks the end of the Daily Environment Report’s annual Outlook series for 2016, which involved more than 85 stories, a flurry of charts to track significant litigation, dozens of graphics and a video, all released over the last seven days through our various publications.

This final batch is all about decisions and decision-makers who will shape our world this year, in one way or another.

Kicking off the year is efforts toward environmental deregulation. Supporters of legislation to ease what they call regulatory burdens and roll back legal strategies that environmental groups use to strengthen regulations will continue their efforts in 2016, first in the House of Representatives (story for subscribers).     

Litigation involving the Clean Power Plan and the waters of the U.S. rule are the biggest environmental issues expected to land before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. The high court will also decide issues involving electricity market regulations, new power plant subsidies, public land management in Alaska and standing (story for subscribers).

Issues such as climate change and environmental regulations will play some role in the 2016 presidential race, though how large a portion of the electoral narrative they occupy will depend on who the Republican nominee ultimately becomes, political observers told Bloomberg BNA (story for subscribers).

The EPA plans to focus its enforcement efforts on air toxics, hazardous waste and vehicle emissions in 2016, as well as follow up on longtime priorities of air and water pollution from large sources such as power plants, the agency's top enforcement official says (story for subscribers).

EJ graphic

Environmental justice advocates will push the EPA in 2016 to keep overburdened communities front and center as the agency begins implementing carbon standards for power plants and other major rules (story for subscribers).