The Shape of Policy to Come: Our Look at 2018

Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...

By David Schultz

Bloomberg Environment took a look at all the issues that might come up this year for our annual Outlook series, including possible policy changes affecting chemicals, air, energy, water, and climate.

From implementation of the nation’s new chemicals law to deforestation in Africa, Bloomberg Environment reporters have the story.

Law and Policy
  • ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION: We spoke to almost a dozen environmental attorneys to ask them what will be on their respective radars in 2018. David Schultz and other Bloomberg Environment reporters summarize their responses in this list.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY: In addition to litigation, we also looked at potential changes to federal policy that may be coming down the pike. Amena Saiyid and Abby Smith preview the year ahead in regulatory policy.
  • REGULATORY POLICY: And White House reporter Cheryl Bolen takes a look at some of the challenges that may face the Trump administration as it seeks to enact its deregulatory agenda throughout the government.
Chemicals
  • TSCA AMENDMENTS: What are the EPA’s major milestones on implementation of the new chemicals law this year? Pat Rizzuto outlines them and expected deadlines for industry in a series of graphics.
  • CHEMICAL REGULATION: Rizzuto also takes a look at conflicts over the law’s implementation between the many stakeholders who have a say in this process.
  • INTERNATIONAL CHEMICALS: The U.S. is not the only country grappling with how to regulate potentially toxic chemicals. Adam Allington looks at how this process could play out in Australia, Brazil, and elsewhere.
  • EUROPEAN CHEMICALS: And there’s an important deadline coming up in the EU for chemical manufacturers. Correspondent Stephen Gardner lays out what it means.
Air Pollution
  • FENCELINE MONITORING: More data on air pollution from refineries will be coming soon. Jennifer Lu lays out how refineries will be reporting this data and what could be done with it.
Energy
  • ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The move toward renewable fuels is having a big impact. One of the areas where that can be felt is in the rise of electric vehicles, according to correspondent Jabeen Bhatti.
  • ALTERNATIVE FUELS: And, of course, one of the developments that have made electric vehicles possible is the advent of newer, more efficient batteries. Adam Allington takes a look at what’s on the horizon here.
  • DRILLING: But fossil fuels are still around and won’t be going extinct any time soon. Alan Kovski takes a look at the changing landscape for oil and gas drillers on federal lands.
  • DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: This was a tumultuous year for most federal agencies, and the Department of Energy was no exception. Rebecca Kern looks at where this agency will be headed on a number of policy areas, from nuclear to wind to solar and beyond.
Water
  • LEAD IN WATER: The EPA has been laboring for years to update its standards for lead in water, but without success so far. David Schultz explains why it doesn’t look like the agency is close to completing this years-long task.
Waste
  • SUPERFUND: Sylvia Carignan provides the outlook for the EPA’s Superfund program, one of the top priorities for the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt. She says Pruitt is pushing the agency to complete cleanups faster at Superfund sites.
Climate
  • SHIPPING: Whether by air or by sea, shipping has a significant carbon footprint. Ali Qassim and Peter Menyasz talk about new international rules to try to mitigate carbon emissions from the shipping industry.
  • NORTH AMERICA: Menyasz also teams up with correspondent Emily Pickrell to talk about how both Canada and Mexico are addressing climate change and renewable energy.
  • AUSTRALIA: Few places are more affected by climate change than Australia and New Zealand, with the Great Barrier Reef being one of the world’s climate epicenters. Correspondent Murray Griffin takes a look at efforts there to curb emissions.
  • CARBON TRADING: One of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses (along with, of course, the U.S.), China is setting up a carbon trading program for its energy sector. Dean Scott has the details on how it will work.
International
  • CHINA: Carbon emissions aren’t the only pollutants Chinese authorities are struggling to control. Correspondent Michael Standaert writes about how the country is looking to stem the pollution that is often the byproduct of a rapidly industrializing society.
  • SOUTHEAST ASIA: Climate change is on the priority list for several countries in this region as well. Correspondent Lien Hoang writes about carbon emissions here as well as the tough challenge of deforestation.
  • AFRICA: Deforestation is also becoming a big problem in Africa. Correspondents Wachira Kigotho and Marcia Klein break down the continent‘s varied environmental problems.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Scarcity and abundance are the stories shaping the environment in the Middle East: scarcity of water and abundance of solar energy. Correspondent Matthew Kalman breaks it down.
  • SOUTH AMERICA: Four of our correspondents
  • team up to bring you this look at environmental issues in South and Central America, with a focus on permitting and natural resource extraction.
  • KOREA: One story to keep an eye on this year is the expansion of renewable energy in South Korea. Correspondent Elaine Ramirez explains how the country is directing its resources toward research and development.

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