David Schoenbrod, a pioneer in the field of environmental law, is currently examining how Congress could restructure environmental statutes so that their objectives could be achieved more effectively and efficiently. He teaches environmental law at New York Law School and has served as a senior staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he led the charge to get lead out of gasoline. Mr. Schoenbrod studies all major environmental areas, in particular air pollution and climate change. He also studies litigation in which court decrees dictate the management of governmental institutions, such as prisons, schools, and foster care agencies.
Co-Leader, "Breaking the Logjam: An Environmental Law for the 21st Century," Joint Project of New York Law School and NYU School of Law, 2006-present
Trustee Professor, 2006-present; Professor, 1985-2006; Associate Professor, 1984-85, New York Law School
Senior Fellow, 2006-2007; Adjunct Scholar, 1995-2005, Cato Institute
Associate Professor, School of Law, New York University, 1979-83
The Federal Consent Decree Fairness Act would free state and local government from court orders that are unnecessary to protect rights, yet prevent states and localities from adopting to the lessons of experience and changing priorities.
Regulatory drag can be reduced only as part of a reform that credibly promises to ease burdens and protect the public. Such reform is possible, but it needs to start by changing how Congress approaches regulation: lawmakers must assume responsibility for rule-making.
The controversy over the Clean Air Act is worth understanding because it reveals a pivotal development that EPA and the environmental groups would prefer to conceal: the 40-year-old act is no longer a sensible way to regulate large-volume conventional air pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter.
REINS would improve environmental regulation by giving legislators a role in updating our obsolete environmental statutes. EPA has been rolling grenades to succeeding presidential administrations since it was established. The origin of the rolling, ticking hand grenades is Congress.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s reasons for not using its usual approach to regulating greenhouse gases unwittingly shows that it is obsolete for controlling conventional pollutants. Congress should update the Clean Air Act.