Jeff Civins in E&E News: 'What This Year's Rulings and Court Fights Mean for 2021'

December 31, 2020

E&E News quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP Senior Counsel Jeff Civins in an article about the implications of 2020 environmental law case rulings on the industry in the future.

Here is an excerpt:

The last 12 months have been marked by a fresh crop of Supreme Court rulings on environmental questions, major courtroom victories for Black communities fighting energy projects and a notable loss for a group of kids who want the government to help protect the next generation from the harms associated with a rapidly warming planet.

This was also the year that Trump shattered records for judicial appointments in a single term, including the confirmation of a sixth conservative Supreme Court justice, boosting the odds that aggressive climate action by President-elect Joe Biden — or any other future president — will land before a skeptical judiciary.

At the Interior Department, a federal judge's ruling that the de facto director of the Bureau of Land Management was serving illegally has upended some of the Trump administration's efforts to open up public lands to oil and gas development.

The Trump administration's attempts to ease industry's burden — and subsequent legal rulings scrapping those actions — have had the unintended effect of creating regulatory whiplash for companies and other entities that need to follow federal rules, said Jeff Civins, senior counsel at the law firm Haynes and Boone, LLP.

That trend will only continue once Biden is in office, he said.

"Certainty is critically important, and that's why you don't want regulatory agencies to have these wide swings from administration to administration," Civins said. "It makes it difficult for industry to comply and to plan."

To read the full article, click here.

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