President Biden has gone full throttle in his first 100 days seeking to reverse Trump-era environmental rollbacks. But on one controversial rule, the president's team may not be able to outpace the judicial system.
Key lawsuits that could define the reach of the Clean Water Act are working their way through federal courts — despite Biden administration attempts to stop them so it can craft its own regulations.
The cases concern what waterways and wetlands qualify for federal protections, a question that has befuddled judges for two decades.
Joe Biden won the presidency with a call to treat climate change as "the existential challenge that's going to determine our future."
"The cry for survival comes from the planet itself," President Biden said in his inaugural speech, "a cry that can't be any more desperate or any more clear."
Now, nearing the hundredth day of his presidency, Biden has recast climate change as just one of several challenges. Depending on the day or the audience, global warming can be an "existential threat" — or up for negotiation.
President Biden faced Capitol Hill turmoil unlike anything in recent history during his first 100 days in the Oval Office with thin margins in both chambers and political upheaval confronting his ambitious energy and environmental agenda.
Outgoing President Trump's supporters had stormed the Capitol in a democracy-defying riot just 14 days before Biden's inauguration. It led directly to a second impeachment trial for Trump, events that have only deepened political divides on the Hill.
When EPA Administrator Michael Regan fired every member of two science advisory panels in March, he was trying to send an unequivocal message: It's a new day for scientific integrity.
It was a hardball maneuver by EPA's new chief, who came to the job with a national reputation for his work forging consensus as a regulator in North Carolina. He had just taken over a federal agency where career scientists and civil servants felt diminished and attacked under the Trump administration.
In his first 100 days in office, President Biden has proposed an unprecedented peacetime restructuring of two industries central to American life: electric power and the automobile.
Nearly a century after President Franklin Roosevelt pushed through legislation in record time to drag the country out of the Great Depression, Biden faces a nation in crisis again: more than a half million American lives lost to a pandemic, permanent job losses, a racial reckoning and the escalating effects of climate change.