200 Days & Counting: Environmental Law & The Trump Administration

August 2017


200 days and counting flyerWe marked Donald Trump’s 200th day as President with a reflection on the  Trump Administration’s impact on environmental law in the United States during its first 200 days, highlighting the most likely future developments in the field. Approaching its subject primarily by channels of government decision-making – legislation, budget, enforcement, executive orders, and state and local action – 200 Days & Counting reviews the Administration’s environmental proposals and offers a glimpse into what may be coming down the pike.

Legislation making major changes in federal environmental laws has the most serious potential for harm, however, such legislation seems unlikely at present, barring a major political shift in favor of the GOP in 2018 or 2020. Given the current political environment, our assessment concludes that = the greatest threats lie with budgeting and enforcement of environmental programs. Alternatively, state and local actions are identified as the most promising avenues for forward motion in the coming year.


  Probability of Harm/Action Degree of Harm/Benefits Reversibility of Change
Legislation Low Potentially High Potentially Low
Budget High Medium to High Potentially High (with important exceptions)
Pollution & Climate Change Medium Potentially High Medium
Enforcement High Medium High
Public Lands High Medium Mostly High
Executive Orders Medium Low to Medium (except foreign affairs) High
State & Local Action High Medium Medium to High


Download the Policy Brief:

200 Days and Counting: Environmental Law & The Trump Administration (2017)


Eric Biber, Professor of Law; Director of Environmental and Energy Law Programs

Dan Farber, Sho Sato Professor of Law; Faculty Director, Center for Law, Energy & the Environment