Bloomberg – May 5, 2017
By Ari Natter
Emboldened by the environmental rollbacks of President Donald Trump, state legislatures are following suit, taking aim at items as varied as solar incentives, chemical spill protections and, even, anti-pipeline protesters.
The legislation in states from Florida to Wisconsin comes as the Environmental Protection Agency under Trump argues that it can curtail federal regulations, leaving it up to states to decide how to protect against pollution. Shifting the burden to state capitals allows industry lobbyists to divide and conquer their foes, pitting one state’s deregulation against another’s.
“A lot of the business groups interested in this have realized they can be successful when they go state to state,” said John Farrell, a director at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a Washington non-profit that advises local governments on community development. For health and environment groups, “there is an element of Whack-A-Mole that goes on when it happens at the state level.”