Author Profile: Howard Learner

ELPC Executive Director Howard Learner is an experienced attorney and the founder of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. He is responsible for ELPC’s overall strategic leadership, policy direction and financial platform. His updates include his analysis of recent developments in clean energy, clean air, clean water, clean transportation and natural resources, as well as notes about ELPC organizational news.

Blog Posts by Howard Learner

Oil Prices Matter When It Comes to Pipelines

Eeny, meeny, miny, mo. Which of the controversial large oil pipelines are going to go? Some might be on a path to nowhere, financially. Oil prices have fallen so much that Exxon reported its first quarterly loss since 1988 and announced that it will shut down 75% of its oil rigs in the Permian Basin

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Safe Clean Water Matters, Especially Now

The Trump Administration is at it again. While Americans are focused on dealing with COVID-19 pandemic challenges and stresses, the Trump EPA used that distraction as cover for publishing its final replacement of the 2015 Clean Water Rule. This misguided action rolls back regulatory standards designed to protect community rivers, creeks, streams and wetlands that

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Earth Day 2020: 50 Years of Progress with Work Still To Do

Earth Day 1970 sounded an alarm that launched the modern environmental movement. We’ve made tremendous progress towards healthier air, safer water, and less toxic pollution in our communities. The Clean Air Act is working: you can now drive through Northwest Indiana with the windows rolled down without choking on so much smog. The Clean Water

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Great Lakes Now – From Rust to Resilience: Climate change brings new challenges and opportunities to Great Lakes cities

“Recent high water levels have shorelines, parklands, lakeside trails and even homes disappearing along various other coastlines, including, as Side Effects Public Media reports, one of our newest national parks, Indiana Dunes. As a result, attention is being focused in some areas on revamping coastal infrastructure to prepare for more rapidly shifting and drastic highs

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Air Quality Matters In a Respiratory Health Global Pandemic

In the the midst of a global public health crisis, most air quality news has been focused on the cleaner air from less vehicle traffic and industrial activity. Sadly, it’s not all good news. What in the world was Hilco thinking in demolishing its coal plant without dust control in the Little Village community in

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Chicago Tribune: Under pressure from lawyers and Illinois politicians, Indiana accuses Lake Michigan steel mill of manipulating water pollution samples after fish-killing spill

After the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Ogden Dunes, IN released concentrated cyanide and ammonia into a stream that feeds Lake Michigan, causing fish kills and beach closures, ELPC and the Hoosier Environmental Council filed suit for years of Clean Water Act violations. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management started following the steel mill’s pollution more

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MiBiz: Court challenges to follow Trump administration’s vehicle fuel economy rollback

The Trump administration is moving forward with rolling back clean car standards in the midst of a respiratory pandemic. ELPC and colleagues are fighting back to protect Midwest jobs, affordable transportation, and clean air. “Howard Learner, executive director of the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center, said his group and other allies will file suit in federal appeals

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Sound Science is Vital to Public Health

I really am stunned that we need to defend established science. Vital environmental standards depend on sound science in the regulatory process. The American people overwhelmingly support these sensible public health protections, but we’re seeing a “throw the spaghetti against the wall” attempt to defeat them left and right. Here’s the latest battle which ELPC,

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Trump’s Tone-Deaf Rollback of Sensible Clean Car Standards

The backyard view from my kitchen isn’t as inspiring as the view from ELPC’s riverfront offices in downtown Chicago, but our staff’s effective advocacy continues in these challenging times, now from 46 connected remote home offices. While most of the world’s leadership is laser-focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 31, 2020, the Trump

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With Great Lakes Flooding on the Way, ELPC Working on Climate Solutions

I walked along the Lake Michigan shoreline this weekend. My neighborhood beach is gone, and the water is already lapping up over the rocks onto the walking path and grassy shore. In part due to climate change, Great Lakes water levels are experiencing extremes – mostly much higher, and sometimes lower. Amidst one crisis, worsened

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ELPC’s Founding Vision is Becoming Today’s Sustainability Reality

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