Nov 16 2012

News This Week: Preventing Flooding in Sandy’s Aftermath and BP Reaches a Settlement

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

EDITOR’S NOTE: Normally, this post would be served by posting a digest from the Twitter feed at @WMELSBlog. However, presumably due to the API changes Twitter made, the add-on that creates that digest is not working. So, keep an eye on the twitter feed for all the stories we’re posting and in the meantime, I’ll be making these shorter collections of big news stories from the week.

—————————-

BP, the oil company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf, will plead guilty to the 14 criminal charges leveled against it  and pay over $4 billion in penalties. This settlement does not cover any federal civil charges that may be pending, including those for damage to natural resources. It also does not include fines under the Clean Water Act, which could amount to over $21 billion. [New York Times]

It goes almost without saying that sound levees are important, especially during hurricanes. Surprisingly, however, in New Jersey there is no state agency in charge of overseeing the levees and the levees would have to get to an incredible state of disrepair before the federal government would step in to fix them. [NPR]

New York City is considering building a movable steel barrier to keep future flooding, like what happened during Hurricane Sandy, out of low-lying areas. The project could cost up to $29 billion dollars including having to shore up the areas around the barrier. [New York Times]

Evidence suggests that the world needs to reduce its carbon emissions more and faster to avoid the catastrophic warming of the globe. One estimate found that even if we doubled the current rate of reduction, we will experience a 6 degree warming before the end of the century. [Scientific American]

In other NYC flooding news, the Gowanus Canal flooding has caused concerns about health and safety problems in the neighborhood. Gowanus Canal is one of the most contaminated bodies of water in the country and a Superfund site. [New York Times] Continue Reading »

Comments Off on News This Week: Preventing Flooding in Sandy’s Aftermath and BP Reaches a Settlement

Mar 16 2012

Twitter Link Round-Up: The Connection Between Fracking and Earthquakes and Oil Sands CO2 Emissions

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

Comments Off on Twitter Link Round-Up: The Connection Between Fracking and Earthquakes and Oil Sands CO2 Emissions

Apr 07 2011

Senate Saves the EPA’s Climate Change Program

Published by under Climate Change

The western front of the United States Capitol, via wikimedia

The Republican majority in the House had a set back to its plans last week as the Senate voted down four different measures aimed at curbing the Environmental Protection Agency’s program to regulate greenhouse gases.  Senate Republicans attached a similar measure to a small-business bill that got 4 votes from Democrats and other, less severe, limiting measures proposed by Democrats in the Senate have been defeated but gotten as many as 12 Democratic votes.  This is despite President Obama’s opposition to preventing the EPA from regulating GHGs and assertion that he will veto any such bill.  It could signal weakening Democratic support for the EPA’s regulations at a time when Republicans in both houses of Congress have their sights set on striking them down.  House Republicans are continuing with their push to prevent the EPA from regulating emissions related to climate change by putting forth a bill that would repeal the agency’s finding that greenhouse gases are are danger to health and the environment. Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Senate Saves the EPA’s Climate Change Program

Mar 21 2011

EPA Pushes Forward: New Air Pollution Regulations Unveiled for Power Plants

Published by under Air,Energy

Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper by David Jolley 2007, via wikimedia

On Wednesday, March 16, the last day of a court-ordered deadline, the EPA released new, more stringent proposed regulations for air pollution from power plants called the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. This is the first time a national standard on air pollution from coal-fired power plants has been issued and is sure to meet with stiff challenge from industry and particularly House Republicans. Lisa P. Jackson, administrator for the EPA, announced the new standards flanked by the head of the American Lung Association and two doctors.  She emphasized that this move was long overdue and would significantly improve air quality.  Though it would cost approximately $10 billion dollars for industry to comply (translating to a $3-4 rise in individual energy bills after 2015), it would also produce benefits totaling up to $100 billion a year. The American Lung Association estimates that particle pollution from power plants has caused the death of 13,000 people each year. The rules have already had an effect. Georgia Energy closed two of its oldest power plants after finding that it was more cost effective to shut them down than to retrofit them to comply with the new regulation. Continue Reading »

Comments Off on EPA Pushes Forward: New Air Pollution Regulations Unveiled for Power Plants

Feb 23 2011

A Preview of the New Climate Change Case in the Supreme Court

Published by under Climate Change

Supreme Court Justices, via wikimedia

Though arguments don’t start until April, it’s worth taking a look at the latest in a series of climate change cases that have reached the Supreme Court.  The new case, AEP v. Connecticut, deals with a different area of climate change litigation: nuisance.  Several state governments have sued a group of the five largest utilities claiming that the emission of greenhouse gases from these utilities are causing a nuisance within the states.  This case has created some strange bedfellows as both the Obama administration and a group of Republican lawmakers have joined together on the side of the utilities to oppose using nuisance in the climate change context.  The last and most notable climate change case was Massachusetts v. EPA, which ruled that the EPA was required to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  That case’s decision on standing may provide a basis for the state governments suing in AEP.  Keep your eye out in April for more updates as this case and more are decided. Continue Reading »

Comments Off on A Preview of the New Climate Change Case in the Supreme Court

Dec 17 2010

Twitter Link Round-Up for Dec. 17, 2010

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

– SA: @sciam A new study shows that curbing carbon could still save the polar bear from extinction http://bit.ly/fb1ATw #news #
– NYT: @dotearth Two approaches for dealing with politically charged scientific issues http://nyti.ms/ezbAlC #news #
– NYT: @nytimes San Francisco looking toward the goal of 100% green power by 2020 http://nyti.ms/hCbXCm #news #
– SA: @sciam US Justice Department is expected to announce civil legal action in response to the BP oil spill http://bit.ly/hC8aHo #news #
– MJ: @MotherJones Pessimism and strong-arming on climate change revealed in the wikileaks diplomatic memos http://bit.ly/eyAikq #news # Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Twitter Link Round-Up for Dec. 17, 2010

Next »