Oct 14 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: New Zealand Oil Spill News and Modern Agriculture’s Effect on the Environment is Examined

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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.

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Aug 22 2011

Playing Catch Up: Major Environmental Stories from this Summer

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Paul Souders/Stone/Getty Images via HowStuffWorks

If you’ve been watching the blog over the summer, you’ve noticed that we’ve been on a break and just posting our Twitter Round-Ups on Fridays.  Well, now that school has started again, we’re going to resume our regular posting schedule with three posts a week.  This first post is going to highlight the biggest environmental stories that happened over the summer and might have been buried in the list of Twitter posts.

 Supreme Court Decides Climate Change Nuisance Case

SCOTUS Blog: “Opinion Analysis: AEP v. Connecticut” 

Carefully noting that it was not deciding that global warming is a problem, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that Congress thinks it is, but has assigned the role of dealing with it first to the Environmental Protection Agency, with courts playing only a limited secondary role.  The decision, unanimous only in part, blocked state governments and others from going to federal court to file a claim of “public nuisance” in order to get judicial limits imposed on electric power plants’ release of “greenhouse gases” that may warm up the earth.

Grist: “Connecticut v. AEP: Public nuisance ruling may boost chances of EPA CO2 regulations”

The Second Circuit’s recent decision in Connecticut v. AEP, in which a coalition of state attorneys general sued electric power producers to cap and then reduce their carbon emissions, allows the public nuisance case to proceed and gave the environmental plaintiffs virtually everything they wanted. It should also give pause to those of us tempted to see judges as purely political: it was decided by Judges Peter W. Hall, a George W. Bush appointee from Vermont, and Joseph McLaughlin, a George H.W. Bush appointee from New York. Damn liberals. (The third panel member, one Sonia Sotomayor, is now busy with other things and did not sign the decision.). Continue Reading »

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Jul 15 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: More on ExxonMobil Spill and Resistance to Keystone XL Pipeline

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Photo by Kelci Block

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Jun 17 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: End to Ethanol Subsidies and DOJ’s Senior Attorney Leaves for ELI

Published by under News

Ophrys apifera, flower Picture taken by BerndH, via wikimedia

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.

– NYT: Senate Votes to End Ethanol Subsidies http://j.mp/js8dXR

– TH: Elusive Conneticut Mountain Lion Finally Found, Unfortunately Dead http://j.mp/ldfNW1

– NYT: News Analysis: Americans Support Offshore Drilling Even if Washington Wavers http://j.mp/lvApXH

– NYT: DOJ’s senior attorney leaves for the Environmental Law Institute, leaving Deepwater Horizon case without a leader http://j.mp/iHmH8y

– NYT: Piercing cats is ruled to be cruelty under PA statute, says appeal judge http://nyti.ms/mpXLce

– TH: Power plants dumping hot water back into rivers play havoc with ecosystemhttp://j.mp/iwpH8U

Continue Reading »

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Apr 22 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: The Pika Headed for Extinction and BP Sues Transocean

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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.

– Yale360: @YaleE360 The American #Pika is in big trouble as their extinction rates skyrocket due to climate change http://bit.ly/eMIxfU

– CBF: @chesbayprogram Underwater Bay Grasses Decrease by 6,239 Acres in Chesapeake Bay and Rivers in 2010 http://bit.ly/hkmUX6 (RT)

– TH: @TH_RSS What Could the Oil Spilled in the Gulf Have Been Used For? Animated Video Explores the Answer…http://bit.ly/eMkrPa (RT)

– BBC: @BBCWorld #BP sues Transocean and maker of blowout preventer on the anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill http://bbc.in/gQzujE

– MSNBC: @msnbc New dam project in Laos could threaten world’s most productive inland fishery http://on.msnbc.com/eoEfhr Continue Reading »

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Apr 20 2011

One Year Later: The BP Oil Spill

Published by under Energy,Water/Maritime

Anchor-handling tugboats battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, via wikimedia

Today is the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  On that fateful day, eleven people lost their lives in the explosion on the rig and seventeen more were injured.  This then touched off a disastrous oil leak from the blown wellhead that brought words like “blowout preventer” and “dispersant” into our collective understanding.  Speeches were made and hearings held in Congress as lawmakers attempted to get to the cause.  Meanwhile, attempts to stop the relentless flow of oil continued for months and workers in the Gulf of Mexico were frantically trying to keep the oil offshore and out of the wetlands, with limited success.  When the well was finally capped, the future of the Gulf of Mexico was uncertain.

One year later, the Minerals Management Services is no more, replaced by the unfortunately named Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE).  BOEMRE is setting a breakneck pace trying to balance pressure from the industry to get permits approved and environmentalists worried about another spill.  The oil in the Gulf is still around and recently there has been a rash of mysterious dolphin deaths, with dead baby dolphins washing up on the beaches.  Residents and scientists still worry that large oil plumes may exist underwater, sink to the seafloor, create “dead zones” for fish, and affect crab and shrimp harvests.  If anything, this anniversary is a reminder that the full effects of this disaster have not been fully felt or understood yet and we should not forget that. Continue Reading »

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