Category

Energy
As much as the natural gas industry complains about the costs of environmental compliance, it spends a great deal of time and money fighting to keep hydraulic fracking unregulated, and its claims of safety and economic prosperity unquestioned. Their campaign to put a happy face on this harmful technology is designed to stifle the growing...
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Does a particular green policy create more jobs than it destroys? A policy is green if it lowers our use of resources and/or environmental impact.  If a green policy is also a net creator of jobs, everyone should agree that it is a good policy. It should be implemented.  End of story.  Green policies which...
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Let’s talk about this.  From the beginning, there was no private ownership of water.  Under Roman law, tidewaters (like rivers and seas) and submerged lands (stream beds and shoreline) were community property, held in trust by the state for the benefit of the public.  This approach to water management endured for most of human history....
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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and United States Forest Service (USFS) recently considered four alternatives for a drilling proposal in the Pinedale Resource Area of the Wyoming Range. In the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), BLM rejected two alternatives as unreasonable. The remaining two alternatives – including the alternative selected by BLM – were...
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If you have not already felt the impact of emerging green laws and policies aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings, fear not: you soon will. As of January 2011, green laws, executive orders, ordinances, and incentives affecting buildings had been implemented in at least 45 states, 58 counties, 384 cities and towns, and...
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WildEarth Guardians v. Salazar (D.D.C. May 8, 2011): A federal district court in Washington, D.C., dismissed part of a suit brought by several environmental nonprofits concerning the federal government’s decision to put coal mining leases in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin up for sale. The court dismissed the portion of the lawsuit that alleged that the decision...
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Connecticut v. American Electric Power (June 20, 2011) In an 8-0 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that federal common law nuisance claims cannot be brought against utilities for their greenhouse gas emissions given that the Clean Air Act and EPA regulations displace federal common law in this area. The lawsuit alleged that under common...
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Since their profits depend on making sure they end up on the right side of every transaction, insurance companies are proxies for all kinds of modern dilemmas. For example, when they started factoring global warming in their underwriting, even as America was neck deep in a useless and political argument, it was a sign that...
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Uranium mining and milling produces massive amounts of toxic waste. Virtually all uranium mining in the U.S. has occurred in sparsely populated regions of Nevada and New Mexico, where rainfall is often below 15 inches per year. Still, according to the EPA, tailings have contaminated the groundwater at almost all U.S. mill sites. In a...
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In the 1980s, uranium leases were filed on thousands of acres of land in Virginia including Fauquier, Orange, Culpeper, and Madison Counties, stretching along the Piedmont to Pittsylvania in Southside Virginia.  At that time, the Commonwealth undertook an extensive study of uranium mining. It was costly, time consuming, and divisive. When it was over, the...
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