The Second Circuit Upholds Public Process in Nuclear Plant Safety

Nuclear power has been a controversial topic that has both fascinated and scared us at the same time. While nuclear energy is a significant source of power in this country and it is more efficient and “clean” than fossil fuels,[1] it also poses substantial drawbacks.  In addition to issues surrounding nuclear waste,[2] the potentially devastating… Continue reading The Second Circuit Upholds Public Process in Nuclear Plant Safety

Indian Tribes Sue Department of Interior For Lack of Proper Consultation for Wind Farm Project

In May 2012, the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior (DOI) to stop the development of a large wind farm on public land in California.[1]  The tribe expressed their concerns to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the months leading up to the… Continue reading Indian Tribes Sue Department of Interior For Lack of Proper Consultation for Wind Farm Project

Forever Unclean? Wastewater is a Viable Solution to Water Quality and Quantity Issues in the US

Unlike other natural resources, such as fossil fuels or crops, there is no substitute for water.[1] Despite this crucial fact, the world’s water supply remains under assault from overuse and pollution.[2] Even as environmental topics such as climate change remain mired in political struggle, water scarcity issues are absent from American political dialogue in many… Continue reading Forever Unclean? Wastewater is a Viable Solution to Water Quality and Quantity Issues in the US

D.C. Circuit Vacates Cross State Air Pollution Rule: Will En Banc Review Restore Judicial Restraint as Well as Life-Saving Rule?

On Aug. 21, 2012, a D.C. Circuit panel decided EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, which vacated the EPA’s 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“CSAPR”).[1]  The rule, formulated after a 2008 D.C. Circuit decision remanded a prior incarnation of the rule,[2] sought to reduce pollution emitted from upwind states that impairs air quality in… Continue reading D.C. Circuit Vacates Cross State Air Pollution Rule: Will En Banc Review Restore Judicial Restraint as Well as Life-Saving Rule?

Dolphin-Safe Tuna Isn’t Safe Anymore: WTO Rules That US Labeling Regulations for Dolphin-Safe Tuna Are Illegal

In May of 2012, the World Trade Organization (WTO) dealt a blow to consumer choice in the United States: it declared that the “dolphin-safe tuna” labels lining the shelves of grocery stores across the country are illegal because they unfairly restrict trade.[1]   The WTO appellate decision was in response to a complaint by Mexico that… Continue reading Dolphin-Safe Tuna Isn’t Safe Anymore: WTO Rules That US Labeling Regulations for Dolphin-Safe Tuna Are Illegal

The Future of Oxy-Coal Combustion: FutureGen 2.0 and the Illinois Commerce Commission

Presently, the two main technologies capable of allowing coal-fired power plants to generate power on a commercial scale with near zero carbon emissions are Oxy-Coal Combustion (“Oxy-Coal”) and Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (“IGCC”).[1]  Several commercial scale projects will use or are already using IGCC technology;[2] however, only one commercial scale project is planning to use… Continue reading The Future of Oxy-Coal Combustion: FutureGen 2.0 and the Illinois Commerce Commission

Choices and Challenges: The Future of Climate Change Litigation

Much has been written and studied on the topic of global warming since Svante Arrhenius—drawing on the earlier work of Joseph Fourier—first hypothesized in 1896 that the level of water vapor in the atmosphere increases as CO2 levels increase, that the presence of additional water vapor enhances the heat-trapping effects of CO2,[1] and that fossil… Continue reading Choices and Challenges: The Future of Climate Change Litigation

First U.S. National Ocean Policy Established – Congress Just Needs to Support It

Our oceans and coasts are in crisis.[1] Faced with the devastating impacts of global warming, overfishing, industrialization, and pollution,[2] the health of marine ecosystems are at a tipping point and deteriorating rapidly. In 2010, President Obama issued an Executive Order[3] that created America’s first National Ocean Policy. This new national policy created a window of… Continue reading First U.S. National Ocean Policy Established – Congress Just Needs to Support It

The Antarctic Treaty: How Amending the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure Can Save the Only Place Left on Earth as it Should Be

There are few places left in our industrialized world that have been left untouched.  Antarctica, never having a native population, is one of these unique wild places that have somehow escaped the grasp of human pillage. [1]  Referred to as “Earth’s last great wilderness,” this uninhabited land indicates how humans have impacted the world and… Continue reading The Antarctic Treaty: How Amending the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure Can Save the Only Place Left on Earth as it Should Be

Is Public Commenting on Future Proposed Rules by the National Marine Fisheries Service at Risk?

Over time, fishing has evolved from a sustenance-based activity to a lucrative commercial industry.[1] This shift from sustenance to commercial fishing, however, is not without its consequences. The high economic value of certain marine life has encouraged overfishing and, consequently, decimation of certain fish populations.[2] As a species becomes increasingly threatened and harder to obtain,… Continue reading Is Public Commenting on Future Proposed Rules by the National Marine Fisheries Service at Risk?