Tag: environment

Supreme Court Rejects EPA’s Regulation of Power Plants’ Emissions of Mercury and Other Toxins

METEOR BLADE (TIMOTHY LANGE) – The U.S. Supreme Court plunked a setback into the lap of the Environmental Protection Agency Monday [6-29-15] by trashing the agency’s regulation of emissions of mercury and other air toxins (MATS) from electricity-generating plants. The court overturned a lower-court decision in the case of Michigan v. EPA stating that the agency had acted reasonably when it chose not to consider compliance costs first in its effort to control those emissions. The justices split 5-4, with the four liberals on the side of the EPA and the four conservatives and Justice Anthony Kennedy on the side of industry and the states that had sued.

Plans to Ship Coal to China Face a Hurdle: The West Coast

PHILIP BUMP – Coal companies are in a bit of a bind. Well, a few binds, really, but let’s just focus on one at a time, shall we? Demand for their product domestically has dropped significantly of late, as prices of natural gas have remained low. But demand remains high overseas: In Europe, certainly, but particularly in Asia. So if you are running a coal company (which, if you are: Hello!), there’s an obvious solution. Take all that coal and ship it to China and India. Or maybe it’s not that easy.

Carbon Tax Needed to Protect Us from Coal

TAMATA STATON, LAURA CARVER & PHILIP CARVER -An economically efficient policy would place a price-adder (tax) on fossil fuels based on their carbon-content. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced legislation to price carbon emissions — the Save Our Climate Act of 2011, H.R. 3242. Revenue is collected at the point of first sale or import. In the first ten years, the IRS would return 80 percent of the revenue to the public on an equal, per-person basis. The other 20 percent would go toward deficit reduction.

Secret Tribunal Threatens the Environment

GLOBAL WATCH – For 18 years, Amazonian indigenous people have fought tirelessly to get Chevron to clean up horrific toxic contamination in a swath of Ecuador the size of Rhode Island. Finally last year, justice prevailed: an Ecuadorian appeals court reaffirmed that Chevron had to pay $18 billion to clean up the disaster and take care of tens of thousands of people suffering devastating health problems.

Green Transition is on the Global Agenda

HAZEL HENDERSON – Every country in the world is actively participating in preparations for Rio+20, the follow-up Earth Summit in Brazil, June 2012, to stimulate the transition to a green economy. The powerful 34 countries of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) have a Green Growth Strategy; the EU views “a transition to a green economy is imperative;” the U.S. focuses on “elimination of fossil fuel subsidies;” and Switzerland calls for a “green economy roadmap.”

Our Future Is Not Being Televised

PETER BERGEL – On Tuesday night a reported 100,000 Americans joined Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for a national conversation about breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington DC. It was another great example of the growing willingness of ordinary people to reclaim their power from those to whom they have delegated it, only to see it abused.

University Offers Leadership for Sustainable Change Certificate

VERNICE SOLIMAR, PHD – Over the years, students and faculty at John F. Kennedy University have expressed a desire to apply principles of psychology, human development and human potential to social action, diversity and systems approaches to planetary issues…a major need for the 21st century was a new paradigm of leadership that would solve problems, shift systems and create opportunities that engendered respect and care of the community, ecological integrity, social and economic justice and world peace.

Savings, Not Cost: Arresting Climate Change Makes Economic Sense

EUGENE REGISTER GUARD – The science of climate change is more controversial in the United States than in most other countries — skeptics reject the evidence that temperatures are rising due to increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases or, if they accept the data that point to global warming, claim that a link to human activity is unproven.

The People vs. the U.S. Government

DAVID SWANSON – Statistically speaking, virtually nobody in the United States of America knows that we spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined, that we could eliminate most of our military and still have the world’s largest, that over half of the money our government raises from income taxes and borrowing gets spent on the military, that our wars (outrageously costly as they may be) cost far less than the permanent non-war military budget, or that most of the financial woes of the federal and state governments could be solved just by ending a war in Afghanistan that two-thirds of Americans oppose.

A Time for Action — Not Servility

JEFF COHEN AND NORMAN SOLOMON – While Washington pundits are talking up a new civility, many progressives are bracing for the old servility — a bipartisanship that is servile to a corporate elite that is unquenchably greedy and more powerful than ever. But this is not a time for despair. It’s a time for new activism — built upon one of the great achievements of the last decade: the rise of independent media.