EcoPerspectives Blog

The Penumbras and Emanations of Climate Change: The Case for Environmental Constitutionalism in The U.S. Context.

by Terry Ann Campbell You may have heard that the Ninth Circuit recently dismissed Juliana v. United States for lack of Article III standing. According to the Ninth Circuit, the 21 Youth Plaintiffs failed to show that their claims can be redressed by the judiciary. The Court’s main argument indicates that Congress and the Executive… Read more »

Spaceflight and the Environment: NASA’s NEPA Process

by Hunter Sutherland Every mission, even exploration of other planets, starts with protecting our home, planet Earth. What is NEPA? Congress enacted the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 1970 to set the environmental policy for the United States. Major actions by federal agencies that significantly affect the quality of the human and natural environment… Read more »

Remedying Agency Misconduct

by Alex Spitzer The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) secretly took part in an illegitimate and illegal procedure when providing a national pollution discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit to PolyMet.[1]  PolyMet is a foreign company owned by Switzerland’s mining juggernaut Glencore. Fortunately, brave EPA employees blew the whistle and uncovered that the MPCA illegally withheld… Read more »

PJM’s Pass Back to FERC’s MOPR Order

by Naveed Nanjee In December 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) released an order that requires PJM Interconnection LLC (“PJM”), a regional grid operator, to expand its Minimum Offer Price Rule (“MOPR”) to state-subsidized resources in the capacity market. This order attempts to extend the MOPR beyond its traditional use and also attempts to raise… Read more »

Fighting Deadly Fires with Legislation

by Kayley Olsen Recently, California saw the worst and most devastating fire in their history. The Camp Fire of 2018. On November 8th, 2018 the foothills of the Sierra Nevada set ablaze and would continue to do for the next 17 days. During that time 153,000 acres of land burned, 14,000 residencies were destroyed, and… Read more »

EXTENDING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TO FARM ANIMALS

by Kerianne Morrissey  The ongoing threat of climate change leads to an increasing number of disasters every year. Animal agriculture is one of the drivers contributing to the acceleration of global warming.[1] In the United States, the current emergency preparedness legal frameworks, at both the state and federal levels, are inadequate. The framework provides exceptions… Read more »

How the Tides have Shifted for Virginia Energy Policy in 2020

By Antonia Douglas Under Governor Northam’s direction, Virginia’s Energy Policy shifted quite dramatically from when he first took office in January 2018 to what we have at the end of the 2020 Legislative Session. For years, legislators, policymakers, and business – Dominion Energy – have been avoiding the writing on the wall that climate change… Read more »

Rural Farm Electrification

By Max Matt Roughly 9 percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions come from the agriculture sector.[1] As with transportation, electricity generation, commercial, and industrial activities, this fact begs the question: what can we do about it? Some activities within agriculture emit greenhouse gases inherently – for example: cows burping.[2] Until, a recently-discovered, cow… Read more »

You Can’t Check This Box: A Win for Environmental Justice

by Jerry Thomas             In a stark contrast to the decision in St. Francis Prayer Ctr. v. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (hereafter, Select Steel), the Fourth Circuit in Friends of Buckingham v. State Air Pollution Control Board delivered a major victory for environmental justice (EJ). Select Steel created something called the rebuttable presumption defense; because… Read more »

NOT INTENTIONAL, BUT IMPACTFUL: WILL CLIMATE CHANGE BRING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE TO BLACK, POOR OR POWERLESS COMMUNITIES?

by Jacqueline R. Waller Environmental Justice is the latest civil rights movement in the United States. Can someone say, “Finally!” But what is environmental justice? Environmental justice is the fight for equal environmental protection under the law, that includes the right to work and play in safe and healthy communities, and communities free of life-threatening… Read more »