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Common Sense Kiss of Death for Climate Change Lawsuits

The decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., No. 09-17490, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19870 (9th Cir. Sept. 21, 2012) if left standing has the practical effect of ending the way environmental law claims are decided.  In a unanimous decision, the Appeals Court dismissed the case against XOM and other oil, energy and utilities companies alleging that their greenhouse gas emissions threaten the defendants’ property and other …Continue Reading »

Beware the Big Green Wall Ahead

As individual citizens and consumers we favor environmental responsibility and the use of clean energy.  We get it, we do. There is broad public support for environmental laws and regulations that force businesses to clean up their act and not dump their waste products into our air and water.  Since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring we have been fed a continuous stream of messages about protecting the environment and it is now part of our cultural DNA. Much of the easy and obvious stuff is now …Continue Reading »

FERC Order 1000 is Looking Busy, while Not Solving the Electric Transmission Problems

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted Order 1000 on July 21, 2011 to push the line of scrimmage a little closer to the goal without getting sacked in the process.  Order 1000 attempts to speed up resolution of transmission issues by: Requiring a regional transmission planning process; Setting procedures to reconcile differing public policy issues such as renewable portfolio standards and other state clean energy requirements); Limiting the right of first refusal for …Continue Reading »