Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines Stymied, BUT SCOTUS Gives Other Projects a Pass

Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines Stymied, BUT SCOTUS Gives Other Projects a Pass

A federal judge in Washington, DC ruled yesterday that the Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down and empty all its oil until the government completes an environmental review of the pipeline’s impacts, giving the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies downstream, a huge victory.  Similarly, late in the day, the Supreme Court refused to overturn the order of a district judge that shut down construction of parts of the Keystone XL pipeline so it is also blocked for now.

Why It Matters:  The Dakota and Keystone XL news is greatly tempered by the fact that numerous other pipeline projects can go ahead despite their inadequate permit unless they are individually challenged in court and blocked.

Continue Reading 585 words
Supreme Court Decisions Provide Opportunities for Wins in Climate and Environment Cases

Supreme Court Decisions Provide Opportunities for Wins in Climate and Environment Cases

This week, the Supreme Court decided important cases favoring the rights of LGBTQ individuals and the policy of allowing the “Dreamers” who were brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age to remain in the U.S. undocumented.  Both cases provide important legal principles that could be significant in a host of litigation over climate change and the rollback of environmental protections. 

Why This Matters:  The Trump administration has been ruthless and careless in its quest to blunt the impacts of the nation’s environmental laws and rollback related policies and regulations.

Continue Reading 611 words
Supreme Court Closes Loophole, Ensures the Integrity of the Clean Water Act

Supreme Court Closes Loophole, Ensures the Integrity of the Clean Water Act

In a huge win for the Clean Water Act, by a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court held that municipalities and others that discharge pollution are subject to the Act’s restrictions when they discharge the water into groundwater or ditches and it ends up in a water body covered by the law, such as a lake or the ocean.

Why This Matters: Six votes for a pro-conservation interpretation of the Act, including the Chief Justice and Trump-appointee Kavanaugh, has significance beyond this case.

Continue Reading 540 words
Trump Fights Green Groups, Appeals to SCOTUS on Border Wall Funding

Trump Fights Green Groups, Appeals to SCOTUS on Border Wall Funding

President Trump is challenging in the Supreme Court two orders from lower federal courts that froze funding for 100 miles of the President’s border wall because the President took the money from other federal programs and projects without Congress’ consent based on his border “emergency” declaration.  On Friday, the Associated Press reported that the Administration […]

Continue Reading 522 words
Supreme Court Upholds Virginia’s Uranium Mining Ban

Supreme Court Upholds Virginia’s Uranium Mining Ban

In an unanticipated plot twist, the Supreme Court’s most liberal and conservative Justices joined together and upheld a decades-old Virginia law banning uranium mining, and did so over the objection of the Trump Justice Department and three other Justices who now occupy the ideological center of the Court. 

Continue Reading 537 words
The Nuclear Industry is Gaming the System at the Cost of Renewables

The Nuclear Industry is Gaming the System at the Cost of Renewables

As renewable energy technology has grown over the past decades, many states have used procurement mandates to help maximize the percentage of their energy mix that comes from carbon-free energy sources. These mandates have been very effective at reducing the cost of renewable energy but as Travis Kavulla, director of energy policy at the R […]

Continue Reading 514 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.