Court’s Ruling on Science and Climate Change Could Affect Other Fossil Fuel Projects

❝ Fossil fuel projects nationwide could be on notice after an appeals court ordered the federal government to rethink the climate change impacts of two giant coal mines, environmental lawyers and energy consultants tell Bloomberg BNA.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit only directly affects Arch Coal and Peabody Energy, which operate the Wyoming mines in question, and only applies to five Western states…

❝ But the Sept. 14 decision establishes an argument that could be tested nationwide in other courts to challenge any fossil fuel-related project that might have climate change effects, said Jayni Foley Hein, policy director at New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity. These might include natural gas pipelines, oil sand pipelines, coal railroads, and coal export terminals…

❝ Michelle Benedict Nowlin, an environmental law professor at Duke University, said the decision highlights language in the National Environmental Policy Act requiring that agencies follow the best available science. That language provides a bulwark against any given administration’s rejection of scientific consensus, Nowlin said.

Anyone have any idea which corrupt politicians, in or out of office, she might be thinking of? Someone who would reject scientific understanding, the common good, for the ideology of short-term profit above all else?

2 thoughts on “Court’s Ruling on Science and Climate Change Could Affect Other Fossil Fuel Projects

  1. Hope says:

    A judge in Minnesota has cleared the way for an unusual and potentially groundbreaking defense, allowing climate activists to use the “necessity” of confronting the climate crisis as justification for temporarily shutting down two crude oil pipelines last year.
    Robert Tiffany, a district court judge in Clearwater County, Minnesota, ruled on Oct. 11 that three activists who were arrested and charged with felonies last year can argue that they violated the law in order to protect citizens from the impacts of global warming and that they had no legal alternative. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/16102017/climate-change-activists-arrest-pipeline-shutdown-necessity-defense The ruling is the third recent case in which a judge in the United States has allowed for such a defense in a climate case in a jury trial. A case in Massachusetts in 2014 did not go to trial after the prosecutor dropped the charges. A judge allowed the necessity defense in a Washington State case in 2016 but then instructed jurors they could not acquit on necessity. There was also a recent non-jury case in which a county judge in Slate Hill, New York, allowed a necessity defense for climate activists charged with misdemeanor trespassing, but he issued a guilty verdict in June, stating the defense failed to prove “imminence”, or immediate harm posed by climate change.

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