Monday, December 12, 2011

Enviro: Politics, Juridics, Activism: Top 10 environmental issues this year and ahead



VT Digger (December12,2k11)  Read the entire h+ly analytical article!
Stripped and reposted here by Politicarp and Lawt

Vermont Law School publishes top 10 environmental watch list for 2012

Top 10 Environmental Watch List 2011-12

#1 With Republicans Bashing the EPA, 2012 Could Be 
a Turning Point for Environmental Regulation

Summary: House Republicans and Republican presidential candidates have launched unprecedented attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency, saying environmental regulations are hurting the economy.

#2 EPA and White House Clash Over Ozone Standards

Summary: President Obama’s rejection of a controversial new air pollution rule pleased industry but angered environmental and public health advocates heading into the presidential election season.

# 3 Powder River Basin’s Mother Lode of Coal 
at the Epicenter of Energy Development

Summary: The federal leasing of the Powder River Basin’s massive coal deposits opens the door to big profits, plentiful electricity, and environmental degradation in a place both remote and central to the world’s energy future.

# 4 Activists Claim Victory, Temporarily, 
on Disputed Keystone XL Pipeline

Summary: The State Department has postponed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial proposal to carry [Canadian] tar sands ['ethical'] oil across the U.S. heartland. While opponents of the project view this as a major victory, the fate of the pipeline remains unclear.  [My emendations in brackets— Lawt]

Read more ... click the time-stamp below ...

# 5 EPA, Transportation Department Step Up Sector-by-Sector 
Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Summary: 2012 will be a key time for U.S. climate change policy as the Obama administration appears ready to tackle one industry sector at a time. Toughened fuel economy standards for vehicles are critical to reducing oil consumption, greenhouse gases, and consumer expenses, but much more work remains to be done across a range of industries.

# 6 Federal Appeals Court Settles Roadless Rule… For Now

Summary: A federal appeals court ruling limits new road building in wild areas, but the debate won’t be resolved until Congress acts.

# 7 Fukushima Fallout Affects Global Energy Security, 
Cost,  Safety, Grid Reliability

Summary: The world’s response to the Fukushima disaster puts the future of a low-carbon energy future in doubt, but nuclear power remains on the table despite safety and cost concerns.

# 8 U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Regulate 
Greenhouse Gases Under Federal Common Law

Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that states can not use federal common law to restrict greenhouse gas emissions leaves open the questions of whether they can sue under state law and whether climate change victims can seek damages through the courts. The issues are likely to be litigated soon.

# 9 Landmark Settlement Under the Endangered Species Act

Summary: A federal court approved a major settlement that likely means many more imperiled species and their habitats will be protected.

# 10 Combating Climate Change Through Enforcement: EPA v. TVA

Summary: In a multi-billion dollar legal settlement with one of the nation’s biggest coal-fired polluters, the Environmental Protection Agency used the Clean Air Act creatively to achieve a major step toward cleaning up the nation’s air, saving lives, and reducing health care costs.

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