Previous Legal and Political News 2024

What Is the Chevron Doctrine? The Big Climate Case You Might Not Know About. 06-13-24

The fossil-backed Supreme Court prepares a stealth attack on climate.

Burning wood is not ‘renewable energy,’ so why do policymakers pretend it is? 06-11-24

A recent analysis shows it’s not renewable and adds more carbon to the atmosphere than coal and gas.

Major Business Groups Plan to Defend Biden’s Climate Law Despite Past Opposition 05-29-24

The groups’ stance could clash with a potential Trump administration’s plans to roll back Biden’s climate policies.

Can Carbon Offsets Actually Work? The Biden Administration Thinks So. 05-29-24

New guidelines aim to restore confidence in the controversial climate solution. Read more

Majority of U.S. Voters Support Climate Litigation Against Big Oil, Poll Finds 05-28-24

A new Data for Progress poll shared with The Guardian finds that most voters support litigation against big oil, while nearly half would also back the filing of criminal charges. Read more

Vermont Passed a Bill Making Big Oil Pay. Now Comes the Hard Part. 05-17-24

The state still has to figure out how much individual fossil fuel companies must pay for the impacts of climate-driven disasters. Read more

Michigan Wants Fossil Fuel Companies to Pay For Climate Change Damages 05-13-24

Harms include severe weather, crop failures and economic hits from lack of ice and snow. Read more

Microsoft Employees Spent Years Fighting the Tech Giant’s Oil Ties. Now, They’re Speaking Out. 05-08-24

Inside the worker-led effort to get the world’s most valuable company to stop helping the oil and gas industry drill. Read more

New documents show oil executives promoted natural gas as green — but knew it wasn’t 05-02-24

It’s the first evidence of an oil company acknowledging that gas wasn’t as climate-friendly as promised. Read more

EPA Finally Takes on Abandoned Coal Ash Ponds — But it Might Be Too Late 05-01-24

Will utilities clean up toxic waste at power plants, or run out an election-year clock? Read more

Oil Companies Leverage Academic Partnerships to Influence Climate Change Action 05-01-24

Oil companies are strategically partnering with universities to influence climate change research and policy, recently revealed documents show.

Republican Attorneys General Mount a New Attack on the EPA’s Use of Civil Rights Law 04-25-24

23 states want the Biden administration’s EPA to curtail its approach to environmental justice. Read more

Taking Big Oil to Court For ‘climate homicide’ Isn’t as Far-fetched as it Sounds 04-19-24

Are fossil fuel companies guilty of actual murder?

A new legal theory suggests that oil companies could be taken to court for every kind of homicide in the United States, short of first-degree murder. Read more

Biden’s Bureau of Land Management Will Offer Leasing of Public Lands for Conservation 04-19-24

The Biden administration has finalized a new rule to protect United States public lands.

Who’s Afraid of a 300-mile Transmission Line That Could Help Decarbonize the Southeast? 04-17-24

Louisiana lawmakers and local utilities. Read more

FEMA is Making an Example of This Florida Boomtown. Locals Call it ‘revenge politics.’ 04-16-24

The Biden administration is trying to punish Lee County for rebuilding flood-prone homes. The state’s Republican politicians are fighting back. Read more

The Downballot Races That Could Transform Energy Policy in Arizona and Nebraska 04-13-24

The energy future of fossil-fuel dependent Phoenix could be reshaped by some clean-energy advocates.

Enviva bankruptcy fallout ripples through biomass industry, U.S. and EU 04-02-24

The bankruptcy filing in March by Maryland-based Enviva — the world’s largest maker of wood pellets from forest biomass — is rattling a European Union that relies heavily on biomass as a significant though contested renewable energy source. Read more

The EPA Wanted to Clean Up Steel Mills. Then a Group of Rust Belt Senators Got Involved. 04-02-24

Steel towns will see some reductions in toxic pollution from new regulations — but not as much as they’d hoped. Read more

Florida is About to Erase Climate Change From Most of Its Laws 03-25-24

The state is spending big on adapting to sea level rise, but Republicans don’t want to name the cause. Read more

In Utah, Climate Concerns Are Now Motivating Candidates 03-24-24

Would-be voters in the coal and oil state signal they’re increasingly alarmed by climate change. Read more

Proposed Bill Seeks to Ban Single-use Plastic Foam Products in US 03-18-24

Expanded polystyrene foams are convenient packaging products, but they harm human and ecological health. Two US congresspeople proposed a national ban to address this issue. Read more

Inside the Right-wing Conspiracy to Thwart the Clean Energy Transition 03-15-24

Climate-science deniers, far-right think tanks and fossil fuel interests are spreading misinformation online and stoking local opposition to wind and solar projects. Read more

Pentagon Tries to Dodge PFAS Lawsuits Over a Product it Helped Invent 03-12-24

The U.S. government is seeking immunity from 27 lawsuits related to a toxic firefighting foam used on military bases. Read more

Want Clean electricity? These Are the Overlooked Elected Officials That Get to Decide. 03-05-24

As the Georgia Public Service Commission writes, “Very few governmental agencies have as much impact on peoples’ lives.” Read more

Biden’s Climate Law Fines Oil Companies for Methane Pollution. The Bill is Coming Due. 02-20-24

Recent research suggests the IRA’s methane fee could batter the oil and gas industry to the tune of more than $1 billion. Read more

Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It? 02-18-24

“Natural asset companies” would put a market price on improving ecosystems, rather than on destroying them. Read more

When a Climate Denier Becomes Louisiana’s Governor: Jeff Landry’s First Month in Office 02-15-24

Landry has surrounded himself with former fossil fuel executives — and he has targeted the state’s climate change task force. Read more

How the US Government Began its Decade-long Campaign Against the Anti-pipeline Movement 02-14-24

Newly released documents show the FBI monitoring anti-Keystone protesters much earlier than previously known. Young Native activists were among its first targets. Read more

The Big Question Behind Biden’s Liquefied Natural Gas Pause 01-26-24

The Biden administration will weigh the climate impacts of exporting LNG before approving new terminals. It won’t be easy. Read more

Meet the Communities Trying to Take Over Their Local Electric Utility 01-25-24

Activists say public power would lower bills and expand clean energy. But they face tough opposition from investor-owned utilities. Read more

A Louisiana Court Just Revived Plans For the Country’s Biggest Plastics Plant 01-23-24

If Formosa’s megaproject goes through, it could more than triple cancer risk in parts of St. James Parish. Read more

No More Going Wobbly in Climate Fight, Trump Supporters Vow 01-16-24

For all his bombast, the former president’s agencies hesitated to rewrite federal climate reports or install loyalists atop key science agencies. Some of his allies expect that to change.

Berkeley’s Gas Ban is All But Dead. What Does That Mean For Other Cities? 01-05-24

Despite another defeat in court, experts say cities still have plenty of options for electrifying buildings. Read more

In Juneau, Alaska, a Carbon Offset Project That’s Actually Working 01-04-24

Visiting Alaska is an emissions-heavy prospect. An innovative program has tourists ease that by helping buy heat pumps for locals. Read more

Brace Yourself For a Blockbuster Year on Energy and Climate 01-02-24

It’s officially an election year, which means politics — and the prospect of another White House showdown pitting President Joe Biden against former President Donald Trump — will influence just about everything in the energy and environmental arena between now and Election Day on Nov. 5.