U.S. Supreme Court to hear oral arguments next week on landmark greenhouse gas case

On Tuesday April 19, 2010 the Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the biggest greenhouse gas/global warming related case since Massachusetts v. EPA (2007) (where the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act allows the EPA to regulate GHG emissions from automobiles).

In American Electric Power v. Connecticut, a conglomerate of 6 states*, 3 not-for-profits and New York City ("States") will take on the nation's 5 largest GHG emitters (large electricity generators).
*NJ and WI are no longer part of this suit.

The legal issues to be argued: (1) whether states may sue for injunction under the common-law tort theory of "public nuisance" based on global warming-related injuries ; (2) whether the "political question doctrine" prevents the courts from hearing this suit; and (3) whether the Clean Air Act or EPA regulations preempt this action.

Don't think anyone is interested? Think again. As of Saturday evening, there have been at least 22 amicus briefs for the respondents (power plants) and 9 for the petitioners (the states ).


Pace Law School program on hydraulic fracturing in NY, April 14 @6:30pm (FREE for students. Live webcast!)

The Pace Law School Center for Environmental Legal Studies and Center for Continuing Legal Education present -

Natural gas can play an important role in the transition to cleaner energy supplies since it produces less carbon emissions than coal or oil. However, there are significant environmental and public health issues associated with the natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 -- 6:30pm-9:30pm
Pace Law School -- 78. N.Broadway, White Plains, NY -- Moot Courtroom Law Library


Earthjustice responds to Obama's Energy Plan: 1 thumb up, 1 thumb down.

Last week, Earthjustice, the non-profit environmental law firm, issued a statement responding to President Obama's energy address. In its statement, Earthjustice said that "some elements of the plan are flawed and signal a lingering attachment to outdated ways of thinking."

Earthjustice is referring to the possibility of offshore drilling in America's Artic, corporate loopholes that limit liability for hydraulic fracturing, and monetary incentives for the oil and gas companies.