29th August 2010
The environmental law community is buzzing over a brief filed by the Solicitor General’s Office this week on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority in American Electric Power v. Connecticut. As reported by the Washington Post, the WSJ’s Washington Wire, and Greenwire, environmentalist groups are shocked and dismayed by the SG’s decision to enter the case. “Obama Sides with Polluters” reads the title of a blog post by UCLA’s Jonathan Zasloff at Legal Planet.
How’s that Hope and Change working out for ya?
In AEP, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (that initially included then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor) allowed several states and private groups to pursue public nuisance claims under federal common law against a handful of the nation’s largest utilities, including the TVA, for their contribution to global warming. Among other things, the court held the states had standing and that their nuisance claims were not displaced by federal regulatory authority over greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. This suit, like others filed elsewhere, has increased pressure on utilities and others to accept federal climate change legislation.
Poor babies. Apparently there actually are some grownups working for the government after all, and Mother Gaia will have to look elsewhere in hopes of reversing the Industrial Revolution. (Why are ‘environmentalists’ considered ‘progressives’? If you look at the policies they push they’re the most reactionary people around; they won’t be happy until the world is returned to the way it was during Teddy Roosevelt’s administration.)