standing

Still Waiting For Supreme Court Decision on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cert Petition

We May Learn This Week Whether Court Takes Up Important Climate Change Case

Court watchers are still waiting to learn whether  the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the  second most important federal case involving greenhouse gas emissions,  Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA.   The Court is closed today for a federal holiday (not because of the shutdown) but any day we should hear about whether it will take …

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Businesses Without Standing

Standing is notoriously a barrier to litigation by environmental groups.  In fact, many of the Supreme Court’s major standing decisions involve environmental claimants.  The conventional wisdom is that standing is no problem for businesses because regulations limit their freedom of action and impose financial costs.  But recent cases suggest that’s an oversimplification.  In fact, it …

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Clearing Up the Standing Mystery in the Biomass Case

In a post last week, I expressed puzzlement about the D.C. Circuit’s failure to discuss standing in Center on Biological Diversity v. EPA, which involved EPA’s decision to delay greenhouse gas regulations for facilities burning biomass. The question of standing in climate change cases has been controversial, so this mystery sparked extensive discussion among environmental …

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Did the Supreme Court just shut the courthouse door on environmental plaintiffs?

It’s not an environmental law case, but the Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International has a lot of environmental law folks talking.  Clapper was a lawsuit that sought to challenge the constitutionality of a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allowed the government to monitor a range of communications by …

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D.C. Circuit Denies Rehearing in Endangerment Case

Six months ago, the D.C. Circuit upheld EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare, triggering coverage under the Clean Air Act.  Today, the full court denied rehearing to the three-judge panel’s decision.  There were only two dissents, which obviously were hoping to set the stage for a cert. petition to the Supreme …

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One Reason the Election Matters for the Environment: The Supreme Court

Supreme Court appointments are among the most durable of Presidential actions.  A fifty-year-old appointee could well be on the Supreme Court until 2040 or longer. As an AP story this morning points out, the election could dramatically change the balance on the Supreme Court: With four justices in their seventies, odds are good that whoever is …

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Ninth Circuit Rules Against Indian Tribe’s Climate Change Suit

Not much of a surprise here; a Ninth Circuit panel “has ruled against the northwest Alaska village of Kivalina, which sued energy companies over claims that greenhouse emissions contributed to global warming that is threatening the community’s existence.”  The village brought a common-law public nuisance claim against the oil companies, but the panel held that …

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Could standing save CEQA?

One of the recent complaints about CEQA has been that the statute has been abused by various parties who have no interest in protecting the environment, but instead are simply interested in either (a) raising costs for competitors or (b) using the threat of CEQA litigation to extract payments from project proponents.  Various horror stories …

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The Supreme Court on Climate Torts — A Second Look

Let’s begin with the bad news.  The plaintiffs lost, eliminating one possible tool in combating climate change.  That doesn’t seem like a big loss to me, because I’ve always thought that the defendants’ best argument was that the federal common law is displaced by the Clean Air Act.  It’s an easy argument to make based …

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Ninth Circuit allows landowner to challenge impaired water listing

UPDATED. See below. An odd judicial couple, conservative Jay Bybee (of torture memo fame) and liberal Stephen Reinhardt, have combined to issue an even odder Clean Water Act standing decision. In Barnum Timber v. EPA they ruled, over the dissent of District Judge James Gwin, sitting by designation, that a landowner had standing to challenge …

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