Death of Supreme Court Justice Keeps EPA’s Clean Power Plan in Technical Limbo

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Robinson Meyer for The New Yorker:Although Scalia’s death has already changed the outlook for a number of cases now in front of the Supreme Court, it will also alter the shape of one that will soon arrive: the legal battle over the Clean Power Plan.The Clean Power Plan is the new set of Environmental Protection Agency regulations that anchors the Obama administration’s climate-change policy. It seeks to guide local utilities away from coal-fired electricity generation, and toward renewable energy and natural gas, a change that the Department of Energy says will forestall hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse-gas emissions. The plan’s survival—and its entry into law—could decide the fate of the Paris Agreement, the first international treaty to mitigate climate change. For a case that will ultimately turn on administrative law, it’s hard to imagine the stakes being much higher.It had already been a busy week for the Clean Power Plan. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the rules should neither be implemented nor enforced until the high court itself heard their opponents’ case. This was itself unprecedented: Never before had the Supreme Court stayed a set of regulations before a federal court even heard the initial case about them.This was an ominous sign for the regulations. “One has to conclude that five justices have decided that the rule must go,” said Seth Jaffe, the former president of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.But Scalia’s death could change all that. Now there are only four justices who have telegraphed their opposition to the rules. Could the Clean Power Plan now survive, after all?There are two questions to ask when gaming out the future of this particular case. First, would the Court revisit its stay on the rule, allowing the EPA to proceed to implement the regulations? And second, if the Court does hear the case about the Clean Power Plan, could its new membership change its decision?As to the first, no legal expert I talked to thought the now-smaller Court was likely to annul its stay.“There is currently no reason to assume the Court will revisit the stay order,” said Richard Lazarus, an environmental-law professor at Harvard University and a veteran of oral arguments at the Court, in an email. “It is final as voted on by the full Court at the time and is not subject to revisiting any more than any other ruling by the Court before the Justice’s passing.”The second question is more complicated. The terms of the Court’s stay were broad: It ordered that the Clean Power Plan could only enter into force after the Court itself ruled; or if the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard its case (as it is scheduled to do this summer) and the Supreme Court declined to hear the inevitable appeal.In the language of the Court, taking up a case is “granting a writ of certiorari,” often shortened to “granting cert.” Unlike in a decision on a case, in which five justices determine how the court rules, only four justices need to vote to grant cert in a case. Most experts thought it was likely that the Court—whatever its makeup—would eventually hear the case.Then things get more complicated.“The Senate Republicans have already made it clear that they will not confirm anyone President Obama nominates. So it could fall to the next President to name the next justice. And that makes even higher the stakes in the next presidential election,” said Michael Gerrard, a law professor at Columbia University and the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, in an email.“If no Obama appointee is confirmed, and if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is the next President, the next Justice will presumably join the liberal wing of the court, and there is a good chance that he or she would vote to uphold the Clean Power Plan,” he told me. “That of course assumes that nominee gets confirmed before the case is decided; this could well be a massive and protracted confirmation battle, given the high stakes for so many areas of law.”If a Republican wins the White House, their Supreme Court nominee would almost certainly join the Supreme Court’s conservative wing. That justice would be unlikely to vote to support the Clean Power Plan—but it wouldn’t matter, because no remaining Republican candidate supports Obama’s climate policies, anyway, so they’d likely be reversed administratively.There’s some possibility that the Supreme Court could hear the Clean Power Plan case before a ninth justice is appointed. If it then split 4-4, the D.C. circuit’s ruling would stand. But sources cautioned this was less likely.“The earliest the Supreme Court could possibly hear it for oral argument would likely be next February or March, and it could possibly not be until the following October depending on how long the [D.C. circuit] decision takes,” said Lazarus. He added that if there is still no ninth justice at that time, the Court might opt to delay certain arguments and rulings until there is a full bench.There’s one more wrinkle to all this, Gerrard added. “Several states that litigated against the Clean Power Plan are now considering whether to undertake planning under the plan despite the stay, and it will be interesting to see whether this development influences the thinking of some of these states,” he said. If it does, that means many of the rule’s effects could enter force as prudent local utilities engage in cost-benefit analysis, even if the rule itself does not.Full article: Will a Reconfigured Supreme Court Help Obama’s Clean-Power Plan Survive? Death of Supreme Court Justice Keeps EPA’s Clean Power Plan in Technical Limbolast_img read more

Auctions expected to double U.K. offshore wind capacity

first_imgAuctions expected to double U.K. offshore wind capacity FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Week:Britain’s offshore wind capacity is set to double over the next decade, driven by a government strategy forcing turbine operators to bid for financial support in auctions.Plummeting costs have made wind an increasingly affordable source of clean energy in recent years. By 2030, between a fifth and a third of the UK’s electricity is expected to come from offshore wind power.In a bid to give the industry the long-term stability it needs to continue to expand, Climate and Energy Secretary Claire Perry has confirmed that every two years the Government will hold auctions in which energy firms bid for contracts that guarantee a minimum price for the power they will sell.The auction process “has forced firms to be transparent about the amount of support they actually need, and has halved the cost of supporting offshore wind”, says the BBC. The system has been adopted worldwide “and is recognised as a major UK contribution to the development of clean energy” says the broadcaster.Last year renewable sources supplied more than half of the UK’s energy for the first time, exceeding what was generated by burning coal and gas.Scotland has become a world leader in sourcing its electricity from renewables, after a record year in 2017 for creating eco-friendly energy. The nation got more than two-thirds (68.1%) of its electricity from green schemes last year, The Independent reports, up from 54% the year before.More: UK offshore wind power to double by 2030last_img read more

Shell buys stake in Asia-focused Cleantech Solar

first_imgShell buys stake in Asia-focused Cleantech Solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to acquire a 49 percent stake in Asia-focused firm Cleantech Solar, the energy giant’s second investment in solar power this year.The Anglo-Dutch company will have an option to increase its holding in Cleantech after 2021. The deal is expected to close in January 2019.Cleantech Solar develops, owns and operates commercial and industrial solar energy systems in Southeast Asia and India that have generated over 100 million megawatt hour units of electricity, it said in a statement.In January, Shell acquired a stake in U.S. solar company Silicon Ranch Corporation.More: Shell acquires stake in Asia-focused Cleantech Solarlast_img read more

Developers express overwhelming interest in planned renewable energy zone in Australia’s New South Wales

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Plans to establish the first of three ‘renewable energy zones’ (REZ) in the Australian state of New South Wales have seen an overwhelming level of interest, with a call for proposals chalking up a nine-fold oversubscription.NSW deputy premier John Barilaro said yesterday that the state government had received 113 registrations of interest, totaling 27GW, looking to connect to the 3GW REZ in the Central-West and Orana regions of NSW following a two-week proposal window launched in late May.“The Central-West Orana REZ is expected to generate AU$4.4 billion in investment, create 450 construction jobs, help put downward pressure on electricity prices and allow landowners to diversify their incomes by hosting renewable energy infrastructure,” Barilaro said. “By coordinating development in a strategic way, REZs also help us get the land use planning right, and renewables built in places that work for the community, not just developers.”The Central-West REZ is being used as a pilot for the renewable energy zone concept because it already has significant levels of interest from investors and an estimated 4.5GW of projects in the pipeline, the NSW government said.“The Central-West Orana REZ, the first of the state’s three Renewable Energy Zones, will be the modern-day equivalent of a traditional power station, capable of powering 1.3 million homes,” [state energy minister Matt Kean said.]Kean said a new body, the Energy Corporation of NSW, will oversee the development of the REZ, using the available funding to coordinate the technical design, planning processes, community engagement and other aspects of the initiative.[Ben Willis]More: Australia’s first renewable energy zone receives 27GW deluge of applications Developers express overwhelming interest in planned renewable energy zone in Australia’s New South Waleslast_img read more

Riding in My Sleep

first_imgMountain biking while on a lengthy sleep deficit turns out to be a bad idea.According to the Scientific American, “Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you should be getting and the amount you actually get. It’s a deficit that grows every time we skin extra minutes off our nightly slumber. Short-term sleep deprivation leads to a foggy brain, worsened vision, impaired driving, and trouble remembering. Long-term effects include obesity, insulin resistance, and heart disease. And most Americans suffer from chronic deprivation.”Well. Seeing as how I have a 3-year-old who doesn’t sleep, I’m pretty much stupid by now. As for the part about impaired driving, well I’m about to tell you what that does to a girl on a bicycle. I had finally gotten a good night’s sleep when I decided to try camping with the boys again. The 3-year-old slept during the last two camping trips, so I thought we were in the clear. I don’t know why I thought that when he hasn’t even been sleeping at home for the past month. He wakes at least twice a night to either scream or pee his bed. Maybe I thought the fresh air would let him sleep? Or the fact that he was running around like a banshee all day long with 16 little friends? No. He did not sleep. Although he slept fine up until the adults were ready to rack. That’s when he awoke, fussing about various problems with his diaper, the sleeping bag, the monsters, the dog, etc.But I was hell bent at meeting friends by 9:30 at the trailhead, because when it’s your day to ride, you ride. The sun rose, and my bladder woke me before the baby did, which is absolutely amazing in itself. I felt as though my bladder had grossly failed me. Not ten minutes after returning to a slight doze within my cocoon did Wyatt sit bolt up and announce his readiness to go fishing. His brother was up in the next breath. Now my choices were to try to sleep more or leave the madness and hit the trails.When it’s your day to ride, you ride.I stopped at a gas station for a cup of coffee and a quick freshening up in the bathroom. I scarfed down a banana and snagged a bag of pistachios to ensure a little protein and potassium in the system. Never mind the slight hangover I was battling. I made it to the trailhead first and took my time getting ready as the dog wore herself out running around the parking lot.Once we started riding my legs felt like lead, and my front wheel seemed to dive into every divet. I was having trouble even pulling my wheels up to hop roots. I shook it off to being off my bike for a while, but I could not get it together. I could not bear to use anything other than my granny gear on the climbs, and as I reached the technical rocky climb, I could not avoid being snatched off my bike by the rhododendron. When the climbing was done I reached for a tree and found my outside foot was stuck in the pedal. The outcome was me crashing to the ground, still clipped in. I wasn’t even riding.It was the first ten yards back on the bike that really screwed me up, causing a wreck very reminiscent of the early days of mountain biking. Ouch. Knowing it was my shoulder that would take the brunt, I thought of my massage clients and stuck my foot out instead. I snapped it so hard that the buckle snapped off of my shoe. I had to lie there suffering for a bit before making anybody wait too long. I was immediately angry at the thought of not being able to run or ride the rest of the week. I’m not even sure what caused me to wreck.The experts say that 8 hours of sleep is the most healthy. They also say that a sleep deficit can eventually be repaid. It’s not something that will recover after a weekend of sleep, but changing the sleep pattern over time, adding an hour or two each night. At first you are likely to need ten hours. However, if you go to bed when your body is tired and wake up without an alarm clock, after a few weeks your body will even out to however much nightly sleep it requires.Yeah. Explain this to Wyatt.last_img read more

HOW TO: Fix a Flat Tire on Your Mountain Bike

first_imgIf you’re into mountain biking, a day is going to come when you encounter the dreaded flat tire on the trail. Whether you’re five miles from the trail head or five minutes, this can be a frustrating experience. But those frustrations are easily mitigated with the a little know-how and the correct tools. This short how to video on changing a mountain bike tire while on the trail could keep your next ride from becoming a bust.last_img

Tequila Tuesday

first_imgIt’s important in the world of adventure sports to stay flexible. I’m not talking about downward dog and tight hamstrings (although, yeah, that’s important too), I’m talking about being easy going. Having the ability to “roll with it.” Bad weather comes in? Shift your plans. Backcountry route not working out the way you’d hoped? Move on to Plan B. Crappy winter? Keep mountain biking. Stay flexible, and you’ll stay happy, and you’ll probably stay safe. And so when my merry band of adventure brothers was faced recently with an insurmountable road block, we didn’t get obstinate. We got flexible. A bunch of us have a standing “date,” where we get together to ski and drink whiskey every Wednesday. We call it Whiskey Wednesday. It’s important. So important, that we try to carry it on into spring mountain biking season. Instead of skis, we have fat tires. But the whiskey remains. That’s the important thing. But this spring, a couple of us have parenting obligations on Wednesday nights. It’s a scheduling oversight that can’t be rectified. Specifically, I’m coaching pee-wee soccer, which apparently, takes precedent over drinking whiskey with my friends in the woods. So we did the only thing a bunch of grown men could possibly do in this situation. First, we bitched about it in a string of texts that used a lot of ALL CAPS to express our frustration with the cruelty of the universe. “Who the hell schedules soccer practice for Wednesday!” Then we remembered the golden rule of staying flexible and created Tequila Tuesday. Same concept, different night, different liquor. The important thing is we’re getting together to drink booze and do sporty things in the woods. The specific night of the week doesn’t matter. It’s the fellowship that matters. Also alliteration. Alliteration is important. So cheers to Tequila Tuesday.last_img read more

12 Unforgettable Christmas Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast in Your Life

first_imgPEARL iZUMI P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tight$195Layering up for winter cycling feels like a lose-lose situation—add too many layers and you start to sweat and get cold, but without enough layers, you’ll be a literal ice cube in just a few miles. PEARL iZUMI’s PI DRY technology is the key to cold weather riding and winning. The softshell outer layer repels precipitation while the fleecey inside material is warm while still allowing for ventilation.Topeak PrepStand Pro $299The mountain biker, road cyclist or even the everyday commuter in your life will be forever grateful to receive this mother of all bike stands, the Topeak PrepStand Pro. This pro level work stand features an extremely stable tripod design that folds down for easy transportation to and from races or the local trailhead. Throw in the built-in digital weight scale, and you’ve got one of the best portable work stands on the market today. Filson Lightweight Alaskan Guide Shirt$115.00The venerable Filson brand has been around since 1897, and during that long-running tenure they’ve come as close to perfecting the all-season shirt as anyone. The Lightweight Alaskan Guide Shirt is made with a 3.5-oz. cotton that’s pre-washed for a broken-in feel and vintage appearance. The pleated back and relaxed fit provide a full range of motion through the shoulders, and because it’s Filson quality it’s built to last through years of wear and tear.The Chechessee, Williams Knife Co. $350Looking for a unique and meaningful gift for the fishing enthusiast on your list? Williams Knife Co. fits the bill. These world-class knives are handmade with care and craftsmanship in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The Chechessee is a standard trout fillet knife that is commonly used for cleaning small inshore species fish such as the speckled trout, redfish, flounder, etc. An excellent slicing and prepping blade, it’s equally at home in the kitchen as it is on the water. The knife also comes shipped with its own leather sheath at no additional cost.center_img Still scrambling to complete your long overdue list of Christmas shopping tasks? Stay calm. There’s still time to make this your best gift giving year yet. This list of 12 unforgettable gifts will keep any outdoorsy guy or gal on your list smiling well into Spring.DryGuy Force Dry$50Ski season is upon us, and if there’s one thing we hate, it’s putting on wet boots. Enter the DryGuy Force Dry, a portable device that quickly dries boots in an hour, so you can ski all morning, break for lunch, and hit the slopes again with toasty dry boots. The dryer also works well for gloves.Night Trek 270$64.95With shorter days and longer nights, it’s crucial to have good visibility and to be visible. These bright, rechargeable shoe lights illuminate 30 feet in front of and for 270 degrees around you, making hiking or running at night feel much safer, albeit a little disorienting at first. The lights are water-resistant and secure snuggly to your laces. Suerte TequilaNo Christmas list is complete without at least one bottle of high quality booze, and it’s hard to find better quality than Suerte Tequila. The single estate tequila brand, founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2012, uses traditional distilling process, and offers a fantastic taste at a competitive price point. The Extra Añejo ($109.99), Añejo ($49.99) and Reposado ($35.99) are aged in charred American White Oak whiskey barrels for seven years, two years and eight months, respectively. The Blanco ($29.99) is rested for a minimum of two months prior to bottling.Men’s Fire Tower Belay Down Parka $299.95If you’re shopping for a person that refuses to let extreme cold get in the way of their much needed outdoor adventure, this is the parka for you. This down hooded belay jacket is the warmest Big Agnes has offered. It features 700 fill DownTek water repellent down, Insotect Flow vertical baffles and ultralight random rip-stop nylon shell that protects from the elements and offers incredible durability.Walls Ditch Digger Pant 833 $44.99The 833s are made with 11-ounces of durable duck canvas and a bomber construction that can easily tackle the toughest of jobs. They are built with a comfort waistband, gusseted crotch and feature a relaxed cut that makes them ideal for kicking around camp.Chaco Frontier Waterproof Boot $170.00Chaco is about way more than just high quality sandals these days. This waterproof boot features full-grain leather upper, suede padded collar for added comfort, and is a perfect boot for a commute to the office or light hike on the trail.Tepui Baja Series Ayer 2-person Rooftop Tent$835Go big this year for the frequent camper in your life with Tepui’s new Baja Series. Rooftop tents are taking off as a category because they make setting up camp super easy—no more looking for flat dry ground—and are a lot more comfortable than sleeping in normal tents. The Baja series is new for 2017 and allows users to change canopies based on the conditions they’re camping in. There’s a mesh shade canopy for hot humid weather, a lightweight nylon rip-stop canopy for spring time, or an aluminized canopy for inclement weather. A detachable rainfly is also included.Midland T71VP3 Two-Way Radio Set $79.99 No cell phone service? No problem. Stay connected with your adventure partner even in the remotest of destinations with Midland’s T71VP3 two-way radio set. With a range that extends to 38-miles and Midland’s signature Weather Scan technology, a set of these radios could be essential to the success of your next backcountry excursion.last_img read more

2018 Tom Tom Founders Festival, April 9-15

first_imgFarm-to-Table Restaurant WeekThroughout the duration of Tom Tom Festival, restaurants and chefs are challenged to bring dishes to the menu that introduce and utilize fresh, locally sourced produce and products, further highlighting the beauty and taste of Charlottesville. We’ll be unveiling the Cville Signature Dis, and a version of the dish will be on the menu at every participating restaurant.Look for participating vendors, food trucks, and restaurants – and follow Tom Tom for more updates and exclusive deals! Spring is upon us – and with Spring, so comes the annual Tom Tom Founders Festival, in Charlottesville, VA, from April 9-15. Tom Tom Founders Festival is an inclusive, community-centric event that convenes business entrepreneurship with civic innovation with arts, music, culture, and food – and is the only U.S.-based festival to do so. With 20,000 attendees in 2017, Tom Tom Foundation is expecting larger audiences this year, flocking to see the headliners and participate in the group activities, non-profit nights, cheer on artists, and meander the open-air markets. Come for the party, leave inspired.Summits: National Conversations for Small CitiesThe Festival hosts two simultaneous conferences, The Founders Summit, which is oriented towards entrepreneurs, investors, and executives, and The Hometown Summit, which is aimed at government, foundations, and nonprofits. Both run from April 11-14. Some of the keynote and highlighted speakers at both Summits this year are:Legendary Broadcaster Dan Rather; Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein; Comedy Icon John Cleese; New York Times bestseller ElisabethRosenthal; Honest Tea Cofounder Seth Goldman; Obama White House Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes; Political Strategist and Powerhouse Pundit Bill Kristol; Atlantic national correspondent James Fallows ; Michael B. Moore, CEO of the $75 million International African American Museum in Charleston, SC; MacArthur Genius Greg Asbed ; Aspen Institute Vice President and 8-term Congressman Mickey Edwards ; Brent Leggs , who leads the National Trust’s $25M fund to preserve black history; IDEO’s Peter Jackson ; National League of Cities’ Brooks Rainwater ; civic innovator Lennon Flowers ; Civic Nation director Jenn Brown ; 2 White House Champions of Change; Buzzfeed Senior Editor Anne Helen Peterson; Ambassador Mark Brzezinski ; and many others from MIT, Harper’s Bazaar, CityLab, Governing Magazine , NPR, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Slate, Spotify, New York Times, and more. See all speakers and sessions at https://tomtomfest.com/summits/.City as Canvas Mural Project & Public Art Bike RideArtists will team up throughout the week to transform Charlottesville’s public places (and city art buses ) into community canvasses through live arts, murals , and competitions!Massive free block partiesThey’re back! One of the highlights of Tom Tom Festival are the FREE, central block parties in Charlottesville. Open to all, the weekend of April 13-15 is chock full of live music, vendors, food truck rallies, craft beer & wine gardens, and more. Concerts will be held at Emancipation Park, in participating restaurants and venues, and at Porchella – live, intimate, porch shows in the Belmont neighborhood.last_img read more