December 30, 2011

#Mercury, #CO2: Environment takes two dings in court

The second may actually be the more serious in the long term, given today's political environment on global warming issues.

A George W. Bush-appointed Federal district court judge has blocked enforcement of California's greenhouse gases law, the much-trumpeted effort that folks like oil companies have previously tried to kill by ballot initiative.

This time, it's the ethanol folks, and getting a win, at least for now.

Judge O'Neill said that this was interference into interstate commerce.

But ... given that California has latitude for tougher state standards on car emissions than national EPA standards, given that courts have ruled EPA can indeed regulate CO2 as a pollutant, and given that a major source of CO2 is either cars running on  various sources of CO2 emissions, or power plants from out of state supplying part of California's electricity, I'm halfway hopeful the judge's injunction will get overturned by the Ninth Circuit. But, this one could wind up at SCOTUS level.

The other? A federal appeals court has blocked enforcement of the EPA's new mercury rules. And, in a "shock me," this is the legal action pushed by  Luminant, aka the power generating part of the former TXU, and the state of Texas.

Why does Rick Perry hate kids near power plants?

And, Luminant says now that coal plants it was going to mothball Jan. 1 will keep running instead.

So, it has admitted it can live without those plants, it just doesn't want to.

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