1. This is an edited version of the press release about the lecture that was cancelled late yesterday afternoon (apparently due to the speaker’s sudden illness):
FRACKING, NUCLEAR, WIND, COAL: WHAT DON’T ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPPOSE?
A Talk with William Tucker, editor of Real Clear Energy
Who: William Tucker
What: Fracking, Nuclear, Wind, Coal: What Don’t Environmentalists Oppose?
Where: St. Francis College – Maroney Forum for Arts, Culture & Education
180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201
When: Wednesday, October 16
7:00pm – 9:00pm
St. Francis College hosts William Tucker editor of Real Clear Energy and author of Terrestial Energy for the discussion; Fracking, Nuclear, Wind, Coal: What Don’t Environmentalists Oppose? On Wednesday, October 16 at 7:00pm in the College’s Maroney Forum for Arts, Culture and Education (Room 7402).
About William Tucker
William Tucker is a veteran journalist who has covered energy and the environment plus a host of other subjects for the past 30 years. He is currently news editor for RealClearEnergy.org. His latest book is Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America’s Long Energy Odyssey
2. Assignment: Using the resources shown below and any other research you want to do, write a press release on what Mr. Tucker might have said during his lecture. At a minimum,
a. Explain what fracking is and why you think that environmentalists are opposed to it.
b. Also discuss why they are opposed to nuclear, wind and coal energy.
c. Discuss the relevance of the above to global warming.
a. Look at this website: http://www.realclearenergy.org/. It will lead you to many articles about fracking, etc.
b. Read the article “Supreme Court puts Obama’s EPA on trial over global warming laws”, copied for you on the next page. It is here for background: to show you that energy issues do reach the Supreme Court, and to review federal courts; you do not have to analyze the article or the case.
Your press release should be at least two pages long.
Published: Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013 | 1:15 PM ET http://www.cnbc.com/id/101114255
The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether to block key aspects of the Obama administration’s plan aimed at cutting power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.
The justices said they will review a unanimous federal appeals court ruling that upheld the government’s unprecedented regulation of carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases.
The question in the case is whether the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate automobile emissions of greenhouses gases as air pollutants, which stemmed from a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, also applies to power plants and factories.
The court’s decision essentially puts on trial a small but critical piece of President Barack Obama’s toolbox to tackle global warming — a requirement that companies expanding existing industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release, as well. For many industrial facilities, this is the only way heat-trapping gases will be regulated, until the EPA sets national standards.
(Watch this: Cheap US coal eliminating gas in EU: GDF Suez CEO
That’s because the administration’s plans hinge on the high court’s 2007 ruling in Massachusetts. EPA which said the EPA has the authority, under the Clean Air Act, to limit emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles. Two years later, Obama’s EPA concluded that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases endangered human health and welfare, a finding the administration has used to extend its authority beyond automobiles to develop national standards for large stationary sources.
The administration currently is at work setting first-time national standards for new and existing power plants, and will move on to other large stationary sources. But in the meantime, the only way companies are addressing global warming pollution is through a permitting program that requires them to analyze the best available technologies to reduce carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas.
The president gave the EPA until next summer to propose regulations for existing power plants, the largest unregulated source of global warming pollution.
(Watch this: Why businesses need to adapt to climate change)
EPA vs. King coal?
The EPA is proposing drastic new restrictions that would limit carbon emissions from all future power plants. CNBC’s Dominic Chu has the story.
"From an environmental standpoint, it is bad, but not catastrophic," said Michael Gerrard, a law professor at Columbia University and director of its Center for Climate Change Law. Gerrard said it would have been far worse if the court decided to question the EPA’s conclusion that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare.
Environmental groups generally breathed a sigh of relief that the court rejected calls to overrule its 2007 decision or review the EPA’s conclusion about the health effects of greenhouse gas emissions.
"It’s a green light for EPA to go ahead with its carbon pollution standards for power plants because the court has left standing EPA’s endangerment finding," said Joanne Spalding, the Sierra Club’s senior managing attorney.
But a lawyer for some of the business groups involved in the case said the court issued a more sweeping ruling.
"Read in sense, it arguably opens the door to whether EPA can regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources at all," said Roger Martella, a partner with the Sidley, Austin law firm in Washington.
(Watch this: Studying climate change & economic impact)
The regulations have been in the works since 2011 and stem from the landmark Clean Air Act that was passed by Congress and signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970 to control air pollution.
The administration has come under fierce criticism from Republicans for pushing ahead with the regulations after Congress failed to pass climate legislation, and after the administration of President George W. Bush resisted such steps.
In 2012, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia concluded that the EPA was "unambiguously correct" in using existing federal law to address global warming.
The judges on that panel were: Then-Chief Judge David Sentelle, who was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, and David Tatel and Judith Rogers, both appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton.
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