Energy & Environment Legal Institute – SourceWatch

Energy & Environment Legal Institute
“Energy & Environment Legal Institute
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) (formerly the American Tradition Institute (ATI)) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Washington, DC; and formerly also headquartered in Colorado. According to its website, “In September 2013, E&E Legal’s Board of Directors voted to to refine its focus primarily to the area of strategic litigation, and to change its name in order to reflect more accurately its work in the legal arena.”[1] The name “American Tradition Institute” and that of its 501(c)(4) partner organization “American Tradition Partnership”/”Western Tradition Partnership” (ATP/WTP) are prominently associated with a controversy over campaign finance during the 2010 elections. According to the Huffington Post, “During the 2010 elections, the Montana Commission of Political Practices found that the organization broke state campaign laws by failing to register as a political committee or report its donors and spending. The state suggested WTP/ATP was involved in corruption and money laundering.”[2] Energy & Environment Legal Institute is an “associate” member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.[3]

“According to its mission statement, E&E Legal is “engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues” and “seeks to address and correct onerous federal and state governmental actions that negatively impact energy and the environment. E&E Legal advocates responsible resource development, sound science, respect for property rights, and a commitment to markets as it holds accountable those who seek excessive and destructive government regulation that’s based on agenda-driven policy making, junk science, and hysteria.”[1]

The group’s website at one time stated that it “is part of a broader network of groups with close ties to energy interests that have long fought greenhouse gas regulation.” The group has “connections with the Koch brothers, Art Pope and other conservative donors seeking to expand their political influence,” reported the Institute for Southern Studies in October 2011.[4]

In 2011, E&E Legal (then ATI) sued the University of Virginia to get access to the emails of climatologist Michael Mann.”

Source: Energy & Environment Legal Institute – SourceWatch

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He Sues to Discredit Climate Scientists. Now He’s Being Sued by His Allies. – By John Schwartz – NYT

David Schnare’s conservative legal group seeks to expose science fraud. But it appears to be imploding amid allegations of financial mismanagement, attempted extortion and faked documents.By John Schwartz

“FAIRFAX, Va. — The Free Market Environmental Law Clinic has long sought to inject doubt into the public conversation about global warming. Now, the future of the group itself is in doubt.

Its founders are battling in court over control of the group, as well as some $900,000 in its bank account. One of them, David Schnare, has been accused by his former allies of botching the group’s tax-exempt status and of attempting to extort a quarter-million dollars from its coffers.

It all comes at a time when Free Market — which made a name for itself using the legal system to obtain climate scientists’ emails — should be ascendant. The Trump administration shares its views on environmental regulation and its dismissal of climate science. And Mr. Schnare, 70, was part of the Trump “beachhead team” at the Environmental Protection Agency during the transition between presidential administrations, though he did not last long there.”

David Lindsay:  Excellent piece and good comments, including:

Socrates
Downtown Verona. NJJuly 12
“Free Market Environmental Law Clinic” is a front for coal industry billionaires hellbent on raping the environment and vigorously opposed to green energy.

It repeatedly changes its organization name after its name gets publicized for the evil it commits against society.

Its organization has advertised its mission in the past as “part of a broader network of groups with close ties to energy interests that have long fought greenhouse gas regulation.”

One of its predecessor organizations, the American Tradition Institute issued a memo by one of its fellows that advises how to build a national movement of wind farm protesters. Among its main recommendations, the proposal calls for a national PR campaign aimed at causing “subversion in message of [wind] industry so that it effectively becomes so bad that no one wants to admit in public they are for it.” It suggests setting up “dummy businesses” to buy anti-wind billboards, and creating a “counter-intelligence branch” to track the wind energy industry. It also calls for spending $750,000 to create an organization with paid staff and tax-exempt status dedicated to building public opposition to state and federal government policies encouraging the wind energy industry.

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Energy_%26_Environment_Legal_Insti…

The organization represents Grand Old Pollution, Grand Old Profits and Gas Oil Petroleum.

They happily do the devil’s work for cash.

47 Recommended

DL:   Check out the hyperlink sourcwatch, at the CMD the center for media and democray.

How Brett Kavanaugh Could Reshape Environmental Law From the Supreme Court – By Brad Plumer – NYT

By Brad Plumer
“His legal philosophy was clear: In the absence of explicit instructions from Congress, any far-reaching effort by the E.P.A. to tackle environmental problems should be met with deep skepticism by the courts. That philosophy often put him sharply at odds with the Obama administration, which sought to harness older environmental laws to deal with newer challenges like global warming.

“It’s a neutral principle, although the effect isn’t always neutral,” Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard, said. “Congress stopped making clean air laws after 1990, so the E.P.A. has to work with increasingly tenuous statutory language. In effect, his approach to environmental law would make it harder to address current problems so long as Congress remains out of the lawmaking business.” “

Opinion | The Cosmic Joke of Donald Trump’s Power – by Frank Bruni – NYT

 

 

“A death in the family. A punch to the gut. The announcement of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement felt to me and many people I know like both of those, but even more so like something else: a sick cosmic joke.

How much power will a president with such tenuous claim to it get to wield? How profound and durable an impact will such a shallow and fickle person make?

Donald Trump barely won the White House, under circumstances — a tainted opponent, three million fewer votes than she received, James Comey’s moral vanity and Russia’s amoral exertions — that raise serious questions about how many Americans yearned to see him there.

But he’s virtually assured of appointing as many judges to the Supreme Court as each of his three predecessors did and could reshape Americans’ lives even more significantly. It’s the craziest dissonance. The cruelest, too..”

 

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval NYT comments.
Hi Frank, This was so depressing, I had to speed read half of it. But I find it also empty. I heard a brilliant comment on NPR this morning, on another depressing discussion of the fall of the supreme court and the expected fall of Roe V Wade. The caller identified herself as about 65, mid western, and Catholic. She said, I don’t think the GOP wants to undo Roe v Wade, because they need it. If they overturn it, tens of thousands of Catholics, including almost all of my relatives, who only vote for the GOP because of this one issue, will no longer have to support them, and will return to the democratic party. In my gut, I suspect that she is right. This echos a right wing journalist from the midwest who wrote about 15 years ago, that Roe V Waded was disaster, because its opponents organized and took over one state house after another. The fall of Roe V Wade will be the best thing for Democrats since the New Deal. The issue will go back to the States, where 50 % of the population are women, and over half of the population supports choice, and other basic civil right, like environmental protection. It would be a sad day, but it is also the day after Alexandra Ocassio-Cortez took a primary in NYC. According to the Huffington Post, Ecowatch, and In These Times, she is a hard-liner on fighting to mitigate climate change, and wants a Green New Deal, that does for sustainable energy, what the Marshall Plan did for Europe after WW II. DL bogs at InconvenientNews.Wordpress.com

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Defeats Joseph Crowley in Major Democratic House Upset – The New York Times

By Shane Goldmacher and Jonathan Martin June 26, 2018

“Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, once seen as a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader of the House, suffered a shocking primary defeat on Tuesday, the most significant loss for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade, and one that will reverberate across the party and the country.

Mr. Crowley was defeated by a 28-year-old political newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former organizer for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, who had declared it was time for generational, racial and ideological change.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
This report flunks by many of my standards. It said so little so late, we went to google, to find out that this woman is brilliant and ferocious on climate change, and the future threat of climate change caused migrations. The Huff Post wrote, She will lead the house on Climate Change. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ocasio-cortez-climate-change_us_5b3307a5e4b0b5e692f25e18

In These Times also did a better job with useful information. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Why She Wants to Abolish ICE and … inthesetimes.com/…/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-ice-new-york-cynthia-nixon-democrats 2 days ago – On June 25, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez received the endorsement of New York … saying that the only people that matter to you is one to three percent of our population. …. the ravages of super storms and climate change moving forward. …. economic growth in the United States without significant investment.”

No where in this NYT article did did it mention that Ocasio-Cortez considers herself a hard-liner on mitigating climate change. Those of us who are also hard-liners on climate change are thrilled, even if we learned so from other sources.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Climate Change Brought a Lobster Boom. Now It Could Cause a Bust. – By Livia Albeck-Ripka – NYT

By Livia Albeck-Ripka June 21, 2018

“VINALHAVEN, Me. — At 3:30 in the morning on a Friday in late May, the lobstermen ate breakfast. Outside, their boats bobbed in the labradorite water, lit only by the dull yellow of streetlamps across the bay. It was windy, too windy for fishing, but one by one the island’s fishermen showed up at the Surfside cafe anyway. Over pancakes and eggs, they grumbled about the season’s catch to date.

Some of the lobstermen said it was just too early in the season. Others feared that it was a sign of things to come. Since the early 1980s, climate change had warmed the Gulf of Maine’s cool waters to the ideal temperature for lobsters, which has helped grow Maine’s fishery fivefold to a half-billion-dollar industry, among the most valuable in the United States. But last year the state’s lobster landings dropped by 22 million pounds, to 111 million.

Now, scientists and some fishermen are worried that the waters might eventually warm too much for the lobsters, and are asking how much longer the boom can last.”

DL: Keep reading. The lobster fishermen and women practice a useful conservation rule, notching the tails of pregnant females and throwing them and all small and large(?) lobsters back into the water.

“Lobstering has always been a boom-and-bust business, but the conservation measures long enforced by Maine’s lobstermen may help stave off complete collapse, scientists say.

The lobstermen clip the tails of egg-bearing female lobsters and release them, a practice called V-notching that began voluntarily in the late 19th century and was later mandated by law. They throw back lobsters that already have V-notches, alongside lobsters that are smaller than 3.25 inches or larger than five, measured from the eye socket to the base of the tail. These measures help conserve the brood stock, ensuring that the lobsters continue to repopulate.”

Trump Picks Economic Winners- Guided by Nostalgia – The New York Times

A decade ago, coal provided nearly half of America’s electricity. That share has since plummeted to less than one-third, as coal has been driven out of the market by stricter pollution regulations and a glut of cheap natural gas from hydraulic fracturing. Wind and solar power, while starting from a small base, have grown at double-digit rates each year as the technology improves and costs drop.The jobs have followed: The number of American coal miners has fallen from more than 80,000 in 2008 to about 53,000 today. The solar industry alone now employs twice as many people as the coal industry does. Solar installers, wind technicians and oil and gas drill operators are all expected to be among the fastest-growing occupations over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.“Ten years ago, the joke among industry players was that renewables were the energy source of the future and always would be,” said Andy Karsner, a former assistant secretary of energy in the George W. Bush administration. “Problem is, that future has arrived, and coal is now the energy source of the past and always will be.”

California Plans to Fight Climate Change With Forestry – Bloomberg Businessweek

“Forests give us shade, quiet and one of the harder challenges in the fight against climate change. Even as we humans count on forests to soak up a good share of the carbon dioxide we produce, we are threatening their ability to do so. The climate change we are hastening could one day leave us with forests that emit more carbon than they absorb.

 Thankfully, there is a way out of this trap — but it involves striking a subtle balance. Helping forests flourish as valuable “carbon sinks” long into the future may require reducing their capacity to sequester carbon now. California is leading the way, as it does on so many climate efforts, in figuring out the details.
 The state’s proposed Forest Carbon Plan aims to double efforts to thin out young trees and clear brush in parts of the forest, including by controlled burning. This temporarily lowers carbon-carrying capacity. But the remaining trees draw a greater share of the available moisture, so they grow and thrive, restoring the forest’s capacity to pull carbon from the air. Healthy trees are also better able to fend off bark beetles. The landscape is rendered less combustible. Even in the event of a fire, fewer trees are consumed.
 The need for such planning is increasingly urgent. Already, since 2010, drought and beetles have killed more than 100 million trees in California, most of them in 2016 alone, and wildfires have scorched hundreds of thousands of acres.”

Source: California Plans to Fight Climate Change With Forestry – Bloomberg

‘Impossible to Ignore’: Why Alaska Is Crafting a Plan to Fight Climate Change – By Brad Plumer – NYT

By Brad Plumer,     May 15, 2018

“WASHINGTON — In the Trump era, it has mainly been blue states that have taken the lead on climate change policy, with liberal strongholds like California and New York setting ambitious goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, at least one deep-red state could soon join them: Alaska, a major oil and gas producer, is crafting its own plan to address climate change. Ideas under discussion include cuts in state emissions by 2025 and a tax on companies that emit carbon dioxide.

While many conservative-leaning states have resisted aggressive climate policies, Alaska is already seeing the dramatic effects of global warming firsthand, making the issue difficult for local politicians to avoid. The solid permafrost that sits beneath many roads, buildings and pipelines is starting to thaw, destabilizing the infrastructure above. At least 31 coastal towns and cities may need to relocate, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, as protective sea ice vanishes and fierce waves erode Alaska’s shores.”

David Lindsay:

2.5 minute film, from the article above. Lovely and scary. Alaska is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, They are like a deer, frozen in the headlights on oil and gas, but even Alaska is admitting and making changes to accommodate and remediate climate change.

.

California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes – By Ivan Penn – NYT

“May 9, 2018
“LOS ANGELES — Solar panels have become an increasingly familiar sight on California rooftops as the state moves toward a clean-energy future. For new homes, they are about to become a requirement.

The California Energy Commission is expected to approve changes to the building code on Wednesday to require solar panels on all new homes, putting the state even farther in the forefront in the use of solar power.The mandate, to take effect in 2020, is expected to add $8,000 to $12,000 to the cost of a house — no small sum in a state where housing affordability is already a major issue.

The construction industry is prepared to live with the requirement, however, as the solar capability may become a selling point: It will help homeowners keep their electricity bills down under a new rate structure that favors renewable sources.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval at Comments, NYT.
Bravo California. Great article by Ivan Penn. I just put 17 solar panels on my house this February, adding to the 24 panels I put up 3 years ago. Now the roof will generate 7 Kilowatt hours of energy in a year. I can start to convert the gas and gasoline systems of my property over to electric, starting, soon, with a new electric heat pump hot water heater.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com