Climate & Energy

Our world is warming, with dire consequences to the American West’s communities, lands, rivers, and wildlife.

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In Advance of Paris Climate Talks, Washington Court Recognizes Constitutional and Public Trust Rights and Announces Agency’s Legal Duty to Protect Atmosphere for Present and Future Generations (Press Release 11/20/15)

“[I]f ever there were a time to recognize through action this right to preservation of a healthful and pleasant atmosphere, the time is now”

Late last night, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill issued a groundbreaking ruling in the unprecedented case of eight youth petitioners who requested that the Washington Department of Ecology write a carbon emissions rule that protects the atmosphere for their generation and those to come.

Tipsheet Timeline: Washington Youth Climate Case (Press Release 11/19/15)

11/19/2015

Soon, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill will issue a ruling in the unprecedented case of seven youth petitioners requesting the Washington Department of Ecology to write a carbon emissions rule that protects the atmosphere for their generation and those to come. The case has an interesting and meaningful history, which is important to understand in anticipation of the ruling. Please see the following quick reference guide to the case so far:

In Front of Packed Courtroom, Young Petitioners Ask Judge to Uphold Their Rights to a Safe Environment (Press Release 11/3/15)

11/03/2015

Today, young Washington citizens sat in a packed King County courtroom and watched as their attorney, Andrea Rodgers gave a stunning and impassioned argument to the court as she fought for her clients’ right to a healthy environment and safe climate. Judge Hollis Hill heard oral argument in the important case brought by seven young petitioners to address Washington Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) persistent refusal to set science-based carbon pollution limits.

Montana Board of Environmental Review Rejects Coal Mine Expansion (Press Release 10/20/15)

10/20/2015
MT DEQ Permit Did Not Adequately Protect Groundwater

On Friday, the Montana Board of Environmental Review rejected a Department of Environmental Quality coal mine expansion permit that would have doubled the size of the Bull Mountains mine near Roundup, making it the largest underground coal mine in the nation. Representing the Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club, the Western Environmental Law Center argued successfully that DEQ's hydrology analysis for the permit was flawed.

Hearing in Youths' Landmark Climate Change Lawsuit Held in Seattle at King County Courthouse (Press Release 10/13/15)

10/13/2015

WHAT:
Judge Hollis Hill will hear oral argument in the important case brought by seven young Washingtonians to address Washington Department of Ecology’s persistent refusal to set science-based carbon pollution limits. 

WHEN:
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Court hearing begins at 8:30 am; please arrive by 8:00 am to secure your seat. 

WHERE:
King County Courthouse, Courtroom W-941
516 Third Avenue, Seattle, Washington 

EPA Methane Rule a Quadruple Win (Press Release 8/18/15)

8/18/2015
Reductions will benefit climate, improve health, reduce waste and generate revenue

EPA today released first-ever standards to control methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, the largest man-made source of these emissions. The rule is a key component in meeting President Obama’s goals for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 40-45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. Methane warms the climate over 80 times more than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. And methane emissions reductions stand to benefit more than just the climate — this move will improve public health, generate royalties and reduce waste.

Judge Fails to Halt Fracking in Greater Chaco (Press Release 8/17/15)

8/17/2015
Northwest New Mexico Oil Drilling Will Continue Despite Risks to Communities, Cultural Resources and the Environment

Hopes for a respite from a fracking boom plaguing Navajo and public lands in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco area were thwarted Friday when a federal judge failed to grant a temporary halt to drilling. Despite the lack of environmental review or a comprehensive plan for fracking in the area, the Bureau of Land Management will be allowed to continue to grant hundreds or even thousands of new permits to drill and frack the area. 

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