ELI In the News
Environmental justice (EJ) communities (which we define in our Web Resource on Environmental Justice as communities of color and low-income communities that face disproportionate environmental burdens), have been fighting for decades to preserve their right to a healthy environment. Many barriers to that work exist, however. State attorneys general (AGs), as government lawyers, can play an important role in addressing those barriers. Below, we lay out several areas where attorneys general can and, in some cases, have been able to use their unique powers to do just that. . . .
A few years ago, I started providing pro bono legal assistance to a nonprofit in New Jersey that was helping community gardens expand their composting operations without prohibitively expensive permits. In order to change state regulations, I tapped my network to arrange meetings with local residents and elected officials who could provide support. . . .
Fears over environmental catastrophes are growing among humanitarian experts and environmental organizations as the Russian invasion of Ukraine moves into its second week. On Friday, over 1,000 organizations and individuals from more than 75 countries released an open letter expressing their solidarity with the people of Ukraine and voicing concern over the war’s environmental and human toll. . . .
Fires in the Amazon and the Arctic, hurricanes in Europe, volcanic eruptions and polar vortexes … Extreme weather events are becoming much more widespread and routine, but we don’t have to be terrified. There is so much we can still do to stop the march of climate change. Many thoughtful activists, educators and leaders are working non-stop to fight the climate crisis. In 2022, it’s our time to learn and advocate, and these podcasts lead the way. Here are the top 10 environmental podcasts you should listen to this year: 1. People, Places, Planet Podcast . . . .
The court decision late last week to halt a large lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico was both nuanced and far-reaching. It is unlikely to lead to the long-term ban of future oil and gas leases both on and offshore, experts tell Axios. Why it matters: The decision to cancel a $192 million lease sale and send it back to the Interior Department for a new environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act provides the Biden administration with some breathing room to review its leasing policies. . . .
The Environmental Law Institute yesterday welcomed Jordan Diamond as its next president. Diamond has recently held leadership positions at her alma mater the University of California, Berkeley, where she has overseen initiatives related to climate, energy and marine policy. She replaces former EPA general counsel Scott Fulton, who served for about six years as president of ELI, a leading nonpartisan voice on environmental education, policy and law. “For over 50 years, ELI has been an unassailable source of leading insight on environmental law and policy. It has published, researched, convened, and educated all in the name of safeguarding environmental governance in a changing world,” said Jordan in a statement yesterday. . . .
Courts in the United States and abroad served as flashpoints on climate change this year as governments struggled to address the growing threat. U.S. climate litigation is expected to gain velocity in 2022, following a pair of unrelated Supreme Court actions concerning EPA's carbon rules for power plants and local governments' climate liability lawsuits. The legal battles have attracted heightened attention as the Biden administration fights to enact an ambitious climate change agenda amid congressional wrangling. . . .
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan will visit Houston on Friday as part of a weeklong tour of neighborhoods across the South where pollution has impacted people’s health — predominantly for Black and Latino residents. In Jackson, Mississippi, on Monday, Regan said he would discuss what people deserve from the federal environmental agency and the disproportionate impact pollution has had in historically marginalized communities. . . .
Paul Hanle ’69 has a gift for explaining science to non-scientists. He’s been doing it for decades — to families and teachers through science museums, and later to adults through agencies on up to the White House and the United Nations. Now he’s explaining the science of climate change to a group of people with real power to act on it: judges. About three years ago, Hanle helped found the Climate Judiciary Project at the Environmental Law Institute. It fills a need that’s growing primarily in the U.S. but also internationally, as more lawsuits are filed over climate change and appear before judges who don’t often have a science background. . . .
“Think globally, act locally” is a motto used for years to encourage local action on environmental problems. Seventeen-year-old Sonja Michaluk has been thinking globally and acting locally since she was a six-year-old monitoring streams for water quality in her hometown of Hopewell Township. And the Carnegie Mellon University student went on to act globally as well – and for that she was just named a winner of the 2021 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. The Barron Prize annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment. . . .