June 2009

U.S. House Narrowly Passes Climate Legislation

June 26, 2009 18:00
Climate legislation has a long way to go before becoming federal law, but Congress took a major step in enacting the nation’s first global warming bill now that the House of Representatives narrowly passed the measure on a 219-212 vote on Friday. The American Clean Energy and Security Act cleared the House and the initiative is now in the hands of the Senate. Nicknamed the “Waxman-Markey” bill named after its sponsors, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Edward J. Markey, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global ...


Dueling Perspectives on Anthropogenic Climate Change -- They Do Not Matter to Business

June 26, 2009 04:05
by J. Wylie Donald
Today Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal editorial board published an opinion piece declaring that the scientific debate regarding climate change has come "roaring back to life."  See Kimberley A. Strassel, The Climate Change Climate Change, The Wall Street Journal at A13 (June 26, 2009).  The piece catalogs new research, politicians, opinion polls, and academics challenging the science of global warming.  To give you the flavor of the essay:  "Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media) did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who dis...


When is an Atmospheric Gas a Pollutant? A District Court Answers: When it is Like Carbon Monoxide

June 4, 2009 18:50
by J. Wylie Donald
We have written here before how carbon dioxide, ubiquitous and naturally occurring, should not be considered a pollutant. (See June 27, 2008 Blog.)  A federal court in Texas recently considered in the context of a hazardous material exclusion another gas found naturally in the atmosphere: argon. In Colony National Insurance Company v. Specialty Trailer Leasing, Inc., Case 2:09-cv-00005-J, the Northern District of Texas concluded that argon involved in an industrial asphyxiation constituted a pollutant within the meaning of a hazardous material exclusion in a general liability policy. Acco...



The business case for the development of renewable energy projects, from biodiesel and ethanol to wind, solar, and distributed generation, is more compelling than ever as tax and regulatory incentives combine to attract investments. Emerging issues in environmental law and increasingly recognized principles of corporate social responsibility are encouraging public companies to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions, install clean energy alternatives, and invest overseas in projects under the Kyoto Protocol to respond to climate change concerns.

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