Polluters 5, Environmentalists 0: Supreme Court term reviewed

Posted on | June 29, 2009 | No Comments

FURTHER to last week’s 6-3 Supreme Court Decision in Coeur Alaska, Inc v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council et al,  the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley will be holding a live Webcast Tuesday June 30, 10-11.30am Pacific Time discussing the environmental record of the concluding Supreme Court term.

Panelists include CLEE executive director Richard Frank and Berkeley professors Dan Farber and Holly Doremus, and assistant professor Eric Biber.

The cases under discussion will include Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council (environmental organizations’ challenge to the U.S. Navy’s active sonar testing program); Summers v. Earth Island Institute (environmental groups seeking to block the sale of timber from fire-damaged federal lands in California); Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper (environmentalists challenging the EPA’s use of cost-benefit analysis for power plant projects); Burlington Northern v. United States (federal government trying a case under Superfund law that would have made Shell Oil and Burlington Northern liable for cleaning up a hazardous waste site) and the Coeur Alaska case (environmentalists challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit that allowed a mine operator to pump mining wastes into a pristine lake).

As CLEE notes in its press release, environmentalists lost every challenge. The agenda before the panel is to assess the impact of these recent rulings and the dissonance between the High Court and the Ninth Circuit,  analyze the Robert’s Court’s overall environmental law record to date, preview the Court’s upcoming Term, and consider the impact of a probable Sotomayor appointment.

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