Energy & Environmental Law

7th Circuit rules Duke Energy must pay for wind-generated power

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court decision Tuesday requiring Duke Energy to pay for power generated by a local wind farm only if it passes to a lower grid, deciding instead that the energy company is contractually obligated to pay for any generated power regardless of transmission issues.
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2 Indiana men sentenced to prison for biodiesels fraud

December 5, 2016
 Associated Press
Two Indiana men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in what federal authorities say was a multi-million dollar fraud scheme involving biofuels.
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After Obama, Trump may face children suing over global warming

November 11, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A lawsuit brought by children against the Obama administration may force President-elect Donald Trump to decide how far he’ll go to downplay the threat of global warming.
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DC appeals court hears arguments in Clean Power Plan case

September 27, 2016
 Associated Press
The federal appeals court in Washington began hearing arguments Tuesday in the legal fight over President Barack Obama's plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
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EPA adds Indianapolis groundwater plume to priority list

September 8, 2016
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday added an 18-acre contaminated groundwater site on the west side of Indianapolis to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.
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Fight to protect Indiana bat from wind farm renders mixed ruling

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana bat has been part of a long-running battle against a proposed 100-turbine wind farm in Ohio. A lawsuit filed in 2013 by the Bloomington-based Conservation Law Center sought to block a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would have allowed the Buckeye Wind Project to kill the protected species.
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Sugarman: SCOTUS affirms wetland determinations subject to review

September 7, 2016
On May 31, the United States Supreme Court once again unanimously delivered a victory for landowners who wish to challenge wetlands determinations handed down by the federal government.
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Wagner: Who will pay to clean up Indiana's polluted deep aquifers?

September 7, 2016
Bill Wagner
With fewer taxpayer dollars to fund the Superfund program, the responsible parties left standing would have to bear the costs for others that have either gone out of business or filed for bankruptcy.
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Regulators OK final settlement over controversial Edwardsport plant

August 25, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A bitter, costly fight over who will pay for Duke Energy’s $3.5 billion coal-gasification plant, one of the most expensive projects in Indiana history, is finally over.
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Law requires tougher standards for Great Lakes pipelines

June 15, 2016
 Associated Press
Congress has ordered stronger safety measures for pipelines carrying oil and other fuels in the Great Lakes region.
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High court rejects request to block mercury rule

June 13, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected an appeal from 20 states including Indiana seeking to block a federal rule targeting mercury pollution from taking effect while the government revises the rule to account for compliance costs.
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Judge: Substantial progress in Volkswagen emissions talks

May 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Volkswagen and attorneys for vehicle owners affected by the company's emissions cheating scandal are on target to meet a June deadline for a final settlement proposal, a federal judge said Tuesday.
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Coal mine environmental risk grows with bankruptcies

May 19, 2016
 Associated Press
As more coal companies file for bankruptcy, it's increasingly likely taxpayers will be stuck with the very high costs of preventing abandoned mines from becoming environmental disasters.
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High court strikes down Maryland power plant subsidies

April 19, 2016
 Associated Press
A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Maryland officials overstepped their authority when they offered financial subsidies to encourage construction of a new power plant in the state.
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Peabody, largest US coal miner, files for bankruptcy

April 13, 2016
 Associated Press
Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal miner, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday as a crosscurrent of environmental, technological and economic changes wreak havoc across the industry.
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Indiana and other states choking on EPA’s new Clean Power Plan

March 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gases by imposing caps on states regarding carbon dioxide emissions, has incited a backlash that began before the rule was even published in the Federal Register. A coalition of states, including Indiana, is seeking review of the plan in federal court, claiming the rule exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency's statutory authority.
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‘No more stringent’ restrained

March 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Manufacturers, agriculture and other big Hoosier industries pegged House Bill 1082 at the top of their legislative agenda this year. So did about 20 environmental, health and public-interest groups that opposed the measure barring Indiana from adopting environmental regulations tougher than federal standards.
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Waterhouse: An environmental justice challenge for Indiana

March 9, 2016
Sadly, many Indiana children are at an even greater risk than children in other states for lead poisoning.
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Gardner: Judicial deference and the Clean Power Plan

March 9, 2016
Justice Scalia’s long and momentous career on the U.S. Supreme Court gave us innumerable important decisions (and scathing dissents) that have shaped the intersection of administrative and environmental law.
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Scalia vacancy boosts prospects for Obama’s carbon-cutting plan

February 17, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death improves the outlook for President Barack Obama’s controversial plan to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants, just a week after the court raised doubts about its viability.
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Challenges to Peabody Energy's coal mine self-bonding grow

February 15, 2016
 Associated Press
A Midwestern environmental group has followed through on its promise to formally challenge Peabody Energy's ability to guarantee it has enough money for future cleanup of its Illinois and Indiana coal mines.
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Obama vows to press ahead on Clean Power Plan after setback

February 10, 2016
 Associated Press
The administration of President Barack Obama is vowing to press ahead with efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions after a divided U.S. Supreme Court put his signature plan to address climate change on hold until after legal challenges are resolved.
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High court upholds government's energy conservation program

January 25, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld a 4-year-old federal program that pays large electric customers to save energy during times of peak demand.
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Edwardsport plant foes finally reach settlement with Duke

January 15, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
The bitterest foes of Duke Energy Corp.’s Edwardsport coal-gasification plant have agreed to drop their objections and join a settlement that would resolve many of the issues over how much ratepayers will be charged.
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Ringleader in $90M fuel scam sentenced to 20 years

January 8, 2016
 Associated Press, IBJ Staff
The ringleader of a $90 million biodiesel scam operated in central Indiana was sentenced Thursday to serve 20 years in prison and to pay more than $56 million in restitution for his role in the fraud.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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