Energy & Environmental Law

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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Judge issues $50M judgment against Elkhart environmental nuisance

November 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Residents who live near a waste dump and wood-waste processing facility in Elkhart won a default judgment of more than $50 million against the former owners. The sum appears largely a symbolic figure, however.
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EPA intends tougher downwind air-pollution rule in 23 states

November 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tougher new limits on Tuesday on smokestack emissions from nearly two dozen states — including Indiana — that burden downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can't control.
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Coal ash expert to address Indiana environmental advocates

November 12, 2015
 Associated Press
An expert on the nation's coal ash ponds will address Indiana environmental advocates during their annual gathering focusing on the state's upcoming legislative session.
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IURC must reconsider Vectren’s plant modification, rate reimbursement requests

October 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a utility company completed many of the projects it received approval for regarding modifications of coal-powered generating stations, that does not render an appeal by various environmental groups moot, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Indiana part of lawsuit challenging EPA carbon rule

October 23, 2015
 Bloomberg News, IL Staff
Indiana and 22 other states filed a legal challenge Friday to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new rule requiring existing power plants to make technological changes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The rule change is expected to unleash a flood of lawsuits from lawyers challenging everything from the timing to the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s signature climate initiative.
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Trailblazing lawyer Sue Shadley dies

October 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis attorney Sue Shadley, who made her mark in environmental law and was a founding partner in what became one of the city’s major firms, died Monday from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
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Deed allows owners to make wells deeper, court rules

October 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A family that sold mineral rights to a company but reserved the rights to oil and gas from certain producing wells was not restricted by the deed from making the reserved wells deeper, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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TDSIC settlement agreement rejected by state utility regulators

September 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Citing the Indiana Court of Appeals’ ruling, the state utility regulatory agency rejected a power company’s attempt to use a new state statute to charge customers more.
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Duke rate hike from Edwardsport plant remanded

September 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission must weigh for the third time rate increases for Duke Energy consumers connected to delays in opening the Edwardsport coal gasification plant in Knox County.
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COA affirms IURC has no jurisdiction over gas vendor

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A northern Indiana business that filed a complaint with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission when its gas bills were higher than expected lost its appeal of the agency’s dismissal of the complaint Friday.
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Fuel company settles claims over air emissions in 3 states

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Marathon Petroleum Corp. will pay a fine of nearly $3 million and spend another $2.8 million on pollution controls at its distribution terminals in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.
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House votes to block EPA regulation of streams, wetlands

May 13, 2015
 Associated Press
House Republicans on Tuesday voted to block government rules that would clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from pollution and development under the Clean Water Act.
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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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