Climate change lawsuit in Supreme Court will likely fail


Photo Source: Freephoto.com

Can Americans sue notorious polluters for their contributions to climate change? That was the hope of six states, including Iowa, which brought a lawsuit against coal-fired plants –  a process, which began in 2004.

The answer is likely no.

The suit was filed during the Bush Administration, before the EPA was granted authority to limit carbon emissions. In a landmark case in 2007, the Supreme Court gained that ability, but the states pressed on with the litigation.

In today’s Supreme Court proceedings, several Justices were skeptical about the plaintiff’s arguments.  Continue reading

Everything you Need to Know about Coal in Iowa


Source: Physicians for Social Responsibility

Want to learn more about coal us in Iowa and how it affects our health and environment?

Check out this site dedicated to the subject. It was created by Plains Justice – a group which provides legal resources about energy issues – and Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility. Continue reading

Marion set to burn trash for energy


Photo credit: Ashley Felton, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a huge project – over $100 million dollars huge.

But it’s a go.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported yesterday that the city of Marion may be ready as early as this spring to begin construction on a waste-burning plasma arc that once built, should generate enough energy to power 47,000 – 62,000 homes.

How green and economically feasible in incineration? That’s still up for debate.

In April the New York Times published this great in-depth report about how the technology is catching on in Europe but not the US. It followed up by soliciting opinions on the matter from a broad range of experts. The results were mixed, but the pieces are certainly worth a read.

Unfortunately my feeble, unscientific brain can’t enlighten you any further, except to say it it will be an exciting project to watch. And at this point, most energy plans sound better than the filthy coal we keep burning.

But as planning continues in Marion (and perhaps one day at the UI as the Gazette reported in June) I’m sure we’ll hear more opinions and see more research. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

For those of you reading this who actually are experts on energy, what do you think?