As Minnesota lawmakers seek more oversight over how $47 million in Volkswagen settlement funds are spent, advocates warn bills in the legislature could cause the state to lose the money altogether. Attorney Leili Fatehi, owner and principal of the public benefit corporation Apparatus, says the consent decree requires that states follow a certain process in distributing money from the settlement and several proposed bills could negate the settlement. “It’s pretty reckless legislation,” said Fatehi, who would like to see some of the money spent on environmental justice initiatives to help clean up disadvantaged neighborhoods. The debate over who gets to hold the purse strings of the settlement money pits the governor’s office and executive branch against legislators who firmly believe they should – and will – have a say in which projects receive money. Fatehi said the tussle is being watched closely by the Great Plains Institute, Fresh Energy (which publishes Midwest Energy News) and other organizations in the energy field.
At a hearing in Chicago last week, activists called on the EPA to use a little-known provision of the Clean Power Plan to advance environmental justice.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed breaks down the public health impacts of the “over-reliance on fossil fuels,” balancing industry and health concerns and how clean energy can play a role in Detroit’s future.
Advocates who live near the BP refinery outside Chicago say recent fines for pollution violations are “less than a drop in the bucket” for the company.
In the context of Flint, Michigan’s ongoing lead-tainted water crisis, regional environmental groups are calling on Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to stop his fight against federal rules for mercury emissions from power plants.
An aging coal plant north of Chicago was a hot topic at a hearing yesterday exploring whether ongoing industrial pollution in minority neighborhoods amounts to civil rights violations.
The longer Ohio waits to cut air emissions from power plants, the more adverse illnesses it can expect for its citizens, say health and environmental advocates.
Coal-fired power plants across the country could be billion-dollar liabilities for utilities if their greenhouse gas emissions are challenged in court, according to researchers at Michigan Technological University.
Efforts to improve water quality in an Ohio stream polluted by drainage from coal mines may be having unintended consequences, according to new research.
Ohio EPA director Craig Butler talks about the Clean Power Plan, fracking waste and the “difficult environment” for the electric sector.