Below are some news stories around the nation relating to climate change and the environment:
- California announced yesterday that it filed a lawsuit against the Bush Administration over changes it made to the Endangered Species Act. The new rules apply to federal agencies that approve projects on land owned or regulated by the federal government. Under the new regulations, mandated independent scientific review of federal agency plans are eliminated if the agency determines that the project poses no threat to protected species. The rules also remove the requirement to consider the effects of greenhouse gases on protected species and their habitat.
- The Washington Post has an in-depth article discussing California’s rising power over national energy and environmental policy. Specifically, the article discusses the replacement of Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan) by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) as the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees climate change legislation. Waxman took on Dingell because he believed that Dingell — who represents Detroit automakers — was too protective of the auto industry. The article also notes President-elect Barack Obama’s new energy and environmental cabinet nominees, who hail from California and have strong green credentials.
- Finally, Sunflower Electric Power Corp. is seeking to build two coal-fired power plants in Kansas after having its previous permit applications denied by the governor of that state, Kathleen Sebelius, due to concerns with climate change. A similar issue surfaced in Wisconsin last month when the Public Service Commission rejected a coal-fired power plant in Cassville due to concerns with the plant’s carbon emissions.