Tonight, three representatives of the Southern Environmental Law Center are speaking to our political salon about their important work. SELC is a non-profit organization that does pro bono representation in cases deemed well worth winning on behalf of Mother Nature.
Blan Holman is one of their attorneys who participated in SELC's case recently in the US Supreme Court against Duke Energy. Attorney David Farren is also here, along with Annie O'Leary in development.
When does an old coal-fired become new? This is the essence of the Duke Energy case. Years ago, Duke pulled several coal-fired plants off line to make them run more effectively. When Duke brought them back on line, they made everything new except they didn't upgrade the smokestacks. SELC sued for force compliance with laws associated with building new plants (new source pollution). It went all the way to the Supremes.
[Interesting fact: The Solicitor General is called "The Tenth Justice." The SG is a Bush appointee who is confirmed by the Senate.]
Blan was second chair when this case was argued in the Supreme Court. Their case was made much more difficult because the EPA was only working with them as an "interested party" . . . and EPA was also a pain in the ass because they were conflicted (Bush administration didn't want the case to be heard in the first place).
When the SELC lawyers walked out of the Court, they were mostly angry and bummed. They felt the Justices gave Duke Energy a free pass; and they felt the Justices had not actually read the SELC's final briefs. Later, upon reading the transcripts, they felt better about it. Fingers are now crossed.
................ more coming ..................
Anglico aside: This yet one more reason why the Child King has been such an enormous disaster for our country. He has stacked the Supreme Court with Justices who believe corporations have the same or even more rights as human beings.