EPA Launches New Environmental Justice Mapping Tool

Below is a guest post from Stephanie Maddin, Legislative Counsel for Earthjustice. SACE chose to share this post to draw attention to this new resource provided by EPA, as well as the specific impacts of environmental justice present in the Southeastern United States. The article was originally posted in June 2015 and can be found [...]

Supreme Court Mercury Decision Not a Real Game Changer

In a close 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States sent the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule back to a lower court for review. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, which hinged on an interpretation of administrative law requirements and did not overturn EPA’s ability to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants.

While the Court did not overturn EPA’s analysis and conclusion that public health benefits of the MATS rule vastly outweigh the costs to the coal and oil industry, it did find that EPA should have first considered whether it was appropriate to regulate power plants under the Clean Air Act’s hazardous air pollution safeguards.

First Legal Challenge to the Clean Power Plan Dismissed

Today, the DC Circuit dismissed the first legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The lawsuit, filed by the coal industry and several coal dependent states, claimed that EPA lacked the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. Ultimately, the DC Circuit found the legal challenge premature, given that EPA has yet to release the final version of the Clean Power Plan – which is expected to arrive in August.

As California Goes (with oil spills), So Goes the Nation?

Although desirable when speaking about solar energy deployment, or adoption of smart meters, the maxim “As California Goes, So Goes the Nation” is not the aspiration when it comes to offshore oil drilling and its inevitable spills and economic and ecological impacts. On Wednesday a state of emergency was declared in California as an oil [...]

Knoxville Receives $7.12 Million from TVA for Lower-Income Energy Efficiency Program

Thanks to collaborative community efforts and new funding from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), hundreds of lower-income residents in Knoxville will soon have much more affordable utility bills. TVA recently announced the first round award winners in the Extreme Energy Makeovers project, part of TVA’s Smart Communities program. Knoxville received $7.12 million – after applying [...]

Cutting Carbon Pollution Won’t Make the Sky Fall

National experts and Southeastern utilities agree that it is practical to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, while maintaining reliability of the electric grid. In an April 2015 report by three national experts on electric reliability, the authors found that while there will be “significant changes to the overall mix of resources under the [EPA's Clean [...]

The Supreme Court, the Mercury Rule and Chicken Little

Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS), set to go into effect next month. The MATS rule, finalized in December 2011, requires coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants through the installation of pollution [...]

Bridging the Clean Energy Divide: Affordable Clean Energy Solutions for Today and Tomorrow

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been working to highlight the benefits offered by clean energy resources to vulnerable communities.  In a new set of fact sheets, NRDC lays out how the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan offers serious benefits to low-income and fixed-income households.  Although the fossil fuel industry and its allies [...]

Black History Month Energy Champions: Rev. Leo Woodberry Fights for Climate Justice and Energy Equity

In honor of Black History Month, SACE is publishing a blog series highlighting the efforts of African American leaders working to ensure that clean energy opportunities are available for all people and communities in the Southeast. This post is the third in the series; find additional posts here. Reverend Leo Woodberry has a long history as [...]

White House Announces Steps to Curb Methane Emissions

Yesterday, the White House announced its first-ever efforts aimed at reducing methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industries.  President Obama announced his latest step in his Administration’s effort to combat climate change that will come in the form of a proposed rule under the Clean Air Act in mid-2015.  Methane is the second most [...]