Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Global Warming Continues

Last August, President Obama noted: "Power plants are the single biggest source of harmful carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.  Until now, there have been no federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution plants dump in the air."  
He was referring to a new EPA rule that would require states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards based on their individual energy consumption. 
On 2/9/16, just four days before Justice Scalia died, the conservative justices on the Supreme Court moved to temporarily block the EPA’s rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  An order to grant a stay on a rule whose legality hasn't been reviewed by a lower court is very unusual.  The four liberal justices on the court; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented from the order.
Reacting to a lawsuit from the energy industry, five conservative justices blocked the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan from going forward while the rule is challenged in court.
Obama has pushed action on global warming as a key part of his legacy, an effort that reached its peak with the deal at the U.N. led talks on climate change in Paris in December.
Supporters of the greenhouse gas emissions plan did not expect the high court to step in at this juncture, particularly since the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hold oral arguments in June and neither the industry nor the states would have had to come into compliance for at least two years.  That a divided Supreme Court stepped in at this juncture to block the program after a lower court declined to do so sends a signal that at least five justices are concerned with some aspect of the plan.
Bruce Huber, a professor of law at Notre Dame Law school has pointed out: "This is an exceedingly uncommon situation for the court to step in, and it jeopardizes the plan all together from going into affect while President Obama remains in office.  The Supreme Court's order signals serious misgivings among some of the justices about the legality of the plan."
Recently, Hillary Clinton has announced that she would like to see half a billion more solar panels deployed during the first four years of her presidency.  Her goal is enough clean energy to power every home in the next four years. 

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