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Today, we will be discussing how legal deadlines can hinder “forever chemical”, energy preparations in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and confirmation hearings for former Trump officials.
Let’s get going.
After exposure to toxic chemicals, seek justice
This is Part 1 of a 4-part series. Check out TheHill.comYou can find out more throughout the week.
Brenda Hampton believes that the heart attack she had last month could have been a blessing in disguise. It gave her a second chance to challenge the complex legal system that denied her compensation for years of renal disease.
“I believe God is opening the door for us. Hampton, who founded Concerned Citizens of WMEL West Morgan and East Lawrence Water Authority, shared his feelings with The Hill.
Hampton is the founder of Concerned citizens of North Alabama, a group also known as Concerned Citizen Grassroots. Hampton has been raising awareness on the severe contamination by “forever chemical” – per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS).– That have plagued parts of Alabama’s Lawrence County for decades, where Hampton resides.
PFAS are also known as forever chemicals, because they can build up in the body instead of being broken down and can also linger in the environment for many decades.
Hampton, 66 has been involved in the investigation of contamination in northern Alabama ever since 2015. Hampton also brought bottled drinking water to impacted residents and led local legal battles against impacted water agencies. Hampton gave Hampton a kidney in 2000, four years after her grandparents died. Hampton also lost her mother to renal failure in 2001.
Hampton, who has been suffering from renal disease since 2015, had long abandoned the idea to file a lawsuit. She knew that it was too late from a legal standpoint. According to the state statute of limitations, contamination claims can only be filed within two years.
IN THE LEGAL WEEDS
Alabama has one of the most stringent statutes in the country: Plaintiffs can sue within two years of becoming sick, and not after the cause is known.
Alabama, along with Michigan and Idaho, don’t have or have very limited versions if what’s called a ‘discovery rule’ when it comes to toxic exposures. This sets them apart from the majority of states.
Although statutes of limitations in many states are restrictive, they allow plaintiffs to delay suing until they can prove a clear causal link.
Experts said that plaintiffs seeking damages without a discovery ruling face a nearly impossible hurdle. This is despite the fact that they may not have even heard of PFAS before the statute of limitations expires.
While Alabama’s clock begins to tick when an injury occurs, Michigan’s starts earlier – when pollution occurs, even though the people who are affected don’t know.
Some resistance:Activists are putting increasing pressure on statutes of limitations. They believe that people should have more time to sue.
“How can you have limitations on something people didn’t even know existed, that they were being exposed too?” Erin Brockovich was an environmental advocate and became famous after suing PG&E for contamination involving a different chemical.
Brockovich stated that “that doesn’t make sense to me.” “Who are these laws really protecting?”
Hampton is optimistic after her heart attack. Hampton hopes she may now have a second chance. She believes that the heart attack, which is distinct from the renal failure, might be considered a new injury that could potentially set a new clock in motion.
Energy ‘contingency planning’ for Europe
According to a senior administration official, the Biden administration has been working with European countries and major oil companies to prepare for a scenario when a Russian invasion of Ukraine results in a natural gas shortage throughout Europe.
According to the official, the discussions were “contingency planning” in case of a Russian invasion of natural gas infrastructures or Russian President. Vladimir PutinThe European Union responds to sanctions triggered in response to an incursion by cutting off supply to European nations.
“We’re working alongside countries and companies around to ensure the security and supply, to mitigate price shocks that affect both the American people” the official said. The talks have been ongoing since several weeks.
The Biden administration is currently identifying non-Russian natural gasoline stockpiles from North Africa and Asia, and engaging with major natural oil producers about possible surging supplies to Europe.
The official declined the offer to name specific companies or countries with whom the Biden administration is currently in talks about alternative supply.
CNN Recently, it was reportedThe talks also include Qatar and Norway.
Russia supplies more than 40% of Europe’s natural resources, with a large portion of that coming through Ukraine. Germany is particularly dependent on Russian oil and gas. This dependence has raised concerns about the potential impact of a Russian invasion on the European market.
A second senior official from the administration stressed that Russia’s decision to cut energy supplies to Europe would have negative effects on Moscow’s economy.
Putin has no asymmetric advantage. It is interdependency,” the official stated.
GM INVESTORES IN EV PLANTS
General Motors announced Tuesday that it will invest $7 billion in four new Michigan manufacturing plants for electric vehicles in its bid to be “the market leader” in electric cars by 2025.
GM and LG Energy will jointly invest $2.6 billion to build a new facility in Lansing, Mich. that will produce GM’s Ultium battery platform and engine platform – the basis for a variety of electric pickups or SUVs.
Barra said that GM will also spend $4B to renovate an Orion Township facility to make electric Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup truck trucks. This will bring GM’s total production to “about 600,000.00 trucks per year.”
Barra said that GM will also invest $510 millions to upgrade two other Lansing-area facilities “for near term projects”.
Biden described the deal as “the latest sign that [my economic strategy] is helping to power an historic American Manufacturing Comeback,” pointing at the $100 billion investment in electric vehicle production over the past 12 months.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) stated that GM expects to create 4,000 new jobs, which will translate into $35 billion in economic opportunity over the next 20-years. Gretchen Whitmer (D), told reporters.
Trump administration questions Wheeler about time
Andrew Wheeler, Virginia Gov. State lawmakers Tuesday questioned Glenn Youngkin, (R) nominee to state secretary of natural resource. This was in reference to his time as the former head of President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency.
State Sen. Joseph Morrissey (D), asked Wheeler why he couldn’t convince Trump that climate change is real during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing before the Virginia Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.
Morrissey praised Wheeler for being “very articulate, persuasive individual.” He then asked Morrissey why Trump’s former boss didn’t convince him that climate change was real.
Wheeler’s response:Wheeler replied that Trump had not taken any specific climate actions, such as the decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017. This was before Wheeler joined EPA in 2018. He said that his discussions with Trump were more focused on issues such as vehicle fuel economy standards and regulations for power plants.
What did he discuss? Wheeler addressed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, (RGGI) which is an 11-state carbon market Virginia joined in 2021. Youngkin promised to withdraw from the compact but environmentalists and advocates claim he doesn’t have the authority to do so, since the legislature voted in favor of joining it. Youngkin called instead for the State Air Pollution Control Board (State Air Pollution Control Board) to vote on whether to exit in an executive order.
When Wheeler was asked if he agreed that “RGGI can’t be adjusted, modified or eliminated by edicts of the governor” and that it must be done by the General Assembly, Wheeler replied “I think that will form part of the assessment. [the state Department of Environmental Quality]is undertaking, but right now RGGI seems to be the law of state.”
NEW WARNING ON GRID THREATS
In a bulletin that was obtained by multiple media outlets, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), warned that domestic extremists are planning to attack U.S. electrical power infrastructure.
According to the department, both domestic violent extremists as well as extremists motivated more specifically by racial animus are considered potential targets for attack.
According to the bulletin, “DVEs developed credible, concrete plans to attack electricity infrastructure starting at least 2020” The Daily BeastThe memo was first reported by.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Mountain Valley Pipeline loses its permit to pass through Jefferson National Forest (The Roanoke Times
Study: Europe’s Coal Giants Fall in Efforts to Reach Net-ZeroBloomberg)
High levels of PFAS chemicals in NJ drinking water systems have been found to be affecting 500K+ residents (NorthJersey.com)
Which Drugs will withstand climate change? We investigated (Vice News)
That’s all for today. Thank you for reading. Check out The Hill. Energy & Environment pageGet the most recent news and coverage. We’ll see you there You Wednesday.