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Today’s news is that the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case regarding the Waters of the United States rule. This is a warning from John Kerry, the climate envoy, and a glimpse of hope for the bill’s climate provisions.
Let’s jump in.
Supreme Court takes up case concerning wetlands
The Supreme Court will examine the question of which wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act. This case can have serious implications for water quality and business operations.
Monday’s court Accepted to Take upIt is important to decide what legal test should you use to determine whether certain wetlands are protected by federal law.
How did we get here?The case of Michael and Chantell Sackett, who in 2007 began to build a house on a vacant land they owned. Although the Sacketts had obtained permits from the local authorities for the construction, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at the time, determined that the activity was a violation to the Clean Water Act since the lot contained wetlands that are eligible for protections.
Last year, the 9th Circuit appellate Court ruled against them. They used an opinion written by Anthony Kennedy (ex-Supreme Court Justice) that stated that regulation of wetlands should depend on whether they are connected to traditional waters like rivers and lakes.
Here’s where things get complicated:The 2006 case referred to the “significant nexus” test. It was the concurring opinion to a narrower test that was created by then-Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia’s test would have only applied to wetlands with a continuous top-level connection to traditional regulated bodies.
Kerry warns the world that they are not on the right track
John Kerry, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Climate Change, warned Monday that the world is in “trouble” and is not doing enough to reverse the effects of climate change.
“Let me be truthful, above all, but I will also be blunt and hopefully motivating. We’re in trouble. I hope everybody can see that. Kerry stated that there is no trouble we can’t escape from, but that we are not on a good path.
Former Secretary of State, John Kerry, stated that “a lot good things are happening, a large amount of good came out Glasgow,” referring specifically to the COP26 summit held in Scotland last November.
Good news and bad:He stated, however, that “We’re already at tipping points,” citing recent research which found that the Arctic is warming at four times the rate of the rest.
“We’re also witnessing the impacts in floods, fires and mudslides as well as the extraordinary heat, which is increasing in different parts the world.”
Kerry stated that “we need to be compelled, as human beings and as leaders, to respond to it,” adding that he was encouraged to see the number of private sector companies that declared net-zero goals during the summit.
The former Democratic presidential nominee expressed disappointment at the increased U.S. coal output, which occurred after 2020, when the country had hit a half-century of lows.
The comments of President Biden last week at the press conference are giving momentum for the climate portion of his spending agenda. As lawmakers call for Congress’ passage of the Build back Better legislation, they are urging Congress to do so.
A refresher:Biden expressed confidence in lawmakers that they can pass more than $500 billion in energy- and environmental spending. This number is close to what the White House proposed spending on clean energy and climate in October.
He also suggested that the entire package may need to be dismantled to make it pass. After months of negotiations, exhausted lawmakers are pushing for climate action to be completed.
“We have to figure out what agreement we have on and that is what we need to do,” Tina Smith (D.Minn.), told The Hill in an interview.
“Based upon where we have been and the comments that Sen. [Joe]Manchin made the following comments about the climate provisions. “It seems like those sections in the old Build Back better bill should still be in pretty good shape,” she stated.
Manchin expressed support for the environmental provisions. However, moving forward would mean cuts to other programs including an expanded child credit.
Smith stressed that it’s important not to lose sight of the practicality of negotiations and to get the most out of them.
She stated, “I am a progressive in the caucus, but also practical, and this is the practical and commonsense way to move forward to accomplish what we can.”
Her comments were made amid similar statements by others. Senator Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D.Ore.), said last week that he viewed Biden’s latest comments as creating “a path to a handful of provisions where there’s a lot of strong support. It starts with climate.” It all starts with health care.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
How many people got a toxic chemical in the water they drink (????)Politico)
Could Florida shut down the sun? Advocates claim that a bill backed by utilities would threaten rooftop solar in Florida (CNN)
Commerce Secretary Raimondo (Yahoo Finance)
At the Nation’s Dollar Stores, Old-Fashioned and Inefficient Light Bulbs Still Live onThe New York Times)
A study by Shell shows that Canada’s enormous carbon capture facility emits far more carbon than it captures.CNBC)
The Hill will publish a four-part investigative series that Rachel and Sharon Udasin, our colleague, will begin Tuesday. They will explore legal hurdles for individuals who have been exposed.
Check out TheHill.comTomorrow morning and Tuesday will have the first installment of the newsletter.
That’s all for today. Thank you for reading. Visit The Hill’s website. Energy & Environment PageGet the most recent news and coverage. We’ll be there You Tuesday.