YOUTH'S CLIMATE LAWSUIT: GOVERNMENT PREEMPTION AT 9TH CIRCUIT APPEALS COURT

Today, 4 June 2019, at 10:30am PST, in the Pioneer Courthouse, 700 S.W. Sixth Ave., Portland OR 97204, an interlocutory appeal by the government will begin against the Youth Climate Lawsuit.  This may be the most important hearing to date for the future of the climate.

Essentially, the twenty one youth plaintiffs' lawsuit claims that the U.S. has failed to protect the climate as an essential public trust resource by way of promoting and subsidizing fossil fuel industries, and therefore it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.  If the youth prevail, at least two major outcomes would occur.  The climate would hence be considered a commons that everyone is entitled to.  And the U.S. would have to stop subsidizing fossil fuels, which the U.S. supports by about $20 billion per year.  The U.S. has been doggedly trying to deflect this case rather than argue on the merits of the charges.

Most recently on 26 December 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that the Youth's Climate Trial in the Ninth Federal District Court in Eugene OR will remain on hold, while the U.S. Justice Department argues an appeal of the case - before the case is even triedThe case called Juliana v. the United States, was originally filed against the Obama administration in 2015 by Kelsey Juliana and 20 other youth plaintiffs.  The Obama administration, and twice the Drumph administration, tried to get the case dismissed.  At the president's* behest, Chief Justice Roberts issued an administrative stay of proceedings.  But on Friday, 2 November 2018, the full Supreme Court overruled Roberts, and allowed the case to be heard.
Back at the Ninth Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, on 26 December 2018, before the case could proceed and be heard, the Justice Department attorneys pulled a procedural flim-flam called an interlocutory appeal.  This means the U.S. has appealed the case at the Appeals Court before it is tried at the lower District Court.  They're trying to challenge the very premise of the charges, claiming that the air is not a public trust resource, and that the plaintiffs don't have standing to bring the suit because they are not harmed in particular by climate disruption, since global warming impacts everyone in the world, not just the plaintiffs. 

Community organizers in Portland are calling for supporters across the country to mobilize on the day of the hearing.  Demonstrators will gather in Director Park downtown at 815 SW Park Ave, Portland OR 97205, just a few blocks from the courthouse.  There they will watch the live-streamed oral arguments and afterwards hear from youth plaintiffs, their attorneys, and other community and climate movement members.  It is unclear whether there will be other actions associated with the hearing.    For more information, go to -
Juliana et al v. United States Climate Lawsuit — Our Children's Trust.  To volunteer to help with event organizing, go to - Climate Lawsuit Volunteer Community Organizer Sign-Up.


MEANWHILE BACK IN THE U.S. CONGRESS, HOUSE DEMOCRATS SELL OUT THE CLIMATE
It recently made the news that the Department of Energy has rebranded natural gas as "freedom gas" and "molecules of freedom".  That's right, the U.S. as "beacon of freedom" in the world plans to spread freedom in the form of hydrocarbons and profit at the same time, because spreading democracy is apparently passe.  As a business decision, the DOE gave Houston-based Freeport LNG approval to export gas processed at a new liquefaction plant off the coast of Texas.  Undersecretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes explained, "Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy" - The Department of Energy is calling fossil fuels “molecules of freedom” and “freedom gas”.  Critics immediately demonized the president* for again promoting fossil fuels in the face of a worsening climate emergency.

But we can all be confident that the Democrat cavalry will ride in to save the day - or can we?  In spite of any expressed concerns about climate disruption, the Democrat corporatists just like the Republican corporatists - cut from the same corporate cloth - have no qualms about accepting fossil fuel donations and subsidizing fossil fuels in return.  For example, Congress is about to approve a bill that is the enabling legislation for Drumph's freedom gas, called the European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019.  It was introduced on 7 March this year in both branches of Congress - H.R. 1616 and S. 704.  it took the Democrat controlled House of Representatives only eighteen days to pass it by vote on 25 March, following normally lengthy committee hearings and floor debate - European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019 (H.R. 1616).  It is pending in the Senate, a body that has yet to see a fossil fuel bill that it didn't like.  A stalwart liberal Senator, Chris Murphy (D-CT), sponsored the Senate version of this shamelessly hypocritical bill.

According to a report in Common Dreams, the bill "would provide billions of dollars in support for natural gas infrastructure projects, propping up fossil fuel industries and leading to fracking projects in the U.S.—undercutting the goals of climate campaigners who are demanding that all industrialized countries move toward renewable energy systems".  The corporatist proponents claim the bill would counter Russia's influence over energy production in Eastern Europe.  But a major opponent of fracking, Food and Water Watch, wrote a letter to Congress with more than 200 co-signing organizations saying "Far from securing a more stable world, expanding exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe will lead to a more unstable world".  Said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, "At a time when we should be leading the global mission to rapidly quit fossil fuels, the notion of seeking new and deeper fossil fuel codependence between America and Europe is patently absurd" - 200+ Groups Demand Senate Kill Bill That Would Pour 'Fuel on the Fire of Climate Crisis'.

If progressives feel that liberal Democrats, much less neo-liberal corporatist Democrats, can be relied upon to block such regressive legislation, be clear that it's old, rich, yellow-dog Democrats who control the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) - The DCCC Sure as Hell Isn't Going to Let Another AOC Win.  Is it any surprise that the DCCC is pushing Joe Biden for President who is at the bottom when it comes to climate policy? - Biden Nearly Flunks Climate Change on Greenpeace Report Card.  Whereas Jay Inslee at the top of the list can't find any traction - Which 2020 Candidates Make the Grade When it Comes to Climate Action?.


ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP GUIDES FOR SUNSCREENS AND FOOD RESIDUES
Summer is a time of heightened sun UV exposure and when more local produce is available.  A science based consumer advocacy group, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), provides the public with well researched guides to help choose the safest and most effective products in a range of categories - sunscreen, food, cosmetics, tap and bottled water, non-toxic home items, and more.  Most of these have had very little examination or certification in the U.S., or the data has not kept up with newly released products.  Other shortcomings are due to Federal deregulation of product standards or reporting requirements, or else manufacturers have been allowed to self-regulate with no reporting. 
 
EWG tries to fill the void, and update their guides annually.  They recently published guides for the - EWG's 2019 Sunscreens Summary, the - Dirty Dozen Produce, and the - Clean Fifteen Produce.  The sunscreen guide cautions against any product containing PABA, oxybenzone, or trolamine salicylate, and recommends any with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.  The dirty dozen food items are the most highly contaminated popular food, that should be avoided if conventionally grown - strawberries are the most toxic.  The clean fifteen food items are the least contaminated food even when grown conventionally - avocados are the cleanest.  Of course, foods in either category that are grown organically will be the safest option.  For more detailed info, and for guides for other products, go to - Environmental Working Group.  A soon to be released guide will be a listing of foods containing varying amounts of glyphosate (Roundup).

 
RESPONSIBLE ENERGY VS. KING CONG (COAL-OIL-NUKE-GAS)

1 June 2019: Three Mile Island nuke has begun shutdown.
There is no love lost in Pennsylvania for the troubled and noncompetitive TMI nuclear power plant.  As in several other states, and encouraged by Drumph's coal and nuke bailout agenda, the owners of TMI, Exelon Corp., have been lobbying for two years to secure bailout money from the Pennsylvania Legislature to continue operating Unit #1 for another 15 years.  Unit #2 was the one that had a partial core meltdown in 1979.  On 8 May this year, Exelon announced defeat, and said the power shutdown of Unit #1 that began last Saturday will be complete by 30 September.  Beyond that, the company will begin the long process of decommissioning the complex, a plan that includes stabilizing and securing the spent nuclear fuel rods, and dismantling large components, including the station’s cooling towers, beginning in 2074 - Three Mile Island to begin shutdown June 1.  The local York Dispatch newspaper in York Pennsylvania, 13 miles from the plant, ran an opinion piece when the bailout package was still being debated, criticizing the never ending nuke subsidies, and saying the TMI shutdown was long overdue - TMI shutdown is overdue.

We suggest readers avail themselves to the following sources of news on the demise of coal and nuclear power: Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Beyond Nuclear - Japan, Beyond Coal, CoalSwarm, FrackSwarm, and Solartopia no nukes items.

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