Big fights loom over a few words in Obama admin proposal
The Army Corps of Engineers for decades took an expansive view of wetlands protection, using the Constitution's Commerce Clause to claim a federal interest in any marsh, swamp or bog used by migrating birds. But the Supreme Court ended the so-called Migratory Bird Rule in 2001's Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) v. Army Corps of Engineers, and the corps scrambled for a legal life preserver. The agency fell back on a concept first instituted in 1977, claiming authority over wetlands "adjacent" to navigable waterways. But the meaning of "adjacent" is itself controversial and has become a key point of debate in the wake of the Obama administration's regulatory proposal to extend automatic protection to more streams and wetlands under the 1972 Clean Water Act.
FWS triples population goal for Mexican wolves, draws fire from enviros
Under a controversial plan that would give Mexican wolves more room to roam but make it easier for people to kill them, the Fish and Wildlife Service today tripled the population target for the experimental recovery effort and took steps to protect herds of elk and other large animals from the predators.
'Topsy-turvy' legal landscape in aftermath of nixed Pa. drilling law
ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. -- Just send over a moving truck, and Bob Taylor will be on his way. After 22 years in rural Allegheny Township, 76-year-old Taylor and his wife Beverly, 71, are afraid the natural gas well slated for their neighbor's land will spell an end to their quiet lifestyle.
RGGI may not be an easy model for regional groups to comply with EPA's carbon rule
Advocates of multi-state plans to comply with U.S. EPA's proposal to cut carbon emissions often make an example of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. But collaborative state implementation plans outside RGGI could be significantly more complicated and would likely encounter many political and practical obstacles along the way.
Inhofe will show GOP disagreement on climate but enjoys support to lead Environment panel
Republican senators who believe that climate change is happening appear to have no qualms about Sen. James Inhofe's rise to the chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee. But he will underscore the party's divisions about the science around warming.
Interior dream team parachutes into high-stakes grouse rescue
The Interior Department is scrambling to meet a September 2015 deadline to avert an Endangered Species Act listing for the greater sage grouse -- what some Westerners warn would be a political and economic disaster. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has tasked the three people leading the agency's grouse rescue to work all angles -- political, bureaucratic and legal -- to save the grouse. It's a wildlife challenge without parallel in U.S. history.