The Nine Energy Lawsuit
The nine energy lawsuit was developed in California, as part of a campaign to force major energy companies to pay for the damages caused by their emissions into our atmosphere. There are lawsuits being pursued in other states, as well. Unfortunately, the law in this state is being challenged and the suits have not only reached the courts but are now headed to trial.
The Nine Energy Lawsuit
Opponents of the lawsuit claim that the plaintiffs are attempting to use the law as a giant First Amendment censorship tool. According to them, the lawsuit is an attempt to gag companies from publicizing the results of their testing. The argument goes on to say that the First Amendment gives us the right to talk about pollution. They maintain that the nine energy lawsuit is a violation of that right. In fact, the law itself was designed to prevent such lawsuits by providing a public notice requirement for any law that affects private activity. Opponents say that those who support the lawsuit are using the law to suppress scientific research.
Opponents argue that these lawsuits are nothing more than harassment by environmental groups who wish to control the flow of natural resources into our environment.
Many companies feel that this lawsuit is nothing more than a thinly-disguised attempt at a regulatory agency trying to dictate how they operate. Businesses feel that the lawsuits are also preemptive strikes meant to close down debate about alternative energy. Opponents of the lawsuit maintain that the First Amendment does not give government agencies the right to gag speech. They also point out that this law has already been used to shut down debate over the controversial coal-fired power plant in Oregon.
Advocates for the law say that this lawsuit is just another step in the larger assault on global warming and energy deregulation.
According to them, this is about the right of citizens to be able to air their views on environmental issues. The suit argues that there has been an imbalance of energy sources in the past, which is leading to what is known as an energy crisis. They further claim that this problem will only get worse unless immediate action is taken. Opponents argue that the nine energy lawsuit is a violation of the First Amendment and the U.S. Constitution.
There have been other lawsuits regarding the nine power plants.
Last month, a lawsuit was filed against New York over the Clean Power Plan. In that case, the judge ordered the state to allow people to sue over the legality of the Clean Power Plan. In July, a lawsuit was filed against the federal government over the Mercury and Endocrine Disruptive Drug regulation. That suit was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
This is just the beginning, however. Opponents hope that the legal issues surrounding the lawsuits will force Congress to take swift action to curb EPA overreach. In the meantime, environmental groups are encouraging residents to contact their members of Congress about this issue. “There is a real concern about the overreaching of EPA,” said Michael Kitto, an attorney at ABA Litigation Services. “The courts have been quite successful in protecting residents of coal-producing or water-using industries.”
If you would like more information about the lawsuit, check out the AP’s website.
The website also has links to live blogs from attorneys who are handling the cases. You can also contact the law firm directly for more information. The firm can be reached on the phone, by fax, email, or in the office.
The nine lawsuits represent several residents of eastern Washington and the Pacific Northwest. If you live in any area where fossil fuel plants or other large companies have polluting substances or toxins, you may be eligible for a lawsuit. You can find out more about your eligibility for a lawsuit, as well as the time period you may have to file it, by checking out the AP’s website. You can also find out more about your state’s laws concerning these lawsuits, including which agencies are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the cases. (You can also learn more about organizing groups to support the plaintiffs in your area.)