Environmental Law Society
Newsletter NCCU School of Law Fall 2012
ELS IS PLEASED TO PRESENT...
NC’s Environment Under Attack? Thursday, October 18 @ noon
or the first time in over 100 years, the republican party took control of the North Carolina state legislature in 2010. Since then, our historically pro-environmental state, has passed many antienvironmental legislations that could have damaging impacts on our environment and economy.
epresentative Gillespie (Burke and McDowell counties) was quoted this summer in the News & Observer as saying he was purpofully targeting DENR to push through environmental deregulations. Unfortunately, he has been successful in many regards.
n Thursday, October 18, we have the honor of hosting Southern Environmental Law Center’s legisla-
tive liason, Mary Maclean Asbill, to share with us the top ten worst environmental bills that went through the legislature this past session.
lso present will be NC Senator and NCCU School of Law alum, Ellie Kinnaird, to share with us the experience of having these bills rushed through at lightning speed.
rofessor Foy will begin with a briefing of NC’s pro-environmental history.
ood and drinks will be provided so please join us in welcoming our honored guests and learn about the importance of your vote this coming election.
isit our TWEN page and like us on facebook for details and location.
In this Edition: Upcoming Event..............1 In the Courts....................2 Noteworthy News............2 Endorsements..................3 Message from ELS............3
ELS OFFICERS President
Terrell Williamson Vice President
Jere’l Hough Secretary
Anica Nicholson Treasurer
Hayes Jernigan Community Service Coordinator
Larry Dempsey Evening Studen Representative
James Azarelo Advisor
Professor Kevin Foy
Current from the Courts
n Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. US, the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on whether government actions that impose recurring flood invasions must continue permanently to take property within the meaning of the Takings Clause. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court was well into its exploration of a legal standard for deciding whether the government must pay for damage to private property when it turns loose water from a river dam, and flooding is caused-- over and over again. But as soon as the government’s lawyer took his turn at the lecturn, the Justices heard the equivalent of a plea that “trust us” should be the standard, that it is up to the government to decide on “burdens and benefits.” This boldness was something of a jolt to the oral argument... and left some Justices in wonderment. “I must be slow today, said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “I am having trouble with your articulation of your test.”
Excerpt directly from www.Scotusblog.com, visit the site to finish reading.
using the current tax of 0.7 percent imposed on oil products, pesticides and other chemicals for environmental cleanup projects. The state has said the tax, approved by voters in 1988, brings in about $125 million a year for those projects. The Automotive United Trades Organization and Califoria-based Tower Energy Group had argued that the levy is a gas tax that should be used only for highways and roads under the state Constitution’s 18th amendment, which dedicates motor fuel tax collections to highway purposes. The high court ruling, written by Justice Jim Johnson, said “nothing in that consitutional provision indicates that any new tax similar to a gas tax would require the Legislature to use the funds for highway purposes.” ... Laura Watson, an assistant attorney general who argued the case, said the decision does not open the door for using the gas tax for other purposes.... “The Legislature has very broad taxing authority,” she said.
Visit the site to read the rest.
ashington State Supreme Court recently upheld that a pollution tax was constitutional. The high court upheld a King Couty Superior Court ruling that found the state is not precluded from
Excerpt directly from Huffingtonpost.com , October 4, 2012.
n Saturday, September 22, the Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge celebrated another successful year. One of the major accomplishments was the fight to stop industrial wind turbines from being built near the wildlife refuge. According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), wind turbines would severely threatened the wildlife of the Albemarle/ Pamlico peninsula by potentially killing 20 bald eagles annually. Furthermore, the Friends helped conduct monthly bear and bird tours at the Refuge as well as repair and replace bird houses at the Refuge Headquarters in Columbia. During the celebration ceremony, the Friends presented the Environmentalist of the Year Award to Mr. Derb Carter, Director of the North Carolina Offices of the Southern Environmental Law Center. Mr. Carter’s expertise is extremely valuable in the protection of the Albemarle/Pamlico peninsula. For more information, please read the letter from the President of the Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Jennifer Skvarla at http://www. pocosinlakesfriends.org/?page=calendar&nid=20 2&do=s&PAGENUM_GET=1.
fter a representative hit the button to apwrong prove a veto override of the fracking bill by one vote in July of this past summer, the newly created N.C. Mining and Energy Commission began meeting to discuss the reulatory provisions that will be put in place to allow fracking. There will be another vote in two years to decide whether to allow fracking at all, after the research from the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission is complete. The new commission selected its chairman in late September who openly declared himself a “pro-drilling advocate.” Although he claims this will not interfere with his job as chairman, only time will tell as their meetings continue. Source: News&Observer
Sierra Club Endorsements see nc2.sierraclub. org/2012endorsements
STATEWIDE: Linda Coleman (Lt. Governor) Roy Cooper (Attorney General) Janet Cowell (Treasurer) NC HOUSE (District) Robert Cayton (3) Angela Bryant (7) Mark Bibbs (8) Marian McLawhorn (9) Emilie Swearingen (19) Jean Farmer-Butterfield (24) Larry Hall (29) Paul Leubke (30) Mickey Michaux (31)
Message from ELS:
LS is looking to sponsor the NCBA Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Law Section’s upcoming Council Meeting here at NCCU School of Law. This meeting will give students an opportunity to meet seasoned lawyers in the field of environmental law. Council members are currently employed at major firms and organizations, which offer internships, externships, and job opportunities. Keep your Eagle eyes open for more information on this great opportunity.
Special thanks to all who supported our Pizza Fundraser in September! Look out for more opportunities to participate with Enviornmental Law Society on facebook, in the Weekly and on our TWEN page.
Rosa Gill (33) Deborah Ross (34) Darren Jackson (39) Rick Glazier (44) Valerie Foushee (50) Deb McManus (54) Verla Insko (56) Pricey Harrison (57) Patty Philips (63) Martha Alexander (88) Cullie Tarleton (93) Tricia Cotham (100) Beverly Earle (101) Becky Carney (102) Ruth Samuelson (104) Susan Fisher (114) Susan Wilson (115) Jane Whilden (116) Chuck McGrady (117) Ray Rapp (118) Joe Sam Queen (119)
NC SENATE (District) Deb Butler (9) Dan Blue (14) Josh Stein (16) Erv Portman (17) Doug Berger (18) Floyd McKissick (20) Ellie Kinnaird (23) Fletcher Hartsell (36) Daniel Clodfelter (37) Malcolm Graham (40) Martin Nesbitt (49) John Snow (50) SUPREME COURT Judge Sam Ervin, IV NCCU ELS Endorsements: COURT OF APPEALS Wanda Bryant
nterested in learning more about environmental injustice and what you can do about it? Join the North Carolina Environmental Justice Summit during its annual forum, which will be held at the Historical Franklinton Center at Bricks in Whitakers, NC. The forum begins on Friday, October 19 and ends on Saturday, October 20. This year‘s theme is called „Energizing the Grassroots.“ For more information, please check the announcement on ELS’s TWEN Page or contact Anica Nicholson at Nicholan@gmail.com . More information can also be found online at http://www.ncejn.org/ ncejn_summit_5.html.
For more information or to get involved, like us on Facebook and check out our TWEN page! Facebook- NCCU Environmental Law Society lawschool.westlaw.com