By: Michael Lehr 5th May, 2016 The fight over federal control of western land is on display in a large, remote area of southeastern Utah. On one side is a coalition of Native American tribes, supported by conservation groups, urging the designation of a new national monument to protect 1.9 million acres of land including the culturally important area of Bears Ears. On the other side are conservative federal, state, and county lawmakers seeking to advance a recently unveiled public lands bill titled the Public Lands Intuitive (“PLI”). The proposed bill would protect 1.2 million acres of the Bears Ears area while also opening land for energy development and a wilderness area. At one time, both sides where hopeful that the PLI could serve as a grand compromise, but the proposed bill, which involved years of meetings and planning, was not what environmental and tribal groups envisioned. Instead, these […]
By: Christian Benante 30th April, 2016 In an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio initiated the “80×50” program, committing the City to the goal of reducing its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions by eighty percent, from a 2005 baseline, by the year 2050. The municipal program, catalyzed in substantial part by the devastation Hurricane Sandy caused in 2012, tracks the United Nations’ emission reduction goals for developed countries, intended to avoid the most severe and catastrophic effects of climate change. A cornerstone of the program is reducing emissions from residential, commercial, and municipally-owned buildings in the City. As of 2013, New York City produced 48.02 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, and its one million buildings generated over three-quarters of that amount. Retrofitting these buildings to increase their energy efficiency is, therefore, required in order to achieve 80×50’s reduction goals.