A natural gas-fueled power plant located near Los Angeles, California Oakland, CA — A California state judge has affirmed the constitutional right of residents concerned about air and climate pollution to challenge power plant siting decisions in their local Superior Court. In 2013, Earthjustice, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a 2001 law limiting judicial review of the California Energy Commission’s power-plant approvals to the California Supreme Court. Wednesday’s decision in the Alameda County Superior Court sides with the groups, agreeing that Superior Courts have jurisdiction to hear appeals of the Energy Commission’s licensing decisions. “While primarily a health and climate case, this was also an access to justice case,” said Stacey Geis, managing attorney for Earthjustice’s California regional office . “It is crucial that fossil fuel companies and utilities in California can no longer sidestep judicial review for huge fossil fuel projects, which could lock us into decades of dirty energy dependence. There are both environmental and economic clean energy alternatives.” Californians have become increasingly concerned about the construction of more gas power plants. These facilities are among the largest new stationary sources of air […]

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