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The Supreme Court said Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions without specific authority from Congress. The decision raises new questions about the power of government in the age of climate change.

The vote was 6 to 3 with conservatives in the majority.

“Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,’” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion for the court.

But Roberts wrote that the Clean Air Act doesn’t give EPA the authority to do so and that Congress must speak clearly on this subject.

The Chief Justice called this decision “a major questions case.” That is the notion that federal agencies cannot answer questions of “vast economic or political significance” without specific legislation from Congress. In this case Congress enacted the Clean Air Act but that law does not include the EPA’s regulations. READ MOREMark Trahant, ICT


Climate and conservation groups from several western states Wednesday filed suit over President Joe Biden’s oil and gas leasing activities.

The suit came the same day the Biden administration approved lease sales in Montana, North Dakota, Nevada and Utah. Sales in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming are also scheduled.

“Overwhelming scientific evidence shows us that burning fossil fuels from existing leases on federal lands is incompatible with a livable climate,” said Senior Attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center Melissa Hornbein in a prepared statement. “In spite of this administration's climate commitments, the Department of Interior is choosing to resume oil and gas leasing.”

Hornbein called the lease sales a “clear abdication of the Bureau of Land Management’s responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act,” as well as a violation of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.

Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity said Biden is breaking campaign promises, and “falling dangerously short of the global leadership required to avoid catastrophic climate change.”

(Related: Arctic Inupiaq leaders take aim at Biden oil policy)

“While people are getting gouged at the pump by greedy oil and gas companies, the Biden administration is bending over backward to give more breaks to the industry and sell public lands for fracking,” said Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians.

Parties to the suit include the Dakota Resource Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper, Montana Environmental Information Center, Rio Grande Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, Western Watersheds Project, and Wildearth Guardians.

Plaintiffs in the suit are the Department of Interior and Bureau of Land Management along with their respective directors, DOI Secretary Deb Haaland, and BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning.

A copy of the lawsuit is available here. ICT

A Eugene, Oregon, woman who had acid thrown on her while walking her dog in March has been the target of two additional acid attacks at her home, believed to be committed by the same person, according to the Eugene Police Department.

The Eugene Police Department is also investigating at least two of the incidents as bias crimes after the suspect made comments about the woman being Native American, The Register-Guard reported.

The latest incident happened around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday when she opened her door and someone threw acid on her, police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said. The woman was taken to a hospital for chemical burns.

On March 28, a cup of acid was thrown on the woman, which required hospital treatment for chemical burns.

On June 19, the woman reported a man had broken into her residence, poured a chemical on her and lit her on fire. She put out the flames using a sandal and was treated for burns at the hospital, McLaughlin said.

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The victim also told police in March that in November 2021 an unknown attacker threw a cup of glass shards on her while she was walking her dog. She sustained minor injuries.

The attacker has been described as a young White man wearing dark clothing and a face mask. Eugene police are seeking any tips that may help investigators locate the suspect. — Associated Press

The National Congress of American Indians budget task force says a fundamental change is needed in the way federal funding is allocated to tribes. So NCAI is developing principles for Congress to consider when funding tribes.

Tribal leaders repeatedly have spoken up at Congressional hearings about the hardships imposed by chronic Congressional neglect of federal obligations to tribes and citizens.

In a July 2020 Congressional hearing, NCAI President Fawn Sharp quoted a U.S. Civil Rights Commission report on the impact of broken promises on Native Americans. She said, “chronic underfunding leaves many basic needs in the Native American community unmet and contributes to the inequities observed in Native American communities.”

COVID threw that neglect into even sharper relief, she said.

The crisis created disparities that made Natives vulnerable to the pandemic, Sharp said, “and resulted in our communities having the highest per-capita COVID-19 infection rate in the United States.” READ MOREJoaqlin Estus, ICT

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When people visit Ruston Way in Tacoma, Washington, they will soon see a new seaplane terminal and restaurants. The ventures are the latest projects for the Puyallup Tribe. The tribal nation with 5,000 citizens recently announced it is adding seaplane services to its economic portfolio. Matt Wadhwani, the financial officer of the Puyallup Tribe explains.

For too long, Native peoples' stories and futures have been written by others. But today, Native leaders and Native youth are writing their own path forward. Featured on the PBS series Roadtrip Nation, Kimberlee Blevins from the Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation tells us more.

R. Vincent Moniz, Jr. has joined the ICT Newscast as a senior producer. He’s Nueta and Oglala. He’s a poet and performance artist and lives in Bismarck, North Dakota.


State Rep. Georgene Louis, who was arrested by Santa Fe police in the final days of a legislative session in February and charged with drunken driving, has entered a no-contest plea.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday that Louis must complete 24 hours of community service.

Her plea deal is for DWI, not aggravated DWI, and other charges were dropped after she provided proof of insurance and registration, according to the newspaper.

The Journal said court documents show Louis also must comply with drug and alcohol screening, attend an education program on DWI laws and install an ignition interlock device in her vehicle.

Santa Fe police said breathalyzer tests showed Louis had a 0.17 percent blood alcohol content - more than twice New Mexico's presumed level of intoxication - when she was stopped by an officer Feb. 13 for driving her car 17 mph over the posted speed limit.

Louis, a 44-year-old Democrat who represents part of Albuquerque's west side and has held the House District 26 seat since 2013, is not running for a sixth term in November.

She was one of five Native American legislators in the New Mexico House of Representatives as of 2015. — Associated Press


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