Florida Is 6th Worst Toxic Polluter from Coal-Fired Power Plants Despite Natural Gas Gains

Published by FlaglerLive | August 9, 2012

Florida is the 6th worst state in the nation when it comes to exposing residents to toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants, according to an analysis released today in Florida by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Florida’s electric sector ranked 6th in industrial toxic air pollution in 2010, emitting nearly 16.7 million pounds of harmful chemicals, which accounted for 57 percent of state pollution and about 5 percent of toxic pollution from all U.S. power plants.

Florida ranked 15th among all states in industrial mercury air pollution from power plants, with about 1,710 pounds emitted in 2010, which accounted for 75 percent of state mercury air pollution and 3 percent of U.S. electric sector mercury pollution. Mercury contaminates fish and is most commonly absorbed by humans through fish consumption. Mercury poisoning can impair vision, speech and coordination, and lead to severe birth defects or worse.

On the national level, the report found a 19 percent decrease nationally in all air toxics emitted from power plants in 2010, the most recent data available, compared to 2009 levels. The welcomed drop, which also includes a 4 percent decrease in mercury emissions, results from two key factors. One is the increasing use by power companies of natural gas, which has become cheaper and is cleaner burning than coal; the other is the installation of state-of-the-art pollution controls by many plants–in anticipation of new health protections issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read the rest of the story at: http://flaglerlive.com/42571/florida-coal-fired-pollution/

illinoisduilawyer

The Chicago Sun-Times has more information on Jamie O’Malley, the Cook County Deputy Sheriff who has been charged with aggravated DUI arising out of a fatal accident in Franklin Park last Sunday.

According to the Sun-Times,

The Cook County sheriff’s deputy charged with felony DUI for a fatal accident Sunday in Franklin Park reportedly told arresting officers, “Oh God, I hope I didn’t kill this guy.”

Jamie T. O’Malley, 37, of Franklin Park is charged with aggravated DUI for striking and killing Marcial Marias-Quevedo on Mannheim Road in Franklin Park at 1:43 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.

O’Malley smelled strongly of alcohol and told police he’d come from a party where he’d had “two beers,” Van Kampen said.

The 6-foot-tall, 200-pound O’Malley reportedly failed field sobriety tests, then refused a Breathalyzer test.

He later submitted to urine and blood tests. Those tests, administered 1-1/2 hours after the accident, yielded a…

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illinoisduilawyer

First of all, if you are criminal defendant, you should never miss court.  Your failure to appear will likely result in a warrant and/or judgment issued against you.  You might also miss an opportunity to have your attorney get something accomplished on your behalf.

But that is not what I am writing about today.

I saw this happen earlier this morning in Chicago’s Traffic Court.

A judge was going through her morning trial call to see which cases would be ready for trial.

A case was called that had been set for trial.  The defendant had not yet appeared. It was 10:00 a.m. and the case had been scheduled for 9:00.  The case was stricken from the trial call and was passed for the “no-show” or “warrant call.”  Had the defendant been there, the state would not have been able to answer ready for trial, because their arresting officer had…

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JONATHAN TURLEY

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)- Guest Blogger

It seems that almost everywhere you look, some State is trying to reduce the number of early voting days, purging the voting rolls and making it harder for citizens to cast their votes.  The State of Florida has recently attempted to remove legitimate voters off its voter rolls and the State of Georgia recently attempted to restrict the time when a military absentee ballot can be counted as I wrote about earlier on this blog. Georgia  Now, we have some hard evidence of just who is getting removed or impacted by the various State’s attempts to cure the imagined Voter fraud problem!

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JONATHAN TURLEY

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw) Guest Blogger

I have discussed the Second Amendment and the difficulties I have in allowing citizens to own semi-automatic weapons and large capacity clips of ammunition in the past, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a recent Fox News interview, just took my concern over semi-automatic weapons and shot it down.. with a shoulder firing rocket! 

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How America’s Death Penalty Murders Innocents | Common Dreams

Published on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by The Guardian/UK

How America’s Death Penalty Murders Innocents

The evidence is in: the US criminal justice system produces wrongful convictions on an industrial scale – with fatal results by  David A. Love

The US criminal justice system is a broken machine that wrongfully convicts innocent people, sentencing thousands of people to prison or to death for the crimes of others, as a new study reveals. The University of Michigan law school and Northwestern University have compiled a new National Registry of Exonerations – a database of over 2,000 prisoners exonerated between 1989 and the present day, when DNA evidence has been widely used to clear the names of innocent people convicted of rape and murder. Of these, 885 have profiles developed for the registry’s website, exonerationregistry.org.

The details are shocking. Death row inmates were exonerated nine times more frequently than others convicted of murder. One-fourth of those exonerated of murder had received a death sentence, while half of those who had been wrongfully convicted of rape or murder faced death or a life behind bars. Ten of the inmates went to their grave before their names were cleared.

Read more at: How America’s Death Penalty Murders Innocents | Common Dreams.

Mary Cosmo

I am a 3L visiting student at Ave Maria Law School in Naples, Florida. My home school is Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida.  As a Floridian who grew up in rural Pioneer Plantation in Hendry County and involved with 4-H for most of my youth, I am inspired each day by the continuity of my community.  I chose to spend my 3L year in the South West Florida area to strengthen my connection to my home community. After being away from home for my first two years of law school I am truly blessed to be able to spend my last year of law school at home. After graduation, I plan to take the Florida Bar and practice in South West Florida. As a native Floridian and future Florida attorney, I hope to serve the people of South West Florida with the legal competence and integrity Floridians have come to expect.

The first question I am often asked is “Mary, what kind of law would you like to practice?” I still have not perfected an answer to this question because I have so many interests: Land Use Planning, Real Property, Intellectual Property, Family, Consumer, and Criminal Law. Whichever path I choose I am determined to make a difference.

I was drawn to study law during my undergraduate studies at Hodges University.  It was FP&L’s proposal of a coal-fired power plant in my back yard that first sparked my interest, which would have been the largest coal power plant in the United States.  The proposed site was to be in the headwaters to the Everglades, which is already suffering clean water woes.  What began as a research project soon turned into a community standing together to protect their community.  After the Public Service Commission hearing on the impacts of the proposed site, Florida’s rail road infrastructure that would have to be upgraded, the exponential consumer funding for a plant that has yet to be built, and the additional water usage from an already strained water supply (just to mention a few issues) the commission denied FP&L’s application.  Although, I do not consider myself to be an extreme environmentalist, I did learn a great deal about our legal process.  In addition, I realized the important things in life should not be taken for granted. Especially the simple necessities of life like: drinking clean water, eating healthy foods, breathing fresh air and most of all the accessibility to information and the legal process that makes for an informed community and a strong democratic society.

My interests do not stop at environmental and Land Use planning.  I am a creative person at heart, which leads me to the study of intellectual property. Our thoughts, likeness, and creations must be protected to preserve the sense of self, integrity, and personhood.

As a single mother, I am also interested in family law.  I know how sensitive, heartbreaking, and downright important it is to have an attorney who is willing to protect parental rights.  The rights of kids are often limited, in the midst of domestic chaos, which can make a bad situation worse.  However, the right attorney can make a difference by making a bad situation better by always focusing on the best interest of the child.

Consumer and Criminal law has also been a driving force behind my studies.  I feel everyone should at least know there rights and how to protect them. On the civil side, consumers need to be protected and consumer protection laws should be enforced. These laws are enacted for the protection of consumers yet the first advice you hear in legal advertisements when a consumer is being sued for default is to file bankruptcy.  When in fact, there may be other remedies for the consumer that may be a better choice for the consumer in the end.  On the Criminal side, who doesn’t want to be protected by the laws of our society?  Victims deserve justice and the criminals deserve to have a fair trial.

At the end of the day, I am pursuing a legal career to make a difference whether it is in civil or criminal matters.  I aspire to do so with the legal competence and integrity Floridians have come to expect.

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Nothing posted on this web-site is a representation of a legal opinion. Nothing on this web-site is intended to be legal advice. I am not an Attorney. I cannot give legal advice. If you need legal advice, please seek an attorney authorized to practice in your area. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision and should not be done solely based on an advertisement. For an attorney in your area you may contact your local bar association or a legal referral service.

The Florida Bar offers a Lawyer Referral Service that may be contacted at (800) 342-8011, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or online at http://www.floridabar.org/divpgm/lronline.nsf/wreferral6?OpenForm

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