Houston – A Texas judge has ruled that the atmosphere and air must be protected for public use, just like water, which could help attorneys tasked with arguing climate change lawsuits designed to force states to cut emissions.
The written ruling, issued in a letter Monday by Texas District Court Judge Gisela Triana, shot down arguments by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that only water is a “public trust,” a doctrine that dates to the Roman Empire stating a government must protect certain resources – usually water, sometimes wildlife – for the common good.
Adam Abrams, one of the attorneys arguing the case against TCEQ, said Triana’s ruling could be used as a persuasive argument in lawsuits pending in 11 other states.
Florida A&M president announces resignation
Tallahasee, Fla. – The president of Florida A&M University submitted his resignation Wednesday, the same day the university was sued by parents of a drum major who died during a hazing. It was unclear if the two events were related.
James Ammons announced the resignation, which takes effect Oct. 11, in a letter to the chairman of the university’s governing board.
Ammons’ departure is the latest in a series of blows to the university that has seen its image badly bruised by Robert Champion’s death, the suspension of the band until 2013 and the springtime resignation of its veteran director.
Eleven FAMU band members face felony hazing charges, while two others face misdemeanor counts for alleged roles in Champion’s hazing.