Last Thursday on GRITtv, Jim Hightower, the great Texan white-hat, declared that progressive initiatives are breaking out all over. If you know where to look.

To all you skeptics out there — here’s a story that should prove Jim’s point. In Fulton County Georgia, Monday, a Superior Court Judge blocked construction of the first coal-burning plant proposed for the state in more than 20 years.

It was the first time that any court in the country had applied a 2007 US Supreme Court ruling recognizing carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore overturned both a lower court and the state Environmental Protection Agency — which had approved a pollution permit for the Dynegy corporation’s proposed plant.

Responding to two environmental groups’ requests, Judge Moore ruled that regardless of Dynegy’s promises of cheap energy, jobs and tax revenues, under the Clean Air Act, the state EPA must limit, not grow the emissions of carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide gas.

Dynegy is threatening to appeal, of course, but in the meantime, it’s time to celebrate: A judge putting public health before profits — Fancy that! It’s an Independence Day story. No wonder some still hanker for the good old days of good-ol’ boy courts.

The F Word is a daily commentary by Laura Flanders.

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.

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