Brendan DeMelle

Brendan DeMelle is the executive director and managing editor of He has served as research associate for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, researcher for Laurie David, analyst at Environmental Working Group, and more. Follow his Twitter feed at @bdemelle.

Is Bill Barrett Corp's Major Lobbying Spree Aimed at Ken Salazar?

In the fall of 2008, the outgoing Bush administration gave the oil and gas industry a parting gift that now threatens to destroy the Roan Plateau in Colorado, an area known for its stunning vistas, “beloved by hunters, anglers and hikers for its clear streams, herds of deer and elk, and rugged beauty.” The Roan, once described by current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as “one of those treasured landscapes of America, a place where we have fish and wildlife resources (and) beautiful streams,” is now the target of major natural gas drilling operations, thanks to George W. Bush’s Bureau of …

Gassing Up The Lobbying Machine, Naturally

Bill Barrett Corporation deploys lobbyists to protect sweet drilling deal in the Rockies

Drilling companies seeking to exploit unconventional energy resources in the Rocky Mountain wilderness and elsewhere are running into all kinds of obstacles these days, thanks to lawsuits, regulations, and pesky citizens who would rather ensure their drinking water remains, well, drinkable, preferably without fear of ingesting toxic chemicals or lighting themselves on fire when they turn on the tap. Take for example, the little-known Bill Barrett Corporation, a Colorado-based natural gas company that is planning to drill up to 3,000 wells in an area of the Colorado Rockies called the Roan Plateau.  Barrett Corp specializes in extracting unconventional shale gas …

Indiana Jonesin' for Clean Energy Jobs

New ‘Repower America’ ads target conservative Dem Senators on clean energy jobs

Repower America, a project of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, unveiled a new ad campaign targeting senators in key states to win support for clean energy legislation to create green jobs.  The ads feature testimonials from elected leaders, small business owners, union workers and farmers who advocate for clean energy job creation in their respective states. The new Repower America television spots will start airing in Indiana and Maine later this week on local and network affiliates, and run for three weeks.  The Indiana ad urges Hoosiers to reach out to their Senators, Democrat Evan Bayh and Republican Richard …

The Young and the Restless

Youth leaders make an impact in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN — Students, youth environmental advocates and other “YOUNGO” interests are busy here this week, pressing world leaders and delegates to reach a real deal to protect their future against climate change. “YOUNGO” activists in Copenhagen.IYCN Pictures via FlickrMore than 1,000 young people from over 100 countries are attending the UN Climate Summit to call for bold climate leadership.  They have spent the past ten days tracking down powerful players in the COP15 process and reminding them that there is no time like the present to ink an international agreement on strong emissions reduction targets and fair financing for the …

Can I get your number?

Cautious optimism for Copenhagen deal as Barcelona climate talks end

Is that the sun we see?The mood was markedly improved on the final day of the Barcelona climate talks, as delegates, observers, and non-governmental organizations all brushed off the pessimism that dominated much of this week and announced that there is still hope for a global deal at the Copenhagen COP15 summit. News that the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee had advanced the Kerry-Boxer climate bill forward — coupled with revelations that some progress was made in Spain on several key issues during the closed-door meetings between nations — offered a ray of hope for a binding agreement …

EU ewww

Europe places outcome of Copenhagen squarely on Obama

The chief negotiator for the European Commission announced this afternoon in Barcelona that the failure of the U.S. Congress to pass legislation before December has doomed the chances for success in Copenhagen. A climate protest at the Barcelona talks: World leaders with ‘big heads’ moving cash from an aid money box to a climate money box. The stunt highlights rich country plans to use overseas aid money to pay for their climate finance commitments.Oxfam InternationalEurope now predicts that a legally binding treaty is impossible to expect in Copenhagen, and that it could take up to a full year beyond the …

Barcelona Balogna

Why developing countries cannot afford failure in Copenhagen

The African delegation insisted today in Barcelona that its decision to walk out on negotiations Tuesday was necessary in order to jolt the intransigent European Union and other developed nations to move forward with serious discussions, rather than obstruct progress by bringing only lofty rhetoric and no numbers to the negotiating table. The plan seems to have worked, albeit temporarily, as negotiations resumed today about how to extend the Kyoto Protocol and forge binding agreements with the West to slash emissions and provide cash to developing nations to deal with climate shocks and facilitate clean economic development. However, delegates from …

Por favor, don’t kill us

Africa walks out on climate talks in Barcelona, citing lack of commitment from West

Negotiations among more than 190 countries meeting in Barcelona to address climate change continued today, but only on certain matters, as delegates from 50 African nations collectively shut down the talks about how to extend the Kyoto Protocol when the first phase of the agreement expires in 2012. Africa refuses to continue the negotiations until developed nations commit to reduce global warming emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, a target that scientists say is necessary to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change. “Africa believes that the other groups are not taking talks seriously enough, not …

It's getting caliente in here

Negotiators take aim at U.S. on day one of Barcelona climate talks

The final round of negotiations prior to the Copenhagen Climate Summit kicked off Monday in Barcelona, Spain.  Delegates from around the world will meet for the next five days in an attempt to find common ground on multiple areas of disagreement before convening in Denmark this December to try to forge a legally binding international agreement. Activists deliver a “wake-up call” outside Barcelona climate talks.Photo: Adopt a NegotiatorGroggy delegates and conference observers were welcomed by a cacophony of 1,000 ringing alarm clocks piercing the morning air in front of the Fira Gran Via conference hall, courtesy of climate action campaigners …

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