Conservation organization sues feds over energy development The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has sued the U.S. Department of the Interior over the authorization of thousands of new oil and gas wells, roads, and miles of pipeline in a wildlife-rich area of Wyoming. News that an organization has sued the federal government over environmental travesties is, well, not really news — unless it’s TRCP, a non-litigious group with a largely Republican membership. The move is indicative that even the Bush administration’s usual allies are fed up with a one-track-mind approach to energy development. Case in point: The Bureau of Land Management …
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has sued the Department of the Interior over the authorization of thousands of new oil and gas wells, roads, and miles of pipeline in a wildlife-rich area of Wyoming. News that an organization has sued the federal government over environmental travesties is, well, not really news -- unless it's TRCP, a non-litigious group with a largely Republican membership. The move is indicative that even the Bushies' natural allies are fed up with the administration's one-track-mind approach to energy development. Case in point: The Bureau of Land Management stated that opening the Wyoming area to drilling would "have adverse impact to suitable habitat for many wildlife species" and turn hunting grounds into "an industrial setting" -- but recommended the DOI go ahead anyway. sources: Casper Star-Tribune, The New York Times
In the last few weeks, the U.S. has been kicking itself for not thinking to place a flag on the sea floor at the North Pole. But Russia is not the only country to have laid claim to the oil-rich area; other competitors include Canada, Denmark, and a pack of Siberian huskies that have been peeing there for ages. However, all of them are certainly in for a disappointment, because on Friday the U.S. struck back, by sending out a team of scientists to map the area. Just as Lewis and Clark did before, the U.S. hopes to use the survey data as a foundation for political and economic expansion into the explored regions. Rock beats scissors, map beats flag. Of course, the U.S. Senate has not ratified the UN Law of the Sea Convention treaty, which took force in 1994 (despite years of urging from Presidents Clinton and Bush). So technically the U.S. doesn't have a seat at the table as critical decisions are made on how to divvy up the ocean bottom. As Grist reported, U.S. State Department spokesperson Tom Casey scoffed, "I'm not sure of whether they've put a metal flag, a rubber flag, or a bed sheet on the ocean floor. Either way, it doesn't have any legal standing or effect on this claim." Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay went on to add, "You can't go around the world these days dropping a flag somewhere -- this isn't the 14th or 15th century." No kidding. When was the last time that happened?
Sicko is Michael Moore's best film yet. It brought tears to my eyes and infuriated me at the same time. I saw it last night with my youngest daughter. Ah, let me think here, how am I going to give this an environmental twist? How about using our pathetic health care system as another example of how dysfunctional our political system has become, the same one we are counting on to protect our biosphere and us from peak oil and global warming? The film documents how Hillary Clinton was beaten into submission when she tried to reform the system and how even she is now beholden to the industry. And who is to blame for this? Would it be the politicians, the lobbyists, or the ignorant, self-deluded American citizens who allow the lobbyists to buy the politicians because they are terrified of losing their jobs, everything they are paying off, and their health care to boot? All of which is covered in the film, by the way.
Throughout the year, members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation group (APEC) — including the U.S., Japan, and Australia, among others — have had a series of meetings. In early September, they will announce their grand plans, which, according to a leaked draft (PDF) obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald, contain "aspirational" greenhouse-gas emission targets. Here’s what APEC will shoot for: • Setting up a Network for Energy Technology to promote collaboration on research on clean coal, nuclear power and renewable energy such as solar and wind power; • A non-binding, unenforceable 25 per cent reduction in energy intensity (energy consumption …
U.S. Forest Service re-revises forest-management rules In March, a federal judge put the kibosh on the U.S. Forest Service’s revision of forest-management rules that had directed local managers to give economic concerns as high a priority as ecological health and removed requirements that managers ensure viable populations of native wildlife. Having not succeeded, the agency try, tried again, offering up a revised revision late last week. Enviros see the new pro-business rules as essentially the old pro-business rules with an allowance for more public review; if the plan remains unchanged, chances are decent that greens will sue again.
The NYT had an article this weekend that might as well have been titled "Dems Corrupt, Green Companies Gorging on Bonanza of Earmarked Pork and Wasting Your Money." Really? Let's look at the evidence they present. Exhibit A is Sunpower Corp, which received a $20 million grant from the DOE. Where did those funds come from? The President's Solar America Initiative, announced in his February 2006 State of the Union address -- which, as I pointed out at the time, merely returned funding for solar research to the levels enjoyed under the Carter administration (a modest $148 million). Hardly a bonanza. So, here we have a competitively bid project, out of a ridiculously small program that was contained in the president's budget and passed by the Republican-controlled Congress, used as proof that Dems are giving away the house to green companies. Dems? No. Earmarked? No. Pork? No. And all of this about a bill that Republicans are fighting and the president has threatened to veto specifically because ... wait for it ... it has the temerity to reduce tax incentives and subsidies to fossil fuel industries! Your liberal media at work.
A little while back I praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for opposing new coal plants in his home state. Now he’s clarified his position: he opposes new coal plants anywhere in the world. Word. One grumpy note. Look at this: Michael Yackira, president and chief executive officer of Sierra Pacific Resources, said his company “respectfully disagrees” with Reid’s position. His company is seeking approval to build one of the plants. “We believe what we’ll be building is the cleanest coal-fired plant in the world” because of new technology, Yackira said. “We must also have fossil fuel plants for …
David. Joe Namath. The 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team. Where am I going with this, you might be asking yourself? Here's a better clue: Jerry McNerney. And now, Andrew Rice. Yup, the climate's least favorite Senator, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, now has a challenger. And Andrew is getting great reviews from the eco-community: Smart as as whip. Has a masters degree from Harvard Divinity School. Articulate and charismatic. A committed environmentalist, and a man of deep conscience. When his brother was killed in 9/11, he dedicated himself to social justice and political reform. Especially for the latter, what better place to start from than Oklahoma's Senate seat? This is going to be entertaining.
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