Welcome to the first edition of Earthjustice in the News, a weekly blog that highlights Earthjustice press hits in local and national media outlets. We hope this blog will provide you with a window into the world of Earthjustice and the hard-working efforts of our attorneys, policy and legislation counsel, and communications team. Please email me at jknoblauch@earthjustice if you have any comments, questions or suggestions about this new venture. Thank you!
Sept. 7, 2011 – A new report by the Energy Department’s inspector general finds that one-third of the stimulus money authorized for an energy efficiency program has not been spent in the two years since the economic stimulus law was passed.
Despite the unspent funds, Earthjustice attorney Tim Ballo said that the program is an important way to improve efficiency of older buildings and reduce waste. He also pointed out that though the report rightly focused on problems that occur when stimulus money is left unspent, problems also arise when money is spent too quickly. The AP story was picked up by approximately 150 publications.
New York Times – “Lawyers Plot Next Steps in Legal Battle Over Ozone Rules”
Sept. 7, 2011 – Last week, the White House disappointed clean air advocates across the nation when President Barack Obama stalled a proposed new rule that would toughen ozone standards. The new standard is now delayed until 2013, unless environmental and public health groups led by Earthjustice can speed up the process in court. In the past, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson publicly said the prior ozone standards created under President Bush wouldn’t hold up in court. Earthjustice attorney David Baron, who represents the American Lung Association and other groups, said the next step depends on what EPA says in an additional filing on the administration’s decision.
Sept. 8, 2011 Earthjustice’s report on toxic chemical dispersants used in the clean-up of the BP oil spill continues to pick up media coverage, most recently in Inside EPA
. The report, “The Chaos of Clean-Up
,” was prepared in response to widespread public concern among Gulf Coast communities about the safety of the dispersants. The report’s release has spurred the EPA's Office of Inspector General to call on the EPA to better assess risks posed by chemical dispersants for oil spills, to seek more funding for emergency response operations, and to clarify roles and responsibilities of EPA and the Coast Guard during spills of national significance. The article quotes the Earthjustice report: "Clearly, some of the chemical ingredients are more toxic than others, and some dispersants are more toxic in particular environments. The widely-varying toxicity of different dispersants underscores the importance of full disclosure and proper selection of dispersants for use in oil spill response."