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After 21 years of studies, debate, protests and lawsuits—and $9 billion from the pockets of taxpayers—Yucca Mountain is dead.

President Obama's proposed federal budget axes funding for the Department of Energy's plan to store the waste from nuclear reactors 1,000 feet under a mountain northwest of Las Vegas. Bloomberg reports:

Interior Dept. Sec. Ken Salazar is turning his nose up at another one of Bush's "midnight regulations." This one has to do with leases for oil shale research and development in Colorado and Utah.

Salazar halted the lease sale process because it had terms that didn't pass "the smell test," he announced this week. Instead, he will start a new leasing process that includes 90 days of public comment.

This is clearly a move in the right direction by Salazar, who -- unlike Bush -- at least is taking time to kick the idea around. It's an idea that's worth a good kick. One of the dirtiest ways of getting energy, oil shale extraction has never been commercially proven. In a word, it stinks.

On the heels of last night’s speech by President Obama, the governor of Kansas is more resolute than ever in her opposition to the proposed Sunflower coal-fired power plant expansion. She vetoed pro-Sunflower legislation three times last year and is poised to do the same with a new bill coming to a vote tomorrow in the Legislature.

Order "Roadless Rules" at www.islandpress.org/roadlessrules. On the checkout page type in RR09 (that’s a zero, not a capital O) for a 25 percent discount.

As longtime readers of this screed know all too well, I’ve been obsessed by the Roadless Rule for a long time. The trigger for this was when several states, the timber industry, a few counties, some off-road vehicle interests, and an Indian tribe challenged the rule in court.

A who's who of politicians, scientists, environmental and labor leaders, and entrepreneurs met yesterday to discuss ways to make widespread use of clean energy a reality, one week after President Obama committed substantial government spending to renewable energy and energy efficiency with the stroke of his pen.

The panel -- sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund -- included Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Al Gore, Van Jones and many others. Over the morning's course, they explored the challenges associated with building new infrastructure to deliver clean, affordable energy to our homes and businesses as well as strategies to diminish our nation's thirst for oil.

Though the logistics of moving this issue forward are complicated, moderator Timothy Wirth rightly remarked that we can't just "admire the problem."

Video of the event is worth a view.

Faith and labor community leaders are joining the chorus for clean energy in Kansas, even as that state’s legislators stubbornly stick to the dirty, coal-fired power of the past

The United Steelworkers recently announced their support of the Kansas Blue Green Alliance, made up of environmental and trade groups that endorse development of wind energy as a non-polluting way to achieve jobs and general economic growth.

Also on board the clean train are numerous faith groups united as the Kansas Interfaith Power and Light. They see clean, sustainable energy as a way of practicing environmental stewardship.

A scientist with a cigarette lighter is providing the latest evidence of global warming's dramatic and swift impacts in the Arctic.

Four miles south of the Arctic Circle, Katey Walter has found that melting ice and permafrost are releasing vast amounts of methane -- a greenhouse gas 21 times worse than CO2 as a contributor to climate change.

To prove the point, Walter stoops down to melting pools and flicks her lighter to ignite methane flame jets 20 feet high. It's a "time bomb" that even slightly warmer temperatures could set off, she told the Los Angeles Times.

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About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.