unEARTHED, the Earthjustice Blog

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S 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.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
30 June 2008, 7:35 AM
 

Oil and gas company propaganda trots out old 'jobs v. environment' canard. A Denver Post columnist responds 'Oh yeah? We'll take our environment over your jobs!'

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
26 June 2008, 10:18 AM
 

Will Colorado's Oil and Gas Commission coddle an industry, or protect our air, water and wildlife for when the boom goes bust?

On Monday, I waited for two hours to put in my two cents before the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission. I spoke in support of their efforts to adopt modest proposals to protect air, water, wildlife, and communities from the coming 22,000+ oil wells slated to be drilled here in the coming two decades.

In line just ahead of me, a young man told a compelling story. He grew up in Trinidad, Colorado, a small town a dozen miles north of the New Mexico border. When coal mines in the area went bust, he said, life in Trinidad got hard. A natural gas boom in the last decade had breathed new life into the area, and gave him a good paying job. He worried that the Commission's proposed rules would drive the gas industry out and turn Trinidad into a "ghost town."

3 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
24 June 2008, 1:12 PM
 

Bill is a long-haul truck driver, plying his trade on the highways of middle America. In my last post about him, I told how he called Earthjustice from his truck, attacking environmentalists for bringing him, and America, to the point of economic ruin.

He ranted in my ear for 5 minutes about me being stupid and un-American for not letting oil companies drill us back to the days of cheap gas. Our national backyard, from Alaska to the coastlines of lower-48, is full of oil, he said – utterly exasperated at my inability to comprehend such common sense.

Actually, I was comprehending plenty as Bill raged. Clearly, I thought, he's just another right wing-bullet, shot our way by some talk show maniac. So, when Bill finally took a breath, the first thing I asked was, which talk show host he listened to.

Bill fell silent.

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
24 June 2008, 3:09 AM
 

One of the first things I ever had published in a book was a chapter in The Environmental Handbook, a Friends of the Earth/Ballantine Books number, published for the first Earth Day, in 1970. It was called, "Ecopornography, or How to Spot an Ecological Phony."

It's time to dust it off and send it around again.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
21 June 2008, 2:14 PM
 

The voice mail caller accused me of being a Communist, anti-American, out-of-touch, and stupid. Worst of all, he spat out, I was an environmentalist.

Bill was furious, like hundreds of callers to Earthjustice in the last two months. Driven to call us by rabid, right-wing radio hosts and bloggers, most folks just wanted to rant about how we were driving up gas prices by opposing the obvious solution: drilling the coasts, drilling the Arctic, drilling wherever in America we can to free us from high gas prices and foreign potentates.

But, Bill, a long-haul truck driver, was different. He didn't just want to accuse, he wanted to convince. Call me back, if you dare, he said, warning that he had just filled his truck with dozens of gallons of diesel at $5+ per gallon.

View Wayne Salazar's blog posts
20 June 2008, 9:00 AM
 

This has been quite a week for proponents of offshore oil drilling. It's as if last week's Jim Cramer Today Show appearance lit a fuse. Or more likely, as if Jim Cramer is privy to major pols' backroom strategizing sessions.

Both Bush and McCain have called for an end to the moratorium on offshore drilling on our coasts. Joining the call was Florida Governor Charlie Crist—who forged bonds with enviros recently when he called for an end to the construction of new coal-fired power plants in his state (following Earthjustice's successful advocacy against the largest proposed coal-fired power plant in the country, planned for the edge of the Everglades).

Four-dollar a gallon gas is the ostensible reason for all this talk. The funny thing is, these guys have to know there aren't enough offshore drill ships to go around. Which is why drilling costs have quadrupled in the past six years.

So I ask myself, what's the real agenda here? Besides the obvious get-McCain-elected agenda?

View Sarah Burt's blog posts
20 June 2008, 8:03 AM
 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the rising cost of shipping everything from industrial parts to living-room sofas is forcing some manufacturers to bring production back to North America and freeze plans to send even more work overseas.

This could stem the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs, if not result in a job increase at home.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
19 June 2008, 8:00 AM
 

There was more hope than lamentation in a New York Times editorial when it concluded this about the Senate's recent failure to address climate change:

The country needs a new occupant in the White House.

We agree—Congress is not likely to take the necessary actions on climate change without strong White House leadership.

Fortunately, neither McCain nor Obama will take seven years to admit global warming even exists—as the current president did. Both of them pledge to aggressively take action on climate change.

But, we wonder, as does the Times, whether any candidate appreciates how urgent the situation is, and how much political will is needed to transform this country into being the environmental leader of a world in ecological crisis.

For guidance, the candidates should come to Denver on June 26 and listen to the gutsy governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius. At the invitation of Earthjustice, Gov. Sebelius will tell how her 9-month battle with powerful political and economic interests made Kansas the first state to reject a coal-fired power plant because of its global warming emissions.

13 Comments   /   Read more >>
View David Guest's blog posts
19 June 2008, 7:17 AM
 

Earthjustice's Florida team has saved the state's seagrasses and fishing grounds from a legislative poison pill. David Guest, managing attorney of the Florida office, tells this tale of midnight chicanery...

The bill in the Florida Legislature seemed like a good thing: For the first time, Florida would impose fines on boaters who carelessly trashed seagrass beds in the state's protected aquatic preserves. The underwater marine nursery grounds can get chewed up by boat propellers, and the damage can last for decades.

But developer lobbyists put a poison pill in the seagrass protection bill, late one evening at a legislative committee meeting in Tallahassee. Earthjustice Florida lobbyist Sue Mullins alerted me and we began immediately pushing to get Governor Charlie Crist to veto the bill.

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
18 June 2008, 4:00 PM
 

This is for people who are just in too good a mood and need to be brought down a little.

Or a lot.

We speak of a new report from the Heinz center, available here. John Heinz, for those who don't remember, was a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, who died rich and young, heir to a ketchup fortune and a thoroughly admirable fellow.