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Drilling in the Uinta Basin near the town of Ouray.

The people living in the Uinta Basin in eastern Utah are the unwitting participants in a massive scientific experiment.  What happens when you put more than 11,000 oil and gas wells in a geologic basin and then seal off the air for days or weeks on end?  And the initial results are alarming—smog pollution that exceeds the federal standard set to protect public health by a whopping 89 percent.

Graciela Silva worked for nine years in the fields harvesting lemons, lettuce, cucumbers, and strawberries. She sits in front of a monument, that includes her name, honoring local farmworkers in Santa Paula, CA.

This is the third blog post in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

This op-ed was first published in the Tampa Tribune.

It’s hard to believe that in this age of technological innovation, Florida’s utilities are acting like it’s the 1950's.

First, Duke Energy tried to charge ratepayers for a nuclear power plant it kept insisting would be worth the exorbitant half-billion price tag, but was never even built. When citizens and some prominent politicians balked at this ridiculousness, state regulators ordered Duke to refund $54 million of the money back to consumers.

polling station

I’m happy to report that we got a major, slam-dunk win for the environment down here in Florida in the mid-term elections.

A grassroots environmental initiative was the biggest winner on the statewide ballot, more popular than any other candidate or issue. By a whopping 75 percent majority, Floridians voted to add the Land and Water Conservation Amendment to our state Constitution. Florida now has what is believed to be the largest state-based conservation initiative in U.S. history.

Farmworker Victorino

Victorino’s story is part two in a weekly series of personal narratives from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000 to 20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

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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.