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Abbot Point, Queensland, Australia. Source:

In the Galilee Basin, a remote part of Queensland, Australia, the Adani Group—a corporate conglomerate headquartered in India—plans to build a coal mine that would be among the largest in the world, known as the Carmichael mine. But that’s not all. To facilitate exporting the coal from this and other proposed mines in the area, the Adani Group plans to expand a port on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.


It has been said that “budgets are moral documents,” and it’s true that you can learn a government’s priorities by studying its spending bills. That’s why it is so distressing to see government budgetary attacks on one of the country’s most widely supported environmental priorities—protecting clean water.

Damselfish swim in Palau's inner lagoon.

This is a guest blog by Megan McCrea, Assistant Travel Editor for Sunset magazine. She grew up in Colorado, graduated from Duke University and spent two years living and working on Kosrae and Palau as a Peace Corps volunteer. Her writing has appeared in print in Sunset, VIA and Diablo magazines and online on, Poetry Flash, VIA's Road Journals and Sunset's Westphoria.

The terms of last week's budget agreement between the Obama administration and congress were an achievement, but the fate of environmental "ideological riders" is yet to be determined.

Last week, the Obama administration and Congress announced a budget agreement with great fanfare. While the terms of the agreement were in many ways a great achievement for the White House, Congress still has to pass spending bills by December 11 to implement the agreement and avoid another government shutdown.   

The big issue that was intentionally left out of the recent budget negotiations was the fate of “ideological riders.” 

Solar New Mexico

Faced with declining sales and the rise of local renewable power, many utilities across the country are taking aim at rooftop solar. By proposing unreasonable and discriminatory fees, charges and other rate changes, they are trying to limit the growth of distributed solar, a critical energy resource that can help curb the nation’s fossil-fuel addiction and build our clean energy economy. 

Fracking protest Ohio

On the morning of June 28, 2014, a snapped hydraulic line at an Ohio fracking well began spraying hot chemicals onto nearby trucks. In total, 20 vehicles were engulfed in flames and 30 explosions followed. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation and 25 families living nearby were evacuated. In the days following, the dangers of fracking and of the lax regulation governing the industry became all too clear.


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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.