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refinery rule

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In September, the EPA released an updated Clean Air Act standard that will reduce the toxic burden on communities living next to oil refineries. There are 140 major refineries in the U.S. with the capacity to process nearly 18 million barrels of crude oil every day. 

Fracking southern Wyoming

Oil and gas production has soared in America as fracking spreads to an increasing number of states. The federal Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook predicts that in 2040, the U.S. will only be importing 20 percent of its oil and natural gas, down from about 60 percent in 2011. However, fracking of oil and gas has left polluted water, damaged land and concerned citizens in its wake.

Smog in the San Joaquin Valley

Last week, the head of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Seyed Sadredin, was in Washington, D.C., to testify in a congressional hearing on ozone. That in itself is not surprising: he’s the head of the public health agency tackling ozone pollution in one of the most polluted air basins in the country. What is surprising is that he was there to promote weakening the Clean Air Act.

Dusky shark

A toothy top predator roves across a wide plain hunting for prey. The beast is magnificently adapted to her surroundings—her sleek, grey shape nearly fades into the distant blue despite her impressive size. She will travel hundreds of miles this season following food and favorable temperatures, eventually finding a mate in the vast range of her travels. Many months later, she will deliver pups and, with them, a bit more hope for her species.

Sunrise in the Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee.

With about fifteen months left in office, the Obama administration is facing big decisions in what is likely to be one of its last major initiatives on coal mining, clean water and climate—the Stream Protection Rule. The rule is an overhaul and update of the environmental standards for coal mining, including mountaintop removal mining, an extremely destructive practice that is flattening Appalachia. Global coal prices are low, so the pace is somewhat slower than usual, but the destruction continues.

A coal plant on the Ohio River near Cincinnati Ohio USA

Earthjustice attorneys have spent the past six weeks in Columbus, Ohio, litigating against proposals by two major utilities to force customers to prop up eight outdated power plants—seven coal and one nuclear—for the next 15 to 35 years. Proposals by FirstEnergy and American Electric Power (AEP) could cost customers billions of dollars while guaranteeing profits for corporate shareholders who should instead be investing in clean energy resources.

Arctic wolf

Recently, Shell announced to the world that it will end offshore drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean for the foreseeable future. In addition, the Obama administration just announced that it will cancel upcoming oil and gas lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. It also denied requests for the extension of leases currently held by Shell and Statoil in the Arctic Ocean.

Dolores Huerta and Edward James Olmos

This is a guest post by Irene Vilar. She is the founder of The Americas for Conservation and the Arts, the mother organization of The Americas Latino Festival, and the first nonprofit literary agency in the U.S., Vilar Creative Agency, dedicated to the dissemination of minority literature of the Americas.

Este blog está disponible en español aquí.

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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.