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Brian Smith's blog

When an environmental organization tells you the age of coal is over, it’s fair to dismiss that as mere wishful thinking.

But when an international economic magazine says the same thing, people sit up and pay attention.

While the cradle-to-grave impacts of coal are well documented, the fact remains that coal still provides 45 percent of the nation’s power. But coal's dominance is decreasing as new sources of power come online and energy efficiency improves.

Fans of unEarthed know Earthjustice has been sharing (and sometimes breaking) news on our blog this year. Which stories posted in 2011 generated the most reads?

Here is our Top Ten Countdown for the year:

Amy Poszywak at SNL Financial reports that lobbying among the largest U.S. power companies topped $11 million in the third quarter of 2011 (the latest figures available) and that expenses have been high all year.

Not surprisingly, the biggest companies attempting to sway congress and the administration include some of the biggest polluters in the nation.

How’s the weather? 
Weird, and getting stranger every day.
Last week in Kampala, Uganda the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued new preliminary findings entitled Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.  (Full report available in February 2012.)
Among the findings:
  • Globally, hot days will become even hotter and more frequent.

Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declared war on regulations that he and his Tea Party backers do not like. Of the ten proposed rollbacks, seven are environmental. Regulations declared “harmful” by Cantor include rules to reduce pollution from power plants, industrial boilers, cement plants, coal ash, ozone, particulate matter and greenhouse gases.

Did you hear about the secret attacks being planned on public health and the environment of the United States?

Probably not. The news from Washington these days is focused on the fight over raising the debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, the 2012 House Interior/EPA Appropriations (H.R.2584) bill is being considered, and it is larded with riders that will increase pollution, destroy protected wilderness, and harm the health of American families.

When Lisa Jackson took the reins as administration of the Environmental Protection Agency, she issued a memo to staff stating that:

"Science must be the compass guiding our environmental protection decisions. We cannot make the best decisions unless we have confidence in the integrity of the science on which we rely. Therefore, it is my promise that scientific integrity will be the backbone of my leadership of the Agency."


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.