Ted Zukoski's Blog Posts

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Ted Zukoski's 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.

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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.

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Ted Zukoski is a Staff Attorney in Earthjustice's Rocky Mountain office who works to protect wilderness, roadless areas and the planet's climate on behalf of conservation groups in the Four Corners' states. Ted grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles at its smoggiest, but found a love of the outdoors amid the volcanoes, granite peaks and high mountain lakes of the Eastern Sierra. Firmly rooted in Colorado after almost 15 years on the East Coast, Ted heads to Utah's desert in the spring and to Rocky Mountain forests in the summer with his wife and two kids. When he's not writing Freedom of Information Act requests, he's reading too many books about World War II.

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20 August 2008, 6:00 AM

Death Valley protected from attempt to use old, repealed law to put dirt bikes in National Park wilderness

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06 August 2008, 7:37 AM

There's still a chance for the public - and the Governor - to weigh in for FULL protection of Colorado's spectacular roadless lands.

Colorado's more than 4 million acres of roadless national forest are at risk in the coming months because of an apparent alliance between our lame duck president, George W. Bush, and Colorado's Democratic governor, Bill Ritter.

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23 July 2008, 5:55 PM

They tell Colorado that proposed regulations will cripple the local economy, but investors are told that profits will still boom.

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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!'

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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."

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18 June 2008, 11:57 AM

Utah land management plans - covering 11 million acres - will invite off-road vehicle destruction, energy development in spectacular, fragile landscape.

The Denver Post reported last Sunday about a series of nasty schemes that the Bush Administration hopes to finalize in its remaining 200-odd days in power. 

The article, entitled "Bush prepares parting shots," describes a number of infamous proposals, including efforts to rewrite rule for all of our national forests to provide less protection for wildlife.  Earthjustice has been fighting that one for years, with much success.

But Bush's appointees are masters at trying to undermine environmental protection by focusing on the obscure, the minutia of regulation and administration.

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09 June 2008, 12:36 PM

The Bush administration has had a strange way of uniting folks in the West.  In particular, hunters, sportsmen, local communities, local businesses and enviros have come together to fight back when the "drill it all" mentality of the oil businessman president ran into treasured publc lands.

And in surprising places, this coalition has staved off the onslaught.  On the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana - home to the nation's second largest elk herd, bighorn sheep and grizzlies - the coalition won a ban on new oil and gas leases from Congress. 

Far to the south, at Otero Mesa in New Mexico - a desert grassland wilderness - a hunter-enviro coalition with huge support from Governor Bill Richardson has worked for years to slow the BLM's plan to lease the area.  Earthjustice has worked with this coalition, filing a lawsuit pending in appeals court to protect the area.  Years after the fight over Otero began, the area still hasn't been drilled.

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02 June 2008, 1:48 PM

Photos tell story of the energy boom's threat to wild Wyoming.

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20 May 2008, 2:45 PM

Aah, summer!  Time to hit the road and visit some our crown jewel national parks here in the West.  It's time to enjoy the trees, the canyons, the birds, bees, and bears, the ranger talks, the smog. 

The smog?  Yep, get ready for it.  Because if the EPA has its way, the tremendous views from Mesa Verde, Zion, and other national parks will become more obscured with haze.

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12 May 2008, 2:50 PM

Drink? Or drive? That may sound like questions to ask a a prospective designated driver before a night on the town. It may soon be the stark choice faced by an entire region.

That's because Shell Oil is planning to build giant oil shale extraction plants in western Colorado. The dirty little secret of oil shale development is that it takes huge amounts of electricity to bake rocks to turn shale into oil. Huge amounts. So much that Shell may have to build ten or more new natural gas (or coal) fired power plants to assist in turning rock to oil.