Earthjustice usually stays clear of election-year politicking, but we're making a strong exception this year because of a California ballot proposition that would kill the nation's strongest climate change regulations.
Only days before BP's oil well blew in the Gulf of Mexico, Interior Sec. Ken Salazar was on the Gulf Coast wearing a 10-gallon cowboy hat and preaching the good news about oil drilling in the Gulf. Soon after his sermon, Salazar was eating those words, hat in hand, as millions of gallons of oil flooded coastal waters.
It ain't easy being an Atlantic bluefin tuna—the tastiest, priciest and perhaps unluckiest tuna of them all. A good specimen can bring $100,000, so it's hunted relentlessly by Atlantic fishing fleets. More damage is done in the Gulf of Mexico, where longline fishermen inadvertently pillage tuna stock while seeking other species.
As my colleague Raviya Ismail described yesterday, the flood of toxic red sludge in Hungary is ominously similar to the toxic coal ash flood two years ago that swept out of a ruptured reservoir into a Tennessee town. But, the comparisons don't stop there.
<Update: AP reports that Florida State University professor Ian MacDonald "is gratified" by today's oil spill commission report. He has been at odds with government estimates of oil spilled and had this to say to AP:
From the beginning, there was "a contradiction between discoveries and concerns by academic scientists and statements by NOAA," MacDonald said in an interview with the AP at the oil spill conference.
What's the chance that President Obama was inspired by Tom Turner's blog item a few weeks ago, in which Tom noted that Obama's folks refused to re-install solar panels on the White House? Put up by President Jimmy Carter, the panels were promptly taken down when President Ronald Reagan took office.
Now there's news that solar power will again come to the White House roof—both passive and active. The announcement by Energy Sec. Stephen Chu included a re-statement of the administration's commitment to solar energy development:
This project reflects President Obama's strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create here at home. Deploying solar energy technologies across the country will help America lead the global economy for years to come.
Cancer-causing substances have been discovered in the waters and air of the Gulf of Mexico near the BP oil spill area, at levels much greater than before the spill occurred, according to researchers from Oregon State University.
Increased levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs—some of which are known carcinogens—were found along the coastlines of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, but the greatest increase was off Louisiana, where levels measured 40-times greater than before the spill. Ominously, the substances are available to be taken into the food chain.
The measurements were recorded in May and June, during the height of the BP oil spill, when hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil gushed into the Gulf each day. New measurements are now being taken to see if degradation of the PAHs is taking place.
Health organizations across the country are urging President Obama and Congress to recognize the damaging public health effects of climate change and to take measures that will reduce its impacts and the causes of climate change itself.
In a letter signed by many organizations, including the Lung Association and American Medical Assocation, the groups underscored how climate change harms the public: