Posts tagged: Climate and Energy

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Climate and Energy


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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.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

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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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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
03 February 2009, 6:24 PM
Sunflower jolted back to life

Contradictory actions by the coal industry this week illustrate how treacherous the road is to a clean energy future for America.

On Tuesday, to our delight, developers of the proposed Highwood coal-fired power plant in Montana surrendered and announced that they would instead build natural gas and wind-powered generating plants. The credit for this should go to Earthjustice attorneys Abigail Dillen and Jenny Harbine, whose two years of legal action against the plant obviously paid off.

Also on Tuesday, Michigan's governor made it clear that her state was becoming a coal-free zone and gave coal developers marching orders to look at alternative energy.

But sobering news out of Kansas on the same day cut our victory dance short.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
03 February 2009, 11:54 AM
 

When the history of our times is written, I bet the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president will be seen as one of the more bizarre political aberrations in American history, which has already had plenty. One would think that the resounding repudiation she and Senator McCain suffered in the general election would have chastened both, but while the senator has been mostly dignified and supportive of the new administration, Gov. Palin rumbles along as if she should be taken seriously. I mean, what’s up with that?

I’m off on this rant because of a guest opinion piece by the governor that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (which should know better) on Feb. 1. The subject is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The governor is unhappy that a bill has been introduced to end forever the effort to let the drillers into the coastal plain in search of crude oil.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
29 January 2009, 1:45 PM
 

We haven’t gotten much good news out of the Environmental Protection Agency for eight years, but suddenly the news is huge... so big that it deserves an exclamation mark. Bear with me as I wend my way towards the punch line.

President Obama and the new folks he's put in charge at EPA are now reconsidering a Bush-era decision to let a monster coal-fired power plant operate without controlling its prodigious C02 emissions. The proposed plant, called Desert Rock, would pour air pollutants over Navajo communities in New Mexico, and 12.7 milllion tons of C02 into the atmosphere each year. C02 is the world’s biggest contributor to global warming.

The EPA, under Bush, said that's OK.

It’s not OK under Obama.

View David Guest's blog posts
22 January 2009, 6:00 AM
 

Jan. 8 was a sweet day in Florida, and I’m not talking about the weather.

On that day, the state's Public Service Commission voted for a new energy mandate: the state will get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources—wind, solar, hydropower, or biomass—by 2020.

"We want to be a leader in this country in solar and wind," Public Service Commission Chairman Matthew Carter said. "We want to establish a dynamic and vibrant marketplace."

5 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
22 January 2009, 5:30 AM
 

Jan. 20 marked the dawn of a new day in Washington.  We hope it means a clear break from the past eight years of drilling, logging, and ignoring science.  So now all us enviro lawyers can retire or get real jobs because President Obama - enjoy those two words together - is going to take care of everything ... right?

Well ... probably not.  The next four years will likely be as busy as the last four for conservationists.  Here's a sampling of reasons.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
22 January 2009, 4:37 AM
 

Earthjustice Press Secretary Kathleen Sutcliffe provides this report on the grave threats posed by toxic coal ash produced at our nation's coal-fired power plants, and the quick action taken by Earthjustice attorney Lisa Evans after recent coal ash spills

Quick quiz, readers.

The byproduct of coal-fired power plants is:

a) the nation’s second largest industrial waste stream;

b) chock full of arsenic, lead, and other toxins;

c) unregulated by federal waste laws; or

d) all of the above

If you guessed 'd,' you’re right. Maybe it was a cynical guess…or maybe you’ve been following recent news of toxic coal ash spills at two separate Tennessee Valley Authority power plants.

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
21 January 2009, 10:59 AM
 

Not to reveal my age or anything, but Tuesday's was the eleventh inauguration held since I went to work for the Sierra Club. Over the next 40 years, it was always monumentally frustrating that concerns for the earth were almost altogether missing from the rhetoric during the campaign and especially the inaugural speeches.

Until now.

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View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
09 January 2009, 12:56 PM
 

With the end of the Bush Administration, the President's faithful servants are putting a smiley face on their "accomplishments." 

Before we look at the praises the Interior Department sang of itself, let's do our own quick review, starting with the out-and-out sleaze. 

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
24 December 2008, 6:00 AM
 

As we said in our last missive, the emerging Obama team, cabinet and otherwise, is looking very promising with a few question marks. The president-elect is said to enjoy having people of differing views around him and listening as they discuss their differences, which is a healthy attitude. The truth will out and all that.

But today I want to say a word or two about the only one of these worthies that I know personally. I'm talking about John Holdren, just named scientific advisor to the president. I don't think Mr. Obama could have made a better pick from all 300 million Americans, though I confess I don't know them all.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
23 December 2008, 10:57 AM
 

In the arid West, water is life.  And life may get a lot more difficult for the Colorado River - a major source of water for Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California - over the next few decades.

First, there's the double whammy of population growth and climate change, the first demanding more water from the river, and the second making it extremely likely that there will be less water for that population to drink, use to grow crops, etc.

Second, there's the threat from oil shale development.  The Bush administration pushed through midnight regulations last month to spur development of oil shale deposits in Colorado and Utah.  The Bureau of Land Management estimates that it will take three gallons of precious West Slope Colorado water to produce one gallon of fossil fuel.  And while no one in the world has yet figured out how to develop shale commercially, Shell - which is researching and investing in oil shale - has already bought large numbers of water rights in the Colorado River basin.  That has the water buffalos at the Denver Water Board worried.