Posts tagged: Arctic

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Arctic


    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Featured Campaigns

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.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S 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.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
13 July 2012, 9:54 PM
Drilling proposals foreshadow larger struggle over Arctic

(Trip Van Noppen is President of Earthjustice)

Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling plans are premised on a growing legacy of broken promises regarding the company’s ability to protect the fragile Arctic from drilling impacts. And, as in the past, Shell is again asking the federal government to be lenient, accept more empty promises, and let the drilling begin.

This isn’t surprising. It’s a trend we’ve experienced during the last five years of successful legal and public advocacy efforts aimed at keeping Shell out of the Arctic until it proves that it can drill without grievously wounding this magnificent ecosystem.

The latest Shell failure happened a few days ago when Shell announced that one of its two main drilling ships – already in Alaska – couldn’t meet the standards in its air permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. Meanwhile, Shell also is reneging on its commitments to meet Coast Guard standards for its oil spill containment barge. Shell expects the EPA and the Coast Guard to ignore the problems, so Shell can drill this summer.

107 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Chris Jordan-Bloch's blog posts
13 July 2012, 11:01 AM
News report investigates coal ash pollution in Moapa
A cloud of coal ash looms in Moapa, NV. Photo: Chris Jordan-Bloch/Earthjustice

For years, white ash has been blowing across the desert from the Reid Gardner Power Plant right into the homes on the Moapa Paiute Indian Reservation. The Paiutes claim that this ashthe waste from the power plant—is making them sick. The power plant claims that the Paiutes are wrong. This week, a 3-part investigative series from KSNV, the NBC station in Las Vegas, examines the situation in Moapa from three sides. The Paiutes and the power plant each get their sayas does science.

8 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Kari Birdseye's blog posts
06 July 2012, 3:38 PM
A tale of Americans hard at work
A large lead develops north of Point Hope in the Chukchi Sea during sea ice breakup in late May. Chukchi Sea, Alaska. (Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com)

Many Americans used a Wednesday Fourth of July as an excuse to take the entire week off as a holiday. Here’s a patriotic tale of two examples of those who didn’t and we thank them for it.

First off—my red, white and blue hat is tipped to the Los Angeles Times for the excellent reporting today on the not-ready-for-prime-time oil spill cleanup barge called “Arctic Challenger” being readied to head to the Arctic. It is a story that most definitely didn’t come from a Royal Dutch Shell Company press release. In fact, I’d bet the winnings from a watermelon eating contest that Shell’s folks aren’t pleased with the story at all. During these lean times for newspapers, the enterprise article on a piece of cleanup equipment, vital to Shell’s final permits to drill for oil in America’s pristine Arctic waters, is about as apple pie as it gets.

The second nod goes to the Coast Guard—for this from Coast Guard Cmdr. Christopher O’Neil, chief of media relations:

Because of the intended use of the Arctic Challenger and the harsh conditions experienced by maritime traffic in the Arctic, the Arctic Challenger is required to be able to withstand the forces generated by a 100-year storm. The operators of the Arctic Challenger contend that the 100-year standard is too stringent of a design standard, and that a 10-year [storm] standard is more aligned with historical conditions for the area of the Arctic they intend to operate [in] this summer.

View Sarah Burt's blog posts
28 June 2012, 3:20 PM
Vessels must avoid dirtier fuels off state coast

Twenty seven million Californians—80 percent of the state’s population—are exposed to emissions from ocean-going vessels, resulting in serious health impacts such as cancer, respiratory illnesses like asthma, as well as increasing the risk of heart disease. California estimates that the ships’ direct particulate emissions cause 300 premature deaths across the state every single year, even after excluding cancer effects.

The Ninth Circuit’s 2011 decision in Pacific Merchant Shipping Assn. v. Goldstene involved a shipping industry challenge to the Vessel Fuel Rule. The Ninth Circuit rejected industry’s claims that the ARB regulation is preempted by the federal Submerged Lands Act and contravenes dormant Commerce Clause principles. By denying certiorari, the Supreme Court has decided to let the Ninth Circuit’s decision stand.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
18 June 2012, 2:25 PM
Earthjustice delegation focuses on fortifying oceans resilience

(Trip Van Noppen is President of Earthjustice)

More than 130 heads of state, other leaders, and some 50,000 participants from all over the globe are gathering this week in Rio de Janeiro, the most-visited city in the southern hemisphere, for the Rio+20 Earth Summit. I am here with Martin Wagner, head of the Earthjustice International program, and Erika Rosenthal, Earthjustice attorney and veteran of many international environmental negotiations, and we want to share a few glimpses into what is going on as this historic event unfolds.

The summit offers the world an opportunity to deepen and broaden the reach of environmental commitments that are fundamental to sustainable development and reducing poverty around the world, and to support and extend good work that is happening in many countries and under many other international agreements.

Unlike the grand, path-breaking outcomes that the nations accomplished at the first Rio Earth Summit 20 years ago, this summit is focused on improving implementation of existing agreements for better outcomes for the people and the planet. Some in the news media have focused on the lack of grand new treaties, but that narrative misses the point. Although political realities may preclude great leaps forward, and certainly the summit is not producing the sorts of outcomes that it should, we can still work hard for incremental change when the opportunities exist. That’s what Earthjustice is doing at home and that's what we are doing here. In particular here in Rio, we’re pressing for progress on two important issues: ocean protection and reducing fossil fuel use.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
16 June 2012, 11:12 AM
Earthjustice at Rio+20 to seek solutions

(Trip Van Noppen is President of Earthjustice)

It started in 2005, when baby oysters began dying by the billions in Oregon and Washington. At first, the fishermen weren’t worried, hardened by years of dealing with nature’s fickleness. But, when the die-offs continued year after year, seamen and scientists alike started seeking answers.

What they found is that the impacts from carbon pollution that scientists have been warning about for decades are occurring now. It turns out that while the world’s eyes have been trained on the changes to the land, the ocean has been quietly undergoing its own transformation.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
15 June 2012, 12:18 PM
Shell Oil hopes to drill this summer
The Shell drillship Kulluk, off the Seattle, WA, waterfront. (Dave Nakayama)

As I write this, ships are being prepared to steam northward from several ports to begin poking holes in the floor of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in search of oil.

Thanks to legal action by Earthjustice over the last few years, and thanks also to a one-year time-out called in the wake of the catastrophic blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the drilling has been forestalled, but it could finally begin this July. Legal challenges are still pending, but the odds seem long against them.

That said, this is closer to the beginning of this struggle than to its end.

12 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Erika Rosenthal's blog posts
18 May 2012, 2:42 PM
Environmental groups urge Obama to attend Rio+20 summit

Twenty-two environmental organizations including Earthjustice, representing more than 5 million Americans, sent a letter to President Obama on Friday, urging him to lead the U.S. delegation at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June and be a strong advocate for action on clean energy, environmental rights and healthy oceans.

More than 130 heads of state and government leaders are expected to attend. Like the first Earth Summit in Rio 20 years ago, this gathering will help set the international agenda on environment and sustainability for the next 20 years.

The Earth Summit presents a rare opportunity for the global community to ratchet up action on issues like healthy oceans in the face of new challenges like ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is thought by many to be the greatest threat to marine ecology in this century, and is squarely on the agenda at Rio+20. Coral reefs—the nurseries of the sea—along with the shelled creatures that form the base of the marine food web are among the species and ecosystems most vulnerable to acidification.

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Jared Saylor's blog posts
15 May 2012, 1:02 PM
Polar bears, walrus, sandpiper, 150 activists deliver comments to White House
Campaign Director Jared Saylor and Policy & Legislation intern Adriane Underwood carry letters from more than 50,000 Earthjustice supporters who support protecting the Arctic.

On a muggy Tuesday morning, two polar bears lumbered south on 17th Street in Washington D.C. A walrus waved at drivers honking their horns. A sandpiper flapped its wings as it passed food trucks and coffee shops. And, 40 representatives from more than a dozen environmental groups wore bright blue shirts emblazoned with the logo “SAVE THE ARCTIC.”

Paws, wings, shirts and all, they headed towards the White House with a few things to tell the president. Joined by a few hundred activists, they gathered to deliver more than one million comments from concerned citizens, asking President Obama to stop plans by Shell Oil to drill in the remote, fragile waters of the Arctic Ocean this summer.

Comments being delivered to the White House.

The waters of Alaska’s northern coast are home to threatened polar bears, endangered bowhead whales, walrus, seals, birds that range through every state in the Union. Drilling in these waters threatens these species and the vibrant indigenous Alaska Native culture that depends on a healthy Arctic Ocean, both already under stress from rapid climate change.
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
17 April 2012, 4:21 PM
Caroline Cannon named as North American recipient

The world's largest prize for environmental action has been awarded to Caroline Cannon, an Inupiat leader and former president of the Native Village of Point Hope in Alaska. Cannon is the North American recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize, a major prize awarded annually to grassroots environmental heroes from the six inhabited continents.

Erik Grafe, an Earthjustice attorney in Alaska who has worked with the honoree, said she was richly deserving of the award.

"Caroline is a fearless and inspirational advocate for the protection of the Arctic Ocean and a way of life dependent on a healthy ocean ecosystem," he said. "Over the past several years, Caroline's leadership has raised awareness of the dangers posed by proposed oil and gas activities to the vibrant indigenous subsistence culture of northern Alaska that has depended for millennia on hunting and fishing in the Arctic Ocean. Earthjustice has been honored to work with the Native Village of Point Hope and Caroline in the effort to protect the Arctic Ocean, its wildlife, and its people. We congratulate her on her well-deserved recognition."