Shortly after his confirmation, Secretary Ken Salazar declared that there's a "new sheriff in town" at the Department of Interior. If there was one part of the swamp that is DC that needed draining, it was DOI, what with the sex and drugs scandal at MMS and many of former Secretary Gale Norton's cronies sentenced to time in prison.
The Latest On: Bush administration
On February 17, Earthjustice called on Congress to introduce and pass legislation that would fix a glaring loophole punched in the Clean Water Act during the Bush years. The Supreme Court, with Bush administration backing, held that only "navigable" waterways could enjoy protections of this law.
UPDATE: There was a lot of confusion and misinterpretation about Tuesday's announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency that it was reviewing mountaintop removal mining permits to assess their potential impact on the waterways and people of Appalachia. Only two permits have been questioned. Dozens are under review. And the EPA is signalling that many of those may not be held up for environmental reasons.
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency took a giant step away from the path it was on under Bush by moving a step closer to finding that carbon dioxide from major global warming polluters threatens our health and well being.
The EPA proposal to the White House could result in national limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
One year ago in this column, I called on Environmental Protection Agency chief Stephen Johnson to resign for letting politics, not science, guide his agency's decisions. Nor was I alone—10,000 EPA employees were in open revolt for the same reason. Johnson was defying the Supreme Court's ruling that his agency should move forward on climate change and was refusing to approve California's forward-looking controls on climate-altering pollution.
Earthjustice is preparing to sue the Obama administration over its stunning decision to withdraw protections from northern gray wolves.
Any day now, a notice of intent to sue will be filed, giving Interior Sec. Ken Salazar just 60 days to rescind his wolf edict or face court action.
Salazar last week said he will strip the wolf of Endangered Species Act protections, in the process endorsing one of the most infamous Bush-era actions. As a result, gray wolves could be targeted by hunters in at least two states.
Interior Sec. Ken Salazar stunned the environmental world this morning by agreeing to remove northern gray wolves from protections of the Endangered Species Act. By doing so, Salazar has endorsed one of the more infamous actions taken by Bush on his way out of office.
The Obama administration signalled today that it is rescinding a last-minute rule change by the Bush administration that eliminated a requirement that executive agencies (the Forest Service, for example) must consult with scientific experts in the Fish and Wildlife Service or NOAA when a project may affect protected species. When Bush instituted the change last December, Earthjustice immediately challenged the rule change in federal court.
Interior Dept. Sec. Ken Salazar is turning his nose up at another one of Bush's "midnight regulations." This one has to do with leases for oil shale research and development in Colorado and Utah.
Salazar halted the lease sale process because it had terms that didn't pass "the smell test," he announced this week. Instead, he will start a new leasing process that includes 90 days of public comment.
This is clearly a move in the right direction by Salazar, who -- unlike Bush -- at least is taking time to kick the idea around. It's an idea that's worth a good kick. One of the dirtiest ways of getting energy, oil shale extraction has never been commercially proven. In a word, it stinks.
The lungs of America got two big breaks this week with court rulings that protect them from air pollution emitted by power plants, factories, and diesel trucks.
And there is a strong hint of more to come.