Posts tagged: Obama administration

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Obama administration


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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 Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
09 June 2010, 3:32 PM
Company makes it almost impossible to miss its oil spill spin

The company formerly known as "Beyond Petroleum" is at it again.

In its latest effort to lasso the messaging on the disaster in the Gulf, BP recently purchased several phrases like "oil spill" on Google and Yahoo search engines so that the first item people see when searching these terms is BP's official Web site.

"Learn more about how BP is helping," reads the text alongside the link to the BP site, positioned at the very top of a Google search page. After clicking on the link, users are drawn into BP's sanitized version of the spill, complete with inspiring images of cleanup workers and men and women looking appropriately concerned about the issue at hand.

According to a spokesperson for the oil giant, BP's motive for purchasing the search terms was completely innocent.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
09 June 2010, 1:29 PM
Vote down Sen. Murkowski's resolution to bail out big polluters
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Yesterday the White House took a firm stand against an effort to undermine the 40-year-old Clean Air Act, reverse a Supreme Court decision, and block the federal fuel efficiency standards that were finalized this past spring, which will reduce the nation's consumption of oil by at least 455 million barrels.
 
The effort at hand is a seldom-used congressional "Resolution of Disapproval" by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), on the Senate floor for a vote tomorrow, June 10. The resolution, which was influenced by oil- and polluter-industry lobbyists, is at the center of a fury of political positioning and partisan politicking. Its purpose is to block the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases, authorized by the Clean Air Act and reaffirmed by the 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA Supreme Court decision.
 
In an official statement yesterday, the White House threatened to veto the resolution if it is passed by the Senate tomorrow. Meanwhile, Sen. Murkowski and her Republican allies held a press conference to solicit public attention and support for this vote. The rest of the Senate and, more importantly, the public, should see through their smoke-and-mirrors routine. After all, the connection between reducing our national dependence on oil and controlling fossil fuel pollution are two sides of the same coin.

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View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
04 June 2010, 3:43 PM
President travels to Louisiana, oil spill travels to Florida
A tar ball. Photo: USGS

Fresh off a "Larry King Live" appearance (see below) in which he said "BP has to shut down this well," a "furious" President Obama flew to Louisiana today to meet with regional officials and beleaguered local residents as new events unfolded in the BP oil spill saga. The president hooked BP with fresh barbs, criticizing a $50 million TV ad campaign designed to salvage the company's image when what truly needs salvaging are the oil-soaked beaches, wetlands, wildlife, and businesses of Gulf Coast states.

President Obama's third visit to the Gulf since the spill's start transpired as tar balls began peppering Florida's sandy beaches, just hours after BP installed a "top cap," the company's latest attempt to contain the hemorrhaging well.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
02 June 2010, 12:23 PM
Gulf oil spill finally brings out heartfelt sentiments and promises

For the first time since oil started flooding the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama has shown passion and vision about where this unfolding tragedy should lead us -- to end our national addiction to oil and other forms of carbon-based energy.

"The next generation will not be held hostage to energy sources from the last century," the president vowed today in a speech clearly aimed at a rising chorus of critics who, like us, wonder why the president has been so inspirationally absent on what may be this nation's worst environmental disaster. Last Friday, while standing amid the oily carnage on a Louisiana beach, Obama did little more than pluck a tar ball from the sand and show it to the press. What a letdown. What a missed opportunity.

Today was better.

In a speech on economics at Canegie Mellon University, President Obama steered straight to the oil spill and said it exemplified what we must leave behind on our way to a clean energy future. "I will make the case for a clean-energy future wherever I can, and I will work with anyone from either party to get this done. But we will get this done," he said. He gave a string of assurances and promises about how he will shape that future, among them these:

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
01 June 2010, 3:45 PM
What in the world is going on?

While the federal government launches a criminal investigation into the cause of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, some in the Senate are still making designs for a big polluter bailout.

On Friday, 13 leading environmental officials joined the ranks of the many who have protested this effort in Senate, which was put forth in a proposal by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) months ago and will come to a Senate vote on June 10.

Her proposed legislation would keep us hooked on dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, and protect the oil and coal industries from having to clean up their pollution, by removing the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate global warming-causing greenhouse gases. The EPA has this authority by way of the Clean Air Act, one of our nation's most effective and successful environmental laws, and the Supreme Court's 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA ruling.

In a letter to Senate leaders, the bipartisan group of state environmental agency heads and leaders from both coasts and parts in between defends the 40-year-old Clean Air Act, and argues that any reversal or delay of the EPA's science-based findings on the threat of global warming would be unacceptable.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
28 May 2010, 2:03 PM
Long a focus of Earthjustice, Tongass is nation's largest national forest

America's largest national forest -- the Tongass in Alaska -- has been given another year's reprieve from most logging and mining by the Obama administration. Protecting the forest has long been the focus of Earthjustice legal efforts. As reported by the Associated Press:

View Liz Judge's blog posts
28 May 2010, 1:14 PM
Proposal out for new and renovated federal government buildings to be green

The Department of Energy today released a proposal to require that all new and renovated federal buildings across America meet a host of sustainable design, siting, and construction requirements. These standards will ensure that when a new post office goes up in your town, or when your local courthouse gets a building makeover, or when your military base builds a new facility, it will be green. And this green government building will stand as an example for the rest of the town, state and country.

We're obviously glad to see DOE finally start to take important action, even though today's standards are just a first step of what is needed, because of the impact that a full energy efficiency upgrade will make nationally once DOE addresses all of the current requirements.

Just to give it some perspective, in a typical year, federal buildings consume nearly 40 percent of all energy used by the government and represent 5 percent of all commerical buildings' energy consumption in the country. Greening our federal buildings will dramatically reduce our nation's overall carbon emissions and save us, the taxpayers, tens of millions of dollars in the process. In 2008, for example, the federal government spent $7 billion to purchase energy for its buildings. Reducing these buildings' energy use will save us dramatically.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
27 May 2010, 8:11 AM
President gives reprieve from exposing Arctic to oil spill potential

Over the last month, while oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico has poisoned thousands of square miles of waters, coasts, fish and wildlife, there has not been much occasion for celebration. Today, there is finally some good news.

The Obama administration's announcement to pause plans by the Shell Oil Company to drill in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in America's Arctic Ocean means these pristine, fragile ocean waters will remain protected for now. Endangered and threatened bowhead whales, polar bears, seals and other wildlife will survive. The Native communities that rely on the bounty of the Arctic Ocean will not face the threat of Shell's operations. No oil will be spilled by Shell and no catastrophic disaster like the one currently happening in the Gulf of Mexico will occur.

This is a victory driven by all of you who saw what was happening in the Gulf and took action to make sure it didn't happen in the Arctic. Your calls and emails made a difference.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
26 May 2010, 4:28 PM
Draw a permanent line in the sand, Mr. President—end our oil addiction
The extent of the BP oil spill on May 25, 2010.

So, President Obama—under withering criticism from all sides and faced with what may be the worst environmental tragedy in U.S. history—has hit the pause button on further offshore oil exploration, including the Arctic Ocean.

This is great, but only very temporary, news. And it's the least and most obvious thing the president could do.

He could do no less in the face of so much evidence pouring out of the Gulf of Mexico's wounded sea floor, flooding out of investigations into how we regulate the oil industry, coming out of opinion polls that show major shifts in how the Amercan public views this president's actions so far.

Here's what else this president could do. When he comes to Louisiana on Friday to view scenes of mounting environmental destruction, President Obama should go to the same oil-soaked beach where British Petroleum's head guy stood a few days ago. The corpses of sea life have greatly mounted since Tony Hayward stood there and vowed to "clean up every drop of oil" his company has spilled.

View Jared Saylor's blog posts
25 May 2010, 7:28 AM
New TV ads to run in D.C. target Obama and need for Arctic drilling pause

We're taking our fight against plans by Shell Oil to drill in America's Arctic Ocean this July to the television airwaves in Washington, D.C. The 30-second spot will run beginning tomorrow nationally on CNN. It will also run on MSNBC and during the Daily Show and the Colbert Report in the D.C. region. 

You can see the ad here or watch it on the next page.

We're very proud to have worked with Alaska Wilderness League, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Federation, National Wildife Federation, The Wilderness Society, and National Audubon Society to create this ad. It comes on the heels of a very succesful ad campaign last week in the Washington Post and the New York Times. We heard that people flooded the White House switchboard with telephone calls asking for a time out on Arctic drilling, so the message is certainly being delivered. Thank you to those who took the time to call the White House!

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