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 Ted Zukoski's blog posts
19 April 2010, 12:57 PM
Recent decisions help coal mines at expense of climate, Colorado wildlands
The Obama Administration is proposing to OK well pads like this one in the West Elk roadless area. Photo (c) Ted Zukoski.

On the Obama administration's second Earth Day, we can look back on some change we can believe in: oil and gas leases near national parks in Utah suspended, a glimmer of progress on slowing the destruction of rivers and streams in Appalachia by coal mines, the beginning of EPA's commitment to slow global warming from car tail pipes.

But 15 months in, the administration appears to have at least one glaring blind spot: how to reduce the environmental destruction from coal mining in the West - both on the ground and in the atmosphere. 

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View Jared Saylor's blog posts
15 April 2010, 1:13 PM
239 public interest groups urge Pres. Obama to regulate coal ash

When the EPA said on its website that April was going to be the month when we'd see the first ever federal coal ash regulations, environmental groups were in support. Sure, it would be four months later than what the EPA originally promised when a billion gallons of coal ash spilled across 300 acres in Tennessee, but we remained optimistic.

Now the month is half over and still no coal ash regulations. So, we're taking our fight up the ladder.

Today, 239 public interest groups representing all 50 states signed a letter to President Obama, asking him to make coal ash regulations public. This unprecedented display of unified support for strong federal safeguards against coal ash is needed to counter the mistruths and fearmongering spread by the coal and power industries.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
08 April 2010, 7:43 AM
And why we still need all we can muster to take on climate change
Sen. John Kerry, co-author of a forthcoming Senate climate bill

Last week was a rollercoaster for the environment. One minute it was down, the next it was up. First came Obama's announcement of offshore drilling, then came the new EPA policy clamping down on mountaintop removal mining, new clean car standards were finally finalized, then came the adoption of a key household energy efficiency standard that makes a big difference, then a major setback for public lands with an Obama announcement to stick with a Bush-era policy.

Many of us wonder, will a good environmental decision one day make way for a bad decision the next? And with our eyes on the bigger picture, we ask, What does this all mean for the upcoming climate bill?

Newsweek's Daniel Stone posits that this flip-flopping signals that the Obama administration is willing to make some big sacrifices in order to get a climate bill passed. One big sacrifice, and a very wasteful one, would be a Senate bill that strips the EPA of its authority to fight climate change by regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
02 April 2010, 12:07 PM
Earthjustice aims legal efforts at restoring ESA protections

This week, after seven months of dodging bullets, Idaho's wolves got a reprieve: the statewide hunt that left 188 of them dead is over.

The actual number of wolves killed since hunting was legalized last year is more than 500—including those shot during the Montana season and others killed by governmental agents protecting livestock.

Wolves became fair game in Idaho and Montana last year after losing the protection of the Endangered Species Act—a move initiated by the Bush administration and ultimately endorsed by the Obama administration. Almost immediately after Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar agreed to the delisting, the states of Idaho and Montana announced fall hunting seasons.

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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
02 April 2010, 10:27 AM
Pet pesticides, the Rosenfield, Obama’s mixed signals, two big enviro wins

Some top stories from the past week at Earthjustice…

It turns out that pesticides aren't just dangerous in agricultural use. Last week, the U.S. EPA called for clearer labels and tighter regulations for flea treatments after the agency noticed an increase in adverse reactions from pets treated with the pesticide-laden products.

The father of energy saving techniques, Dr. Arthur H. Rosenfield, may soon join the countless other people whose names have since been transformed into units of measurement. We think the term Rosenfield as the new unit for energy savings has a nice ring to it.

Campaign director Jared Saylor examines the Obama administration's mixed message decision to halt oil and gas leasing in Bristol Bay off Alaska's southwestern coast and to postpone future lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, while allowing exploration drilling to move forward in both seas starting as early as this summer.

This week, Earthjustice celebrated two big wins on the environmental front. First, the Department of Energy announced its adoption of strong water heater standards, which is set to cut both energy usage and energy bills. Not to be outdone, the EPA made its own announcement with its adoption of new guidelines designed to prevent continuing harmful environmental impacts caused by mountaintop removal mining.
 

View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
01 April 2010, 9:40 AM
DOE chooses strong water heater standard

And we couldn't have done it without you. When we called on our supporters to urge DOE to adopt strong standards for water heaters, nearly 14,000 of you responded with public comments. Let's continue the momentum: in the coming months the Obama administration will consider new efficiency standards for several appliances and in December will finalize a new standard for residential refrigerators. According to DOE, the potential energy savings from strong energy efficiency standards for refrigerators could be worth more than $50 billion in reduced electric bills for American families.

DOE is also developing new standards for furnaces, air conditioning window units, heat pumps, and clothes dryers.

Let's continue to encourage the Obama administration to choose standards that will save our planet, bolster our economy, and put money back into the pockets of American families.

View Jared Saylor's blog posts
31 March 2010, 3:48 PM
Obama administration sends mixed signals on drilling
The Chukchi Sea. Photo: Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com

Today, the Obama administration sent a mixed signal on offshore oil drilling, a move guaranteed to raise concerns from native groups, environmentalists, and communities living near some of the most sensitive and biologically diverse coastal areas. Obama and Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a plan to halt oil and gas leasing in Bristol Bay off Alaska's southwestern coast and to postpone future lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, off Alaska's northern coast, while needed missing information is gathered.

We agree that Salazar made the right move on Bristol Bay—home of the world’s largest salmon fishery—and on postponing future oil and gas lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, sensitive areas of America's Arctic Ocean that are undergoing dramatic shifts due to climate change and about which large gaps in basic scientific information remain. These proposals give the administration the chance to use sound science and smart planning in future decisions about new leasing in the Arctic.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
27 March 2010, 6:01 AM
It's time for this label to grow some teeth
A GAO image of a fraud item that earned the Energy Star label

A government report today exposed some startling problems with the federal Energy Star labeling program. In a secret audit, the Government Accountability Office found that several preposterously inefficient and even laughable fake appliances were able to earn the government's gold-standard label intended for exceptionally efficient products.

According to this New York Times article, the fictitious appliances included a gasoline-powered alarm clock and an "air purifier" that was nothing more than a space heater with a feather duster attached on top. They were submitted to the EPA and DOE, who jointly run the Energy Star program, by the Government Accountability Office under the guise of made-up company names and addresses.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
22 March 2010, 1:08 PM
Urge EPA to adopt strong ozone pollution standards today

As sure as April brings showers and May brings flowers, June brings ozone pollution warnings. These alerts come to us by way of air quality reports in our local weather forecasts, and they let us know when ground-level ozone pollution, the primary component of smog, reaches a dangerous level in the air we breathe. We see the alerts almost exclusively in the summer because sunlight and hot weather spur chemical reactions between air pollutants, thereby forming ground-level ozone and, in turn, smog.

Smog, then, fills the air until it's hard for some of us to breathe, especially babies and children, whose lungs are more delicate and less developed. Babies, children, senior citizens, and people who suffer from asthma, allergies, breathing problems, and lung disease bear the brunt of the suffering from smog, but scientific research shows us that no matter how healthy, we all are vulnerable to this dangerous pollutant.

Anyone who spends time outdoors in the summer may be affected, and millions of Americans live in areas where the national ozone health standards are exceeded. (Conversely, ozone in the upper atmosphere -- the good kind of ozone -- forms a layer that protects life on earth from the sun's harmful rays.)

Today until midnight, March 22, is final day of the EPA's public comment period for this ozone pollution standard. Please join tens of thousands of others and take a moment to send EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a message, urging her to adopt the strongest possible standards for ozone pollution.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
04 March 2010, 12:02 PM
Stand up for clean energy and climate change legislation

The clock is running down on the final day of the largest national call-in campaign ever organized by climate and environmental groups. In the first 48 hours of this historic “72 Hours for Clean American Power” event, 200,000 Americans phoned their senators to demand a comprehensive, aggressive clean energy and climate change bill that fuels job growth, reduces emissions, and safeguards our future.

Earthjustice is among nearly 50 groups teamed up for this mass effort—and the impact is clear. Senate phone lines have been ringing off the hook with the message that America wants clean energy, America wants the certainty of future jobs, and America wants an economy that will lead the rest of the world into the 21st century.

Voters are at this very moment speaking out for clean air, clean water, preserved wilderness, and a safer land for future generations. They want the Senate to get to work on crafting and passing bill that ensures all this.

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