Last night in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama rightly spoke about the importance of growing a clean energy economy. Dedicating a chunk of his speech to the promise of the clean energy sector of the economy and the necessity for us as a nation to invest in this sector, the president issued a promise to America's scientists and engineers: If they innovate and come up with clean energy solutions, our government will invest in them and scale them up.
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Despite obvious differences, the icy Arctic Ocean and the warm, deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico have an important commonality: we aren’t prepared to safely drill for oil in either place. Last year’s Gulf spill – which killed 11 rig workers and fouled waters that nourish ecosystems and economies alike – is a harsh illustration of that simple fact.
If you add up all the indicting statements, conclusions and recommendations in President Obama’s oil spill commission report—released today—you’d think outlaws are running the oil industry under charter from federal regulators. Which is no surprise to us at Earthjustice.
Since last April 20, when BP’s well rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank, we’ve been referring to the ensuing oil flood as “the BP oil spill.” Today, as we analyze a preliminary report from the federal government’s oil spill commission, we are inclined to change our reference.
Only three days after Republicans took over the House of Representatives, Americans are at risk of losing critical, life-saving pollution protections. Since they took their seats in the 112th Congress, some elected representatives have made shooting down or slowing down these protective pollution controls their top priority.
Congress puts the kibosh on shark fin soup
One of the more frustrating tactics used repeatedly by the Bush administration in environmental matters was something we called “sue and settle.” These were cases filed against the government by states, industrial interests, or others seeking, for example, to open up wild lands to development.