Posts tagged: Obama administration

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Obama administration


    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 Jared Saylor's blog posts
03 December 2009, 9:14 AM
EPA dumps Bush-era rule that allowed unfettered hazardous waste burning

The Bush Years: Sounds like an afternoon special, right? Unfortunately it was a reality we remember all too well.

As President Bush prepared to leave office, his cronies at EPA pushed for a slew of bad rulemakings that favored polluters at the cost of public health and the environment. This came as no surprise back then, and Earthjustice and others did a wonderful job of fighting back and defeating many of these "midnight rulemakings," as they were often called.

One particularly egregious rule, known as the Emissions Comparable Fuels rule, allowed industries to burn up to 100,000 tons of hazardous waste without any federal hazardous waste protections.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
25 November 2009, 9:52 AM
Promises U.S. limits on emissions -- and so does China

(Update: Today, China announced that it, too, will pledge limits on greenhouse gas emissions.)

It's official -- President Obama will lead the U.S. delegation at the Copenhagen climate change conference, and he will promise the world a 17 percent decrease (from 2005 levels)  in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. His pledge mirrors the levels contained in climate change legislation being considered by Congress.

Although this will not improve chances of an actual treaty being reached at Copenhagen, the expectation is for a political agreement among the major nations. Such an agreement depends on what China brings to the conference, and that remains a mystery. China and the U.S. are the planet's two biggest contributors to global warming.

 

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
23 November 2009, 2:34 PM
The big question is, will President Obama deliver the proposal?

(Update: Energy lobbyists are hard at work in developed countries, pressing to make sure the Copenhagen conference doesn't harm the fossil fuel industry, according to an investigative report by the Center for Public Integrity. Check out the Center's interactive map of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters.)

(Also: Here is a United Nation's report on what climate change is already doing to the earth and its inhabitants, along with a forecast of what's to come.)

Probably this week, President Obama will announce whether he will attend next month's international climate change conference in Copenhagen -- and what the U.S.will be offering up. The latest news scuttlebutt is that the U.S. delegation is set to propose greenhouse gas emissions limits similar to what Congress is considering.

No one is counting on a treaty to come from the conference, nor is there any hope that Congress will pass a climate change bill by then.

 

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
18 November 2009, 12:26 PM
An ocean continues to wait for change
The Chukchi Sea. Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In the Arctic waters surrounding Alaska, George W. Bush is still president, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has the chance to inaugurate a new regime.

Shell Oil recently got the green light from the Department of Interior to drill next summer just off the shores of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in waters that are an important migratory route for endangered bowhead whales. With numerous decisions on offshore drilling in the Arctic still pending, the looming question is, will Sec. Salazar chart his own course—using science as a guide—or will he continue to make decisions as though Bush were still in charge?

Last summer, Salazar told the magazine American Cowboy, "The science is fundamental to decisions we make. Ignoring the science will imperil important priorities to the United States and our world. Unfortunately, the last administration often ignored the science to get to what it wanted to get to. We will not do that."

On the Arctic, science has spoken, and I hope Sec. Salazar meant what he said.

15 Comments   /   Read more >>
View David Guest's blog posts
18 November 2009, 11:44 AM
EPA agreement on nutrient runoff has national impacts
Algae slimes Christopher Point Creek

Even though a large group of polluters tried to derail it, Earthjustice won this week a historic settlement—with nationwide implications—that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to set legal limits for the widespread nutrient poisoning that triggers harmful algae blooms in Florida waters.

Our settlement has been a long time coming, and its impact goes far beyond this state's borders. Currently, Florida and most other states have only vague limits regulating nutrients. The EPA will now begin the process of imposing quantifiable—and enforceable—water quality standards to tackle nutrient pollution, using data collected by the Florida DEP.

12 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
10 November 2009, 11:54 AM
Says he may attend climate talks if progress can be made

After weeks of speculation from Al Gore and others, we have the first indication from President Obama himself that he may go to the Copenhagen climate conference. In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he will travel to Copenhagen if he feels there is a chance of progress:

If I am confident that all of the countries involved are bargaining in good faith and we are on the brink of a meaningful agreement and my presence in Copenhagen will make a difference in tipping us over the edge then certainly that's something that I will do.

President Obama's statement of intent may signal the beginning of increased pressure on the Senate from the White House to continue pushing climate legislation forward, even as the health care debate—which has eclipsed global warming recently—rages on. Last week, the Kerry-Boxer global warming bill was passed out of the Environment and Public Works committee by a vote of 11-1. No Republican committee members were present for the vote.

Your move, Congress.
 

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
04 November 2009, 4:30 PM
Senate vote on climate bill unlikely before climate change conference

UPDATE: Democrats today (Nov. 5) ducked a Republican boycott to pass a climate change bill out of a key Senate committee. One senator described the move as a way to prove the United States is serious about fighting global warming.

President Obama hoped to have a climate change bill in hand to strengthen America's credibility in December at the world climate change conference in Copenhagen—but he may have to settle for a "show of progress" instead. A Republican boycott on the bill this week all but doomed hope of getting a bill passed before the conference.

But, is a "show" enough to convince other countries that the U.S. is no longer the rogue nation it was under Bush? We posed the question to Earthjustice legislative representative Sarah Saylor. Here's her response:

Anyone watching the process knows that our Congressional leaders are moving the legislative process forward. That bill has cleared two of five key hurdles in the legislative process by passing through committee to the House floor, and through the House floor to the Senate.

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
02 November 2009, 1:13 PM
Former VP offers up his opinion on an Obama appearance in Copenhagen

Speculation abounds as to whether President Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen this December to personally participate in international global warming negotiations, though many have expressed doubt about the likelihood (and value) of an Obama appearance without legislation from Congress in his back pocket.

Well, today, former veep and contrarian of conventional wisdom Al Gore told the German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel that he expects President Obama will indeed be there: "He hasn't told me that he will, and no one representing him has told me that he will. But I see the calendar, I see unfolding of events and I feel certain he will go."

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
30 October 2009, 3:19 PM
Wealthy, big polluters still on sidelines as Copenhagen approaches

As the world's richest and largest polluters—the U.S. and China—remain ambigous about taking significant climate change action, the world's lowest income contributors are getting support to clean up their acts.

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
27 October 2009, 3:28 PM
How much is Obama doing to reverse Bush's toxic tide?

Earthjustice has begun tracking the Obama administration's progress in rolling back eight years of environmental assault by the Bush administration. We've created a chart that grades President Barack Obama on how well he's done. After reading the chart, come back to this blog post and provide your own comments. We'll be updating the report card as actions warrant.