Posts tagged: Obama administration

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Obama administration


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View Tom Turner's blog posts
24 December 2008, 6:00 AM
 

As we said in our last missive, the emerging Obama team, cabinet and otherwise, is looking very promising with a few question marks. The president-elect is said to enjoy having people of differing views around him and listening as they discuss their differences, which is a healthy attitude. The truth will out and all that.

But today I want to say a word or two about the only one of these worthies that I know personally. I'm talking about John Holdren, just named scientific advisor to the president. I don't think Mr. Obama could have made a better pick from all 300 million Americans, though I confess I don't know them all.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
22 December 2008, 8:38 AM
 

Reaction from environmental groups to almost-president Obama's cabinet choices has been interesting. Most of the choices have been welcomed by most organizations (Carl Pope made incoming labor secretary Hilda Solis sound like a green Mother Theresa).

Reservations I've heard have been voiced about the National Security Advisor, General Jim Jones, who is said by some to be a climate change nonbeliever, but that's a bit outside the purview of his new job and he's wildly outnumbered by believers in the cabinet and the White House.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
18 December 2008, 11:35 AM
 

Maybe it's a good thing that Bush has kept Earthjustice so busy these last eight years, fending off unrelenting assaults on the environment. The experience is proving invaluable as we face, in these final weeks of the administration, a frantic effort to roll back some of the nation's most significant protections. We also are encountering a barrage of last-minute attempts to convert America's wild, public treasures into private, commercial commodities.

Any day now, we expect Bush's Fish and Wildlife Service to once again remove endangered species protections from the northern gray wolf—protections we secured this year after Bush first de-listed the wolf.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
09 December 2008, 2:56 PM
 

Yes, one knows that the economy and the climate are jobs one through ten, but I can't help but be a tiny bit concerned that the new Obama administration still lacks a Secretary of the Interior, a Secretary of Agriculture, a Secretary of Energy, an Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and a Chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality. Plus and all the under secretaries and assistant secretaries and directors and assistant administrators who will eventually be nominated and confirmed to carry out extremely sensitive and important tasks. I have no reason to think that these nominations will not be up to the standard of the nominations we've seen so far, but I hope this doesn't signal a back-burner approach to wildlife and public lands and national parks and national forests, and so forth. A large fraction of our oil and gas, for example, come from the public lands and a smaller but important fraction of our lumber and pulp too. One thing we're going to have to be vigilant about over the next months and years is to ensure that environmental regulations are not sacrificed in the name of economic recovery—and you can be sure that such suggestions will be made. We need strong, bright people to run the environmental agencies, people who have the full support of the president.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
19 November 2008, 11:39 AM
 

This blog posting by Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen appeared this week in Celsias.

For all Americans who care about our environment, which is most of us, a hopeful dawn broke with the election of Barack Obama.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
14 November 2008, 1:42 PM
 

Now let's see if I’ve got this straight. Thanks to two very expensive wars, tax cuts for people who don’t need them, and assorted combinations of malfeasance and corruption, the federal budget deficit is at an all-time high and growing like kudzu.

So what's the response to the financial and monetary crisis? Why bailouts, of course. A new stimulus package. Where's the money coming from? That's what I can't figure out. Printing presses, I guess. Pretty soon we'll be like those Europeans in the famous Depression-era photographs with, literally, wheelbarrows full of paper money headed off to buy a loaf of bread.

I'm no economist, but spending our way out of a shortage of money reminds me of Dave Brower’s deathless line: "That's like sobering up on martinis."

View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
06 November 2008, 5:34 PM
 

I happened to be in Las Vegas during the final days of the election. It was a fitting location to watch the most historic election of my lifetime conclude with an outcome that many people I know felt was improbable less than a year ago. Vegas is, after all, a city familiar with difficult odds, and even the most seasoned Vegas veteran might have hesitated to wager on Senator Obama's.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
05 November 2008, 2:35 PM
 

With the election of Barack Obama, our nation's long, dark environmental night appears to be ending. By all early indications an era of opportunity will replace eight years of opposition in which Earthjustice was forced to play a mostly defensive role.

This is the moment we've been waiting for, and with your continued support, we are set to pursue ambitious goals on behalf of the environment.

Only a few weeks ago, we weren't so optimistic. Oil prices were soaring, and the mantra "Drill, baby, Drill!" had swept the nation, led by cheerleaders who sought to take the nation even deeper into dependence on the world's most polluting, non-renewable energy sources.

Today, the leaders of that chant are standing on the sidelines, quieted by a resounding vote of no confidence in ideas that ruined our economy—an economy based on oil and coal dependency, unrestrained consumption, and irrationally exuberant deregulation.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
05 November 2008, 12:45 PM
 

So what will this incredible development mean for the earth? Time will tell, of course, but we here at Tom's Turn are quite optimistic, both because of and in spite of what was said in the campaign.

The first thing to watch, as always, is the appointments—Interior, Energy, EPA, climate czar if there is to be one, and the under secretaries and assistant secretaries and others in the supporting cast. When Bill Clinton won the first time, he hired quite a few people from national environmental groups, as did Jimmy Carter. You can bet resumes are pouring into the Obama transition team right now. I, for one, have heard no rumors on that score so far.

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View Sarah Burt's blog posts
09 June 2008, 12:17 PM
 

This may have been a political no-brainer:

Campaigning in Montana on the eve of the primary, Obama stated his opposition to a proposed open-pit coal mine 40km north of the Canada-US border in the headwaters of the Flathead River, which forms the western boundary of Glacier National Park, declaring that "the Flathead River and Glacier National Park are treasures that should be conserved for future generations."

Putting aside the political expediency of opposing a Canadian mine (no risk of losing the votes of project proponents and job seekers) of longstanding concern to senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester and Governor Brian Schweitzer (who all also happen to be superdelegates), this is a significant indication of Obama’s support for environmental protection and his recent skepticism of unfettered fossil fuel development.