Posts tagged: oceans

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

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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 Bill Walker's blog posts
22 September 2009, 10:51 AM
275,000 Americans urge administration to scrap Bush plans
Costumed demonstrators ask for a time out on Arctic drilling (AP)

More than 400 scientists from around the world have signed a letter urging the Obama administration to call a time out on offshore oil and gas drilling in America's Arctic until research can assess the risks to the region's oceans, wildlife and people.

The scientists urged Interior Sec. Ken Salazar to cancel Bush-era plans for selling oil and gas leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and for a sale in the Chukchi that failed to comply with federal environmental laws. The scientists say the decision was made without sufficient scientific understanding of the environmental consequences and lacked full consultation with indigenous residents:

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View David Guest's blog posts
15 September 2009, 2:35 PM
Oil's money men lubricate efforts to open up state's waters to drilling

News that "a secretive group of powerful legislators, business groups and Texas oil companies has been laying the groundwork" to open Florida's shores to oil and gas drilling should make all of us sit up and pay attention.
A story by St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald delves into the machinations of the "Florida Energy Associates," a shadowy group that "identifies itself only by saying it is financed by a group of independent oil producers."

These mysterious oilmen—are they Floridians? Americans? Foreign governments? —apparently have fat profits to spend. They've hired lobbyists, public relations experts, a financial consultant and a pollster to get Florida to sell drilling leases in state waters within ten miles off Florida's Gulf Coast.

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View Peter Campbell's blog posts
17 August 2009, 5:09 PM
Some Woodstock artists had a lasting impact on our environment.
Richie Havens performing at Woodstock. Photo: Derek Redman and Paul Campbell

Much is spoken about the legacy of Woodstock, the concert that defined a musical era, now celebrating a 40-year reunion. I came across this fascinating slideshow on Treehugger's website, discussing the post-Woodstock environmental activities of some of the famous rock and folk musicians that performed there. While some might be skeptical as to how great a conference Woodstock was, discovering this 40-year history of environmental stewardship that followed speaks to the historic importance of the event.

The slideshow notes some fascinating environmental pursuits of classic 60's artists. Here are some additional links and details on the musicians featured and their earth-friendly activities:

View Jared Saylor's blog posts
04 August 2009, 8:40 AM
Warfare training facility near Florida runs through right whale territory

 Right whales are called such because years ago whale hunters thought these particular whales were simply the "right" ones to hunt. Their distinct V-shaped blow of water alerted whalers, and their habit of swimming near the surface made them easy targets.

Now, decades later, these endangered whales are swimming into danger again because of their propensity to swim near the surface.

The latest obstacle: the U.S. Navy plans to construct a massive Undersea Warfare Training Range (often referred to by its cumbersome acronym, UWTR) directly in the calving grounds of right whales in a 644-square mile plot of ocean off the coast of Florida.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
25 June 2009, 4:39 PM
A thumping for environmental cases

Two long and thoughtful pieces today, one from the Daily Journal, the other from Greenwire, discuss in painful detail the thumping environmental cases suffered at the hands of the Supreme Court this term. In each case, the court overturned a pro-environment ruling from a court of appeals.

The first case involved whether the Navy must protect whales and dolphins from the effects of loud noises. The most recent case, an Earthjustice case as it happens, revolved around a permit the Corps of Engineers awarded to a mining company that allows the company to dispose of toxic mining wastes in an Alaskan lake. In between, the court found that environmental groups didn't have the right to challenge certain Forest Service regulations, that Shell Oil was not responsible for cleaning up a Superfund site in California, and that cost-benefit calculation at a New England powerplant was legal. The decision the court overturned in the last case, incidentally, was written by Sonia Sotomayor, who looks likely to become the next associate justice. In all five cases, the court upheld rules put forward by the Bush administration.

View Anna Cederstav's blog posts
08 June 2009, 2:11 PM
 

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Don Federico, a Panamanian fisherman who has spent more than 26 years at sea and has thousands of stories to share. He told us what it was like when he first began fishing:

"We saw dolphins, whales, sharks and turtles everywhere. Out of ignorance, the fishing boats would catch and kill upwards of 300 dolphins per day, and the children would play with turtle eggs on the beaches."

Now, less than three decades later, Don Federico explained that there is none of that.

Even in isolated areas, it's a huge event when tourists spot a whale or a dolphin. Turtles no longer come to nest on our beaches, and shark finning is decimating local populations. The fish you could previously catch in a couple of hours, now take weeks of time for a fishing boat to collect.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
21 May 2009, 3:00 AM
 

The Beaufort Sea, off Alaska's northernmost shores, and the Chukchi Sea, which separates Alaska from Russia, are home to one in five of the world's remaining polar bears. These icy waters are crucial feeding and migration zones for bowhead, beluga and other whales, seals, walruses and migratory birds; for thousands of years they have also sustained a vibrant Native culture. But the Bush administration treated America's Arctic as just another place to be exploited, relentlessly pushing oil and gas drilling without regard for the consequences.

Now a new President and his Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, have pledged to restore science to the forefront of decisions about energy and the environment. They have no better opportunity to fulfill that pledge than in the coming weeks, as they face key decisions on oil and gas activity in the Beaufort, Chukchi and Bering Seas—decisions that will determine the future of the region, its people and its creatures.

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View David Guest's blog posts
29 April 2009, 4:25 PM
 

We’re breathing a cautious sigh of relief here in Florida on the issue of offshore drilling. A dangerous bill that would have lifted the state’s offshore drilling ban appears to be dead. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Our state Senate President told reporters today that the Legislature has run out of time to hear the offshore oil issue. The bill passed the Florida House of Representatives 70-43 on Monday. If it isn’t heard in the Senate, the bill will die.

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View David Henkin's blog posts
10 April 2009, 10:59 AM
 

A new scientific study (pdf) paints a bleak picture for Hawai'i's false killer whales.

For nearly a decade, the National Marine Fisheries Service's data(pdf) have shown the Hawai'i longline fishery is killing these rare marine mammals at rates far beyond what the population can sustain.

The latest data show the number of false killer whales in Hawai'i's nearshore waters—a genetically distinct population—has crashed over the last 20 years, with a single pod observed in 1989 containing almost four times as many whales as the current population for the entire main Hawaiian Islands (which now numbers only about 120 whales).

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
18 February 2009, 11:30 AM
 

In less than a month, President Obama has tackled several items on a list of Six Easy Things that Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen set forth for the new administration last November.

1) Move towards reducing CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act

One of the most significant actions came this week when the EPA said it would reconsider the infamous "Johnson memo" issued just before Obama took office by Bush's EPA chief Stephen Johnson. The memo directed EPA staff to ignore regulation of CO2 even though the U.S. Supreme Court said EPA had the authority. Obama EPA chief Lisa Jackson said she is reconsidering that memo and will seek public comment.

Bottom Line: The EPA appears headed towards regulating CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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