More than 100,000 people—including a contingent of Earthjustice staff and supporters—are marching today in New York to highlight the urgent need for climate change action by world governments. Marching with them is Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen who made this report from the event:
On Aug. 29, in a small step towards greater transparency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released agency response letters confirming 243 cases in which drinking water supplies were contaminated by oil and gas drilling since 2008.
Picture a rambling old house that began life as a cottage in the 1920s and kept growing with a series of ramshackle additions over the following decades. Every time you fix something, another thing goes wrong. If it’s not the leaky roof, it’s the burst pipes, or the faulty wiring. In other words, it’s a money pit. Either you lay a new foundation and modernize the place or you fritter away a fortune on the spot fixes that never last.
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government. It conjures up an image of a guy in a $5,000 suit slipping money into a senator’s pockets. It’s seemingly taboo to lobby, and as a public policy major I find my answer to the often-repeated question of “So, are you going to sell out and become a lobbyist when you graduate?” being “Absolutely not!”
But, as I learned during my time here, “lobbying” has a much-more layered definition.
Throughout the U.S. oil and gas boom, frackers have countered public concerns about water contamination with the assurance that drilling operations target deposits that sit much deeper than drinking-water aquifers. This picture is not entirely accurate, according to recent research.
Last week, the independent investigative news site ProPublica released a major new investigative report on the most powerful government office you’ve probably never heard of: the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, known as “OIRA” for short.