Today Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a major agency reshuffling that will affect how the government enforces laws on mountaintop removal and surface coal mining. He will fold the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) into another Department of Interior subdivision, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The Latest On: Department of Interior
Let’s say you have three kids, and one big piece of cake to divide amongst them. One kicks and cries and whines. "I want it ALL," the baby screams. "I want it all NOW!" The other two say, "We want our fair share."
To keep the decibel level in the house at acceptable levels, and because you’re a whimp, you give the crybaby 90 percent of the cake. But even that doesn’t work. The baby still whines and cries and kicks and screams, "I want it ALL. I don’t care what brother and sister get."
Apparently, Shell Oil and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) live in a land of make believe. Thankfully, Earthjustice makes its abode in a place called reality.
Last summer, we were captivated by a live video feed of oil spewing from a broken well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon disaster woke up America to the dangers of offshore oil drilling, and the government was quick to act.
Late in his administration, Bill Clinton attempted to build a conservation legacy worthy of Teddy Roosevelt by designating more than a dozen national monuments across the West.
George W. Bush tried to undo that legacy.
And President Barack Obama, to his dis-credit, has allowed the Bush-adopted, monument-undercutting status quo to remain, despite being the "hope-y, change-y" candidate in 2008.
But a little more background.
Anyone who has seen the “Planet Earth” episode on jungles has witnessed the colorful plumes and remarkable displays of the Birds of Paradise.
But when you’re hiking (read: struggling) through the dense growth of Papua New Guinea’s rainforest, one of the world’s largest at over 100,000 square miles and home to 38 of the 43 Bird of Paradise species, it’s pretty difficult to catch a glimpse these magnificent birds.
Since the GOP won a majority in the House in 2010, the Obama administration has gone into "go-slow" mode - or even has taken a U-turn on presidential initiatives on air pollution and climate change. The Los Angeles Times took aim at this in a tough May 20 editorial headlined: "In the 2012 campaign, environmentalists don't matter." It opens:
Well, it's true that here on a blog, the currency is words. We're supposed to tell stories through our prose. But today I'm going to go easy on the blog and yield the storytelling to a small collection of witty, beautiful, foot-stomping and surreal art by people who are mastering other mediums to talk about mountaintop removal mining: