Unearthed This Week

Coal-fired power plants, oil and gas drilling, sea turtles in peril

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Some top stories from the last week at Earthjustice…

On this final day of the Copenhagen conference, our daily report and attending attorneys Martin Wagner and Erika Rosenthal will keep you apprised of the latest. Check for updates during the day at unEarthed.

The EPA’s endangerment finding (now under assault by a GOP senator) was one of the biggest pieces of news from the conference. But Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen warned that existing coal-fired power plants (responsible for a third of U.S. global warming pollution) could escape regulation.

This week, Earthjustice also responded to the second Arctic drilling permit granted to Shell Oil over the span of the Copenhagen conference, this time to drill in the Beaufort sea.

Some positive news related to drilling: the Obama administration will review regulations for air pollution caused by drilling for oil and gas, with an eye toward cleaner technologies. And a natural gas company in Colorado has agreed to come clean about the hitherto mysterious liquid pumped underground to free gas from rock (a.k.a. hydraulic fracturing).

Sea turtles in Hawai’i are threatened to begin with, but now they’re in even greater peril. The federal government has loosened restrictions on longline fishing for swordfish, which ensnares and kills turtles and other marine animals. Earthjustice responded swiftly with a lawsuit.

Perhaps in envy of turtles (though not their current predicament), octopi have joined the ranks of the planet’s tool users by fashioning shells of their own.