The Latest On: Oceans
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
(UPDATE: Since this was posted, more than 21,000 Earthjustice supporters sent comments to the Minerals Management Service opposing expansion of oil and gas exploration in the "Polar Bear Seas.")
The Beaufort and Chukchi seas are home to one in five of the world's remaining polar bears. That's why these icy waters north and west of Alaska are often called the Polar Bear Seas.
One of my favorite memories is of being in Brighton, England, in June 1985 when the International Whaling Commission, after a struggle that lasted well over a decade, adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling, to last for at least five years. It has lasted for almost 24 years, but now seems in jeopardy of being fatally watered down.
We tend to think of ships as an environmentally friendly way to travel and transport goods. Measured by miles per gallon per a given amount of weight, they can't be beat. There's the not-so-little problem of air pollution from ships docked at various ports, of course, and Earthjustice is working with Friends of the Earth and other groups to do something about that.
On Wednesday, Congressman John Shadegg (R-Arizona) attacked Earthjustice in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, and called on Congress to prevent environmental organizations from suing to prevent expansive offshore oil drilling. Here is the response from Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen.
The Energy Information Administration is the official energy statistic keeper for the US Government. Here is what they recently said about opening up the outer continental shelf to new oil drilling.
The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.