Not Just the Atlantic: Obama Leasing Millions of Gulf Acres for Offshore Drilling

By: Thursday July 24, 2014 2:47 pm

Deploying the age-old “Friday news dump,” President Barack Obama’s Interior Department gave the green light on Friday, July 18 to companies to deploy seismic air guns to examine the scope of Atlantic Coast offshore oil-and-gas reserves.

It is the first time in over 30 years that the oil and gas industry is permitted to do geophysical data collection along the Atlantic coast. Though decried by environmentalists, another offshore oil and gas announcement made the same week has flown under the radar: over 21 million acres of Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas reserves will be up for lease on August 20 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the [Mercedes-Benz] Superdome.

 

Coal Lobbyist Jeff Holmstead Confronted by Greenpeace

By: Monday June 23, 2014 5:05 pm

f you’re a coal lobbyist like Jeff Holmstead, getting stuck in an elevator with Greenpeace activists is an inconvenient occupational hazard. It’s worse if you can’t catch a cab during an uncomfortable conversation about your work to attack pollution laws. See this K Street confrontation for yourself.

If you’ve followed the news around EPA’s proposed Clean Power Rule, which aims to reduce the U.S. power sector’s large contributions to global warming, you’ve probably seen Jeffrey Holmstead in the news. Usually, Holmstead is presented as a “partner” at Bracewell & Giuliani, and as a former EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation under George W. Bush.

This descriptor fails to present Holmstead’s current and past work as a registered lobbyist for coal companies

Neil Young Supports First Nations Against Tar Sands

By: Wednesday January 15, 2014 5:32 pm

Neil Young’s week-long “Honor the Treaties” tour of Canada will benefit and support First Nations’ legal battle against a tar sands project. Proceeds from the shows in Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary will be donated to the legal defense fund of the northern Alberta-based Athabasca tribal government challenging new tar sands projects.

Midway: Message From the Gyre

By: Tuesday May 28, 2013 3:35 pm

Midway is a 2.4-square-mile atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly equidistant between North America and Asia. On the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Ellen Cantarow: Big Energy Means Big Pollution

By: Thursday May 2, 2013 4:00 pm

Gary Judson had just been removed from his shackles when they slapped the handcuffs on him. The 72-year-old Methodist minister had chained himself to the fence surrounding a compressor station — part of the critical infrastructure associated with hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking — a stone’s throw from Seneca Lake in upstate New York. The sheriff and his deputies freed him only to arrest him for trespassing.

“They don’t have the right to do this — to put the lake in jeopardy. We’ll all end up paying for their mess.”

FDL Movie Night: The Age of Aluminum

By: Monday April 1, 2013 4:59 pm

Aluminum: The most abundant metal on earth. And it has no natural, biological purpose. But over the past 100 years aluminum has become a necessity for modern life. We use aluminum in industry, packaging, medicine, and cosmetics. But from its mining through its manufacture to its use, it is also an incredibly destructive metal. It’s a substance that is used to produce allergies in lab animals, and aluminum’s appearance in drinking water is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and increased cancer rates.

Abrupt Climate Change and the Dead End of Eco-Consumerism

By: Sunday February 17, 2013 7:00 am

A number of recent written pieces have reflected actual interest in doing something about abrupt climate change. Abrupt climate change is now stalling the gulf stream. Barack Obama mentioned climate change in his recent State of the Union speech. Canada dumps its Kyoto targets, but perhaps Barbara Boxer and Bernie Sanders are now interested in climate change legislation. “John Crapper” suggests we ought to declare war on fossil fuel. Agathena tells us more about Canadian tar sands.

Generally speaking, none of the suggested solutions to have reached mainstream respectability does what it takes.

If the President Wants Cleaner, Safer Gas and Oil, Give Consumers Knowledge and Power

By: Thursday February 14, 2013 5:55 pm

It was a relief to hear more than a passing reference to climate change in President Obama’s State of the Union Speech, including promises of more support for wind and solar power. But the oil industry heard nothing to even cause even a smidgen of concern.

Toxic Train Wreck Exposes Weakness in Federal Chemical Policy

By: Saturday December 15, 2012 7:53 am

In late November, while other parts of New Jersey were recovering from the superstorm, the quiet town of Paulsboro was blindsided by a very unnatural disaster. A train derailed while crossing a local bridge, sending freight cars tumbling into the water below and releasing a toxic swirl of the flammable gas known as vinyl chloride, used to make PVC plastics. In the following days, chaos ensued as residents hurriedly evacuated. Authorities struggled to manage the emergency respons, leaving people confused and frustrated by a lack of official communicationabout hazards.

Though the derailment came as a shock to residents, this was an accident waiting to happen.

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