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Coalition Calls for End to $122 billion in Handouts to Fossil Fuels

By Jennifer Krill

October 5, 2011

Leaders of 52 national and state organizations, including Earthworks, are demanding that the so-called Super Congress make elimination of government handouts to the oil, coal and gas industries a central part of the deficit reduction plan the panel is to present to the full Congress next month.

Eliminating subsidies to the fossil fuels industry could reduce the national debt by $122 billion over ten years while bettering the environment and public health for America’s families, the groups asserted:

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Tagged with: subsidies, dirty energy, fossil fuels


Setting the Wall Street Journal straight about mining around the Grand Canyon

By Lauren Pagel

October 5, 2011

Last month, the Wall Street Journal editorialized in favor of uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, criticizing the Obama administration for favoring a 20-year withdrawal that would put some of the forests around the Canyon off limits to mineral development.

The editors fell blindly into the false choice of jobs versus the environment, and grossly understated the potential impacts 30 uranium mines could have on such a sensitive ecosystem.

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Tagged with: uranium mining, grand canyon, interior department, ken salazar, withdrawal, wall street journal


Earthworks comments at EPA’s fracking air pollution public hearing in Denver

By Bruce Baizel

September 28, 2011

NOTE: these comments were submitted before the EPA public hearing on hydraulic fracturing air pollution regulation in Denver on September 28th

My name is Bruce Baizel. I am Staff Attorney for Earthworks, a nonprofit organization that works with communities to reduce the impacts from mining and energy extraction. Our organization has worked on oil and gas issues for more than two decades and specifically on the issue of hydraulic fracturing for more than a decade.

I appreciate the opportunity to provide oral comment to you this morning. We have thousands of members throughout the Rocky Mountain states, in Texas and in the Marcellus shale region.

Many of our members are impacted by the currently unregulated emissions from oil and gas operations throughout those states.

So this proposed regulation providing a new source performance standard for Volatile Organic Compounds; a new source performance standard for sulfur dioxide; an air toxics standard for oil and natural gas production; and an air toxics standard for natural gas transmission and storage is of great importance to our members.

Overall, we strongly support the draft rule as a significant first step in addressing emissions from upstream oil and gas operations.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, hydraulic fracturing, regulation, air pollution, denver


The Texas Tribune inadvertently demonstrates the importance of the 1st amendment

By Sharon Wilson

September 26, 2011

This past weekend,  The Texas Tribune, the nonprofit news site that enjoys a higher profile in the journalism world (than it would otherwise) thanks to its partnership with The New York Times, held a lecture-and-networking event on the University of Texas campus in Austin.

I was invited to appear on a panel after the showing of the documentary Haynesville: A Nation’s Hunt for an Energy Future.

I knew the film depicted natural gas drilling in the Haynesville Shale as an economic miracle for folks in north Louisiana and East Texas, with barely a mention of environmental health risks. I said yes, received an enthusiastic confirmation letter requesting my bio, which I sent in, a request to sign the “Talent Agreement,” and a list of the panel members.

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Tagged with: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, natural gas, texas, texas tribune


Not so rare after all: Lynas Corporation’s rare earth refinery in Malaysia

By Hilary Lewis

September 23, 2011


View Lynas in a larger map

We use rare earths in a wide range of modern conveniences, from consumer electronics to hybrid car batteries. 

Recently, rare earths have been in the news thanks to skyrocketing prices. High prices are a result of increased demand due to new technologies and artificially limited supply – artificially limited by China, which currently controls more than 90% of global rare earth mineral production, but less than 40% of known deposits.

Rare earth minerals are expensive and dangerous to mine, not to mention the environmental impacts common to all mining, in addition to radioactive waste concerns.

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Tagged with: mining, international, rare earths, australia, china, malaysia, refining


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