March 26, 2010
Karin Sheldon joined EARTHWORKS Board of Directors in 1994, has been the chair of the board from 2001-2010, and is currently the Executive Director of Western Resource Advocates.
I had the honor of serving on the board of Earthworks (then called Mineral Policy Center) when Stewart Udall was Chair. I was enthralled by his stories of the battles to create new national parks and monuments, protect migrating salmon from massive dams, and preserve wilderness.
Secretary Udall promoted reform of the Mining Law throughout his career and long after retiring from public office. He was also committed to the appropriate control of unbridled oil and gas development, and the protection of our historic, archeological and cultural treasures.
Stewart Udall was the consummate Westerner, with a Westerner s deep connection to the landscapes, people and history of the region. He was handsome, courtly and charming with wry sense of humor and absolute zest for life.
Stewart Udall was a member of Congress and in charge of the sprawling Department of the Interior at a time when environmental protection was a bi-partisan issue. He and an array of Democratic and Republican colleagues recognized that the wealth of natural resources of America belong to all, a shared inheritance of value and beauty requiring stewardship and conservation.
March 26, 2010
Cathy Carlson is EARTHWORKS' current Policy Advisor and a longtime advocate for mining reform, clean water and healthy communities.
Stewart Udall inspired a generation of activists like myself to pursue the balanced management of our natural resources. As Congress and the Administration grappled with the questions of how to manage our public lands in the country, Stewart Udall wrote in 1969:
...after eight years in this office, I have come to the conclusion that the most important piece of unfinished business on the nation's resource agenda is the complete replacement of the Mining Law of 1872."
His book about uranium mining in the West continues to illustrate how we need to balance the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power with the impacts of communities near the uranium mines. He was adamant about the importance of looking at the consequences of our Nation s energy policy. EARTHWORKS is proud to recognize Stewart Udall as one of the founding members of our organization (then called Mineral Policy Center). We continue the work he started in the 1960s.
Sitting in a Natural Resources Policy at the University of California in the late 1970s, we learned about the legacy that Stewart Udall left in the eight years that he served as Secretary of the Interior. He created much of the policy that was being debated at the time in college classrooms, and his leadership continues to be discussed and admired in classrooms around the country.
By Alan Septoff
March 22, 2010
Yesterday, the U.S. EPA announced that they will spend more than $1.9 million to study the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water quality and public health. EPA did a similar study in 2004 which concluded not only that fracking constitutes no risk to drinking water, but that no further study of the issue should be conducted.
So why is EPA conducting this new study anyway? Let me count the ways (after the jump):
March 21, 2010
Former Secretary of the Interior, former US Congressman and EARTHWORKS cofounder Stewart Udall died today at his home in New Mexico at age 90. During his long career as a conservationist, Udall co-authored the Wilderness Act of 1964, which protected millions of acres from development, stewarded the creation of more than 60 national parks, and sued the federal government on behalf of Navajo uranium miners and people suffering health impacts from above aboveground nuclear tests.
In 1988, Stewart Udall joined with Phil Hocker and Mike McCloskey to form the Mineral Policy Center, later EARTHWORKS, where he served on our board of directors until 1997. We will always remember Stewart and do our best to carry on his vision of environmental justice, clean air, clean water, and protection for our treasured natural resources.
By Alan Septoff
February 25, 2010
Yesterday, EARTHWORKS launched the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project a new watchdog to keep an eye on the drilling industry in the Barnett Shale of north central Texas.Texas OGAP also released DRILL RIGHT TEXAS, a guide to gas extraction best practices.
Like its cousin, the Marcellus Shale gas play that underlies most of the north central Appalachian Mountains including New York and Pennsylvania, the Barnett Shale contains vast reserves of natural gas that recently became economic to extract.
The reason it's now economic: a relatively new drilling technique called horizontal hydraulic fracturing.
You may have heard that natural gas is better for the environment than other fossil fuels. When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, that is true certainly when compared to coal. But and it's a big but when it comes to local impacts, natural gas extraction/processing/transport as currently practiced is not something you'd wish on your worst enemy, or their drinking water.