Earthjustice

Critically Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves Have Waited Decades for a Plan to Save Them - Sadly, Trump's Plan Will Do the Opposite

The Trump administration recently released its long-overdue recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves, one of the most endangered mammal species in North America with an estimated wild population of just over 100. However, the plan charts a course for extinction rather than recovery, cutting off wolf access to vital recovery habitat and failing to respond to mounting genetic threats to the species.

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Trump Administration Proposes Repeal of Fracking Protections

Three days before oral arguments are scheduled in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Bureau of Land Management safety measures to regulate fracking operations on public lands, the U.S. Department of Interior is moving ahead with its plan to rescind the 2015 rule.

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Trump Dealt Climate Blow as Senate Votes Against Oil and Gas Industry's Attempt to Gut Methane Rules

In a win Wednesday for oil and gas-patch communities and taxpayers, a procedural vote failed in the Senate, preventing a Congressional Review Act resolution from nullifying the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Methane Waste Rule. The vote to proceed to debate on the resolution failed, 49–51. This rule is a common sense standard to limit wasteful methane pollution from oil and gas operations on public lands.

The Congressional Review Act is a controversial and anti-democratic tactic that anti-environmental extremists in Congress attempted to use to push this pro-polluter agenda item forward.

"Just when we thought all hope was lost, common sense prevailed today in the United States Congress," Jessica Ennis, Earthjustice senior legislative representative, said.

"By preserving this win-win rule that protects public health and saves taxpayers money at the same time, Congress is managing to slowly rebuild its credibility as an institution that can serve as a check against powerful corporate interests."

Each year, oil and gas companies leak or deliberately vent millions of tons of methane, a potent climate pollutant, into the atmosphere during oil and gas operations. Methane pollution from these operations not only speeds-up global warming, but is often accompanied by toxic air pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde and ethylbenzene, threatening the health of residents who live nearby.

To address this problem, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently finalized a waste prevention rule, which reduces methane pollution and enjoys wide public support; in a poll out earlier this year, 81 percent of Western voters surveyed said they supported leaving the BLM methane rule in place.

Fifty-one senators voted in accordance with their constituents wishes. Among those Westerners who support the methane pollution safeguard is Bob Arrington, a native born Coloradoan whose first job out of the University of Colorado was designing air pollution control equipment for industrial, chemical and power plants. Now living in Battlement Mesa, he puts his years of expertise to use—working to protect himself and his community from methane and other air pollution from nearby oil and gas operations.

"We are surrounded in all directions by Bureau of Land Management land and the oil and gas activities on those lands have direct consequences on our air quality," said Arrington.

"They're saying they can't, but it absolutely can be done better and with cost recoveries."

The BLM rule requires oil and gas companies to reduce venting, flaring and leaks from industry operations on public lands. Without the rule in place, taxpayers could lose out on $800 million in royalties over the next decade because of venting and flaring natural gas alone, according to a Western Values Project Report.

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Local Governments Can Prohibit GE Crops, Says U.S. Court of Appeals

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decisions Friday on whether federal and Hawai'i state laws preempt Hawai'i counties' authority to regulate genetically engineered (GE) crops and pesticide use. Of significance to state and local communities throughout the U.S., the Ninth Circuit ruled that federal law—specifically, the Plant Protection Act—does not prohibit states and counties from passing local laws to regulate and ban commercially-grown GE crops.

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Oakland City Council Votes to Ban Coal Exports

The Oakland City Council voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance that would ban coal from being handled and stored in the City of Oakland, including a resolution to apply the ordinance to the proposed Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal. The Council will hold a second vote on that ordinance at their July 19th meeting.

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Judge Says Refusal to List Wolverine as Endangered ‘Borders on the Absurd’ (Video)

In an 85-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Dana L. Christensen rejected as illegal a 2014 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to deny the wolverine protection under the Endangered Species Act.

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FDA Sued Over Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

A broad coalition of organizations sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today for approving the first-ever genetically engineered (GE) food animal, an Atlantic salmon engineered to grow quickly. The man-made salmon was created by AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. with DNA from three fish: Atlantic salmon, Pacific king salmon and Arctic ocean eelpout. This marks the first time any government in the world has approved a GE animal for commercial sale and consumption.

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WATCH: Wolves Have Some of the Worst PR in the Animal World -  This Short Film Sets the Record Straight

Wolves have some of the worst PR in the animal world. From the Big Bad Wolf to the one in sheep’s clothing, mankind has turned the wolf into a monster, viewed with suspicion and hostility.

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Seven Ways Congress Is Trying to Destroy the Endangered Species Act

Members of Congress have introduced more than 80 proposals aimed at gutting the Endangered Species Act this year. Thirteen of these anti-wildlife measures have been added to House and Senate must-pass spending bills. Congressional leaders and the White House are now in intense negotiations that will determine whether these and other anti-environmental provisions are included in the final government spending bill.

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Environmental Racism Is Rampant, So Why Isn’t the EPA Doing Anything About It?

The first thing you notice is the vultures, says Ronald Smith.

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