By Janelle Corn, Ph.D., an ecologist and wildlife biologist living in western Montana. She has lived and worked in the western U.S. for 30 years, and is currently an activist for addressing climate change before it's too late. Her new blog Natural History Now, is becoming her voice for action.
This week brings us to the end of May with progress being made on several major environmental issues. The massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may be plugged soon. Alternatives to oil to power our nation may gain more support as President Obama extends the moratorium on offshore drilling along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and in the Arctic. And the American Power Act introduced by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman two weeks ago may move forward in the Senate.
By Jill Palermo, Campaign Manager at We Add Up – Alex
I'm on vacation this week, walking along the shore of a beach my family has visited for twenty years. Every time we come down here, we see something different, whether a pod of dolphins playing close to shore, a hundred skates in the crest of a wave, or yesterday I found a baby shark swimming fifteen feet away from me. This week, my mind keeps drifting south to the Gulf, as I imagine how I would feel if MY beach was in peril.
The Obama Administration announced they will continue the moratorium on permits for offshore oil drilling in light of what is now the largest oil spill in U.S. history. This will delay drilling in places such as Alaska, Virginia, and the Gulf of Mexico. The administration also said they would announce stricter oversight on drilling safety regulations.
Our nation’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels like coal to supply its energy needs has put our health here in southwest Virginia as well as our economy, our quality of life, and our own climate, at risk. It is what sent us on the Dirty Energy Hunt (see some of the pictures I took at the end of this post). We are reminded again and again by the loss of 29 West Virginia miners recently and the coal ash disaster in Tennessee two winters ago of just how fragile life and our planet are. We are constantly putting the immediate health and safety of our friends and neighbors and entire regions of our country in jeopardy as well as the long term future of our planet. We must stop.
Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure to trek over to Colorado and help run a leadership summit with Micah Parkin, our fabulous Southwest Coordinator. This summit was part of a series of grassroots advocacy trainings designed to refine the skills of 1Sky supporters to build a powerful base this summer. Upcoming trainings include Philadelphia, PA (June 20), Columbus, OH, (June 26) and Concord, NH, (July 10). Check out our sign-up page for either training.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, working on behalf of oil companies, large utilities, and coal companies, will force a vote on the Dirty Air Act on June 10. If passed, the “disapproval resolution” would gut the Clean Air Act and stop the first meaningful regulations of greenhouse gasses from vehicles and big polluters, like coal plants. Initially, the Senator planned on forcing a vote this week, but grassroots pressure has pushed the vote until after Memorial Day recess.
Last week, the Senate passed Wall Street reform which is expected to be conferenced with the House legislation and signed into law in the coming week. After Memorial Day recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) hopes to unite his caucus around an energy bill capable of attracting 60 votes. This week, the climate community continues fight against Senator Lisa
Murkowski's (R-AK) "Dirty Air Act," which threatens to block the Clean Air Act from regulating carbon emissions.
By Joanna Pollock, a 1Sky Regional Coordinator in Arkansas. -- Luis
Checking into the India House hostel in New Orleans at 3 AM seemed tame enough. If you didn’t know about the massive 37,500 gallon per day (an average of the two estimates we’ve been given of 5,000 from BP and 70,000 from magic volumetric formula guy) oil volcano on the Gulf floor, one may not have noticed the ominous foreboding that hung heavy in the air. Pictures of stale, polluted water lapping at the hostel steps hung on the walls…memories of Katrina, far from faded, forever etched in NOLA consciousness. It was 3am so I restrained myself from asking the clerk at the hostel his sincere thoughts and feelings on the oil spill.