I really, really wish I didn't have to lead today's roundup with more on the BP oil disaster, but since the oil spill is now in its 46th day, I'm afraid I have no choice. I also wish I didn't have to nag you again about Lisa Murkowski (R-Exxon/BP/Shell/etc.) and her seek-and-destroy mission against the Clean Air Act, but you deal with the senators you have, not the ones you wish you had. Thankfully it's not all doom-and-gloom in Roundupville: this week we heard some of the strongest language in favor of a comprehensive climate and energy bill from President Obama than we've heard in awhile.
Yesterday I flew with SACE board member Enid Sisskin and former board member Michael O’Donovan, a professional photographer. Both are Gulf coast residents with a long history of fighting offshore drilling. We flew out of Gulf Shores, Alabama over the beautiful Gulf of Mexico to the site of this tragic oil disaster, where BP’s drill rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20. The site is located approximately 100 miles from Gulf Shores.
By 1Sky blogging working group member Andy Silber. -- Luis
Breaking news: Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has just been awarded "The Cheney" -- an award given to the politician who comes up with the
most bald-faced lies on energy issues. The award is named after former Vice President Dick
Cheney, who was incapable of NOT lying about anything related to energy policy.
Murkowski won for her attempt to repeal
the EPA's “endangerment finding", which showed that
carbon dioxide emissions are a threat to human health and the environment. Her
award-winning lies fall into two categories:
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.
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.
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.
This week was taken up again largely by news about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. Attempts to raise the liability cap for oil spills failed again this week, thanks to familiar pro-oil senators. In other news, Lisa Murkowski’s
resolution to gut the Clean Air Act has come back from the dead. Finally, some good news on the climate from our own Montgomery County, Maryland.
Nick Santos was formerly a policy fellow with 1Sky and now heads up consumer information group The Environmental Consumer in
California. The author's opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the 1Sky
I have some shocking news. Are you sitting down? Good.
Here it is: Despite the congressional near-total paralysis -- and in some cases outright regression -- on climate, we actually can make polluters pay for their climate change pollution. Maryland's Montgomery County (where our own office happens to be located) shows the feds one way it can be done:
These can seem like very discouraging times. As our planet continues its dangerous trajectory towards a steady boil, many of our politicians, like latte- day Neros, choose to fiddle around with short sighted politics as our planet burns. Even with the effects of our addiction to fossil fuels appallingly visible in the Gulf of Mexico, most of our leaders in Washington don’t appear to feel the slightest sense of urgency beyond saying whatever will maximize their chances in November’s mid-term elections.