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Help Obama put solar (back) on the White House

By Bill McKibben Amid the heated rhetoric about the administration that’s dominating the site at the moment, here’s a potential chance to help with a very concrete project. Today we’re headed down the East Coast with a solar panel—it used to be on the White House, installed by Jimmy Carter in 1979. The Reagan administration took […]

September 8th

Lawsuit Against EPA Could Have Major Downside

Last week the NRDC (National Resource Defense Council) and PAN (Pesticide Action Network) sued the EPA demanding that it ban a particular insecticide called Chlorpyrifos.  I have written to some of my NRDC contacts to ask: “why chlorpyrifos?” Is Chlorpyrifos As Scary As They Say? Although you would never know it from reading the uncritical […]

July 26th

Berms Update: Coast Scientists Want Them Stopped

(From FailDrill.com) A group of coast scientists – experts who teach at universities from Maine to Hawaii – have drafted a letter to Incident Commander Thad Allen, calling on him to cancel the sand berms and other “massive re-engineering” projects. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had championed the sand berms as a way of keeping oil […]

July 21st

Why Are We So Keen to Sail the Arctic

For the first time in over 50 years Arctic waters will be the subject of a mapping expedition. What I want to know is, why? Arctic ice has been receding at a rapid and alarming rate over the past decade. We’ve seen the Northwest Passage open for the first time in recorded and memorable history, […]

July 21st

People Care More if Climate Change Impacts their Health

A new exploratory study out of George Mason University has found that people will care more about climate change if it is framed as a public health problem. The authors of the study interviewed 70 Americans and had the respondents read a public health framed essay on climate change. Their results found that, on the […]

July 19th

Is There a Leak? BP STILL Dragging Feet on Monitoring their Busted Well

(From DrillFail.com) Late Sunday, Incident Commander Thad Allen notified  BP  that seepage had been detected in the ocean floor near the well. It could be a leak from the sub-surface portion of the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo well, which would mean the cap – currently in a testing phase – would not be able to keep holding pressure. […]

July 19th

Success! BP’s Cap Holds, Oil Flow Halted. What’s Next?

BP concluded 48 hours of testing on the new cap over their busted well, and the results are good. The oil flow has stopped, pressure is stable, and there’s no evidence – so far – that the cap has blown a new leak in the underground well. “As we continue to see success in the […]

July 17th

BP Pressure Test Results “Disappointing”

(From RGB’s sister blog, FailDrill.com) Despite the glowing headlines proclaiming “Gulf Oil Stops Flowing”, we’re not out of the woods yet. In a conference call this afternoon, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen announced that pressure levels have NOT risen high enough in the recently-capped  well. This could mean one of two things: The oil […]

July 16th

Bad News from the Gulf – BP Delays Testing New Cap

After a day of waiting, the word came from the Gulf late Tuesday – BP will NOT be testing the new cap on the Deepwater Horizon well today. This comes as a major disappointment, and feeds fears that the well is in such bad shape that the capping process won’t work. “We decided that the […]

July 13th

Fail Follow-up: Jindal’s Berms Already Washing Away

Fail update… Remember Bobby Jindal’s brilliant plan to bulldoze sand out into the Gufl? To form berms to keep the oil from getting ashore? Robert S. Young, an authority on shoreline geology at Western Carolina University. His take: The White House has announced that this project is now moving forward, despite serious concerns among coastal scientists, […]

July 13th

George Lakoff Advises Democrats Against “Disaster Messaging”

Why have the Democrats been having such a hard time passing environmental legislation? And everything else, for that matter? Despite control of both houses of Congress and the White House, even the measures they get through (like the Health Care Reform, or the pending energy bill) are watered-down, half-baked compromises that Democrats have to hold […]

July 13th

Louisiana’s War over the Drilling Moratorium

President Obama’s deep-water drilling moratorium has touched off a political war because it threatents the empires of two families at the heart of Louisian’s Republican oligarchy – the Bollingers and the Choests. Bobby Jindal is fighting to protect the wealth of his biggest benefactors – as well as his job.

July 6th

BP Bans Media Access – Coast Guard Helps

(From Important Media’s newest blog: FailDrill, covering the Gulf Oil Disaster.)

So much for the First Amendment.

Corporations spending money to influence elections… that’s free speech, protected by the First Amendement, according to our Supreme Court.

But reporters talking to oilfield workers? Or taking pictures of booms? Sorry, that’s a felony.

Yobie Benjamin of the SF Gate is outraged:

…Allen has issued a blanket order that bans anyone from getting close to any spill clean up site, boom site, areas where there are clean up workers or any other oil disaster related area or persons effectively shutting down the first amendment rights of the media. The zone of exclusion is 65 feet. There was rumor that Coast Guard bosses wanted to impose a 300 feet exclusion zone but later relented to a 65 feet no trespass and exclusion zone.

This is despite assurances from Thad Allen that there will be full transparency on all clean-up operations. Allen claims local officials were asking the Coast Guard to create a media-free buffer zone. However no media outlet — television, print, Internet or radio could find a single local official who requested the Coast Guard to ban media access to oil sludge sites on land or water. Since no local official requesting a no media zone can be found, it can only be assumed that the ban was requested by BP.

July 3rd

Sen Robert Byrd is Dead; What Does That Mean for the Environment?

The longest-serving member of Congress in US History, Sen Robert Byrd (D-WV), is dead at 92. He was first elected to the Senate in 1958, 52 years ago.

Byrd will be remembered for taking courageous stands against the Gulf War (at a time when most other Democrats were jumping on the Bush bandwagon), and more recently for going against the power structure of his state of West Virginia by saying “Coal Must Embrace The Future”.

June 28th