Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) cheers the activists who spoke out yesterday challenging the STRONGER review of Colorado s hydraulic fracturing rules. Citizen engagement of all types will only improve the process.
STRONGER (State Review of Oil and Gas Environmental Regulations) was created by federal agencies to review and validate state regulations as a means to fill the void left by oil & gas industry-won loopholes in federal environmental law. It should not exist. For decades, we have worked to close the loopholes that created it. And, in the absence of strong federal oversight, we continue to work diligently at state and local levels to enact strong safeguards because federal regulations continue to fall short.
Earthworks participates Wilma Subra, our board member and Bruce Baizel, our senior staff attorney in STRONGER because we work through all available avenues to protect communities and the environment from the destructive impacts of mining, digging and drilling. STRONGER is an imperfect process in need of improvement. But it will exist with our participation or not. Without our presence, communities would have little or no voice at all.
Earthworks OGAP believes that hydraulic fracturing should only be permitted if it can be done safely. Whether that is possible remains an open question and will remain so as long as industry and its allies stonewall those who wish to answer it.
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Lashonda at GreenDC Day sporting a No Dirty Gold t-shirt.
Despite a looming threat of thunderstorms, GreenDC Day took place on Freedom Plaza beneath a nearly cloudless sky and abundant sunshine.
Held on April 20, 2011, GreenDC Day was an Earth Day celebration sponsored by the District Department of Environment. EARTHWORKS attended this event, accompanied by many other green vendors, to educate the public about green living and of course to collect old cell phones to recycle!
I was approached by a myriad of folks, many of whom were clad in the ubiquitous Earth Day shade of green and all of whom were not only interested in our mission but also shared passion about EARTHWORKS campaigns.
More often than not, when I asked people if they had old cell phones they would like to recycle, they responded emphatically.
"Why yes! And I just don t know what to do with them!"
There s nothing like a long, frigid winter to prove what a great idea it is to have well-insulated, energy efficient buildings. President Obama spotlighted research underway at Penn State to develop more such structures during a visit to the campus last week and while there chose not to focus on the university s less laudable energy-related activities.
Maybe that s because in the recent State of the Union address, the President put natural gas in the same category as clean energy sources like wind and solar. This approach jibed with that taken by the Penn State s Board of Trustees, which voted in late January to get the school s steam plant off of coal and onto natural gas.
I was heartened by the President s desire to end the massive subsidies we currently dole out to the oil industry, and invest in renewable energy. While we attempt to wean ourselves from all dirty energy sources, we need to end the subsidies, close the loopholes and institute policies that regulates fossil fuels in a way that best protects our communities and water resources.
Amnesty International has released a report urging the Papua New Guinean Government to investigate forced evictions and police violence associated with the Porgera gold mine in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Amnesty's report, Undermining Rights: Forced evictions and police brutality around the Porgera gold mine, Papua New Guinea, details the raids on villages that occurred between April- July of 2009, in which at least 130 buildings were burned down and families were forced out of their homes.