The Environment

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  Right Proposal for a new ESAJuly 29, 2005 00:00 This proposal for new ESA rules sounds good, except that the underfunded Environmental Protection Agency has no way to pay for property compensation. Under this plan, the EPA would need (and deserves) massive amounts of additional funding. I say slash the defense budget and fund the EPA.
  Study Shows Decline in Big FishJuly 29, 2005 00:00 A study out today shows that big game fish, like tuna, gather in diverse hot spots in the ocean. These hotspots are decaying due to overfishing and climate change. Scientists advocate protection of these spots to preserve bodiversity.
  Congress Cuts Clean Water SpendingJuly 29, 2005 00:00 Congress has sent an environmental appropriations bill to the President that includes US$191 million in cuts to federal funding for state clean water initiatives. We should be glad the MTBE liability exemptions didn't make it into the energy bill.
  Asian Climate Pact Catches UK by SurpriseJuly 28, 2005 00:00 A six-nation climate pact focusing on technological advances has been announced today. The pact, including the US, Australia, India, China, Japan and South Korea, seems designed to undercut support for the Kyoto climate agreement that has not been agreed to by the US or Australia. This new pact was negotiated in secret over the past year, out of the sight or influence of the Blair government.
  CO Farmers Show that Conservation and Farming Do MixJuly 28, 2005 00:00 Dr. Alan Foutz, president of the Colorado Farmers Bureau, gave testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water, describing a successful effort to educate farmers and get them involved in endangered species conservation efforts.
  US & Australia Undercut Support for KyotoJuly 27, 2005 00:00 The US and Australia, the only two developed nations who have not agreed to the Kyoto climate change treaty, are undercutting the treaty's effectiveness by forging a climate agreement of their own. The US/Aussi agreement is reported to include several underdeveloped nations from South East Asia. The agreement would also stress technological advancement instead of emissions caps.
  1/3 of Chesapeake Bay a Dead ZoneJuly 26, 2005 00:00 Environmental surveys have shown that in the month of July, more than 1/3 of the Chesapeake Bay was an anoxic dead zone, incapable of sustaining fish or oysters. The dead zone results from rotting algal blooms that are produced when fertilizers from farm runoff are washed into the Bay. The current figures are some of the worst ever recorded for the Bay.
  The Other Side of Pombo's BillJuly 26, 2005 00:00 The controversial bill introduced by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) may be choking on its own language. The bill includes provisions for regulating and defining 'invasive species,' an important threat to the biodiversity of ecosystems. The invasive species language could give green activist groups weapons to fight for species protection from a different angle.
  No Mercury Emissions Relief for State of MDJuly 26, 2005 00:00 The governor of MD refused to allow his state to join a multi-state lawsuit against the Bush administration over coal-fired power plant mercury emissions. Instead, governor Erlich opted for talks... to no avail.
  Environmental Funding when Oil is at StakeJuly 25, 2005 00:00 Louisiana will be getting federal assistance for the restoration of coasts and wetlands afterall. The funds will be included in the upcoming energy bill. Previous articles have indicated that the dramatic erosion of the coaste (20 sq.mi./year) could put access to some LA oil reserves at risk.
  Bush Attempting to Drill in Florida WatersJuly 25, 2005 00:00 Despite a moratorium on drilling for oil and gas in Florida waters that has been agreed to by the Bush administration and senior Republicans in the Senate, the administration is pushing a plan that would reclassify some Florida Gulf of Mexico waters as Louisiana property, thereby opening up the areas to drilling. The proposed changes are in the same legislation that proposes drilling in Alaska's Bristol Bay.
  Editorial: ESA Not Bad for the EconomyJuly 22, 2005 00:00 Read an editorial briefly discussing the fact that the Endangered Species Act has NOT been bad for the local SoCal economy. Property prices certainly don't seem to be going down there...
  Outrageous: Pombo on Talkshow to Bash ESAJuly 22, 2005 00:00 Rep. Pombo (R-CA), the vile congressman who is attempting to dismantle the ESA, appeared on a Showtime talkshow this week, Penn & Teller: Bullshit, to bash the Endangered Species Act. The show suggests that many species are going extinct anyway and Pombo adds weight to the farce.
  Scientists Urge Govt to Protect Right WhaleJuly 22, 2005 00:00 A team of scientists is challenging the government to uphold the Endangered Species Act to protect the highly endangered north Atlantic right whale. The whale species is down to approximately 350 members and annually suffers more losses than births. At least half of all right whale deaths are attributed to human activity.
  Energy Bill: Nuclear and Ethanol IncentivesJuly 21, 2005 00:00 The upcoming energy legislation includes incentives for the nuclear power and ethanol production industries. Hopefully, it does not include provisions exempting them from environmental, health, and human safety requirements.
  Atlantic Oyster Under FireJuly 20, 2005 00:00 The Atlantic oyster is facing extinction from over fishing, pollution, and loss of habitat. Unfortunately, the effort to list it as an endangered species is facing threats from fishing industry lobbyists.
  Bush Environmentalism Inhibiting World DiscourseJuly 20, 2005 00:00 The Bush administration's stance on world climate change, while modified slightly during the recent G8 summit, is having its desired effect of inhibiting global discourse and action on the problem.
  Congressman Opens Investigation into Climate ChangeJuly 20, 2005 00:00 Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) has opened an investigation into the research of federally funded climate change scientists, demanding everything from their checkbooks to summaries of personal conversations. Barton, a Bush follower in the religion of environmental exploitation, claims that this is an innocent inquiry into the expenditure of public money.
  The Pombo Insults Go OnJuly 19, 2005 00:00 Another article describes more of the insults to the ESA by Rep. Pombo's (R-CA) proposed changes to the ESA. The act includes prohibitions against blanket regulations protecting threatened species and requirements that citizens must provide scientific data for species they wish to protect. Argh.
  ESA Underfunding Opens an Attack RouteJuly 18, 2005 00:00 The perpetually underfunded Environmental Species Act now has a clear chink in its armor. After years of concentration on (many successful) conservation efforts while placing less emphasis on an important review process, conservative opponents to the Act are forcing federal officials to review many of the 1,264 currently listed species. The review process may tie up US Fish and Wildlife officials and divert money from conservation efforts to committee meetings and legal battles.
  "Unborn Babies Soaked in Chemicals"July 14, 2005 00:00 A survey of blood from the umbilical chords of 10 babies shows that American fetuses are "soaked" in chemicals in the womb, including mercury and pesticides. The report may prompt bipartisan action on polution control
  NM County Commissioner Battles ESAJuly 12, 2005 00:00 Otero County Commissioner Clarissa McGinn is single-handedly taking on the ESA. On general principle, she is against imposing regulations, according to her statements, which seems strange these days for a big-government Republican. What she really seems to be against is increasing regulations that would hurt the NM logging industry.
  Grants to Help Private Landowners with 'species at risk'July 12, 2005 00:00 Landowners in the state of Oregon who own land that is environmentally sensitive for 'species at risk' may apply for grants under a state program. 'Species at Risk' is a new term coined by the Right to prevent accidental invocation of the Endangered Species Act protections.
  Right Whales: Endangered by the Coast GuardJuly 11, 2005 00:00 The head of the US Coast Guard has stated that he has national security reasons for not issuing warnings that would cause ships to slow in the vicinity of endangered right whale sightings. The Atlantic right whale population numbers in the hundreds of animals and suffers most from ship strikes. The failure to act stems from a poor understanding of interdepartmental jurisdiction.
  Private MT Groups Attempt to Save Threatened FishJuly 11, 2005 00:00 Private groups in Montana are attempting to save the arctic grayling from extinction, in part to avoid listing of the species as a endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Participation in the proposal may prevent courts from imposing ESA restrictions on landholders and, hopefully, will save the fish.
  G8 Marks Change in Global Warming Language for BushJuly 08, 2005 00:00 To quote the AFP: 'On the environment, the G8 characterized global warming as a "serious and long-term challenge" and said it was in part caused by "the increased need and use of energy from fossil fuels, and other human activities."'
  Pac Legal Foundation Sues to Force Reviews Under ESAJuly 08, 2005 00:00 The Pacific Legal Foundation, a private property rights group, has successfully sued the federal and state government in California to force the review of numerous species on the Endangered Species List. 5-year reviews are required by the ESA and the group is hoping that some species will be removed from the list as a result of the reviews.
  Sensationalist Commentary on Evil Wolves in NMJuly 07, 2005 00:00 Read a sensationalistic editorial describing how the reintroduction of wolves to NM is somehow erasing a way of life... forgetting that international competition and changing business practices are really driving ranchers out of business. See this article for a different opinion. Also see our letters section.
  Bush Admits to Human Role in Environment ChangeJuly 06, 2005 00:00 While it's clear that leopards don't change their spots, W has admitted that the surface of the Earth is warmer and that humans might have something to do with it. He still denies that emissions caps are the way to go. Perhaps GW believes that friction from all those good Christians making more Christians through the the missionary position is heating the Earth's surface.
  ESA Under FireJuly 03, 2005 00:00 The Times reports that not only would Rep. Pombo's (R-CA) Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 reduce the effectiveness of the ESA, aparrently, it will also rescind the act as of 2015. Insidious.
  Salmon: Feds Doing Best to Bureaucratize the ESAJuly 02, 2005 00:00 In another move designed at killing the environmental movement through expensive bureaucracy, the federal government listed 131 strains of hatchery bred salmon in the same endangered category as their wild 'cousins.' The net result is that the EPA is forced to develop additional plans to manage the hatchery fish, thereby spending money on conserving a commercial enterprise.