Environment

Environment

Gov Ritter Announces Incentives for Woody Biomass Projects

woody biomass- for the Grateful Web

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter today announced that the Governor's Energy Office (GEO) is seeking applicants for $100,000 in incentives for bio-heating projects that use community woody biomass.

The funds are being made available through the Clean Energy Fund for a "Community Biomass for Thermal Usage Program." Bio-heating projects support wildfire mitigation efforts, provide alternatives to slash pile buns, and build local wood-fuel markets.

GEO is seeking projects that support fuel-reduction, restoration activities and local collection sites and that demonstrate a long term availability of biomass supply. Also, GEO is interested in supporting projects that use annual forest thinnings, wood waste, including bark beetle kill, and urban waste. Although biomass can be widely defined and has numerous heating applications, this funding is only available for woody biomass for commercial and industrial projects.   

"Using Colorado's large woody biomass supplies is a clean way to produce heat while addressing problems associated with beetle kill and using waste products from fire mitigation efforts," Gov. Ritter said. "By offering financial and technical assistance to projects that use community produced wood chips or manufactured pellets, we are helping our communities participate in the New Energy Economy while addressing forest health issues and promoting local economic development. The long-term benefits are greater energy security, environmental security and economic security for our communities and our state."

Help Block Dirty Fuels in Western Wildlands

Oil Shale- for the Grateful Web

The Bush administration wants to sacrifice some of the wildest regions of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming to produce fuel from two of the most polluting sources: oil shale and tar sands.

This proposed development - spanning an area of more than two million acres of wildlife habitat and outstanding recreation areas across three states - could pollute air and water, jeopardize human health and dramatically worsen global warming.

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and tell the Bush administration to protect these sensitive wild lands for future generations and promote cleaner sources of energy instead.

Oil shale is rock that produces oil when heated to extreme temperatures. Tar sands contain extremely heavy oil mixed with sand and clay. Tar sands development in Canada has displaced wildlife, created toxic waste sites that go on for miles and generated three times the amount of global warming pollution per barrel produced as conventional fuel.

We must act now to shield our own western wild lands from this nightmare scenario. Oil shale and tar sands development could release dangerous toxic elements such as arsenic, selenium, and boron into the Colorado River watershed - a vital source of drinking water for local communities.

This area is also home to mule deer, elk, mountain lions, black bears, bald eagles and great horned owls and offers exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities.

Go to http://www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and tell the Bush administration to put the brakes on dirty oil shale and tar sands development in America's West.

Thank you for helping to save our last western wildlife habitats from destructive development.

Help block drilling in a Colorado wildlife refuge

- for the Grateful Web

The Bush administration is poised to allow two giant energy companies to drill exploratory oil and gas wells up to 14,000 feet beneath Colorado's spectacular Baca National Wildlife Refuge.

Last year, BioGems Defenders and other NRDC online activists sent more than 48,000 messages protesting this destructive drilling scheme. Despite this outcry, the Bush administration is moving forward with the plan, which could pave the way for massive industrialization of the Baca Refuge. 

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and tell the Bush administration to halt the Baca oil and gas project until a thorough study of its potentially devastating environmental impacts is carried out.

The Baca refuge is an important calving ground for deer and elk and provides a natural sanctuary for imperiled wildlife,
including the ferruginous hawk, the threatened burrowing owl, the greater and lesser sandhill crane and the Rio Grande sucker, an endangered fish. Over 4,000 elk depend on the area for critical winter habitat and calving grounds to shelter newborns.

Thousands of migrating birds visit the refuge each spring and fall, and hundreds of ancient Native American artifacts lie
buried under ancient layers of sand. World-class archeological sites dating back some 11,500 years have been found nearby.

The proposed drilling project threatens to transform this irreplaceable wildland into an industrial zone - contaminating
air, land and waterways and unleashing a barrage of drilling-related traffic and noise. Even the adjacent Great Sand
Dunes National Park could be at risk. 

Energy companies currently own the rights to oil and gas reserves beneath the refuge. But the Bush administration has the authority to block reckless and destructive industrialization on these lands.

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/yellowstone/takeaction and demand that the Bush administration protect the Baca
National Wildlife Refuge from the far-reaching impacts of oil and gas drilling.

Thank you for helping to protect our last remaining Rocky Mountain wildlife habitats.

Help Protect the Polar Bears!

he is sticking his tounge out at Bush!- for the Grateful Web

The next few weeks may well be our single best chance to stave off an unthinkable future: a world without polar bears.

To avert that tragedy, NRDC must be fully prepared - in the midst of this holiday season - to launch swift courtroom action on behalf of this imperiled species.

That's why we're asking you to make an instant holiday donation - because the next 19 days are critical to the polar bear's very survival: http://www.nrdconline.org/ct/a1AN6491fu9x/

Any day now, the Bush Administration will make its final decision about whether to protect the bear and its critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act.

No matter what the Administration decides, NRDC must be ready to fight a major legal battle:

If the Administration says NO to polar bear protection, then NRDC will immediately challenge that disastrous decision in federal court.

But even if the Administration says YES to polar bear protection, their decision will almost certainly fail to safeguard the bear's "critical habitat" against the global warming pollution that is destroying it. That means NRDC will have to fight in court to win those safeguards for the polar bear's habitat.

I'm sure you'll agree - with the future of polar bears in the hands of the anti-wildlife Bush Administration, we must be ready to respond instantly during this holiday season.

So please, click here to make your tax-deductible holiday donation right now so NRDC can take immediate courtroom action for the sake of polar bear survival: http://www.nrdconline.org/ct/a1AN6491fu9x/

We're counting on your swift and generous support - because delay could be fatal to the polar bear.

With your help, NRDC will be working through the holidays to give the polar bear a fighting chance against extinction.

Help Stop Mining Pollution in Wild Idaho Forest

- for the Grateful Web

The Bush administration is poised to approve the expansion of a polluting phosphate mine in southeast Idaho that would seriously jeopardize some of the state's most renowned wildlife and trout streams.  The Smoky Canyon Mine is already listed as a Superfund site for releasing hazardous amounts of toxic selenium into the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. With no cleanup effort underway, we need your urgent action to protect the extraordinary wildlife and pristine forests of this region from a renewed onslaught of pollution.

Click here right now and urge the Bush administration to prohibit the proposed 1,300-acre expansion of the Smoky Canyon Mine.

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is home to some of the most biologically diverse wildlands in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

The celebrated forests and streams of this region provide a refuge for lynx, moose, elk, mule deer and other wildlife, as well as two species of native cutthroat trout. Anglers, hikers and other recreationalists flock to this area from nearby communities and from across the country.

If the Smoky Canyon Mine is expanded, even greater quantities of toxic selenium will flow into the aquifers and streams of the Sage Creek Roadless Area and other pristine forestlands - threatening fish and wildlife, water quality and potentially human health.

Click here and tell the Bush administration to reject this disastrous scheme and instead require the mine's owners to clean up the existing selenium contamination.

Critical Vote on Clean Energy...Make your voice heard!

gas guzzlers are lame- for the Grateful Web

Next week, the full House of Representatives will vote on an energy bill that will boost the fuel efficiency of new cars for the first time in decades. Then the Senate will cast its vote.

 

Send your members of Congress an email message in support of clean energy right now:

 

The big automakers are going all out to weaken this bill. Your senators and representative need to hear from you this week - BEFORE that bill hits the floor for the decisive vote.

 

It's easy. Just click here and tell them to support a bill ensuring that:

 

* New passenger vehicles get an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

 

* Utilities produce 15 percent of their electricity from

renewable sources by 2020.

 

An energy bill with these two centerpiece provisions will cut America's oil dependence, make a down payment on reducing global warming pollution, and usher in a cleaner energy future.

 

Even if you sent Congress a message about clean energy back in September, please be sure to send another email message at this critical juncture.

 

Your message from back home can do more to counter the auto lobbyists and deliver a clean energy future than any other single weapon we've got.

 

We've waited two decades for Congress to pass legislation that could start breaking the chains of our enslavement to the automakers and Big Oil. We're unlikely to get a second chance for many years to come.

 

Please seize this one chance for a clean energy future. Make your voice heard on Capitol Hill today!

Stop Mining Companies from Destroying Valleys & Streams

- for the Grateful Web

The Office of Surface Mining is proposing changes to its stream buffer zone rule, first adopted in 1983, that would make it easier for mining companies to bury natural streams and valleys under piles and ponds of mining waste. The changes would relax environmental standards for the same mountaintop removal mining operations that, even under the stricter existing buffer rule, have flattened over a half-million acres and buried hundreds of miles of streams. The headwater streams threatened by the rule changes provide valuable habitat and feed larger waters that provide drinking water, fishing and other recreational opportunities.

 

In 2004, when the Office of Surface Mining first proposed relaxing the buffer rule, NRDC urged the agency to abandon its proposal and to focus instead on better enforcement of the existing rule. The agency responded by conducting an environmental review of its proposal, which was released in August. The review confirms that the proposed changes would result in the destruction of hundreds more miles of streams and valleys in Appalachia, a region already hard-hit by mining practices. But despite these conclusions, the agency is pressing ahead with its proposal.

 

The Office of Surface Mining is accepting public comments on its proposed rule change through Friday, November 23rd.

 

Click here to voice your concern and take action.

Tell Congress to reject loan guarantees for the nuclear industry

- for the Grateful Web

The Senate energy bill passed earlier this year includes a highly objectionable provision sought by the nuclear power industry that seeks to provide taxpayer guarantees of repayment on a potential $50-$100 billion in loans to finance the construction of new nuclear power plants. The proposed "loan guarantees" would protect future investors in the debt obligations of new plants (which can cost $3-5 billion apiece) by ensuring that federal taxpayers would repay the loans if the new nuclear power projects go bust, as many of them did 25 years ago during the first big wave of nuclear reactor construction.

 

The Senate provision would greatly increase the number of reactors eligible to obtain such loan guarantees, and strip congressional appropriations committees of their obligation under current law to set annual limits on the Secretary of Energy's authority to issue new guarantees, thereby allowing the secretary at his own discretion to obligate future taxpayers to the potential repayment of billions in bad nuclear debts.

 

Even the Bush administration "strongly opposes" the proposal, noting that the new loan guarantee program "would remove appropriate controls over the size of the program and significantly increase potential taxpayer liability." It also would defeat the original intent of the loan guarantees, which was to spur deployment of "innovative" low-carbon technologies, and instead tilt the energy technology playing field in favor of nuclear power at the expense of truly sustainable renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind power, advanced biofuels and other low-carbon options.

 

Whatever nuclear power's role in our energy future turns out to be, it should be a function of improved reactor performance, improved safety and security, improved plant economics, and a technically credible pathway for long-term nuclear waste isolation - and not the result of a greedy industry power play that seeks to rig the revival of a stagnant nuclear power industry at the expense of truly sustainable energy alternatives.

 

Senators and representatives will decide the fate of this blatantly over-reaching special interest provision during ongoing negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the energy bill.

 

Tell Congress to reject massive loan guarantees for the nuclear industry.  Take action now at: http://www.nrdconline.org/campaign/nrdcaction_110707

Help Protect Arctic Breeding Ground

Teshekpuk Lake- for the Grateful Web

The Bush administration is renewing its attempt to sacrifice the fragile Teshekpuk Lake region of Alaska's Western Arctic Reserve to oil and gas drilling.

 

NRDC needs your immediate help to block this assault, which would allow drilling in one of the most sensitive and important Arctic wildlife habitats as early as next summer.

 

Go to http://www.nrdconline.org/campaign/biogems_westernarctic_0711 right away and tell the Bush administration to safeguard the entire Teshekpuk Lake region - an area protected by four previous administrations due to its extraordinary importance to wildlife.

 

Eight-seven percent of the northeastern portion of the Western Arctic Reserve has already been handed over to the oil industry.

 

Nevertheless, the Bush administration announced a plan two years ago to lease every last acre of the fragile Teshekpuk Lake area - defying more than 200,000 citizen comments, warnings from biologists and wildlife managers and objections from Alaska Natives on the North Slope.

 

In response, NRDC and our partners went to court and won a temporary injunction that halted the lease sale just days before it was due to take place. In the wake of that legal setback, the Bush administration conducted an additional review of the environmental impacts of oil and gas development, but has now resumed its push for leasing.

 

Thanks to our courtroom victory, the Bush administration must seek public comment before moving forward with its latest proposal to sacrifice the calving grounds of the 45,000-animal Teshekpuk Lake caribou herd. This region also provides a refuge for tens of thousands of molting geese and threatened birds like the spectacled eider and yellow-billed loon.

 

Please go to http://www.nrdconline.org/campaign/biogems_westernarctic_0711 and speak out in defense of this priceless wildlife sanctuary.

 

Thank you for helping to protect America's Arctic from reckless industrialization.

Big vote coming on clean energy bill. Make your voice heard.

Tell the auto industry to improve mpg- for the Grateful Web

An army of auto industry lobbyists is swarming over Capitol Hill.

Their mission? To strangle a clean energy bill in the cradle - before you and I can enjoy better gas mileage and more renewable energy.

Your senators and representative need to hear from constituents like you right now - BEFORE that bill hits the floor for the decisive vote.

Click here to send them email messages in support of clean energy now: http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/clean_energy

Even if you've already called Capitol Hill, please be sure to both of your senators and your representative an email message at this critical juncture.

Your messages from back home can do more to counter the auto lobbyists and deliver a clean energy future than any other single weapon we've got. 

It couldn't be easier to do. With one click on the website you can call on all three of your elected officials to support a clean energy bill ensuring that:

* New passenger vehicles get an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

* Utilities will produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

An energy bill with these two centerpiece provisions will cut America's oil dependence, make a down payment on reducing global warming pollution, and usher in a cleaner energy future.

Even if you've already called Capitol Hill, please be sure to send both of your senators and your representative an email message at this critical juncture. Click here: http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/clean_energy

We've waited two decades for Congress to pass legislation that could start breaking the chains of our enslavement to the automakers and Big Oil. We're unlikely to get a second chance for many years to come.

Please seize this one chance for a clean energy future. Make your voice heard on Capitol Hill today!