tell

Tell the EPA not to let a massive limestone mining project ruin the Everglades

The Everglades wetlands ecosystem, our country's largest subtropical wilderness, has already been devastated by a century of destructive human activity. For many years, NRDC and other environmental groups have been working to stop a gargantuan limestone mining project from causing even more harm to the Everglades, irreversibly destroying critical wetlands and endangered species habitat, contaminating local drinking water supplies and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Earlier this year, a federal court determined that the Army Corps of Engineers violated the law when it issued permits to the mining industry to turn more than 5,000 acres of Everglades into open pits. But the Corps is now set to re-issue those permits as well as approve the destruction of another 10,000-12,000 acres of wetlands. Together with existing mines, this would amount to converting 30 square miles of historic Everglades and irreplaceable wildlife habitat into mining pits.

As if the devastation to the Everglades were not reason enough to stop the mining, recent studies demonstrate that the proposed mining would endanger the adjacent public wellfield, which supplies drinking water to millions. Alternative mining plans exist, and include large buffers to protect the Everglades and the public wellfield but still allow at least eight years of mining (depending on demand, which has slowed recently).

The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to stop the proposed mining project by vetoing the permits.

What to do

Send a message urging the EPA to exercise its legal responsibility to protect the Everglades and public water supplies by vetoing the proposed permits and to approve only short-term mining plans that will protect the Everglades and public drinking water supplies.

Tell President Obama to protect our oceans, coasts & Great Lakes

We've known for years that our oceans are in trouble, struggling under the strain of oil drilling, pollution and overfishing. More recently, scientists have learned that rising amounts of carbon dioxide from burning fuels reacts with seawater to form an acid that dissolves sea shells. This process, called ocean acidification, makes it more difficult for any shelled creature in the ocean to survive and threatens the stability of marine food webs worldwide.

Healthy marine and Great Lakes systems regulate our climate and provide us with food, jobs and recreational opportunities. Protecting and restoring them to health now is made all the more urgent because of global warming: the healthier these systems are, the better able they will be to withstand the additional stress imposed by ocean acidification and other harmful effects from global warming pollution.

Part of the challenge in addressing the various problems facing our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes is that they are currently governed by more than 140 laws and 20 different agencies, each with different goals and often conflicting mandates. Like the Clean Air Act for our air, and the Clean Water Act for our water, we need a national policy for our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.

Earlier this summer, the Obama administration announced that it would develop a unifying national policy and framework to effectively manage the increasing amount of industrial pressure on our seas, coasts and Great Lakes, and is now collecting public comment on what that policy should look like. Protecting, maintaining and restoring the health of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes must be the core focus of a national policy, which should be formalized in an executive order from the president.

 
What to do:
Send a message urging President Obama to issue an executive order formally establishing a national policy to protect, maintain and restore the health of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.



Tell the EPA to protect us from global warming

At long last, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of recognizing that global warming pollution leads to killer heat waves, stronger hurricanes, higher smog levels and many other threats to our health and environment. In April, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson proposed an "endangerment determination" under the Clean Air Act -- a finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping air pollutants "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare."

Then in May, flanked by automakers, governors and environmentalists, President Obama ordered the EPA to follow up the endangerment proposal with standards to reduce global warming pollution from new cars and trucks -- standards that would save consumers billions of dollars at the pump even as they protect the planet. We can cut global warming pollution from our vehicles, as well as from our power plants and other sources, by using renewable and cleaner energy sources and by using energy more efficiently.

But powerful groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are trying to thwart the EPA's efforts to finalize the proposal and adopt standards to cut vehicle pollution. If these industry interests succeed, we will lose this valuable opportunity to help our economy recover, create millions of green jobs, save consumers billions of dollars and cut our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

The EPA is accepting public comments on its proposal through June 23rd.

What to do:
 
Send a message, before the June 23rd comment deadline, urging EPA Administrator Jackson to adopt the proposed endangerment finding and issue strong standards for reducing global warming pollution.

Tell Interior Secretary Salazar to reverse Bush administration attacks on endangered species

polar-bearsJust before leaving office, the Bush administration issued sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act to weaken protections for imperiled wildlife, including polar bears, wolves and whales. These changes decrease scientific review for activities that could harm threatened and endangered species and prohibit the government from considering the impact of global warming pollution on polar bears and other wildlife.

Interior Secretary Salazar now has the opportunity to help reverse these destructive changes. In March President Obama signed a spending bill that allows Secretary Salazar to overturn President Bush's last-minute changes to the Endangered Species Act regulations as well as a separate rule that weakens Endangered Species Act protections for polar bears. But the Obama administration must act by May 10th, and opponents of the Endangered Species Act are working hard to convince Secretary Salazar that he should not withdraw these rules.

What to do

Send a message right away urging Secretary Salazar to withdraw the Bush administration's last-minute Endangered Species Act regulations and polar bear rule under the authority granted by President Obama and Congress

Tell Congress to vote Yes for President Obama's clean energy budget

In the coming days and weeks, Congress will consider a budget resolution based on President Obama's proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2010. The president's proposal is a blueprint for major visionary investments that would direct billions of dollars toward the development of clean energy technologies and green jobs.

It is particularly important for Congress to pass a budget resolution that reflects the president's commitment to solving global warming. Capping global warming pollution is the cornerstone of the comprehensive effort we need to create jobs, improve our national security and protect our planet. Every year the auction and allocation of global warming pollution permits would generate billions of dollars, which would then be used for middle class tax cuts and clean energy technology research and development.

The president's proposed budget also includes important funding increases across a broad spectrum of environmental programs, many of which were slashed during the Bush administration. Specific proposals include investments in clean energy, clean water and public transportation; increasing the Environmental Protection Agency's budget; and cleaning up the nation's worst hazardous waste sites.

What to do
Send a message urging your senators and representative to vote YES on a budget resolution that provides the resources necessary to cap global warming pollution and invest in clean energy solutions and other environmental priorities.

Tell President Obama to save Alaska's Rainforest

say no to clearcutting- for the Grateful Web

The inauguration of President Obama could mean the end of an eight-year assault on America's last pristine forests. We need your help to make sure the Obama administration makes a new commitment to protecting these remaining wild lands for generations to come.

Please go here to and urge President Obama to take immediate action to preserve the old growth wilderness of Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

In its final days, the Bush administration set in motion a plan to start clearcutting the ancient, majestic trees of the Tongass, our nation's largest intact rainforest.

Unless the Obama administration reverses this disastrous policy, chainsaws will start cutting through the Tongass as early as this spring, with logging in many of our nation's other pristine forests likely to follow.

When the Roadless Area Conservation Rule was first adopted, millions of Americans cheered its historic passing, which protected 58.5 million acres of wild national forest lands from development.

Over the past eight years, however, the Bush administration repeatedly attempted to dismantle the Roadless Rule. It refused to defend the rule in court, worked to rescind the rule one state at a time, and even went so far as to "exempt" the Tongass rainforest from roadless protections.

The Bush administration's final plan for the Tongass would increase logging fivefold, and create logging roads through priceless habitat for grizzly bears, thriving salmon runs, bald eagles, and the elusive Alexander Archipelago wolf.

Please send a message to President Obama  and urge him to uphold the historic Roadless Rule for our country's remaining pristine forests, including the Tongass rainforest.

Thank you for standing up to protect the Tongass National Forest.

Tell the Bush administration not to let mining companies destroy valleys and streams

Stop Bush from polluting our streams!- for the Grateful Web

The Office of Surface Mining has proposed changes to its stream buffer zone rule that would make it easier for mining companies to bury natural streams and valleys under piles of mining waste and vast ponds of toxin-laden sludge. The changes would weaken environmental standards for mountaintop removal mining operations that, even under the stricter existing buffer rule, have buried hundreds of miles of streams and contaminated mountain waterways. The headwater streams threatened by the rule changes provide valuable habitat and feed larger waters that provide drinking water, fishing and other recreational opportunities.

An environmental review of the proposal confirms that the proposed changes could permit the destruction of hundreds of miles of streams and valleys in Appalachia, the region already hardest hit by these irresponsible mining practices. But despite these conclusions, and ignoring the pleas and protests of thousands of activists, the agency is pressing ahead with its proposal.

The Office of Surface Mining is now preparing to finalize these changes to the rule. Before it can do so, however, the Environmental Protection Agency must give its approval.

What to do:  Send a message, as soon as possible, urging the EPA to reject the Office of Surface Mining's plan to allow mining companies to destroy America's streams.

Tell Congress NOT to allow drilling off our coasts

say NO to offshore drilling- for the Grateful Web

Oil companies and their allies in Congress claim that drilling in America's oceans and coastal areas would help solve the energy crisis and have proposed ending the 27-year moratorium on new offshore drilling. But offshore drilling would neither solve our energy needs nor significantly lower gas prices. Instead, drilling would harm America's economy, health, oceans and
coasts.

Proponents of offshore drilling claim it would reduce gas prices, even though the Department of Energy has determined that it would not significantly do so. Oil companies currently have 5,500 offshore leases they are not drilling, and with 80 percent of the untapped oil in offshore areas already open to development, they do not need access to more areas to increase supply. And while the U.S. oil industry says it wants even more access to sensitive ocean areas to reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries. This proposal is simply a way to give oil companies unfettered drilling access to our oceans and coastal areas.

In addition, opening up additional offshore areas to drilling poses real threats to our ocean and coastal ecosystems and economies. Offshore drilling creates toxic waste products that contaminate fish and marine life. Offshore wells emit air pollutants that are known carcinogens, cause respiratory problems and worsen global warming. And current cleanup methods can only remove a small fraction of oil spilled in marine waters, where it is toxic for most species.

America needs real, long-term solutions for the energy crisis, but oil companies and their allies are not delivering them. We need to use less oil by improving energy efficiency and utilizing renewable energy. In doing so, we can achieve energy independence, fight global warming, and jump-start our nation's economy.

Attempts to lift the offshore drilling moratorium could be attached to several different bills and come up for a vote at any time.

== What to do ==
Send a message *right away* urging your senators and representative to say NO to offshore drilling.

If you prefer to call your senators and representative, the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

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

Tell Congress to say "No" to huge subsidies for the coal industry

Say ''NO'' to coal subsidies!- for the Grateful Web

As several energy bills make their way through Congress, the coal industry is pushing for huge subsidies and mandates to transform millions of tons of coal into transportation fuels. The process to make this "liquid coal" is an expensive, inefficient one that produces large amounts of global warming pollution and precludes it from being a sound option to reduce America's dependence on oil.

Relying on liquid coal as an alternative to oil could nearly double global warming pollution per gallon of transportation fuel. For example, using liquid coal fuel in a Honda Civic would produce the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as operating a Hummer H3 on conventional gasoline. Moreover, large-scale use of liquid coal would increase coal mining's devastating effects on communities and ecosystems stretching from Appalachia to the Rocky Mountains, including polluted air and water, ravaged landscapes and a dismal record of worker safety.

Although we can produce cleaner and less expensive alternatives to oil, Congress is nevertheless poised to lavish huge taxpayer subsidies to help get a polluting liquid coal industry off the ground instead of investing that money in options that would put us on a path to a cleaner, more secure energy future.

What to do:
Send a message urging your senators and representative to oppose any legislation that promotes liquid coal fuels.