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Obama Administration Energy Blueprint: Paying Companies to Drill
By Amy Mall
Last week the Obama Administration issued a new energy blueprint. There are some excellent elements in the White House proposal, including doubling renewable electricity generation by 2020, cutting energy waste and supporting energy efficiency.
But there are also dirty and depressing energy proposals in the plan. Among them: "monetary incentives to get oil and gas leases into production." We haven't seen details on this yet, and need to learn more, but the oil and gas industry doesn't need more giveaways from the taxpayers.
In FY 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leased more than 1.75 million acres of federal oil and gas resources. That is in one year alone. So far in FY 2013, it has already has seven more lease sales across the country. This administration is already moving full speed ahead with dirty oil and gas leasing.
As I recently blogged, the BLM's own internal investigation found that the agency is unable to properly inspect oil and gas activities or enforce its own rules on the current leased areas. This investigation found a lack of enforcement, inadequate inspections and overall low-quality environmental review as office struggle to keep up with exploration and production activity.
And as my colleagues have blogged, while BLM is going to be proposing new rules for fracking under federal leases, the rules may be much too weak to protect America's drinking water. As the largest manager of oil and gas resources in the U.S., the BLM needs to do better.
A new energy plan is needed, but the focus should be on efficiency and renewables so we can have a clean energy future, with clean air and clean water. America doesn't want the oil and gas industry's dirty energy future. The administration plan also includes an electronic, streamlined oil and gas permitting system; modernization is welcome, but any streamlining of permitting should not shortcut the necessary environmental review.
If you'd like to know where all this new oil and gas leasing is taking place, our intern Cathy Lu made a great map to show how many acres were leased in each state in FY 2012 alone:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?
By Carey Gillam
Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.
With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.
Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.