The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Senate Beats Harmful Amendments but Misses on Clean Energy
Today the U.S. Senate defeated a set of anti-environmental amendments to the transportation reauthorization bill offered by Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) that would have opened protected places off our coasts and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, allowed oil shale extraction on public lands, forced approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and repealed clean energy tax credits. Unfortunately, the Senate also defeated a pro-environmental amendment offered by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) that included provisions for extending key renewable energy and efficiency programs.
Environment America’s Clean Energy Advocate, Courtney Abrams, released the following statement:
“We are pleased that the Senate defeated Senator Robert’s amendment by a vote of 41 to 57. This amendment was nothing but a giant gift to the oil industry from its closest allies. It would have opened new oil drilling and endangered currently protected waters along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as areas in the Gulf of Mexico that are still reeling from the BP oil spill and the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It would also have opened sensitive public lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming to dirty and dangerous oil shale extraction and forced through the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to pump toxic and corrosive tar sands through the country.
“The Senate also wisely defeated Senator DeMint’s amendment, by a sound vote of 26 to 72. This amendment would have repealed key clean energy and clean vehicle tax credits, thereby increasing pollution and leaving thousands of clean energy jobs on the table.
“Unfortunately, by a 49 to 49 vote, the Senate failed to pass Senator Stabenow’s amendment that included many provisions critical to building a more efficient economy powered by clean, renewable energy and local jobs. The amendment extended key programs including the renewable energy production tax credit, the offshore wind investment tax credit, the 48c manufacturing tax credit, the 1603 Treasury program, and key efficiency tax credits. We are very disappointed that the Senate dropped the ball on this opportunity to move forward with clean energy.”
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Brian Barth
Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC
The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.
By Alison Cagle
Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.
Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.