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Trump Plan to Ramp Up Fracking, Mining in National Forests Threatens Climate
The Trump administration's plan to make it easier for industry to frack and mine in national forests would endanger the climate, wildlife and watersheds, the Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation groups said in comments submitted Monday to the U.S. Forest Service.
"The Forest Service shouldn't be complicit in the Trump administration's assault on America's public lands at the behest of fossil-fuel and mining companies," said Taylor McKinnon, a public-lands campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. "More fracking and mining, with fewer safeguards, would be disastrous for national forests and watersheds. Instead of weakening protections, Trump should clean up the mess the mining industry has already left behind in our forests."
Analysis by Kara Clauser, Center for Biological Diversity, based on U.S. Interior Department data.
A Center for Biological Diversity analysis of federal oil and gas volume estimates shows that, outside of wilderness areas and national monuments, national forests contain 1.8 billion barrels of oil and 24 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That would produce 2.4 billion tons of greenhouse gas pollution if fully developed—the equivalent of annual emissions from 601 coal-fired power plants.
The proposed Forest Service oil and gas rulemaking would align its procedures with controversial new Bureau of Land Management policies that have been temporarily halted by a federal court because they prevent public input. The Center for Biological Diversity and other organizations are calling on the agency to improve transparency and public involvement in decisions about drilling, fracking and mining in national forests. The groups also want the Service to fully account for the toll fossil-fuel extraction and mining would take on public health, public lands, wildlife and the climate.
"Pushing new fossil-fuel development in our national forests ignores the alarm bells that world climate scientists rang loudly last week," said McKinnon. "National forests and public lands are where we should stop fossil-fuel expansion first."
On mining, the Trump administration has sought to use policies like "critical minerals" to justify weakening protections, which would worsen mining pollution.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 40 percent of western watershed headwaters, most of which are in national forests, are already polluted with mining waste. The mining industry leads the nation in toxic releases from mines, which create permanent scars on the landscape.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.