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Zinke Adds Oceans to the Chopping Block
In late April, President Trump issued an executive order promoting oil and gas drilling off America's coasts—and Thursday, in response, U.S. Department of the Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke plans to unveil a five-year leasing plan that opens our oceans to dangerous development.
Zinke's plan is intended to replace the five-year plan President Obama issued weeks before he left office—one that had made the Arctic and Atlantic oceans off-limits to drilling through 2022. The Obama administration's plan was finalized after an exhaustive, multiyear process, including the submission of more than 1.4 million comments from the public.
The Trump administration has touted its push to allow offshore drilling as part of a strategy—a reckless one—to create jobs and make the U.S. a leader in energy production. But the reality is that oil prices are plummeting, and interest in offshore drilling is dropping along with them. Opening our fragile shores to dirty oil and gas development is a dangerous idea that puts marine life and coastal communities at risk and contributes to the present and ever-growing impacts of climate change.
"We won't sacrifice our marine life, ocean habitat, and local economies to Trump's big polluter play," Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council said. "We'll stand with leaders of vision, business owners, and fishing families on every coast to protect our oceans and shores."
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The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.