Sugar Shack Alliance Desperate To Save State Forest

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By Katy Eiseman. SANDISFIELD, MA — Eighteen protesters were arrested this morning at the Otis State Forest after blocking an access road to a pipeline construction site, according to Massachusetts State Police. SANDISFIELD, MA — Eighteen protesters were arrested this morning at the Otis State Forest after blocking an access road to a pipeline construction site, according to Massachusetts State Police. IMG_7104 Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline has started cutting trees within the forest, owned by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation, for a natural gas pipeline project. Tennessee hopes to complete the project by November 1 to serve three natural gas utility customers in Connecticut. A leading anti-pipeline strategist who is not associated with the Sugar Shack Alliance — and did not take part in their action on Tuesday — had sharp words for Gov. Charlie Baker. “The real tragedy in all of this is that no state actors have been willing to stand firmly and say that Connecticut does not need this pipeline,” said Kathryn Eiseman, director of Massachusetts Pipeline Awareness Network.

Corporate Siege and Trade in the 2018 Elections

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Trade policy is amounting to be an increasinly contentious topic as the Trump administration has clearly showed its intentions to keep major TPP provisions in NAFTA. Corporations are working with the Department of Commerce to eliminate the few but significant labor and environmental protections the government enforces while members of Congress begin to campaign around trade. 2018 promises to put trade policy at the forefront as presidential elections in Mexico and mid-terms in the United States could determine the fate of North American trade agreements to come.

Major Oil Spill In NYC Harbor Kept Secret Until Someone Noticed

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By Carly Miller for Bklyner. The 27,000 gallon spill at Bayside Fuel Depot began before sunrise on Thursday, March 30, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYC DEC) official Rodney Rivera confirmed after we obtained photographs and video of the spill’s aftermath and extensive cleanup. Within hours of the report, the response team, which includes the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the US Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), rushed to contain the spill, shroud the soil in plastic, and vacuum up oiled water, said Rivera. They are not, however, required to make a public announcement. And by late Friday afternoon, while most New Yorkers were driven inside by the whipping rain and winds, workers in hazmat suits filed to and from the shore at the Bayside Depot, vacuuming oiled residue into trucks from a private waste removal contractor specializing in oil spills.

Louisiana's Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Disappearing Coastline

A boy fishes on a bayou near Isle de Jean Charles, La., in August 2015. Louisiana is still losing about a football field of coastline every hour.
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By Merrit Kennedy for NPR – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency over the state’s rapidly eroding coastline. It’s an effort to bring nationwide attention to the issue and speed up the federal permitting process for coastal restoration projects. “Decades of saltwater intrusion, subsidence and rising sea levels have made the Louisiana coast the nation’s most rapidly deteriorating shoreline,” WWNO’s Travis Lux tells our Newscast unit. “It loses the equivalent of one football field of land every hour.” More than half of the state’s population lives on the coast, the declaration states. It adds that the pace of erosion is getting faster: “more than 1,800 square miles of land between 1932 and 2010, including 300 square miles of marshland between 2004 and 2008 alone.” The governor estimates that if no further action is taken, “2,250 square miles of coastal Louisiana is expected to be lost” in the next 50 years. He emphasized the importance of the land to industries such as energy, maritime transportation and trade. Lux says the governor hopes this will pave the way to move ahead with coastal projects…

What Standing Rock Teaches Us About Environmental Racism And Justice

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By Ramon Jacobs-Shaw for Health Affairs Blog – Access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water is not just a concern of developing countries but of communities in our own backyard. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North and South Dakota, for instance, relies on Lake Oahe, a 231-mile reservoir along the Missouri River, as its primary water source. In July 2016, the US Army Corps of Engineers approved the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,172-mile duct that will carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois when completed, which will run underneath the Missouri River less than a mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, including through the tribe’s sacred, ancestral lands. Given concerns about having oil-related infrastructure near major water sources, especially after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 (the largest oil spill in US waters), members of the tribe have been vigorously defending their rights to safe, clean water. Their struggle has caught the attention of major advocacy organizations around the world and indigenous tribes in other nations. After a brief reprieve in December 2016 when the Obama administration blocked further construction of the DAPL…

Fishing The Plastic Out Of The Ocean

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By Jessica Murray for True Activist – An Amsterdam-based company called Plastic Whale is embarking on a positive initiative to combat plastic pollution by reusing plastic bottles in an innovative and simple way. The company work to retrieve numerous plastic bottles, along with other debris from various canals around the city. Once they have collected a large amount, they then transform the plastic material into a boat, which is cleverly then used to fish for more plastic bottles in the canals, according to reports. Thereby producing an answer to a problem within another solution. The main goal of Plastic Whale is to dramatically reduce plastic pollution and thereby clear the world’s waters of the damaging material. Plastic Whale, which describes itself as the world’s first plastic fishing company, is currently working to solve a huge global problem, with recent statistics estimating around 8 million tons of plastic trash entering waterways every year. The company’s founder and captain, Marius Smit, told EcoWatch that he imagines the world where waters are completely free of plastic…

Ancestor, What Did YOU Do During The Great Transition?

People marching in Austin, Texas on Saturday were among the millions nationwide who mobilized to express their dismay at the reality of President Donald Trump. "There are millions of people in this country who currently feel lost and alone and would like to contribute to movements that envision a more just society," writes Lobel. But in addition to organizing this new wave of energy, he adds, there must also be "a coherent strategy and vision" if transformative change is to be achieved. (Photo: Steve Rainwater/flickr/cc)

By, Pamela Boyce Simms for Grassroots Economic Organizing – It was an era of tremendous uncertainty, —even about the preservation of the core elements which are basic to human existence! Old, outworn, divisive systems that were no match for the level of complexity manifest in 21st century challenges had begun to crumble. Unhinged leadership exacerbated and hastened the disintegration. The new kakistocratic administration in Washington DC had begun to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A 31%, budget cut was on the horizon as regulations which had kept toxins out of the people’s food, water, and the air were rolled back. The EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, protector of marginalized populations which historically bore the brunt of environmental degradation, evaporated early in that process.

10 States & Enviros Sue DOE Over Energy Efficiency Standards

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Jonathan Stempel for Reuters – A coalition of U.S. states has mounted a broad legal challenge against what it called the Trump administration’s illegal suspension of rules to improve the energy efficiency of ceiling fans, portable air conditioners and other products. The challenge, also joined by environmental groups, came after the U.S. Department of Energy last month delayed standards proposed under the Obama administration to reduce air pollution and operating costs associated with the products. Ten Democratic attorneys general, plus New York City and a Pennsylvania regulator, on Monday notified Energy Secretary Rick Perry of their plan to sue in 60 days for stalling proposed standards for air compressors, commercial boilers, portable air conditioners, power supplies, and walk-in coolers and freezers.

Standoff Between Trump And Green Groups Just Boiled Into War

Participants in a global climate march in New York City. (photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

By Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin for The Washington Post – The first shots have been fired in what’s likely to be a long, bitter war over the environment between conservationists and President Trump. It started Wednesday when a broad coalition of groups sued the Trump administration in federal court, barely 24 hours after the president signed an executive order that lifted a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land. Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity and others call the directive illegal because it allows a massive area of land to be disrupted without any federally required study of the potential environmental impact.

World's First River Given Legal Status As A Person

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By Lorraine Chow for Eco Watch – As the Trump administration works to dismantle environmental regulations protecting American waterways, New Zealand has recognized the Whanganui River as a legal person. On Wednesday, New Zealand Parliament passed the Te Awa Tupua Bill which states that the river is “an indivisible and living whole,” making it the world’s first river to be given this special designation. The river has been granted the ability to represent itself through human representatives, one appointed by the Whanganui Iwi (Maori people) and one by the Crown (government of New Zealand), Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson explained to Newshub.

Survival Of The Friendliest

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By Kelly Clancy for Nautilis – But we know now that that picture is incomplete. Evolutionary progress can be propelled both by the competitive struggle to adapt to an environment, and by the relaxation of selective forces. When natural selection on an organism is relaxed, the creative powers of mutation can be unshackled and evolution accelerated. The relief of an easier life can inspire new biological forms just as powerfully as the threat of death. One of the best ways to relax selective forces is to work together, something that mathematical biologist Martin Nowak has called the “snuggle for survival.” New research has only deepened and broadened the importance of cooperation and lifting of selective pressures.

The Devastating Impacts Of GE Tree Plantations

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By The Campaign to Stop GE Trees. Chile – On March 22nd, World Water Day, the international delegation of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, the Landless Workers Movement (MST), CEPEDES* and OLCA** presented at the University of Concepción in Concepción, Chile. The all-woman panel reported on the devastating impacts of tree plantations on water, life and communities in Brazil, the danger of GE trees internationally, and the state of GE trees in Chile. This is a critical moment for Concepción, as forest fires have ripped through much of the region, destroying towns, forests, and tree plantations. Concepción is in the Bio-Bio region where 50% of Chile’s tree plantations are grown. Over the last couple of months, tree plantations aided the spread of the wildfires and for the first time in history, marches against the tree plantation industry occurred throughout the country on March 14th 2017.

Youth Score Decisive Legal Victory Against Fracking

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BY Lauren Macauley for Commondreams. Colorado – A group of Colorado teenagers scored a “huge” victory against the state’s fracking industry on Thursday when a three-judge panel ruled that the health of citizens and environment takes precedence over oil and gas interests. The decision, handed down by the Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday, requires that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) consider a petition from six youth plaintiffs, which asks the board to suspend the issuance of fracking permits “until it can be done without adversely impacting human health and safety and without impairing Colorado’s atmospheric resource and climate system, water, soil, wildlife, and other biological resources.” Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 16-year-old plaintiff and youth director of the Boulder-based Earth Guardians, declared after the ruling: “Our movement to fight for the rights of people and our environment is evolving.

Green Groups Restart Fight Against Keystone XL Pipeline

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By John Zangas for DC Media Group – Environmental groups rallied at the White House Friday afternoon in a new commitment to do whatever it takes to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. The call to action came as the Trump administration issued permission to restart the pipeline, a project which was considered defeated in November 2015, when Obama rejected final approval of the State Department permits. The project was previously the focus of an epic six-year battle between TransCanada Corporation and hundreds of environmental groups, between 2010-2015, which grew out of grassroots organizing and into a major environmental movement. The battle was waged with a broad range of groups, including Indigenous people, students, clergy, green groups and involved legal challenges.

World's Top Industries Would Fail If They Paid For Natural Capital

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By David Roberts for Grist. Environmentalists these days love speaking in the language of economics — it makes them sound Serious — but I worry that wrapping this notion in a bloodless technical term tends to have a narcotizing effect. It brings to mind incrementalism: boost a few taxes here, tighten a regulation there, and the industrial juggernaut can keep right on chugging. However, if we take the idea seriously, not just as an accounting phenomenon but as a deep description of current human practices, its implications are positively revolutionary. To see what I mean, check out a recent report [PDF] done by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program. TEEB asked Trucost to tally up the total “unpriced natural capital” consumed by the world’s top industrial sectors.