(C) Lisa Whiteman Every year, California's Mendocino County kills hundreds of coyotes, bobcats, bears, cougars, foxes, and other animals on behest of the private livestock industry without ANY consideration of its impacts on the animals themselves, other species, and... Read More >
NRDC and Allies Sue Mendocino County AGAIN
Every year, California's Mendocino County kills hundreds of coyotes, bobcats, bears, cougars, foxes, and other animals on behest of the private livestock industry without ANY consideration of its impacts on the animals themselves, other species, and the ecosystem as a whole, by entering into contracts with Wildlife Services.
That's why we sued them last June under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), which requires government decisionmakers like Mendocino County to evaluate the environmental impacts of their actions and attempt to reduce them if possible.
We asked Mendocino to evaluate the impacts of their predator control program and assess the effectiveness of nonlethal methods of livestock-predator conflict control, such as fencing, guard dogs, and increased human presence among livestock. Our hope was that they'd end their contract with Wildlife Services for good and transition to a largely nonlethal program.
Things were looking up for a while. The County admitted it hadn't complied with CEQA and told us it would conduct an environmental review of its predator control program before entering into any further contracts with Wildlife Services if we settled the suit. Trusting them, we did as they asked.
But, unfortunately, the story doesn't end there.
Soon after the settlement agreement was reached and we dismissed our case, Mendocino County decided to renew its contract with Wildlife Services--again, without any environmental review! The County claims it is exempt from CEQA, and is thus not required to conduct an environmental review.
Not only does this violate our settlement agreement with the County, but it's also just plain wrong. That's why, today, we once again filed a complaint against the County asking them to what they promised. Hopefully, second time's the charm!
Yesterday, in an announcement made from the Global Entrepreneurship Conference in Kenya, President Obama announced critical, long-awaited regulations regarding the U.S. ivory market. With more than 100,000 poached for their tusks between 2010 and 2012, elephants are in serious trouble.... Read More >
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Delivers Final Set of Elephant Protections
Yesterday, in an announcement made from the Global Entrepreneurship Conference in Kenya, President Obama announced critical, long-awaited regulations regarding the U.S. ivory market. With more than 100,000 poached for their tusks between 2010 and 2012, elephants are in serious trouble. And the U.S. is part of the problem as a significant source of ivory demand.
Fortunately, in 2013, the Obama Administration committed to doing something about our country's role in the growing ivory trade and the ensuing poaching crisis. Today's announcement constitutes the final pieces of its promised near-ban on the U.S. African elephant ivory trade, which NRDC has been pushing for through ads and other means.
Among other things, the proposed regulations, which reference the NRDC-commissioned report on the California ivory market, ban the interstate trade of ivory with exemptions for antiques (i.e., 100 years or older) and for items that contain only a de minimis (200 grams) amount of ivory.
We don't see a problem with a de minimis exception, which is similar to the one contained in ivory legislation NRDC helped pass in New York last year. It will stop the vast majority of illegal ivory commerce, allowing a limited trade in items that have not been found to contribute to the current elephant poaching crisis. Indeed, as the rule states, "the vast majority of items in the illegal ivory trade are either raw ivory (tusks and pieces of tusks) or manufactured pieces (mostly carvings) that are composed entirely or primarily of ivory." This exemption will allow interstate commerce of most instruments with ivory in them, such as violin bows and pianos with ivory keys. And it will enable auction houses and antique dealers to continue selling the vast majority of their antiques since most of them contain contain under 200 grams of ivory.
However, the fact that the proposed regulations continue to allow the interstate trade - and export - of antique items as well is problematic since it's extremely difficult to date ivory. Indeed, our nation's allowance of commerce in old ivory is exactly what caused the parallel illegal ivory market we are now struggling to combat. Ivory sellers simply sneak new ivory onto their shelves by pretending it's old and, thus, legal. And with the de minimis exemption already allowing for the interstate sales of the vast majority of antiques, this exemption is completely unnecessary.
The proposed regulations also limit trophy hunting of elephants. Currently, U.S. hunters can import an unlimited amount of elephant trophies hunted in Africa into the U.S. But the proposed regulations limit this to two trophies per hunter per year. NRDC doesn't support ANY hunting of endangered species like elephants. But is this a step in the right direction? Yes.
It's important to note that the proposed rules do NOT further restrict intrastate commerce in ivory, making the state legislation we helped enact in New York and New Jersey and are currently working to pass in California all the more important!
Today's news is an important step in the right direction, but we still have lot's of work to do. We'll be pushing hard to ensure that these regulations are improved--not watered down by special interests like the NRA who have opposed the Administration's elephant protections from the start. We are well on our way to saving elephants--now is not the time to give up!
Following a week of negotiations, Canada's provincial and territorial premiers have released a 'unified Canadian Energy Strategy' which reveals sharp divisions in the country's aspirations. The negotiations surrounding the Canadian Energy Strategy - which was originally pitched by Alberta's premier... Read More >
Canada's new energy strategy reveals irreconcilable rifts in aspirations on...
Following a week of negotiations, Canada's provincial and territorial premiers have released a 'unified Canadian Energy Strategy' which reveals sharp divisions in the country's aspirations. The negotiations surrounding the Canadian Energy Strategy - which was originally pitched by Alberta's premier in 2012 as a means of supporting new tar sands expansion infrastructure - focused on using the document as a possible vehicle to obtain a national agreement on addressing climate change. Unfortunately, the strategy as released reflects an incompatible and unworkable hybrid, promoting the expansion of high carbon tar sands infrastructure and the need to decarbonize Canada's economy. The problem with this approach is that Alberta's expanding tar sands sector happens to be the reason that Canada is the only developed nation that is expected to miss its international climate targets. The new Canadian Energy Strategy's 'split the baby approach' reveals an irreconcilable disconnect between the Confederation's aspirations to be a strong actor on climate and its commitment to expanding high carbon tar sands development.
In its strategy, Canadian premiers agreed "to actively pursue greenhouse gas emissions reductions with targets based on sound science." (CES, page 17) This call comes after over one hundred prominent scientists throughout North America called for a moratorium on tar sands expansion and related infrastructure in order to prevent irreparable harm to the climate. They have reason to be concerned, as Canada is expected to miss its 2020 Copenhagen obligations by a substantial margin - primarily due to increased tar sands expansion (see Figure 1). Looking ahead, Canada is on a path to increasing emissions through 2030, due largely to the expansion of its tar sands industry.
It is clear that Canada's expanding tar sands sector is at the root of its failure to constrain its carbon emissions. This is why it's still troubling to see that the Canadian Energy Strategy also calls from the development of sufficient pipelines to accommodate growing domestic and international energy demands as production expands (CES, page 26). Expanding tar sands production has led to Canada's failure to meet its climate commitments and has taken the country off course from a climate policy based on science.
The strategy's emphasis on promoting market diversification is also a missed opportunity. Rather than focusing on clean energies that are consistent with Canada's climate aspirations, the strategy relies on Canada's full range of energy products available for export. In short, it means Canada will continue to pursue an aggressive emphasis its carbon intensive tar sands sector for export. This undermines the real opportunity that Canada has to focus and emphasize on the non-emitting sources of energy that would put it back into a position of climate leadership. For this reason, we think the goal and actions around marketing diversification is weak.
For Canada to regain its credibility on the international stage on climate, it will have to come to grips with its tar sands problem. Canada's new energy strategy recognizes both the need to reduce the country's rising emissions and the substantial role that clean energy can play both in promoting climate goals and in fostering economic growth. However, this strategy makes it all too clear that the Canadian confederation has not yet come to grips with the fact that it cannot make the absolute emissions reductions necessary to honor its climate commitments while actively promoting the expansion of high carbon tar sands.
This week, the largest proposed tar sands project on the horizon--Teck Resources' Frontier Mine--was delayed by at least five years, with production pegged to begin in 2026 instead of 2021. According to the company, the $20.6 billion, 260,000 barrel per... Read More >
Teck Mine Delay and Industry's 2015 Forecast Cool Tar Sands Expansion...
This week, the largest proposed tar sands project on the horizon--Teck Resources' Frontier Mine--was delayed by at least five years, with production pegged to begin in 2026 instead of 2021. According to the company, the $20.6 billion, 260,000 barrel per day (bpd) mine fell victim to the industry's ongoing economic troubles. With benchmark oil prices persisting near $50 per barrel, the tar sands industry is facing a double punch to the gut as the pipelines it needs to expand face increasingly long odds of ever being built. With transport bottlenecks now expected to continue much farther into the future, it was not today's low oil prices that pushed this project down the road (afterall, the Frontier Mine had a start-up date six years from now), but rather ongoing infrastructure challenges that will continue to diminish the tar sands industry's returns well into the future. Indeed, as pressure to address the industry's climate pollution mounts and international efforts to cut carbon emissions become increasingly aggressive, we may be witnessing a turning point where dirty fuel projects like Teck's simply never get built. And this is great news for the climate. As a large group of world-renowned scientists recently pointed out in an open letter, tar sands is one the highest carbon crudes in the world and a moratorium on the industry's expansion is more necessary than ever if climate change is to be held in check.
The news about Teck's delayed plans follows close on the heels of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producer's (CAPP) 2015 production forecast, which slashes their 2030 tar sands production forecast by nearly 1 million barrels below the 2014 forecast. This is big news given that in 2014, CAPP had already cut their annual forecast for 2030 tar sands production by more than 400,000 bpd compared to 2013's forecast. Through 2030, CAPP now expects tar sands production[i] to rise from 2.6 million bpd in 2014 to 5 million bpd. This is an astonishing revision given that in 2008 (now two "busts" ago), CAPP saw tar sands production close to 4.5 million bpd by 2020. In this current era of low oil prices, mass mobilization against new tar sands transport infrastructure, and a groundswell of international calls to confront climate change, future growth of the tar sands industry continues to look less and less likely.
A year ago, well before oil prices gave any indication of their impending 60% decline, cracks in the tar sands industry's rosy outlook had already begun to appear. Major mine cancellations and delays were announced by Total E&P, then Shell and Statoil. The reason most often cited for these early cancellations? Lack of pipeline takeaway capacity, not low oil prices. In the months that followed, numerous other projects were cancelled, suspended, or put on hold. Today, with Teck's latest announcement, project cancellations and holds exceed 1.5 million bpd.[ii] The lack of transport capacity is now a constant talking point for the tar sands industry and is nicely summed up in CAPP's latest report:
Even with this lower growth forecast, an expansion of the existing transportation infrastructure is needed to connect growing crude oil supply from Western Canada to new markets. Pipelines are the primary mode of transportation for long term movements of crude oil but the protracted regulatory processes continues to present a number of challenges.
Perhaps even more telling is recent analysis from Wood Mackenzie, a Canadian energy research firm with close ties to the tar sands industry. In their analysis, delays in constructing pipelines to connect Alberta to international markets may cost the tar sands industry $100 billion over the next 15 years. And none of this is a surprise--lack of pipelines already lowers the value of tar sands in the market, discounting a barrel by at least $10 due to already-high transport costs.
While world oil prices are also a major driver behind the industry's sudden deep freeze, a number of problems plague its profitability and will contribute to longer-term growth challenges. These include declines in investor confidence and capital investment, rising labor costs, and high production costs. Taken together, the challenges dogging the tar sands industry are great news for the climate and the vast stores of carbon that will stay in the ground as tar sands expansion continues to slow. For the Alberta government the current economic climate provides an extraordinarily compelling rationale for transitioning to a far more diversified economy that weans the province off of its oil addiction.
In the U.S., following the State Department's analysis of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, many have claimed that if Keystone XL isn't built, little will change in Alberta's tar sands industry and its growth will continue unimpeded, largely due to the possibility of rail as a substitute form of transport. However, new data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency shows that only a very small percentage of tar sands oil is moving into the U.S. by rail. The big reason for this is that rail is a much more expensive option than pipelines, especially to the Gulf Coast--industry's prime target--which costs at least twice as much to reach by rail versus pipelines. This month's CAPP forecast provides yet another indication that rail is not a viable alternative to pipelines and will continue only as a last resort capacity gap filler for industry. Meanwhile, in Canada, proposals for at least three new pipelines have continued to stall, while the public outcry against them has grown louder and louder.
CAPP's latest forecast may also signal new problems on the horizon for some of the proposed pipelines the tar sands industry so desperately needs to continue its growth. In a graph indicating existing versus proposed takeaway capacity, 2030's forecast production levels no longer require nearly 1 million bpd of proposed pipeline capacity. As environmentalists, scientists, and economists have been pointing out for years, the endless parade of proposed tar sands infrastructure projects only make sense to support expanded tar sands production. Indeed, today there is basically a production and transport equilibrium--if the industry held steady at current production levels, transport constraints wouldn't be an issue and the need for new pipelines would disappear.
Economic and logistical realities are continuing to prove that expanded development of the tar sands is not inevitable. As global carbon emissions continue to rise, calls for climate action--many focused on eliminating production of marginal resources like the tar sands and other dirty, high cost, low quality oils--will make tar sands expansion an ever more risky investment. Meanwhile, gains in renewable energy, increased energy efficiency, and rapid transitions toward a low-carbon world economy will likely continue to place downward pressure on global oil demand and force the Alberta economy to face 21st Century realities. This pressure opens the door for Canada to invest in a different kind of energy future, a future that will allow it to become a clean energy leader instead of a dirty energy pariah.
[ii] There is no one source that compiles all cancellations. This number is derived from the following sources: http://www.onearth.org/earthwire/tar-sands-cancellations; https://albertacanada.com/files/albertacanada/AOSID_QuarterlyUpdate_Spring2015.pdf; http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/oil-price-war-hitting-canada-hard-but-just-how-hard-remains-to-be-seen; http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/teck-resources-delays-frontier-oil-sands-project-by-five-years/article25407239/?cmpid=rss1&click=sf_rob.
If you've been following the plight of the monarch butterfly you know that glyphosate - commonly known as Round Up - is responsible for contributing to the dramatic decline in monarch butterflies by eliminating milkweed, the one plant the monarchs... Read More >
Tell DOW Chemical to "end this chemical arms race"
If you've been following the plight of the monarch butterfly you know that glyphosate - commonly known as Round Up - is responsible for contributing to the dramatic decline in monarch butterflies by eliminating milkweed, the one plant the monarchs depend on to reproduce. However, other types of weeds have actually developed resistance to glyphosate and no longer respond to the application of this pesticide. As a result, DOW chemical has developed a new herbicide, Enlist Duo, that combines glyphosate with an additional herbicide called 2,4D to be used on corn and soybeans that have been genetically engineered to resist both glyphosate and 2,4-D. This next-generation herbicide takes us in the wrong direction and sets us on the path towards a snowballing effect of more and more powerful pesticides which threaten human health and imperil the iconic monarch butterfly.
NRDC is challenging the approval of Enlist Duo in court, but we are also calling on DOW Chemical to shelve the pesticides itself. So today we placed an ad in the New York Times to increase the pressure on Dow Chemical to "end this chemical arms race" against nature by pulling its toxic herbicide, Enlist Duo.
The US Department of Agriculture predicts Enlist Duo could result in as much as a six-fold increase in the use of 2,4-D, which has been linked to health impacts in humans, including decreased fertility, birth defects and thyroid problems. Additionally, both glyphosate and 2,4 D were recently classified as a "probable" and "possible" carcinogens by the World Health Organization, respectively.
The full-page New York Times ad contains a link to an online petition for readers to tell Andrew Liveris, the President, Chairman, and CEO of Dow Chemical, to cancel plans for this new toxic herbicide before it wreaks more destruction on monarchs by destroying milkweed, a native plant monarchs need to survive.
More than 145,000 NRDC members and online activists have already signed the petition at NRDC.org/SaveMonarchs.
Have you signed the petition yet? Please tell Dow's CEO to shelve the company's plan for selling this potent chemical cocktail by clicking here.
Just how many reasons does the Pebble Partnership need to stop its disastrous plans to build the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska? NRDC explored that question in a series of ads in Politico. The ads give the Pebble Partnership... Read More >
Dear Pebble Partnership, It's Time to Walk Away From Bristol Bay
Just how many reasons does the Pebble Partnership need to stop its disastrous plans to build the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska? NRDC explored that question in a series of ads in Politico. The ads give the Pebble Partnership several compelling reasons to quit the Pebble Mine, culminating today with a simple request: walk away from Bristol Bay.
Bristol Bay is home to the world's greatest wild salmon fishery, supplying half of the world's sockeye salmon. Salmon support a $1.5 billion annual commercial fishery that employs 14,000 full and part-time workers. Salmon are not only the economic backbone of the region, but also the lifeblood of Bristol Bay's native communities that have relied on subsistence fishing for millennia.
Yet the Pebble Partnership wants to build a giant gold and copper mine at the headwaters of these important salmon runs. The Pebble Mine would produce up to 10 billion tons of mining waste and would destroy 94 miles of streams and 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds, and lakes - key habitat for salmon. The mine's open pit would be almost as deep as the Grand Canyon, and the mine's total footprint would cover an area larger than Manhattan - all located in a seismically active area. As if the environmental footprint alone isn't reason enough to stop the Pebble Mine, here are a few other reasons highlighted in the ads.
- Overwhelming local opposition to the mine. Polls show that 85 percent of commercial fishermen in Bristol Bay, 81 percent of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation's native shareholders, and 80 percent of Bristol Bay residents oppose the Pebble Mine.
- Strong state-wide opposition to the mine. Polls showed that 62 percent of Alaskans oppose the Pebble Mine. Those polls proved accurate when, in November 2014, Alaska voters passed - with 65 percent of the vote (or more) in every precinct across the state - an initiative called "Bristol Bay Forever". The initiative protects the Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale sulfide mining (like the proposed Pebble Mine) that would harm wild salmon. It requires an affirmative finding from the Alaska legislature that mining would not be harmful to wild salmon within the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.
- EPA issued restrictions to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine's potentially "catastrophic" effects. EPA conducted an extensive scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed to determine the potential impacts of large-scale mining. The study concluded that "mining of the scale contemplated at the Pebble deposit would result in significant and unacceptable adverse effects to important fishery areas in the [Bristol Bay] watershed." EPA found that the Pebble Mine would have "significant" impacts on fish populations and streams surrounding the mine site, and that a tailings dam failure would have "catastrophic" effects on the region. Based on this information, EPA issued a proposed determination under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to restrict the use of certain waters in the Bristol Bay watershed for disposal of dredged or fill material associated with developing the Pebble Mine.
- Pebble Mine is a bad investment. All the major investors in Pebble Mine have fled the project. Mitsubishi left in 2011. Anglo American left in 2013, citing a desire to focus on projects with the "highest value and lowest risks"- and after spending more than $540 million dollars to develop the mine and writing down $300 million in additional losses to withdraw. Rio Tinto left in 2014, equally dividing its shares in the project between two Alaskan charitable foundations.
Now it's time for the Pebble Partnership to leave.
As today's ad makes clear, it's time for the Pebble Partnership to walk away from Bristol Bay.
Click here to send your message to the Pebble Partnership. Tell them to Walk Away from Bristol Bay and join the overwhelming majority of Bristol Bay residents - together with a strong majority of Alaskans - in opposition to the Pebble Mine.
NRDC is running ads in Politico that highlight just a few (of the many) reasons why the Pebble Partnership should abandon its plan to build a gargantuan gold and copper mine at the headwaters of the world's greatest wild salmon... Read More >
Need Another Reason to Stop the Pebble Mine? Check Out Today's Ad in...
NRDC is running ads in Politico that highlight just a few (of the many) reasons why the Pebble Partnership should abandon its plan to build a gargantuan gold and copper mine at the headwaters of the world's greatest wild salmon fishery. Not only does the Pebble Mine face intense local and state-wide opposition, but the reputational, regulatory and environmental risks of the mine are staggering (EPA concluded that a tailings dam failure would be "catastrophic").
Here's another reason: the economic risks. And not just to the $1.5 billion annual commercial fishery that supports 14,000 jobs. The Pebble Mine is simply a bad investment:
All the major investors in Pebble Mine have fled the project: Mitsubishi left in 2011, Anglo American left in 2013, and Rio Tinto left in 2014.
It's time for Northern Dynasty Minerals - now the only "partner" remaining in the Pebble Partnership -to leave too. Click here to send your message. And stay tuned for our final ad, which runs next week...
NRDC is running a series of ads in Politico highlighting several reasons why the Pebble Partnership should quit its disastrous plans to build a giant gold and copper mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay's famous salmon runs, which are... Read More >
Another Day, Another Politico Ad, Another Reason for the Pebble Partnership...
NRDC is running a series of ads in Politico highlighting several reasons why the Pebble Partnership should quit its disastrous plans to build a giant gold and copper mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay's famous salmon runs, which are the lifeblood of the region.
Today's ad highlights the concerns raised by the Environmental Protection Agency:
In January 2014, the EPA issued its much-awaited final Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment - an extensive scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed undertaken to determine the potential impacts of large-scale mining on salmon and other fish populations, wildlife, development, and Alaska Native communities in the region. EPA's rigorous, peer reviewed scientific study concluded that "mining of the scale contemplated at the Pebble deposit would result in significant and unacceptable adverse effects to important fishery areas in the [Bristol Bay] watershed." EPA found that the Pebble Mine would have "significant" impacts on fish populations and streams surrounding the mine site. Even without any accidents or failures (impossible for any large-scale mine), Pebble Mine would destroy up to 94 miles of streams and 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds, and lakes - key habitat for a variety of fish species including tens of millions of sockeye salmon and the vast Southwest Alaskan ecosystem that these fisheries support. And a tailings dam failure releasing toxic mine waste would have "catastrophic" effects on the ecosystem and region.
Based on this information, EPA issued a proposed determination under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to restrict the use of certain waters in the Bristol Bay watershed for disposal of dredged or fill material associated with developing the Pebble Mine.
Although the Pebble Partnership fought back and filed three lawsuits against EPA, the writing is on the wall. It's time for them to walk away from Bristol Bay. Click here and tell the Pebble Partnership to call it quits. And stay tuned for tomorrow's ad...
Last year, NRDC filed a petition with EPA asking the agency to review the use of glyphosate (commonly known as Roundup) in light of its devastating effects on monarch butterflies and to impose restrictions on its use. After a year... Read More >
EPA denies NRDC petition to save monarch butterflies
Last year, NRDC filed a petition with EPA asking the agency to review the use of glyphosate (commonly known as Roundup) in light of its devastating effects on monarch butterflies and to impose restrictions on its use. After a year of inaction, we took EPA to court and the agency agreed to respond by this summer. Today, EPA responded by denying our petition to protect monarch butterflies.
EPA states that "(t)he agency at this time has not determined that glyphosate causes unreasonable adverse effects to the monarch butterfly." Really? This statement is frankly shocking given there is broad scientific consensus that the dramatic decline in monarch butterflies is due to the loss of milkweed - a native wildflower that the monarch caterpillars depend on as their only food source - as a result of the overuse of glyphosate in connection with crops that have been genetically engineered to resist the herbicide.
The use of glyphosate has skyrocketed since the EPA last approved it over 20 years ago. As a result, milkweed has been largely eliminated from the agricultural Midwest and, without sufficient amounts of milkweed, the monarch population has suffered catastrophic declines. In the last 15 years their population has dropped more than 90% from a high of a billion in the late 1990s to a mere 56.5 million this year--the second lowest count on record.
Rather than acknowledging this fact and speeding up their review of glyphosate, the EPA points to other actions it is taking to help monarchs and other pollinators as part of the White House Pollinator Task Force. Along these lines, EPA is announcing that they will release a document entitled "Risk Management Approach to Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly" in which the agency will solicit feedback on options for reducing the impacts of herbicides on the monarch butterfly. While this suggests that EPA recognizes the role that herbicides are playing in the decline of monarch butterflies, it is not enough for them to solicit feedback and proceed at their regular slow pace in reviewing glyphosate. Given the dire condition that the monarch population is in, and the scientific consensus that glyphosate is destroying monarch habitat, more immediate and meaningful action is needed.
Ironically, EPA states, "if at any time EPA determines there are urgent human health risks and/or environmental risks from pesticide exposures that require prompt attention, the agency will take appropriate regulatory action." Just a couple of months ago the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen - a finding that came out just weeks before EPA approved the expanded use of another glyphosate pesticide combination, Enlist Duo - a decision that we are challenging in court. If a loss of over 90% of monarch butterflies in North America and a finding that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen aren't enough to require prompt attention, I don't know what is!
Unfortunately, EPA's decision to deny our petition is representative of the agency's own denial that pesticides are a big part of the problem facing our pollinators. While the White House Pollinator Task Force committed to providing additional habitat for monarchs and other pollinators, the EPA has largely refused to address the role that pesticides play in pollinator decline. We will be evaluating our own options and following the EPA's actions closely as they solicit feedback on their "options" for protecting monarch butterflies. However the answer is already clear: EPA must use its authority to require significant reductions in the use of toxic herbicides that are destroying the monarch population.
NRDC is running a series of ads in Politico giving the Pebble Partnership plenty of reasons to walk away from their reckless scheme in Bristol Bay. Yesterday's ad focused on the local opposition to Pebble Mine. Today's ad focuses on... Read More >
Pebble Mine Ad in Politico: Another Reason to Walk Away from Bristol Bay
NRDC is running a series of ads in Politico giving the Pebble Partnership plenty of reasons to walk away from their reckless scheme in Bristol Bay. Yesterday's ad focused on the local opposition to Pebble Mine. Today's ad focuses on the state-wide opposition:
In November 2014, Alaska voters overwhelmingly passed - with 65 percent of the vote (or more) in every precinct across the state - an initiative called "Bristol Bay Forever". The initiative protects the Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale sulfide mining - like the proposed Pebble Mine - that would harm wild salmon. It requires an affirmative finding (in the form of a duly enacted law) from the Alaska legislature that mining would not be harmful to wild salmon within the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve. Because of the relentless support of Bob Gillam, the Renewable Resources Foundation and other local voices, the initiative was a huge success and the lopsided outcome reflects broad opposition to the Pebble project across the state.
Before it withdrew from the Pebble Partnership and quit the Pebble Mine, Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll said "We will not go where communities are against us."
The communities of Bristol Bay are against the Pebble Mine.
The people of Alaska are against the Pebble Mine.
Click here to tell the Pebble Partnership to walk away from Bristol Bay. And stay tuned for yet another reason in our ad tomorrow...