Environment

Obama wants wilderness designation for Arctic refuge's coastal plain

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 26 January 2015 09:00

President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to designate the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as a wilderness.

“This is the best news for the refuge since President Eisenhower established it in 1960 as the Arctic National Wildlife Range," said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "It's a national treasure worthy of the highest protection available for our public lands. NRDC is committed to making that protection a reality. And we will continue working to preserve, protect and defend other such treasures in the Far North — and everywhere else.”

Pharrell Williams teams with Al Gore for 'Live Earth' concert

Written by The AP Thursday, 22 January 2015 07:40

Pharrell Williams says he'll have all of humanity singing together at a worldwide concert June 18 to fight global warming.

The pop superstar is teaming with Nobel Peace Prize-winner Al Gore to produce a "Live Earth" concert on seven continents to build support for a United Nations climate pact in Paris among more than 190 nations in December.

USDA announces Great Lakes program to help imperiled golden-winged warbler

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 16 January 2015 13:30

The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week announced improvements on about 64,000 acres of key habitat in the Great Lakes states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota to help protect the imperiled golden-winged warbler.

This project is part of a new regional conservation program that includes 100 projects involving all 50 states. The program will provide more than $370 million for targeted conservation efforts in the states through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, according to a news release from the USDA.

Republican-controlled House votes for Keystone pipeline

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 09 January 2015 13:59

The Republican-controlled House voted on Jan. 9 to pass legislation forcing approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline for the 10th time in three years.

However, support in the House does not seem strong enough to overcome a veto, which the president has vowed if a bill reaches his desk. The GOP leadership in the U.S. Senate has made passing a KXL bill a priority.

EPA sued in quest to ban toxic flea control products

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 05 January 2015 18:42

The National Resources Defense Council on Jan. 5 filed a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, challenging the agency’s decision to allow the continued use of a toxic pesticide — tetrachlorvinphos — in flea-control products used on pets.

Pesticides like TCVP can harm children’s brains and nervous systems and the EPA already has restricted household use of TCVP’s chemical cousins in the class of pesticides called organophosphates, according to the NRDC. However, the EPA allows neurotoxic TCVP to be used in flea collars for dogs and cats.

GOP-controlled Senate votes: 'Climate change is real and not a hoax.'

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 22 January 2015 07:26

The Republican-controlled Senate acknowledged on Jan. 21 that climate change is real but refused to say humans are to blame.

The series of votes publicly tested Republicans' stance on global warming just days after two federal agencies declared 2014 the hottest year on record and hours after President Barack Obama called global warming one of the greatest threats to future generations.

EPA to regulate methane pollution by oil, gas industry

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:09

The White House on Jan. 14 announced a new goal of cutting methane pollution from the oil and gas industry 40-45 percent by 2025, along with plans to reduce emissions from some sectors of the industry.

The administration also announced the Environmental Protection Agency will set Clean Air Act standards to reduce methane pollution from new oil and gas production, processing and transmission equipment nationwide and there are plans to cut emissions from some existing oil and gas operations.

Feds agree to seafood import rules aimed at protecting whales, dolphins

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 07 January 2015 07:58

The U.S. government, in a recent settlement, agreed to adopt rules ensuring seafood imported into the country meets high standards for protecting whales and dolphins

The regulations will require foreign fisheries to meet the same marine mammal protection standards required of U.S. fishers or be denied import privileges — implementing a 40-year-old provision of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Seabirds dying by the hundreds on Pacific Coast

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 05 January 2015 08:56

Scientists are trying to figure out what's behind the deaths of seabirds that have been found by the hundreds along the Pacific Coast since October.

Mass die-offs of the small, white-bellied gray birds known as Cassin's aucklets have been reported from British Columbia to San Luis Obispo, California.

Montana pipeline break spills oil into Yellowstone River

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 20 January 2015 07:00

Truckloads of drinking water were being shipped to the eastern Montana city of Glendive this week after traces of a major oil spill along the Yellowstone River were detected in public water supplies, raising concerns about a potential health risk.

Preliminary tests at the city's water treatment plant indicated that at least some oil got into a water supply intake along the river, according to state and federal officials. About 6,000 people are served by the intake, Glendive Mayor Jerry Jimison said.

Sanders filing climate change amendment to Keystone XL bill

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 13 January 2015 14:25

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Jan. 13 planned to file an amendment that would put the Senate on record acknowledging that climate change is being caused by humans and is a major threat to the planet. 

Sanders, an independent from Vermont who has said he will announce this spring whether he'll run for president in 2016, said he plans to offer the amendment to a Senate bill that would force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The controversial project would ship oil from Canada’s tar sands region in Alberta to refineries in Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. 

Obama vows to veto a Keystone XL bill

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 07 January 2015 06:25

President Barack Obama has pledged to veto a bill to force the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The White House announcement came as the new Republican-led Congress was sworn in, with GOP leaders promising to make Keystone a top priority in the early part of the session.

Reward offered for information leading to arrest of dolphin killer

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 01 January 2015 14:31

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting a pregnant dolphin in Miramar Beach, Florida.

This adds to an existing reward of $2,500 offered by Whale and Dolphin Conservation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating the crime, which happened just before Thanksgiving.