Apr 22 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: The Pika Headed for Extinction and BP Sues Transocean

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

- Yale360: @YaleE360 The American #Pika is in big trouble as their extinction rates skyrocket due to climate change http://bit.ly/eMIxfU

- CBF: @chesbayprogram Underwater Bay Grasses Decrease by 6,239 Acres in Chesapeake Bay and Rivers in 2010 http://bit.ly/hkmUX6 (RT)

- TH: @TH_RSS What Could the Oil Spilled in the Gulf Have Been Used For? Animated Video Explores the Answer…http://bit.ly/eMkrPa (RT)

- BBC: @BBCWorld #BP sues Transocean and maker of blowout preventer on the anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill http://bbc.in/gQzujE

- MSNBC: @msnbc New dam project in Laos could threaten world’s most productive inland fishery http://on.msnbc.com/eoEfhr Continue Reading »

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Apr 18 2011

De-Listing for Gray Wolf Sneaks Into Budget Compromise

Published by under Animal

Adult wolf howling, via wikimedia

Though the budget compromise may have staved off a government shut down and the upcoming fight over raising the debt ceiling may stave it off again, the proposals that have resulted from the fray have alarmed environmentalists.  Some were expected to anyone who followed politics, like the $1.6 billion reduction in funding for the EPA (incorporating a $49 million cut to climate change programs and a $149 million cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund) and removing the position of “climate czar” entirely, which was recently vacated. However, another proposal was quietly slipped in and ended up surviving into the final compromise: delisting for the gray wolf.  The proposal nullified years of progress in court battles and a recent ruling from a Montana federal judge rejecting a settlement plan, saying that it provided too little protection for the species. Previous court rulings have found that the states’ management proposals were insufficient to support the population and that the decision for delisting “amounted to wrongfully removing of ESA protections.” Groups such as the Defenders of Wildlife argue that this provision in the budget amounts to a circumvention of the court’s decision. Continue Reading »

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Jan 28 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: Wild Lands, Invasive Rats, and EPA’s Veto Power

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

- NYT: @nytimesscience Proposed bill in the House would limit EPA’s veto power and restore the Spruce No. 1′s permit http://nyti.ms/hNNunA

- SA: @sciam A new study shows how climate change could destabilize already weak nations http://bit.ly/eW2Itn

- NYT: @nytimesgreen The Supreme Court declines to intervene in a case of federal vs. state water rights http://nyti.ms/f95cBN

- NYT: @nytimesgreen Henry Waxman (D-CA) is pressing for investigation on who is funding climate skeptic http://bit.ly/gTxNd7 Continue Reading »

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Dec 01 2010

Keepin’ Cool: Determining Critical Habitat for the Polar Bear

Published by under Animal,Climate Change

Polar bear on ice, via wikimedia common

One of the most controversial animals being pushed for inclusion on the endangered species list is the polar bear.  Living in the Arctic, the most significant threat to its habitat is climate change, a controversial subject on its own, and so the polar bear was listed as threatened, a step down from the “endangered” designation.  Recently, the Interior Department designated a large swath of offshore sea ice and other areas as “critical habitat” for the bear.  This created problems for Shell, who has been trying to get permission to drill offshore in Alaska.  A key area, the Chukchi Sea, is home to one of the two largest polar bear populations in the U.S.  Below is some more information about the new habitat designation and the controversy surrounding it.

- Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Deems Polar-Bear Habitat Critical, Posing Issue for Shell”

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday designated 187,000 square miles of offshore sea ice and other areas as critical habitat for polar bears, a move that could make it harder for Royal Dutch Shell PLC to begin drilling in Alaskan waters next summer.

The Interior Department issued the final rules as Shell has been lobbying the Obama administration to by the end of the year approve its plans to drill in Alaska waters, especially the Chukchi Sea. The Chukchi and the Beaufort seas are home to the nation’s two big polar-bear populations, the Interior Department said, and thus provide critical habitat for species that the U.S. government has listed as threatened.

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Oct 26 2010

In Brief: Environmental and Animal Law on the Ballot

The 2010 midterms are not just for choosing which person to send to Washington, they also contain some interesting new propositions that may become law in several states.  In honor of election day, here is a quick and dirty look at some of the biggest proposed laws on the ballot for 2010 as they relate to environmental and animal law.  Check back after November 2 for the outcomes on each of these initiatives.

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