By Payal Sampat
March 4, 2014
The Sochi Games couldn’t have gone much better for Vladimir Putin. He has successfully used the prestige of the Olympics to bolster his reputation in Russia—all while blanketing concerns like gay rights, free speech and corruption under a layer of wet Sochi snow. (Though his intervention in Ukraine may dwarf all). For the reputation of the Olympics, however, the Sochi Games leave a mixed legacy. The world is now wondering whether the Olympics, a showcase for values like excellence and fair play, are as morally agnostic as they seem.
March 4, 2014
The recent news about Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s participation in a lawsuit against the construction of a large water tower near his home and ranch in Texas was extraordinarily symbolic, and could help combat the rhetoric being thrown at opponents of fracking, who are often cast away by industry as being unreasonable “NIMBY’s”: Not In My Back Yard.
The 16-story tower would – among other uses – provide water for fracking operations in the area. It would be a large, unsightly industrial installation, similar in some respects to the thousands of 16 story high Exxon-commissioned drill rigs and heavy machinery towering above neighborhoods and ranches throughout the country. The difference is that the proposed water tank would sit quietly nearby in years to come – a stark contrast to noisy fracking sites that emit hazardous air pollution and sometimes contaminate drinking water.
February 28, 2014
It’s a great day! Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is using its authority under the Clean Water Act to consider options for protecting the world’s largest wild salmon fishery in Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine.
The EPA is initiating a review process under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, which authorizes the agency to restrict or prohibit mine waste disposal in the rivers, streams or wetlands that feed Bristol Bay to safeguard the salmon fishery. During the review, the EPA will rely heavily on its peer-reviewed scientific assessment of the impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed, which was released in January 2014.
February 21, 2014
El 20 de febrero, los senadores Holly Mitchell (D - Los Ángeles) y Mark Leno (D - San Francisco), introdujeron la Legislación de Senado (SB) 1132 a la Legislatura de California, la cual pide una moratoria al fracturamiento hidráulico y otros tipos de estimulación no convencional (como la acidificación).
February 21, 2014
Yesterday, Senators Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill (SB) 1132 to the California Legislature, which calls for a moratorium on fracking and other types of unconventional well stimulation (like acidizing).
Current law (SB4) requires an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) but there are at least two problems with it:
- Fracking and acidizing is allowed to continue while regulators conduct the EIR – essentially treating Californians’ water and health as fracking guinea pigs
- The current EIR doesn’t assess the full range of impacts of fracking/acidizing.