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The U.S. House of Representatives today passed an amendment to the fiscal 2012 agriculture spending bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing its new departmental regulation on climate change adaptation.
The federal government illegally authorized new deepwater drilling by claiming that risky operations will cause no significant harm to the environment despite last year’s BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, said four environmental groups in a court filing today. The coalition challenged government approval of Shell’s plan to conduct new deepwater exploratory drilling off Alabama’s coast in waters 2000 feet deeper than the BP Deepwater Horizon even though regulators acknowledge that the operations may result in an oil spill ten times bigger than last year’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 9, 2011) – Twenty-nine organizations, including both national and local environmental groups and scientific associations, have sent a letter asking the U.S. Senate to oppose amendments to the Economic Development Administration reauthorization bill that would exempt certain imperiled species from the Endangered Species Act. The letter is in reaction to the introduction of two amendments this week, one from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and one from Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), that would set a dangerous and sweeping precedent by amending the Endangered Species Act to block protections for the sand dune lizard and lesser prairie chicken, respectively.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 8, 2011) – Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) offered an amendment yesterday to the Economic Development Administration reauthorization bill that would prevent a single species, the imperiled sand dune lizard, from being protected under the Endangered Species Act.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 2, 2011) – Yesterday marked the passing of the 90-day deadline for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make its initial response to a petition seeking protection for African lions under the Endangered Species Act. The petition was filed on March 1 by a coalition of wildlife groups including Born Free USA/ Born Free Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
A coalition of environmental groups working on renewable energy development told a congressional committee today that the unprecedented expansion of wind, solar and geothermal generation over the past two years represented real progress toward a clean energy future and was the result of coordination between their groups, renewable energy companies and federal agencies.
Conservation groups formally notified the National Marine Fisheries Service today of their intent to sue the agency and three Gulf of Mexico states for failing to protect endangered sea turtles from entanglement and drowning in shrimp trawls.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 31, 2011) – The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition today to reconsider the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on domestic food tolerances for carbofuran, a deadly pesticide used in food production. FMC Corporation, the leading manufacturer of carbofuran, and a group of powerful agribusiness lobbyists including the National Corn Growers Association, have repeatedly challenged a 2009 rule from the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke all food tolerances. EPA has shown that dietary exposure to carbofuran is unsafe for humans. In 2006, EPA announced that all uses of carbofuran should be cancelled because of occupational and ecological risks to humans and wildlife.
WASHINGTON (May 26, 2011) – The U.S. Department of the Interior unveiled a preliminary set of proposals today to improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act. The proposals were outlined in response to an Executive Order (E.O. 13563) issued by President Obama in January that calls for federal agencies to review existing regulations “to determine whether any such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives.”
WASHINGTON (May 25, 2011) – Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) jointly introduced legislation today to gut the Equal Access to Justice Act. The bill, dubbed the Government Litigation Savings Act, would make it harder for private citizens, small businesses and nonprofit organizations to file suit against the federal government by limiting their rights to recoup attorney’s fees after winning a lawsuit in which the government’s position was not substantially justified.