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Two thirds of world’s farmland at risk of pesticide pollution

March 30, 2021 Global pesticide use is set to increaseShareA global map of agricultural land across 168 countries has revealed that 64 percent of land used for agriculture and food crops is at risk of pesticide pollution. Almost a third of these areas are considered to be at high-risk. The study, published in Nature Geoscience, produced a global model mapping pollution […]

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California’s leading environmental groups reject recall

March 30, 2021 Three three major statewide environmental groups and an environmental justice alliance, representing more than 10 local and regional organizations, announced their opposition to the gubernatorial recall measure expected to be on a fall ballot. The groups are Sierra Club California, NRDC Action Fund, California Environmental Justice Alliance Action, and California League of Conservation Voters. The ballot measure is the sixth effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom since he took office in 2019. Through a decision by a Sacramento Superior Court judge, the latest petition was given an additional 120 days to circulate due to COVID restrictions on gatherings. As spelled out in the petition circulated for signatures, the proponents are trying to recall Newsom because they disagree […]

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Environment and justice groups demand Congress remove fossil fuels and false solutions from Clean Energy Standard

March 18, 2021 WASHINGTON- In a letter sent today to members of Congress, more than 300 climate and social justice groups called on lawmakers to exclude fossil fuels, nuclear energy, biomass and other false solutions from plans to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2035. The letter arrives as Chairman Pallone and the House Energy and Commerce begin hearings on the CLEAN Future Act, a bill that includes a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that problematically defines “clean energy.” The Letter reads: “Sacrificing the very definition of ‘clean’ in order to achieve 100 percent clean energy is self-defeating. The CLEAN Future Act is a prime example of the type of half-measure we must avoid. The CES in the newly proposed bill […]

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RESPOND Act to protect pensions from fossil fuel investments

March 9,2021 Recently U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-13th District) and Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), along with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), introduced the Restructuring Environmentally Sound Pensions In Order to Negate Disaster (RESPOND) Act. The legislation would protect federal pensions from the economic consequences of climate change by establishing a Federal Advisory Panel on Climate Change within the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) and requiring the Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue an annual report on the economic costs related to climate change and federal pensions. “Federal workers deserve better than being forced to invest their hard-earned savings in corporate polluters that endanger our public health and environment,” said Rep. Tlaib. “The $565 billion in retirement […]

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The NY Renewable Rikers Act could serve as model for a just transition from fossil fuels

Creating a Major Source of Renewable Energy for New York City and Green Jobs for Communities Adversely Impacted by Environmental and Criminal Injustice February 22, 2021 HARLEM, NY — WE ACT for Environmental Justice has been working to advance the Renewable Rikers Act alongside New York City Councilmembers Costa Constantinides (District 22), Helen Rosenthal (District 6), and Ben Kallos (District 5) other environmental groups and community organizations . New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has already pledged to close the Rikers Island jail complex, the nation’s largest penal colony, by 2026. Today the New York City Council passed two pieces of the Renewable Rikers Act, paving the way to transform the 413-acre island into a solar farm potentially generating as much as […]

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New Report: plan to boost racial equity and cut climate pollution in half

March 3, 2021 WASHINGTON, DC — As the Biden administration assembles a new economic recovery package, the Sierra Club unveiled a bold new report, “How to Build Back Better: A 10-Year Plan for Economic Renewal,” that offers a large-scale blueprint for addressing the interlocking crises of mass unemployment, racial and gender injustice, and climate change while putting millions of people back to work in family-sustaining jobs. The report uses new economic modeling from the Political Economy Research Institute to project the quantity, quality, and demographic distribution of jobs that would be created from an economic recovery package — broken down by race, gender, wage, benefits, union density, and sector.  “To build back better, we need an economic renewal plan as big as […]

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Center for Biological Diversity sues CA for approving drilling/fracking projects without proper review

Lawsuit Says State Failed to Conduct Proper Environmental Review February 25, 2021 SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the state of California on Wednesday for approving thousands of oil and gas drilling and fracking projects without the required environmental review. Today’s lawsuit says that the state’s primary oil and gas regulator, the California Geologic Energy Management Division, or CalGEM, has ignored its legal obligation to conduct analyses of environmental and health harms before issuing permits and approvals. In 2020 alone regulators approved nearly 2,000 permits for new oil and gas wells without proper environmental review. “It is completely unacceptable for Gov. Newsom to continue to ignore our flagship environmental law that’s meant to protect people from oil industry pollution,” said Hollin Kretzmann, […]

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Rep. Neubauer’s calls for divestment backed up by task force report

February 22, 2021 The Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change Report released in December 2020 includes 55 climate solutions across nine sectors. The recommendations aim to help the state to better adapt to and mitigate the effects of the climate crisis, while also seeking environmental justice and economic opportunities in renewable energy and conservation.   The report says divesting from fossil […]

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One in 30 million yellow ME lobster will be researched

February 10, 2021 By Ramona du Houx The University of New England (UNE) is thrilled to introduce “Banana” a rare yellow lobster. Banana was caught off the coast of Maine by lobsterman Marley Babb, who kindly donated her to UNE. The yellow color comes from a pigment in the lobster’s shell and the odds of catching one are about one […]

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Lawmakers pushing Back on Biden Public Lands Policy have received $13.4M over their careers from big oil

Feb. 10, 2021 WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new Public Citizen report finds that twenty-nine U.S. House lawmakers who oppose President Joe Biden’s order to pause new oil leasing on federal lands and offshore waters have received a combined $13.4 million over their careers from fossil fuel interests and $23.6 million from energy and natural resources interests.   “After four years of the Trump administration ransacking our public […]

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UMaine’s Pro. Fernandez applauds Biden’s Exec. orders on climate change

January 27, 2021 By LILY BOHLKE, PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE – ME AUGUSTA, Maine — President Joe Biden will sign a bundle of executive orders on January 27, reversing more Trump-administration rollbacks and setting new goals. The orders range from protecting public lands, waters and coasts, to reining in corporate pollution. He also plans to establish a National Climate Task Force and add […]

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New Jersey to train workforce for offshore wind jobs

February 7, 2021 The New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education announced February 4, 2021 the New Jersey Offshore Wind Safety Training Challenge, a new $3 million program launched with funding from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities that will help establish an industry-recognized Global Wind Organization safety training program and facility to prepare state workers for jobs in the growing […]

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Congress urges protection of Monarch Butterflies

February 4, 2021  Washington, DC – On February 2, 2021 Rep. Salud Carbajal, Rep. Jimmy Panetta, and Sen. Jeff Merkley wrote to the Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressing concern with the recent decision to forego listing the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act and urging substantial investments in monarch conservation efforts so this crucial pollinator […]

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Sen. Sanders, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Blumenauer unveil bill that demands President Biden declare a National Climate Emergency

By Ramona du Houx February 4, 2021 Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, introduced legislation that would require President Biden to declare a national climate emergency. In it, the lawmakers argue that the United States is “out of time and excuses” to deal with the climate crisis. “It will give the President the power to redirect military funds to build clean energy systems, marshal private industry for clean technology manufacturing, generate millions of high-quality jobs and finally put an end to dangerous crude oil exports,” said The Center for Biological Diversity. Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, Biden could unlock sweeping presidential powers to be able to […]

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Poll shows surge in concern about Nature and continued bipartisan support for conservation among Western voters

11th annual Conservation in the West Poll reveals policy opportunities for new administration and Congress on public land conservation COLORADO SPRINGS—Colorado Colorado College’s 11th annual State of the Rockies Project Conservation in the West Poll released in February showed a marked increase in levels of support for conservation, with voters in the Mountain West calling for bold action to protect nature as a new administration and Congress consider their public lands agendas. The poll, which surveyed the views of voters in eight Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming), found 61 percent of voters are concerned about the future of nature, meaning land, water, air, and wildlife. Despite trying economic conditions during the COVID-19 […]