In his first budget since last year’s devastating Gold King Mine spill, President Obama proposes to help prevent future toxic mine spills by requiring the hardrock mining (e.g. copper, gold) industry to fund the cleanup of its old mines, just like the coal mining industry has for nearly two generations.
This week, President Obama traveled to Bristol Bay, Alaska, where he was welcomed with broad smiles and loud cheers by the small community of Dillingham. Despite the rainy weather, the President went out on the beach with commercial and subsistence fishermen to experience the remarkable fishery. And, the salmon obliged.
After an epic year of more than 50 million wild salmon, a few salmon were still passing through. As local leaders explained the significant of the fishery and expressed deep appreciation for his past actions in protecting it, their message was clear. The job isn’t done.
“We applaud President Obama’s commitment to tackling climate change. The shifts that have been made in the final Clean Power Plan to encourage renewables and energy efficiency over natural gas represent the kind of change the US needs,” said Jennifer Krill, Earthworks Executive Director. “Any support for dirty fossil fuels like fracked oil and gas threatens our health and climate.”
“When it comes to fracking, the President has a hard time facing facts.
President Obama promised we wouldn’t frack unless we did it safely. But, after a long investigation of the state of fracking science, the New York State Health Commissioner found it so unsafe he wouldn’t want his children to live, play or study near it.
Yesterday, the Obama administration came out with its plans to regulate methane from oil and gas wells. These rules will be the first of their kind, and underscore two of the most important problems with fracking-enabled oil and gas production -- its impact on the climate and its impact on human health.
Oil and gas operations across the country are a major source of air pollution of all types. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), coupled with nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (together known as NOx) and sunlight, produce ozone, which is hazardous to human health and can cause premature death. Exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas, found in many shale oil and gas formations, can cause difficulty in breathing and eye and throat irritation. High levels of exposure can be fatal.
Last month, I traveled to New York City to join the People’s Climate March. Over 400,000 people came from across the country to tell President Obama that the time to act on climate is now, because we don’t have time to spare. We are already feeling the effects of climate change across the globe.
Washington, DC – Today, 130 local, state and national organizations representing millions of Americans sent a letter to President Obama urging him to immediately begin a rulemaking process to curb methane pollution from oil and gas development, the nation’s second largest industrial climate polluter after power plants. Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20 year time period.