The Obama Administration has recently made three moves that undermine the possibility of a green future by supporting dirty energy projects and deregulation.
1. ARCTIC DRILLING:
Though Congress has passed no new oil drilling safeguards following the 2010 BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the Dept. of the Interior last month gave Shell the green light to start their plans to drill in the Arctic, despite how dangerous it is.
The State Department is fixing to approve Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport oil from the Alberta Tar Sands across the U.S to Texas Refineries.
James Hansen, NASA scientist and the first person to warn Congress of the dangers of climate change, lists the negative impact from tar sand development:
The environmental impacts of tar sands development include: irreversible effects on biodiversity and the natural environment, reduced water quality, destruction of fragile pristine Boreal Forest and associated wetlands, aquatic and watershed mismanagement, habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, disruption to life cycles of endemic wildlife particularly bird and Caribou migration, fish deformities and negative impacts on the human health in downstream communities.
But worse still is that exploitation of the tar sand’s dirty produce would “make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts.” Hansen concludes that if the oil from tar sands is burned together with conventional oil and gas and coal, “it is essentially game over” for our species.
Other scientists also agree that the pipeline sucks.
But nothing to worry about, agrees the company who wants to build the pipeline — what could go wrong? Meanwhile the State Department is following the Corporate Script, asserting without meaningful investigation that there will be “no significant” environmental impact.
Lots of protesters getting arrested in front of the White House, meanwhile. For more, see here.
3. EMISSIONS STANDARDS:
On September 2, Obama announced his decision to delay the implementation of emissions regulations that would have, according to the National Resources Defense Council, “saved up to 4,300 lives and avoid as many as 2,200 heart attacks every year.” This, in order to reduce “regulatory burdens” on the richest corporations in the history of humankind.
This decision means that the Obama administration will accept the Bush Era standards, which Lisa Jackson, the current EPA manager, wrote were “not legally defensible.”