Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A question for the presidential debate

Today I got an Email from the folks at the WE campaign (WeCanSolveIt.org) inviting me to submit a question for the next presidential debate using the MySpace official debate page. Well. Me and Myspace, we don't get along. So I decided to go ahead and phrase my question and post it here on my blog.
So here it is.
My question is, why in a time when the government seems so hell-bent on privatizing everything from banking, to health care, to social security (all of which I think are BAD ideas) has no one spoken about privatizing Green energy? Why are you not encouraging people to take their fate in their own hands and go Green for themselves, rather than waiting for the government to pile on the bandwagon and organize everything for them?
The answer is probably simply the fact that the government wishes to maintain control of the energy industry through the use of companies going Green large scale. Think Solar fields and Wind farms. But folks, why are you letting the government control you, and how you spend your money? Because believe me, you're still going to be spending money. Wind and sunshine are free. But the technology used to harness them isn't. If you have to pay for it, why pay someone else? It sort of like leasing a car for five years and then returning it to the dealership. You've spent just as much money as if you'd bought the car, but now that you're done spending, the car is gone. If you have to pay for it, why not just keep it? Just like buying a new vehicle, making your home a Green Energy home is an investment.
I'm not saying it's going to be a cheap investment. According to the nifty calculator I found a while back...and I will post a link to when I find it again, because I could swear I already did...Anyway, only taking into account a very loose estimate of how often the lights, tv, and such are on, and the energy consumed by only our major appliances, my nifty calculating friend has informed me that it would cost about nine thousand dollars to install a solar system to support our house. My mother's house, which is considerably larger, clocks in at around 20-25 thousand. Yes, it's a considerable investment, when remodeling. It's much easier and less expensive to incorporate solar and wind power into your home when you are building a new home. But consider the benefits:
If your system is big enough, you may have little to NO electric bills.
If you live in a state which allows it, you may even receive payment from the electric company for any surplus energy you make.
Have you ever looked at your electric bill closely? For some people almost half their average cost of electricity is eaten up by the transfer. There are taxes and fees for transformers, for lines, for exchanges...plus some of the electricity that is made at the plant is lost in transmission. Just because that electricity fizzled off into the ozone layer doesn't mean you didn't have to pay for it. And here is the kicker for me: You can live completely off the electric grid if you want to. Ever wanted to just escape? Go for it! Build your mountain cabin and never worry about a snow storm knocking out the power lines. Even better, never even have to LOOK at powerlines! I hate seeing powerlines.
So basically, here are my thoughts on the subject: I don't believe that the green energy initiative is the government's responsibility. I believe that it does and should begin with the individual.
I believe that this 'privitized' form of energy will save energy, and money.
I believe that our leaders should be encouraging us to strike out on our own, energy wise.
I believe that grants and loans specifically for green energy projects should be more visible and more easily accessible to the common consumer.
I believe in energy independance, not just for our country, but for INDIVIDUALS.

I believe a lot of other things, but I also believe that I've worn out my wounded mouse arm with all this typing, and I need to take a break. Surely, I will touch on the subject again in the future.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wolves without Boundaries

Now that is a good motto, if I've ever heard one. It belongs to the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, whom I just discovered serendipitously through the Fugly Horse of the Day blog.
Much as we've seen in Yellowstone and other prime wolf habitat, it came to the attention of people (as always, a little late) that wolves in the Grand Canyon region of Arizona were a keystone to the health of the natural environment. Wolves were killed both to protect the natural prey animals, thought to be helpless and 'harmless', and to protect the interests of stockmen who later moved through the region. The government actually hired hunters solely to shoot wolves, mountain lions, and other predators. As the GCWRP states on their website "The exterminators did not understand and, therefore, gave no regard to the important role predators play in nature." Now days we have a much better understanding of the role apex predators like wolves and mountain lions play in balancing nature. With the extermination of these key species, the deer numbers skyrocketted. Without predators to keep them in check, the prey animal populations become weakened, animals die of disease and starvation, and often overfeed on their habitat, causing long term habitat destruction.
In 1999 Mexican Wolves were reintroduces into the Blue Range region of eastern Arizona, a critical first step in wolf recovery. However, unnatural territory boundaries continue to keep wolves from prospering as well as they should. Just as in Montana and Wyoming wolves can be shot for leaving designated recovery areas, wolves in Arizona are trapped and taken back to the Blue Range, essentially killing any hope of creating sustainable, genetically diverse wolf populations.
But the GCWRP seeks to tell us all hope is not lost. They cite that "The Grand Canyon Ecoregion has been identified by wildlife ecologists as offering extraordinary habitat for wolf recovery. The region contains vast expanses of undeveloped land in national parks, monuments, and forests, and contains ample food for wolves. Scientific research indicates that this region, extending from the Mogollon Rim all the way up to the high plateaus of southern Utah, can sustain at least 200 wolves."
So why don't we all give our wolves a chance to flourish and live without borders?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Colorado Oil and Gas industry

From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent:

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on Monday tentatively endorsed a rule requiring oil and gas companies to consult with the Colorado Division of Wildlife if they plan to drill in sensitive wildlife areas.

That consultation would identify any conditions companies would have to follow if they operate in certain Colorado wildlife habitat areas, which include locations that provide winter range for elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep.

The conditions would be guided by a list of basin-specific best management practices. Those techniques are expected to be identified during a later stakeholder process.

Oil and gas companies would not have to consult with the DOW under several scenarios, such as if a company drafts a comprehensive drilling plan or if it limits its density.

The commission's decision to approve the consultation rule came after hours of debate that touched on several different sections of proposed wildlife rules. The proposed wildlife regulations have been at the center of controversy surrounding the current rule-making process for the state's oil and gas industry.

Tom Remington, the director of the DOW, said finding the right balance for the wildlife rules has been a "long journey." He added there are issues that will have to be addressed down the road.

However, he said the rules before the commission on Monday were acceptable to the agency.

"We very much support these rules and would encourage you to do so as well," Remington said.

One wildlife rule the commission did not get to on Monday may prohibit companies from conducting activities like construction, drilling and completion, and laying of pipeline in "restricted surface occupancy" (RSO) areas.

Those RSO locations include areas where bighorn sheep reproduce and bald eagles nest. It would also encompass areas within 300 feet of any stream that is home to Colorado cutthroat trout or 300 feet within any stream or lake designated by the DOW as "gold medal."

As with the consultation rule, companies could avoid the RSO rule if they work with the COGCC director, demonstrate that wildlife is not present in the targeted drilling area, gain an exemption from the DOW or develop a comprehensive drilling plan for the area.

Companies could also possibly avoid it if they show that it's not technically or economically feasible to comply with the rule.

Debate over what areas may be tagged with a RSO designation took up a large part of the commission's Monday hearing. Some commissioners wanted to include more riparian areas under the RSO designation.

So far, Colorado's oil and gas commission has given tentative approval to about 82 new rules for the state's oil and gas industry during six hearings in August and last week. Commission members based much of their provisional votes on rule language drafted by agency staff.

COGCC staff began work on the new rules in August of last year. That process began because of legislation the legislature passed last year that required the agency to expand its focus to consider public health and wildlife impacts, and require the use of best management practices to minimize harm from oil and gas development.

Technically or economically feasible to comply? What? So basically, they can just blow off the rules of they say 'oh, I am le'tired, I don't want to go through this whole long expensive process, lets just skip it!' Hum. I think someone needs to go look up the definition of the word 'rule': "a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, arrangement, etc." As in, rules were not made to be broken.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oregon Police shoot to kill Coyotes

Police given order to shoot-to-kill Coyotes.

First of all, I like how in the article a Sherwood, Oregon police officer states that they don't want to give the impression that coyotes are 'on the rampage' and yet if you look at the full url title of the article it uses the word 'terrorizing'. Nice. Trust journalists to try to sensationalize anything they can.
According to the article coyote sightings in Sherwood were rare until the 1980's, and have been on the increase ever since. Surely it has occurred to the Department of Fish and Wildlife to consider the cause of this increase? Coyotes are extremely adaptable and opportunistic animals, who adjust well to life near or among humans, much as raccoons and skunks do. Certainly suburban neighborhoods provide a boon for hungry animals who can easily obtain a meal from cat food left out (or even your cat if he isn't wily) or garbage cans left on the street. But is that really all that is drawing coyotes to the cities and causing such a staggering population increase? Research in other areas, such as Yellowstone Park have shown that coyote numbers typically increase when other wildlife numbers, such as big game and larger predators, are down. Hopefully DFW is looking into this imbalance to find a way to rectify the situation without putting out 'Wanted: DEAD' posters on the local coyotes. Also, I'm curious as to why this matter is being handled by the police department, and not by Fish and Wildlife? How is the kill program being regulated? What keeps someone from just going out and machinegunning a whole pile of coyotes?
Though there is certainly no shortage of coyotes in North America, I still find it offensive that they are allowed to be shot simply for poking their noses into what human beings have come to consider their private space.
A note to the people of Sherwood, Oregon: The environment does not belong to you. You're just borrowing it for a while. Think of it as a holiday share. Don't repaint the walls and leave a mess in the kitchen when you leave. Leave it exactly as you found it, maybe even a little tidier. Gaia thanks you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hurricanes and damaged wetlands

From (lord help me) aol news

Coastal Build-Up
In 2003, more than half the U.S. population (or about 153 million people) lived along the Gulf and Southeastern U.S. coastline — an increase of 33 million people from 1980 — and that number is just expected to keep rising.
The buildup of these communities in recent decades and the environmental damage that development has caused exacerbate the impact of hurricanes.
"There's been an explosion of population along our coast," said Amanda Staudt, a climate scientist with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). "That's just putting a lot more people in harm's way."
This is particularly true in Florida, Texas and North Carolina, where populations are increasing the fastest. Hurricanes are especially a threat for homes right on the beach or on barrier islands, such as Galveston, because they receive the full brunt of a hurricane's storm surge.
Coastal features such as barrier islands and wetlands act as natural protection against a hurricane's storm surge, slowing it down and absorbing some of the impact. Studies have shown that every mile of wetlands reduces storm surge by about 3 to 9 inches and every acre reduces the cost of damages from a storm by $3,300, Staudt said.

May I just take a moment to say 'duh'.

"Our wetlands and barrier islands ... are our first line of defense," she said.
But the development boom in coastal areas has damaged these natural defenses, putting coastal residents even more at risk.
"The more we develop, the more we lose," Staudt told LiveScience.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that since the 1700s, the lower 48 states have lost more than half of their wetlands. While not all of that acreage loss is right along the coast, and some is likely a result of natural changes along the shoreline, a good chunk is due to development.
For instance, some of the Katrina damage to New Orleans was partly a result of the damage to the protective wetlands along Louisiana's coast. Development and subsidence, or outright sinking, of the state's coastline today mean that Louisiana loses an area of wetlands equivalent to the size of 32 football fields every day, according to the NWF.
Many hurricane experts have warned for years against destructive coastal development and imprudent policies that encourage people to build in coastal areas, but that often doesn't stop the building.

After looking at the pictures that accompanied this article, I just have to wonder what makes people think that it is wise to build a house that close to the gulf coast shoreline. Not only are they devastating important ecosystems, but they really aren't doing themselves any favors either, to look at the pictures. Why is it even allowed to go on? Why aren't these areas more protected, or why at least are there not zoning restrictions to prevent people from building in such flood-prone places?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gold Butte Burros

- Gold Butte's burros need your voice. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed a new Herd Management Area (HMA) Plan for Gold Butte's burros in Nevada, effective for the next 10-20 years. The Gold Butte HMA is the last of three HMAs in the Lake Mead Conservation Area BLM has not yet zeroed out: the area used to be the third largest concentration of wild burros in the West with an estimated population of 800, with 600 in Gold Butte alone. The plan authorizes round-ups every 4-5 years with a population target of just 22 burros. When the herd grows to 49, BLM intends to remove them again, even though the established appropriate management level allows up to 98 burros throughout the 271,000 acres of the HMA. BLM is only offering two options: the new plan or 'No Action.' Please support the No Action Alternative until an option is presented for responsible management of viable herds. This should at least include:

1. Allowing the burro herd to reach its high AML range of 98 before any round-up can take place, not 49 as the current plan is written.
2. Providing for maintenance of existing water developments and requiring water be provided if any new springs are fenced off.
3. Allowing the burros' forage measurements to still extend 10 miles around water. The new plan only allows 1-3 miles to be used, a very short distance for burros!
4. Establishing a rangeland recovery plan for those portions of the HMA that were burned by wildfires. Currently, BLM has no plan in place to help the burros survive for the next 20 years.
5. Not continuing to allow the National Park Service to remove or dispose of this last remaining burro herd. Any removals should be done by BLM through normal procedures.

Comments must be postmarked by September 19, 2008:
BLM Las Vegas Field Office, 4701 North Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89130
Phone: (702) 515-5000, Fax: (702) 515-5023
Patrick Putnam/Assistant Field Manager pputnam@nv.blm.gov or
Jerrie Bertola, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Jerrie_Bertola@nv.blm.gov
Be sure to include EA # NV052-2008-435, Gold Butte HMAP in your subject line.

For more suggestions on how to help, please click here. On behalf of America?s wild horses and burros, thank you for your support,

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Striking it rich in North Dakota

North Dakota Oil Boom is bittersweet

First of all, let me say congratulations to all the hardworking people of No Dak who have 'struck it rich' in the last year. Anyone who has read my blog knows I'm not a big fan of oil drilling. But this situation is by far and away better than say, opening up ANWR. This is land that is already in use by the public, not a national park. I also enjoy the fact that actual PEOPLE are benefiting from this boom, not just the government and big oil companies. I hope that their new found riches don't change them, and that like the man who went out and bought himself a heated tractor (oh, sometimes I wish I had one! Or at least one with a seat {Bobby ate mine} and a radio!) they choose to spend their money locally, invest in their community, and in the land itself.
I sympathise with the people who are bothered by the boom. I know the feeling. If I lived right smack in the middle of the thirty acres that I love (stole your line, Marty Robbins!) I would still be too close for my own comfort to other people. I loath traffic, the noise and the dust it creates. I don't like to see my small town changing. My biggest issue here is the use of hydrofracturing to reach the oil deposit, and the storage of the oil. I'd like to see an environmental impact report on these subjects. I think I'll go research hydrofracturing.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mad bloggin' on wolves

My friend Quis got me started reading various blogger's articles on Palin last night, so that naturally led me to a succession of articles on feminism, and wolves. Here are the ones about wolves.

Her Deadly Wolf Program

Killing the Wolves again
This one made me cry. R.I.P. Limpy, of the Druid Peak pack. The Druids are my favorites.
It also highlights the amazing kinship of all living things...who knew reintroducing wolves could help Aspen trees grow? And actually increase the number of Pronghorn Antelope?

What horrifies the wildlife watchers is killing a wolf just for being a wolf. "For anyone to just go out and shoot a wolf without any reason, [a wolf] which hasn't gotten into any trouble, is criminal," says Connolly. "It's dishonorable, disrespectful of nature, and it shows an extreme lack of understanding of how the natural world works."

The wolf in all of us
Unfortunately this one appears to be older, and as we all know, Bush changed his mind. Still, a good article.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rancher accused in death of Bison

Hello, Associated Press! And thanks to my friend Pam for sending me this article.


First off, I want to know what makes this dumbass software mogul a "Rancher"? Does he raise satellite dishes? Hmm. There is no mention in the article of whether or not he also raises other livestock on his land.
Second, I personally am of two minds about open range livestock ranching. I do think that owners of livestock certainly have a responsibility to keep track of their animals, and keep them out of places they shouldn't be. That said, it sounds like Mr. Downare, the owner of the slain bison has always had a good track record for recovering his animals when they've strayed. I also think it behooves (haha, pun) anyone in open range country to fence their own property properly in order to keep unwanted animals out. Bison can't be held off by a single strand of hotwire, like a dairy cow. In Arizona our fenced yard looks almost like a military compound, more of an effort to keep deer, coyotes and javelina OUT than to keep our dogs IN. Arizona, or at least our part of it, is also open range country. If I woke up to find a cow in the yard, I would not blame the rancher. I would say to myself, "Gee, how'd that bugger get in? I guess I'll just haze him out and check the fences." Let it also be said that I do not consider Bison to be a domesticated animal, and as such caring for and containing them is probably very different from cattle, and other considerations need to be made.
My favorite part of this article is where the 'Rancher' Software Mogul (note my sarcasm) insists that he shot the animals 'to protect himself'. Because like, maybe he might DIE if he didn't have satellite television for a day! God forbid one of His creatures should poop or shed hair on your lawn.
Bottom line for me is: If you don't want buffalo pucky in your yard, GO BACK TO YOUR CONDO IN TEXAS! and leave the "pristine pasture on rolling hills" to the buffalo!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Palin: the real scandal

Palin: the real scandal

By Leonard Doyle in Anchorage
Saturday, 6 September 2008

Seen from the air, Sarah Palin's state is an environmental wonderland. From Anchorage to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, there is a vast landscape of snow-capped peaks, fjords, crystal glaciers, coastal lagoons, wide river deltas and tundra.

The guardian of this wilderness – and Governor of Alaska – has, this week, become one of the most recognisable faces in the world. But behind her beaming smile and wholesome family values is a woman aligned with the big oil and coal firms that are racing to exploit Alaska's vast energy reserves. In the short term, that has bought her popularity at home.

"I love the woman," the pilot on our flight shouts over the noise of the engine, "especially what she wants to do with oil, we just have to drill more, there is no alternative. What's the point of leaving it all in the ground?"

It is a stance that guaranteed John McCain's new running mate a rapturous reception at the Republican convention this week where the response to the coming energy crisis was a chant of "drill, baby, drill".

But the woman who could soon be a 72-year-old's heartbeat away from the United States presidency has an environmental policy so toxic it would make the incumbent, George Bush, blush.

Mr McCain has stressed he is concerned about global warming and has come out against drilling in the Arctic reserve. But, in recent weeks, he has wobbled on the issue. And environmentalists are describing Mrs Palin, who denies climate change is man-made, as "either grossly misinformed or intentionally misleading".

She wants to start drilling. She wants to block US moves to list the polar bear as an endangered species. And she has allowed big game hunters to shoot Alaska's bears and wolves from low-flying planes.

The 44-year-old governor says a federal government decision to protect the polar bear will cripple energy development offshore. As a result, she is suing the Bush administration, which ruled the polar bear is endangered and needs protection.

The US Geological Survey says climate change has shrunk Arctic summer sea ice to about 1.65 million sq miles, nearly 40 per cent less than the long-term average between 1979 and 2000.

In such a situation it was unconscionable for Governor Palin to ignore overwhelming evidence of global warming's threat to sea ice, says Kassie Siegel of the Centre for Biological Diversity.

"Even the Bush administration can't deny the reality of global warming," Ms Siegel said. "The governor is aligning herself and the state of Alaska with the most discredited, fringe, extreme viewpoints by denying this."

Governor Palin would also like to bring open-cast coal mining to Alaska's Brooks Range Mountains, an act of environmental vandalism in the eyes of many.

The Palin administration has allowed Chevron to triple the amount of toxic waste it pours into the waters of Cook Inlet. This, even though the number of beluga whales in the bay has collapsed from 1,300 to 350 – the point of extinction – because of pollution and increased ship traffic.

On the Republican convention floor she said: "We Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas and take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: We've got lots of both."

The fact that drilling won't solve every problem "is no excuse to do nothing at all", she said, putting the country on notice that "starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines ... build more nuclear plants ... create jobs with clean coal ... and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative sources".

Mrs Palin also took a swipe at Barack Obama's environmental stance saying: "What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?"

Her support in Alaska relies on squeezing more money for the state from the oil companies themselves. In Alaska, every man woman and child is in line for a bonus cheque of about $2,000 (£1,100) from the state's massive oil wealth fund. This is, in effect, a vote-buying machine for the would-be Vice-President.

Governor Palin wants nothing to hinder the oil companies. She maintains that polar bears are well managed and their population has dramatically increased over 30 years as a result of conservation. And if the ice should go away, then they will adapt to living on the land.

Many oil companies abandoned Alaska when prices fell in the 1980s but they have been rushing back to drill and prospect areas that are among the least hospitable on earth. That spirit of the Klondike is already in full swing in Prudhoe Bay the epicentre of oil production and one of the world's largest industrial complexes. It's so big that BP, UPS and FedEx operate a special fleet of jets from Anchorage just to service to the region.

Hundreds of spills involving tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil and other petroleum products occur in the area each year. Decades-old spills are still a problem and 17,000 acres of wildlife and marine habitat have already been destroyed.

But Prudhoe is just a tiny fraction of the area being targeted by Governor Palin and the oil companies. A similar fate of environmental destruction awaits the entire coastal plain as well as the special areas of the western Arctic – home to migratory caribou herds, musk oxen, wolverines, grizzly and polar bears should a McCain-Palin administration be elected.

The oil boom has attracted oilmen from across America. One of them is Todd Palin, husband to the vice-presidential candidate who works for BP on Alaska's North Slope.

It is illegal to hunt polar bears, and that is not about to change. But in an area known as "Polar Bear Seas", from Point Hope on Alaska's far western edge to the pristine coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, one tenth of the world's polar bear population is at risk, as well as beluga and bowheaded whales and bearded and spotted seals.

Big game hunters are happy to pay lots of money to shoot wolves and bears from the air. They also chase them across the snow to the point of exhaustion and then land the planes on skis, shooting them from point-blank range. The animals are considered endangered across the "lower 48" states of America, but not Alaska. The hunters keep and sell the animals' pelts.

Last year, Mrs Palin proposed offering a bounty of $150 per wolf, as long as the hunter provided the wolf's foreleg as proof of the kill. The measure did not pass. She even spent $400,000 on a state-funded campaign to block attempts to end the hunt.

Its not just wildlife conservationists who object. Many ordinary Alaskans also condemn the practice as barbaric.

Trish Rolfe, who runs the Sierra Club's Alaska office, thinks Governor Palin has been a disaster for Alaska's environment. "The idea that she stands up to the oil companies is a joke," she says.

"The governor pays lip service to the issue of global warming but denies it is man made. She will not even spend money to help the Inupiaq villages which are about to fall into the sea."

(The Blogger here. Anyone else notice that Sarah Palin looks exactly like the evil animal hating President of the Homeowners Association from "Over the Hedge"? Hmm, curious...also, I tried to type 'republican' into my labels window and blogger automatically suggested 'reptile', harhar.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Top Issues: Drilling

Yesterday my mood was improved by my mother, followed by an email from the Obama campaign, informing me that in the wake of John McCain's announcement of Palin as his VP more first time contributors donated to the Obama campaign than ever before. Ah, the smell of political suicide in the morning.
Today, irked by the once again rising cost of gas (and doughnuts) I'm not in such a good mood.
A good friend of mine told me when we were discussing various political problems the other day that she supports more drilling in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Alright, I'll give her that. I respect her opinions. But I see no point in opening up new areas such as in the Gulf of Mexico and ANWR to drilling when we aren't even striving for peak production with the drilling operations we HAVE. Until such time as production peaks in our CURRENT oil interests, I continue to be against further drilling. And I also expect that by such time as production peaks we will also be well on our way to the We Campaign (WeCanSolveIt.org) goal of 100% clean energy.
So that said, here is your chance to speak out against further offshore drilling, thanks to Defenders of Wildlife:
Please urge the U.S. Minerals Management Service -- the federal agency accepting comments on the Administration’s plan -- to shelve the Bush/Cheney Administration’s latest offshore oil drilling scam.
  • Offshore drilling contaminates water, routinely spilling oil and toxic liquids into our oceans and releasing hazardous fumes into our air.
  • Pollutants like mercury and persistent hydrocarbons contaminate important marine habitat near platforms.
  • Seismic testing associated with drilling can cause dolphins, whales and other marine mammals to become disoriented and stranded and -- in some cases -- even die.
  • Massive spills that can result from drilling and increased tanker traffic can kill dolphins, seabirds, sea turtles, fish and marine mammals.

And while the environmental damage of offshore drilling may be significant, the savings to U.S. consumers would not be. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that drilling off our coasts would have "no significant" impact on domestic production until 2030, and even then “impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant."

Tell the MMS that we don't need more drilling, what we need is a new way of thinking!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin VP?!?!

I go on vacation, and the world goes crazy? I figured it would survive without me for a week, at least!
What in the name of all that is holy is John McCain thinking? Palin is more of a right wing whack job than he is! The woman's track record as a Governor (an office she's only held for TWO YEARS) is appalling. Her policies on conservation atrocious. And McCain wants us to believe that he cares about Polar Bears and Wolves and the sanctity of our National Parks?
Here's what Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen had to say:

Shocking Choice by John McCain

WASHINGTON-- Senator John McCain just announced his choice for running mate: Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. To follow is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

“Senator McCain’s choice for a running mate is beyond belief. By choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has clearly made a decision to continue the Bush legacy of destructive environmental policies.

“Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska’s coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration.

“This is Senator McCain’s first significant choice in building his executive team and it’s a bad one. It has to raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about John McCain’s commitment to conservation, to addressing the impacts of global warming and to ensuring our country ends its dependency on oil.”

And I thought the Bush administration was bad! All I can say is I hope that by making this utterly idiotic choice (an obvious push to get female voters!) John McCain has just committed political suicide.