As many Kossacks noted over the last few days, there was an important vote coming up in the House yesterday. That vote was on a bill that, if it became law, would cut the heart out of one of the most important American conservation laws -- the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Well, that bill passed the House despite thousands of calls to the Hill and opposition from 78 conservation groups working together.
So you may be wondering -- what now? What's the next stage in the battle to save the ESA?
Update [2005-9-29 9:35:41 by jalefkowit]: Title updated to reflect the fact that tomorrow is now today...
If you care about protecting endangered species, you should mark tomorrow on your calendar. Because tomorrow is the day the House is voting on HR 3824 -- and if that bill becomes law, you can kiss the protections provided by the Endangered Species Act goodbye.
The November unpleasantness got a lot of people thinking about the general health of the environmental movement. Is it still an active force in American politics? Or has it been sidelined into irrelevancy?
Since people have responded so positively to my diaries about the stuff we're doing at Oceana to protect the oceans, I'm gonna try to post a little more frequently...
One neat thing you might be interested in is a journey that my colleague Sandy Mayson is undertaking right now. Recently we had an incredibly generous gift given to us -- a 71-foot (!) catamaran. (That's a big catamaran.) We fitted her out, christened her Ranger, and launched her at a ceremony in California last month.
Ranger is now in the starting legs of an trip that will eventually cover 11,000 miles -- from California, south through the Panama Canal, north again to Florida and the Sargasso Sea, and then across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. All along the way her crew will be documenting threats to ocean wildlife and habitat.
My day job is with Oceana, a non-profit group that works to protect the world's oceans (as you may have guessed from the name).
We have just released a pretty significant report. It concerns the growing problem of mercury contamination -- and identifies a major source of this contamination that you probably have never even heard of.
Poison Plants finds that mercury emissions from nine chlorine plants in the U.S. using an outdated process called "mercury-cell" chlorine production -- a process already abandoned by 90% of U.S. chlorine producers -- may approach the volume of emissions from all the power plants in the United States.
These plants are so bad, in fact, that in seven of the eight states where they operate, they are the number one source of mercury contamination in the state!
If you're interested in safer seafood and a healthier environment -- or just in learning how regulators and industry collude to keep dirty processes from being cleaned up -- you should check it out. We've also opened a thread on our blog where you can discuss the report, and our campaign for safe seafood.