Biden Reinstates Protections for Three National Monuments

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The White House announced Friday that President Biden will use his executive authority to restore protections for three national monuments drastically reduced during the Trump Administration. He will reestablish and increase the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, both of which are in Utah. The orders […]
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23 Species Removed From Endangered List — Because they Are Now Extinct

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed 23 species from the Endangered List because, despite efforts to save them, they have become extinct.  Among these is the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, known as the Good Lord Bird because anyone lucky enough to catch sight of the large beautiful bird blurted out the Lord’s name. Also now extinct […]

Heat and Drought Shrink Prized Western Trout Streams

In a stark example of how climate change can damage the outdoor recreation industry, heat and drought in the Rocky Mountain area have nearly dried up many prized trout streams.  The Associated Press reported in a September 7, 2021 article that the Mountain West region has become hotter and drier and has experienced more frequent […]

World Medical Journals Call For Action on Climate Change As Health Issue

Leading medical, nursing and public health journals throughout the world published a joint editorial on September 5, 2021 calling for urgent action on climate change.  The editorial focused on rising health problems already being felt from rising global temperatures. In the past 20 years, heat-related mortality among people over 65 years of age has increased […]

Judge Rejects Red State Challenge to Biden’s New Social Cost of Carbon

In January 2021, the Biden Administration announced that it would establish a new, interim cost figure for the damage caused by a ton of greenhouse gas emissions. The executive order said “An accurate social cost is essential for agencies to accurately determine the social benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when conducting cost-benefit analyses of […]

Congressional Dems Urge Elimination of Oil and Gas Tax Breaks

Fifty-four Congressional Democrats signed an August 30, 2021 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging that the Build Back Better infrastructure legislation soon to b taken up include a repeal of $121 billion in subsidies for the fossil fuel industries, including tax breaks for foreign oil and gas income. The letter cited the International Monetary […]

PSC Chair Committed To Keeping Coal-Fired Plants Running For A Decade

At the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting, leaders of the state’s largest energy and utility companies participated in a roundtable discussion with Public Service Commission Chair Charlotte Lane.  The meeting was held Labor Day weekend at the Greenbrier resort. The PSC is responsible for supervising and regulating the state’s public utilities.  During her […]

Study Shows Using Fertilizer Made from Sludge Can Bring Forever Chemicals Into the Home

A report issued May 25 by the Michigan Ecology Center and the Sierra Club should make gardeners who use “natural” fertilizers made from sewage sludge think twice.  The report details how sludge can contain PFAs — forever chemicals that persist in the environment for decades. In most places industries are allowed to flush PFAS-containing waste […]

Outgoing Trump Interior Department Defunds Urban Parks

On January 19, 2021 the US Department of Interior issued an order diverting funds away from the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership, which funds urban green spaces in areas that lack access to conventional parks — primarily in non-white communities. This action came despite funding by Congress of $125M in the recent Omnibus spending bill. The […]

Austin Caperton Resigns as West Virginia DEP Head

Austin Caperton, the former coal executive who has served as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection during the Justice Administration, will step down on Januray 18, 2021.  A new Secretary has not been named. Caperton was controversial both for his rulings favorable to the Mountain Valley Pipeline and his approval of the Rockwool air […]