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[ PSU: Shale Gas Development Spurring Spread Of Invasive Plants In PA Forests ]

Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural gas development.

The spread of invasive non-native plants could have long-term negative consequences for the forest ecosystem in a region where the ubiquitous woods provide timbering revenue, wildlife habitat and ecotourism, warns team member Dr. David Mortensen, professor of weed and applied plant ecology.

In recent years, he and other researchers at the University have been tracking the ecological impact of hundreds of well pads, access roads and pipelines built to extract gas from the Marcellus shale.

“Studies have shown that when invasive plants such as Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stiltgrass) move into an area, it changes the plant community, and native plants tend to decline,” Mortensen said. “Soon we will see a ripple effect in the forest ecosystem that will affect organisms that depend on the native plants. Ultimately, economic factors such as timber harvests may be affected, and wildlife and bird communities likely will change.”

This most recent Penn State study documents that non-native plants are rapidly invading Pennsylvania’s northern forests and establishes a link between new invasions and shale gas development activity.

Read the full story from the PA Environment Digest here.

[ Updates Along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail ]

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley recently made a few announcements on some new changes that have been happening along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.  Here’s what they say we can expect to see over the next several months:

The Carbondale Riverwalk is now under construction.  The 1.4 mile section of trail from Downtown Carbondale north to Morse Avenue in Simpson is expeted to open this fall.

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley and Heritage Valley Partners will soon install a 38’ x 60’ pavilion at the Olive Street Trailhead in Scranton. The site is frequently used for charitable races as well as a starting point for Scranton Running Company training runs.

Wayfinding signs and interpretive signs are being installed along the trail to help visitors better navigate the trail. The signs will be installed from Taylor to Carbondale, and the project is expected to be completed in the fall.

A 1-mile section of trail in Dickson City, from Railroad Street to Lackawanna Avenue, is currently in the design phase.  Lackawanna Heritage Valley anticipates hosting a public meeting in the coming months to gain the public’s input on the project.

LHVA has been working on the 2.2 mile extension of the D&H Rail Trail north from Morse Avenue to the developed D&H Rail Trail in Vandling. LHVA is working with UGI and the Rail-Trail Council of NEPA coordinating the trail and pipeline construction to have the trail completed in Spring 2018.

[ DEP Commends Regionalized Approach to Reduce Stormwater Pollution in Luzerne County ]

Department Cites Creation of Local Entity in Luzerne County

Wilkes-Barre, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell commended more than 30 communities working together to reduce pollution through the creation of the Regional Storm Water Management Program at an event with state and local leaders in Luzerne County.

“I want to praise the initiative and leadership that these local governments have taken to improve the water in their local streams and rivers,” said Sec. McDonnell. “By working together, these municipalities are reducing pollution less expensively than they could if they were each making these efforts separately. They are treating stormwater as a resource, rather than a waste.”

The regional program, led by the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (WVSA), encompasses more than 30 municipalities and will allow local governments to submit a joint pollution control plan, as well as finance capital projects more easily. The WVSA estimates that the region will save $57 million over five years with this program.

In Pennsylvania, certain municipalities are required to control and reduce stormwater pollution under a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. DEP’s MS4 program works with these municipalities to develop and implement stormwater management plans.

One of the most important goals of the MS4 program is to reduce sediment and nutrient pollution going into the Susquehanna River, which ultimately leads to the Chesapeake Bay. Over the next five years, municipalities must reduce pollutants in the Susquehanna River including sediment by 10 percent, phosphorous by 5 percent, and nitrogen by 3 percent.

“This work will pay dividends for years, if not generations to come, for the people and communities of the Wyoming Valley and places farther downstream,” said Sec. McDonnell. “The Wolf Administration is committed to the state doing its part in the Chesapeake Bay restoration and partnerships like this help tremendously in that effort. I am certain that the rest of the state will be looking at your exemplary leadership.”

[ Analysis: Public Lands Bring Big Benefits to PA ]

Public lands, national parks and monuments add billions of dollars to the economy and create thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, according to a recent analysis.

Saying their size and number interfere with development, the Trump administration ordered a review of 27 national monuments to either shrink or eliminate protected areas.

In response, congressional Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee released a state-by-state fact sheet on the economic impact of public lands.

It shows that in Pennsylvania, 19 national parks attract 11 million visitors a year, increasing the state’s economic output by almost $750 million.

Joe Demalderis, owner of Cross Current Guide Service, says that’s a lifeline in some rural parts of the state.

“The land is valuable for the local economies because of the tourism it develops, and it’s in areas where there really isn’t much else for the local people, for their economy,” he points out.

Overall, outdoor recreation generated more than $21 billion in consumer spending in Pennsylvania in 2012.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, the ranking Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee, notes that, in his home state of New Mexico, two areas designated as national monuments may be threatened by reduction or elimination.

“We have seen tourism go up, we’ve seen visitation go up, we’ve seen local gross receipts and lodgers’ taxes and business development because of these monuments,” he points out. “So to turn that back would be an enormous mistake.”

According to the fact sheet, every tax dollar invested in the National Park Service yields $10 in returns.

Demalderis says protecting areas such as the 35 miles of river in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area means more than figures on a ledger sheet.

“People who live in metropolitan areas have places they can go and decompress, and go back to their everyday life and be more productive at what they do,” he states.

The Department of the Interior is expected to issue a decision on the 27 national monuments currently under review by late August.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection

[ Why You Should Have a Water Garden ]

July is National Water Gardening Month.  It’s the perfect time to point out some of the environmental benefits of a water garden:

The negative ions that moving water releases into the atmosphere help to purify the air. If you’ve ever noticed dreamstime_xs_14402470that air smells and tastes fresher near a waterfall or just after a rain storm, you have had a firsthand experience of the impact that these ions can have. A water garden produces a continual stream of negatively charged ions that help to remove toxins and impurities from the atmosphere.

One of the reasons why eco-conscious gardeners are increasingly attracted to water gardens has to do with the idea of conservation. Most forms of plant based landscaping like lawns, flowers, shrubs, or gardens based in soil require constant watering.  When you create a water garden, you create a self sustaining cycle of hydration that will keep plants alive and well without you having to water them at all.

The potential environmental impact of a water garden goes far beyond the immediate present, because a water garden can influence young people to help create a better future for the planet. If you have children, involving them in the design and maintenance of a water garden is a great way to help them gain an interest in science and environmental issues. A water garden is a complete eco-system of its own, where a delicate balance of fish, useful bacteria, plant life, and insects co-exist in harmony.

Find out more about the environmental benefits of a water garden from Streetdirectory.com here.

[ Chronic Wasting Disease Found In Wild Deer; Elk And Deer Herds At Risk ]

The Game Commission Thursday announced chronic wasting disease has spread to free-ranging deer in Bell Township, Clearfield County, where it previously had been detected only in captive deer.

The CWD-positive buck was shot by a wildlife conservation officer June 7 on State Game Lands 87 because it showed signs of being diseased. Preliminary tests indicated the buck was CWD-positive, and the final results confirm the buck was infected with CWD, which always is fatal to deer and elk.

The buck was within Disease Management Area 3 (DMA 3), which was established in 2014 after surveillance by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture detected CWD at two captive deer facilities in Jefferson County.

Because this buck was located near the center of the 350-square-mile DMA 3, the DMA will not need to expand.

However, the Game Commission is immediately taking steps to increase CWD surveillance within DMA 3.

Read the full story from the PA Environment Digest here.



[ Ozone and Pollen: Double Threat in Pennsylvania ]

A new analysis ranks Pennsylvania high on the list of areas where smog and pollen combine to threaten respiratory health.

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s mapping project puts the Keystone State at number five for the percentage of its population subject to the “double whammy” of smog and ragweed pollen.

According to Kim Knowlton, senior scientist at NRDC, the production of ozone, which irritates the lungs, is accelerated by the warmer temperatures caused by carbon pollution.

Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air also have a direct impact on allergy sufferers.

“Ragweed loves it,” she states. “Ragweed grows more lush, more profuse and, unfortunately, it produces significantly more pollen.”

The report says, nationally, 127 million people, 4 out of every 10 Americans, live in counties with high concentrations of ozone smog and pollen.

Knowlton says 76 percent of the population of Pennsylvania lived in counties that had both unhealthy ozone days and ragweed.

And the state has more than its fair share of cities rated as “asthma capitals” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

“In 2015, the year that we looked at, Pennsylvania had five cities in the top 50: Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Scranton and Harrisburg,” she relates.

Knowlton adds that asthma and allergies combined lead to more sick days, higher medical costs and increased heart problems and premature deaths each year.

Knowlton points out that, despite moves by the Trump administration and Congress to roll back regulations that cut carbon emissions, efforts to deal with climate change are continuing in many states.

And, she says, Pennsylvania has taken some important steps.

“Pennsylvania is among just a third of the states in the U.S. that have a climate action plan that includes measures that deal with public health,” she states.

The NRDC analysis suggests several steps individuals and state and local governments can take to head off what it calls a climate-propelled public health crisis.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection

[ Volvo Phasing Out Cars Powered Solely By Gasoline Or Diesel ]

Volvo announced that all the new car models it introduces from 2019 onward will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries. The company’s existing car models will still have combustion engines, but it plans to phase out cars powered solely by gasoline or diesel by 2024. While the strategy has risks, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson, told the New York Times, “a much bigger risk would be to stick with internal combustion engines.” A day later, France announced that the country intends to end the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040.

[ The Tesla Model 3 ]

Production on the first Tesla Model 3, Tesla’s first mid-priced electric car, began last week, and customers will start receiving their sedans at the end of July.  In December, Tesla should be able to produce 20,000 units per month completing another stage of Elon Musk’s Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan. The much-hyped Model 3 will be priced around $35,000, versus the $70,000+ cost of earlier models, and its success (or lack thereof) is expected to make or break the company.

[ Federal Facility In Wilkes-Barre Recognized For EPA Federal Green Challenge Achievements ]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday recognized the Department of Veterans Affairs Wilkes-Barre Medical Center in Luzerne County with a regional award for waste reduction, education and outreach.

The facility was one of six organizations nationwide recognized for their achievements in EPA’s Federal Green Challenge competition where participants take steps to improve efficiency, save resources, and reduce costs.

“Federal agencies across the country are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact, in doing so saving American taxpayers millions of dollars,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said. “Their efforts resulted in an estimated cost savings of $17 million across the federal government.”

Through their efforts, Federal Green Challenge participants nationwide have reduced the federal government’s environmental impact by reducing fuel oil consumption by more than 500,000 gallons, sending 310 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers, saving 9.2 million gallons of industrial water, and diverting over 336,000 tons of waste from landfills.

The Federal Green Challenge, now in its fifth year, is a yearlong commitment under EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program in which participants focus on efficiently managing their resources to reduce the costs of building operations, maintenance and supplies. Specifically, participants track their data in two of six categories for a year.

For more information and a list of all winners, visit EPA’s Federal Green Challenge webpage.

[ EPA Holds Hearing on Methane Rule ]

Pennsylvania parents presented testimony at a public hearing in Washington D.C. on Monday on the EPA’s proposal to suspend a rule regulating methane leaks.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and leaks also include carcinogenic chemicals such as benzene and asthma-inducing volatile organic compounds.

In June EPA administrator Scott Pruitt suspended the rules to stop leaks from new oil and gas facilities for 90 days, then proposed staying them for two years.

Patrice Tomcik, a mother from Butler County and field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force, was among those who testified.

“We have lots of fracking and all the supporting infrastructure happening all around our community, and so what we’re looking for are protections for our children from the harmful air pollution that this industry creates,” she explains.

While acknowledging that the pollution is harmful to children, Pruitt says a two-year delay to study the impact of the rule on the oil and gas industry would not cause significant harm.

Tomcik disagrees.

“Whether it’s two years, 90 days, one day or one minute, you can’t ever take back the harm that air pollution does to children’s growing, developing lungs,” she says.

Last week, a federal court reinstated the rule, calling its suspension “arbitrary and capricious.” The rule applies to more than 800 wells in Pennsylvania, wells that contribute to more than 30,000 asthma attacks each year.

Tomcik notes that, at Monday’s hearing, few people testified in favor of suspending the rule.

“There’s a lot of people who live right next to oil and gas operations that are being impacted, so overwhelmingly people are not in support of putting a stay on this,” she adds.

The public comment period on the proposed rule suspension ends on August 9.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection

[ July Is UV Safety Month ]

The UV Index predicts the strength of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Check your UV Index so you know how strong the sun’s rays will be, and avoid sun overexposure.  Don’t sunburn!

-Check your UV Index: https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-1
-Action Steps for Sun Safety: https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/action-steps-sun-safety
-Get the mobile app: https://www.epa.gov/enviro/uv-index-mobile-app

[ Penn State Researchers Working With Sports Venues To Make Them Greener ]

Ecosystem and bioproduct researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are working with professional sports franchises to make their venues “greener” and reduce the environmental impact of their events.

Attaining the goal of sending no materials to landfills after sporting events — instead composting some refuse left by crowds and recycling the rest — is as much a challenge of changing the culture and behavior of the fans as it is developing new, biodegradable packaging and eating utensils, according to Judd Michael, professor in the departments of Ecosystem Science and Management and Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

“We have found that making sports venues sustainable is an organizational challenge that involves proper signage, messaging, color codes and containers,” he said.

“Fans have to be persuaded to want to act in an environmentally conscientious way, and venues have to provide clear instructions and make it convenient to participate in their composting and recycling programs. Biomaterials science is just a part of the bigger-picture challenge, which also involves supply chains, marketing and psychology.”

Read the full story from the PA Environment Digest here.

[ EPA Rule Suspension Called “Arbitrary and Capricious” ]

A federal appeals court in Washington has dealt a blow to the Trump administration’s plans to roll back environmental regulations.

Last month EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt imposed a 90-day moratorium on rules regulating emissions from new oil and gas wells, then proposed extending that for two years.

But on Monday, in a 2-to-1 decision, the federal court ruled that Pruitt’s action was arbitrary, capricious, and exceeded his authority.

Peter Zalzal, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund, calls the ruling good news for the environment, and for those downwind of gas facilities.

The Environmental Defense Fund sued the EPA to stop the rollback.

“Nationwide pollution limits for oil and gas wells and other pieces of equipment will take effect, and those limits will provide critical public health protections for tens of thousands of Americans,” Zalzal explains.

The Trump administration is trying to undo many environmental regulations that it says hinder economic development. No decision on a possible appeal of the ruling has been announced.

Oil and gas facilities leak methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and smog-forming chemicals that can trigger respiratory ailments.

While the Environmental Protection Agency itself may not make enforcement of the rules a high priority, Zalzal points out the rules are now the law of the land.

“That’s something that both the federal government and citizens can take action to ensure are enforced,” he stresses.

While the EPA can change rules, the court said it must engage in the rule-making process, including accepting public comment, to do so.

Zalzal says environmental advocates are not the only voices that were raised against the EPA administrator’s action.

“There’s really critical leadership from a coalition of 15 state attorneys general to ensure our nation’s clean-air laws are enforced,” he points out.

The EPA will holding a public hearing on Monday on the proposed two-year suspension of the rules on emissions from new oil and gas facilities.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection

[ PA Streams at Risk If Clean Water Rule Repealed ]

The Trump administration has proposed repealing the Clean Water Rule, which protects the drinking water of one in three Americans.

Enacted in 2015, the rule clarifies protections for headwaters, rain-fed and seasonal streams, and protects wetlands that are essential fish and wildlife habitat. Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive of the National Wildlife Federation, said the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday began the process of rescinding those protections.

“The administration’s taking the formal step of undoing those rules and frankly, leaving the drinking water supply of more than 100 million Americans in limbo,” he said.

Critics of the rule have called it onerous and improperly expanded the EPA’s authority. However, But federation outreach consultant David Imgrund, a sportsman who lives in south-central Pennsylvania, said rescinding the rule would not only endanger the drinking water of 63 percent of the state’s population but could affect the state’s bottom line as well.

“$450 million was spent on fishing and recreating in Pennsylvania,” he said. “So, if the waters are not protected and things decline, it would have a huge economic impact.”

Nationally, in 2011, fishing alone generated $115 billion in economic activity and supported more than 800,000 jobs.

O’Mara said rescinding the rule is just the first step. The executive order signed by President Trump in March also directs the agencies to propose a replacement.

“The suggestion that they’ve made so far about how they would approach the rule has already been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,” he said. “So, we’re likely going to be in a phase of limbo for the next several years where waterways will not be protected.”

O’Mara said any revisions to the rule should be carried out through a process that is inclusive, transparent and based in science, not politics.

More information is online at nwf.org.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection

[ Apply Now For DCNR TreeVitalize Tree Planting Grants ]

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and TreePennsylvania Wednesday announced it is now accepting applications for TreeVitalize Tree Planting Grants.  The deadline for applications is August 15.

“Launched on Arbor Day 2004 in Philadelphia, TreeVitalize efforts already have planted more than 350,000 shade trees in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other cities and communities,” Dunn said. “With today’s announcement of grant opportunities, those benefits will be extended across the state and residents hopefully will enjoy them in every county.”

This year applications will be considered in three funding categories: tree planting, urban riparian buffers or community forestry management.

One applicant can seek grants in all three categories, however only one can be approved during each grant term.

Secretary Dunn noted a House Republican budget passed in April could have possible negative effects on future DCNR funding of TreeVitalize and other grant-based department programs.

TreePennsylvania, formerly Pennsylvania Urban & Community Forestry Council, administers the statewide TreeVitalize grant program. Funding is provided to communities to promote and develop sustainable urban forestry programs within Pennsylvania.

Read more from PA Environment Daily here.

[ Can You Unplug? ]

Can you get your child to “unplug” for 100 hours this summer? Can you unplug for that long? OARS, one of the largest rafting companies in the world, is asking you and your family to do just that with the #100HoursUnplugged Challenge. How to participate? Just leave your screen-based lives behind—no texts, television, Facebook, or Instagram—and spend time together outdoors for 100 hours. That can equal a long weekend camping trip, multiple summer hikes, or two hours having fun in your yard or neighborhood park every afternoon for seven weeks. The challenge is meant to be doable, and OARS intentionally launched the campaign during the summer when families often take their vacations.

Find out more about the challenge here.

[ 40 Groups Urge Gov. Wolf, DEP To Deny Permits For Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline ]

A coalition of 40 community organizations, farms, environmental organizations, and local businesses representing over 436,727 members and constituencies Monday delivered a coalition letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection Secretary McDonnell urging the DEP to deny permit applications for the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project.

DEP is reviewing the application for this nearly 200-mile Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, which would transport natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to Maryland for export and to supply gas plants in North Carolina and Florida.

The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline must obtain Chapter 102 and 105 permits from the DEP for wetland and waterway crossings and earth disturbances.

If approved, the Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline would directly impact ten Pennsylvania counties and cross hundreds of wetlands and waterbodies — many of which are designated high quality or exceptional value.

Read the full story from PA Environment Daily here.

[ How ‘Green’ is Pennsylvania? ]

Well, the answer would be…greener than some states and not as green as others.

WalletHub recently compared each of the 50 states in terms of 20 key metrics designed to illustrate each state’s environmental quality and the eco-friendliness of its policies. The data set ranges from LEED-certified buildings per capita to share of energy consumption from renewable resources. Read on for their findings, expert commentary and the full methodology.

2017’s Greenest States


[ Deadline Extended For Northeast Environmental Partners Awards ]

The Northeast Environmental Partners Thursday announced the deadline for nominations for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards, including the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award, has been extended to July 19.

The Awards are open to any group, individual, company, program, or organization whose work has had a positive impact on the environment in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s following counties; Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming.

The Northeast Environmental Partners include the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, PA Environmental Council’s Northeast Office, PPL Corporation, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, and Wilkes University.

Click Here for all the details on applying.

[ CBF-PA: No Surprise, Pennsylvania Significantly Off Track In Meeting Chesapeake Bay Milestones ]

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Wednesday released its assessment of the progress made implementing Chesapeake Bay Watershed milestone commitments in 2016 and found Maryland and Virginia largely on track to meet commitments for reducing pollution and Pennsylvania falling significantly short in reducing nitrogen pollution.
“While there is significant room for improvement in all the states, it is important to note that reduced pollution is benefitting the Bay. Over time, the dead zone is getting smaller, Bay grasses are at record levels, and oysters are rebounding,” said CBF President William C. Baker. “The success all three states have had in reducing pollution from sewage treatment plants is important, but it also masks shortfalls in each of the states’ efforts to reduce pollution from agriculture and urban/suburban runoff. Continued federal and state investments will be key to success on the state level, and we know the payoff will be significant.”
Under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the states have committed to implementing 60 percent of the practices necessary to restore the Bay by 2017, and 100 percent by 2025. Over the next year, the states and EPA will assess
progress and develop new plans to achieve the 2025 goal.
Read the full story from PA Environment Daily here.

[ State Supreme Court Rules Leasing Public Land for Fracking Betrayed Government’s Constitutional Duties ]

Harrisburg, PA — Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the state government must act as trustees for public natural resources under the Environmental Rights Amendment. The decision overturns a lower court decision and rules that the state government did not comply with its constitutional duties to Pennsylvanians when it acted to lease public land to oil and gas interests without directing the profits toward conservation efforts, and that future leasing decisions must include an assessment of the public interest.

The ruling comes in response to a case originally filed by the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation in March 2012 over a series of short-sighted government decisions to address state budget gaps through an unprecedented expansion of the state’s oil and gas leasing program. Through this attempt to convert public natural resources into quick cash for the government, Pennsylvanians lost nearly a tenth of their state forests to private fracking interests.

“This is a major victory for the people of Pennsylvania, who have repeatedly asked the government to put people over profits and hard won environmental protections before stopgap budget measures,” said Joanne Kilgour, Director of Sierra Club Pennsylvania. “The Environmental Rights Amendment recognizes the people’s right to clean air and water and the preservation of public resources. Today the court confirmed that the governor and legislature must take these constitutional duties seriously.”

Get the full story from PennFuture here.

[ Trump’s “America First” energy plan is a losing proposition for industry. Here’s why. ]

How will America’s natural gas industry operate 5-10-20 years down the line in an increasingly carbon-constrained world? The administration forgot to ask.


[ U.S. House passes bill threatening wilderness across America ]

Tim Woody

By passing H.R. 218 today, the U.S. House of Representatives set a dangerous precedent, approving construction of a destructive, unnecessary road through protected wilderness in the vital Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in the Alaska Peninsula.  

[ Deputy Interior nominee “unfit” says TWS ]

Alex Thompson

Today the U.S. Senate held a procedural vote for Interior’s deputy secretary nomination of David Bernhardt.


[ Secretary Zinke to attend anti-public lands meeting in Denver ]

Kate Mackay

As reported in the Denver Post, Department of the Interior Secretary Zinke will be speaking at the

[ Boondoggle road project in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge would set dangerous precedent ]

Michael Reinemer

The bill, H.R.


[ Trump now quietly trying to drill in ocean monuments, sanctuaries ]

The Trump administration has begun reviewing 11 ocean monuments and sanctuaries with an eye toward “encourag[ing] energy exploration and production.”

[ House funding cuts would short-change America’s natural heritage; Continuing attack on America’s public lands puts House at odds with voters ]

Michael Reinemer

The House Appropriations Committee is again on a path toward crippling conservation programs that are vital to America’s public lands and waters.