CHINA BANS IVORY TRADE China, the world’s largest consumer of elephant ivory, has announced it will shut down its legal ivory trade by the end of 2017. NRDC has been working with the Chinese government over the past two years to advance this breakthrough, which offers a bright glimmer of hope that we can pull elephants back from the brink of extinction. In recent years, elephant populations have plummeted as ivory demand has fueled a soaring increase in poaching. If more countries follow China’s lead, elephants will have a fighting chance.
IN DEFENSE OF WHALES In its final weeks in office, the Obama Administration came to the defense of marine mammals by denying all pending applications from oil and gas companies to conduct seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean. Scientists have warned that sonically blasting the waters off the East Coast would cause long-lasting and widespread harm to endangered whales and fish. Tens of thousands of coastal businesses, communities and fishermen — as well as NRDC Members — strongly opposed the seismic operations.
SAFE WATER WIN FOR FLINT A federal judge in Michigan has ordered state and city officials to ensure that all Flint residents have access to safe drinking water, through bottled water delivery or filter installation and maintenance. Residents have lived without such access for two years. The court order is a victory in a lawsuit filed by NRDC and our partners, but the legal fight goes on as we seek further action from officials to address the lead contamination in Flint’s water supply.
C OV E R A RT I C L E
Trump Launches Fossil Fuel Attack I f there was any doubt that Donald Trump intended to fulfill his campaign pledge to ignite a frenzy of fossil fuel extraction across our public lands, it was quickly dispelled after the election. The president tapped an array of oil industry insiders and allies for top cabinet posts, from former Texas governor Rick Perry to head the U.S. Department of Energy to Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. This unprecedented fossil fuel takeover of the cabinet is now poised to put countless acres of our natural heritage at risk from coast to coast. “We fully expect the Trump Administration to dust off the ‘Drill, baby, drill’ playbook and unleash Big Oil and Big Coal as quickly as possible,” says Sharon Buccino, director of NRDC’s Land & Wildlife program. “NRDC litigators are on high alert. We’ll be taking this fight to the TAKE ACTION
federal courts, which are the last and best line of defense for our public lands.” The onslaught could include fracking in the million-plus-acre George Washington National Forest in the East to a dramatic expansion of coal mining near Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. Oil and gas exploration threatens Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve, home to the critically endangered Florida panther, as well as pristine roadless areas of Colorado’s magnificent White River National Forest. But the mother of all conservation battles could unfold in Congress, where the Republican majority may well launch a new attempt to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development. America’s greatest sanctuary for an array of Alaskan wildlife — including polar bears, gray wolves and caribou — has long been coveted by the oil industry. “We’ve fought off these threats before and
won — remember our inspiring defense of the Arctic Refuge during the Bush administration,” says Buccino. “Those past victories will bolster our efforts in 2017. We know we’re facing our most daunting challenge yet, but NRDC has spent nearly a half-century preparing for this moment.”
Roadless areas of the White River National Forest in Colorado could be opened to drilling and fracking.
S P E C I A L R E P O RT
Obama Bans Drilling in Arctic, Atlantic Oceans The environmental campaigns and victories featured in Nature’s Voice are all made possible through your generous support. You can help NRDC defend the environment by making a special contribution.
In a bold and historic late-term move, President Obama announced he was putting most U.S. Arctic waters and key areas of the Atlantic off-limits to the oil and gas industry forever. The far-reaching decision will protect sensitive coastal ecosystems, marine wildlife and millions of people from the risks of offshore drilling. It’s also a victory for the next generation of Americans who will bear the brunt of climate change impacts. NRDC led the charge urging President Obama to make this final act of ocean protection a priority, and tens of thousands of our Members called on the president to act before the
Trump Administration could take office and open the floodgates to more drilling. “These waters belong to all Americans, not private oil companies,” says NRDC Senior Attorney Niel Lawrence. “Protecting them heeds public calls for an end to offshore drilling and signals to the world that we must commit to clean energy.” President Trump and his fossil fuel cabinet may well try to reverse the new ban on coastal drilling, but it stands on solid legal ground. “We will be fully prepared to defend this decision in federal court,” says Lawrence.
WHITE RIVER © ALISTAIR NICO/FLICKR; POLAR BEAR © RALPH LEE HOPKINS/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC/OFFSET
G O O D N EWS
Published on Feb 27, 2017
All of the environmental projects and victories described in Nature’s Voice are made possible through the generous support of Members like y...