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Investors Ratchet Up Pressure on Pebble Mine

headed pell-mell toward opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—our nation’s premier denning grounds for polar bears—to oil and gas development. Meanwhile, in California, Zinke is threatening to scrap the historic Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which protects vast swaths of the Mojave Desert and designates urgently needed renewable energy zones. But the onslaught isn’t confined to our public lands. In January, Zinke announced plans to open virtually all our coastal waters—from Maine to California and even off the coast of the Arctic Refuge—to oil and gas drilling. That represents a radical change from the Obama Admin­ istration, which placed 94 percent of federal waters off-limits to the industry. Then, last month in the Gulf of Mexico, the Interior Department conducted the largest ocean lease sale in U.S. history, covering more than 77 million acres, even while moving to roll back vital safeguards put in place following the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. “We’re fighting Zinke’s assault on our public estate—and defending Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy— at every step of the way,” says Wetzler. “We’ve already won key victories in federal court (see front page), and we intend to keep Zinke in court until he abandons these schemes to sell our natural heritage to the highest bidder.” TAKE ACTION

Keystone XL Suffers Yet More Setbacks Prospects are fading for the climate-wrecking Keystone XL pipeline. Earlier this year, TransCanada, the company behind the tar sands pipeline proposal, secured commitments from shippers to fill just 60 percent of the pipeline’s capacity—and that includes the Alberta government chipping in to buy 50,000 barrels per day of space. Normally, pipelines get commitments for more than 80 percent of capacity before they move forward. So it’s no surprise that TransCanada has missed its own deadline for making a decision on

Tell Amazon to Help Save America’s Bees! Amazon, the giant of e-commerce, is no friend to bees. While other major retailers, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and True Value, have announced plans to phase out products containing bee-killing neonic pesticides, Amazon still sells home and garden products that are toxic to these vital, fuzzy pollinators. Seventy percent of America’s major crops depend on bees for pollination. But as the use of neonics has skyrocketed, bee populations have collapsed, and scientists have linked the two.

whether to proceed with the pipeline. The company’s court setbacks are mounting as well. In February, a federal judge ruled in NRDC’s favor and ordered that information related to the Trump Administration’s approval of the project be made public. A cross-border permit for Keystone XL, which threatens our climate as well as water supplies in America’s heartland, was rejected by the Obama Administration before the Trump State Department moved to approve it last year. “The public has a right to know what evidence and what materials were considered in making that decision,” says NRDC Senior Attorney Jackie Prange. NRDC will keep fighting to stop this dirty energy project for good.

A potential new corporate partner in the Pebble Mine is facing pressure from investors to stay away from the proposed gold and copper operation, which threatens the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery, in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The California treasurer and the comptrollers for New York State and New York City, who manage the largest public pension funds in the country, have sent letters urging First Quantum Minerals to cut ties with the Pebble Mine. It is too risky for investors, they say, and poses grave threats to the environment and indigenous people of Bristol Bay. State pension fund leaders already helped persuade mining giant Rio Tinto to walk away from this Alaskan misadventure. “First Quantum should heed its shareholders and get out now,” says Taryn Kiekow Heimer, an NRDC senior advocate. “This toxic project is fraught with risk.” The mega mine would produce billions of tons of contaminated waste in the headwaters of the streams where some 60 mil­­lion salmon return to spawn each year. Despite the mine’s potentially catastrophic dangers, confirmed by a peer-reviewed EPA study, the Trump Administration has opened the door for permitting and laid out a rushed review process, including a curtailed public comment period. Tens of thousands of NRDC Members have responded by sending comments opposing the mine, and NRDC will fight it in court if necessary. TAKE ACTION

“Amazon can make a real difference by pulling products that contain neonics off its website,” says Rebecca Riley, a senior attorney with NRDC’s Nature program. Neonics can kill bees outright. Even in small doses, they interfere with a bee’s ability to navigate, reproduce and find food, and they make bees more susceptible to viruses, parasites and other diseases. NRDC is suing the EPA to crack down on neonics, and some 75,000 NRDC activists have urged Amazon to phase out products that contain these bee-killing pesticides. TAKE ACTION

The headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska


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Nature's Voice Summer 2018  

All of the environmental projects and victories described in Nature’s Voice are made possible through the generous support of Members like y...

Nature's Voice Summer 2018  

All of the environmental projects and victories described in Nature’s Voice are made possible through the generous support of Members like y...