in the news
Keystone Threat Papered Over
Wilderness Under Siege
Big Win for Wild Bison Yellowstone’s buffalo, also called bison, will continue to roam free across 75,000 acres of their historic winter range north of Yellowstone National Park. Once subjected to cruel hazing, capture and even slaughter to keep them out of Montana’s Gardiner Basin, the animals have recently been permitted to return to their vital foraging grounds during the winter and much of the spring under a landmark agreement among federal, state and tribal agencies. The agreement was challenged in court by the Park County Stockgrowers Association and others, but the presiding state judge rejected their case. NRDC, Earthjustice and our allies in Montana defended the agreement in court.
Van Jones, NRDC Trustee and Founder of Green for All, speaking at the climate rally.
espite recent tough talk from President Obama about addressing climate change, the State Department has released yet another environ
mental review of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that shrugs off its climate-wrecking impacts. The pipeline would drive a dramatic increase in tar sands production, which generates three times as much global warming pollution as the production of conventional crude. “Building this pipeline would be the same as putting five million new cars on the road,” said NRDC President Frances Beinecke. “For the State Department to ignore the threat from this added pollution is like ignoring the increased odds of getting lung cancer from smoking more cigarettes.” In March, NRDC began mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Members to submit comments to the State Department protesting its recklessly inadequate review. The renewed battle over Keystone XL came just weeks after more than 40,000 Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., on President’s Day for the largest climate rally in history — organized by NRDC, the Sierra Club, 350.org and other groups. They called on the president to reject the pipeline and achieve the single biggest carbon reduction ever by holding dirty power plants accountable for what they dump into the air.
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In a rousing speech to a fired-up crowd, NRDC Trustee Van Jones, who served in the first Obama Administration, sent a strong message to the president: “History will judge you 20 years from now based on one decision alone . . . The decision to let this pipeline come through America . . . would be like lighting a fuse on a carbon bomb.”
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Bison © Pete Cairns/naturepl.com; turtle © Masa Ushioda/SeaPics.com; Van Jones and rally © Melanie Blanding
The fight to save one of the West’s most remarkable — and unprotected — wildlands intensified after NRDC and our allies filed suit in federal court to block the oil and gas industry from drilling in Utah’s proposed Desolation Canyon wilderness. The plan calls for some 1,300 new wells on 200,000 acres of federal land, including more than 200 wells in the proposed wilderness area. The scheme was approved by the Obama Administration last year, despite receiving the Environmental Protection Agency’s worst possible environmental rating.
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