Tag Archives: Interior Department

Trump administration urged to avoid salmon protection rules

A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest unsustainable and is turning to the Trump administration to sidestep endangered species laws. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee with the power to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. The irrigators association is frustrated with court rulings it says favor fish over people, claiming the committee could end years of legal challenges over U.S. dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers and bring stability for irrigators, power generators and other businesses that rely on the water. click here to read the story 18:12

Offshore exploration and drilling back on table for Georgia

The Trump administration announced earlier this month that it is moving forward on seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean, the first step toward offshore drilling in a region where it has been blocked for decades. The Interior Department plans to review six applications by energy companies that were rejected in January by the Obama administration. Local and state environmental groups as well as many coastal municipalities oppose the surveys, saying loud sounds from seismic air guns could hurt marine life. Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, and Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Savannah, remain in favor of seismic testing and offshore drilling. “With a vibrant commercial fishery industry and the only known calving ground for endangered North Atlantic right whales just off our coast, Georgians oppose seismic testing for offshore oil exploration and the risks it poses to our state’s wildlife, wild places, and quality of life,” said Alice Keyes, vice president for coastal conservation at Coastal Georgia-based One Hundred Miles. Click here to read the story 19:19

Interior Department Releases List of Monuments Under Review, First-Ever Formal Public Comment Period for Antiquities Act Monuments

The Department of the Interior today (5-5-17) announced the first ever formal public comment period for members of the public to officially weigh in on monument designations under the Antiquities Act of 1906, and the Department released a list of monuments under review under the President’s Executive Order 13792, issued April 26, 2017. A public comment period is not required for monument designations under the Antiquities Act; however, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and President Trump both strongly believe that local input is a critical component of federal land management. Comments may be submitted online after May 12 at http://www.regulations.gov by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the Search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. Marine Monuments under review are, Papahanaumokuakea, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Pacific Remote Islands, Rose Atoll, Marianas Trench. click here to read the press release, 18:03

Feds may ease fish population goals for non native, salmon eating Striped Bass

salmon eating non native striped bassA still-controversial 1992 law intended to boost California’s striped bass population can be scaled back, the Obama administration now believes. In a modest softening of the state’s polarized water debate, a top Interior Department official voiced sympathy Wednesday for a Republican-authored bill that would end the 1992 law’s stated goal of doubling the number of striped bass living in and around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “It makes sense to remove the striped bass from the doubling goals,” said Tom Iseman, deputy assistant secretary for water and science, adding that “the striped bass is a predator of native species.” Read the rest here 09:30

Obama reverses course, won’t allow Atlantic coast oil drilling

Obama BPThe Obama administration is reversing course on opening Atlantic waters to a new generation of oil and gas drilling, after a revolt by environmentalists and coastal communities that said the activity threatened marine life, fishing and tourism along the East Coast. The proposed offshore leasing program to be released Tuesday eliminates the administration’s initial plan to auction off drilling rights in as many as 104 million acres of the mid- and south-Atlantic in 2021, according to an Interior Department official who requested anonymity because the plan wasn’t yet public. Read the rest here 14:10

Whistleblowers say Interior Department diverted $48 Million in Klamath Basin fish funds to farmers

The site of some of the fiercest environmental wars over water in recent years is now the subject of a federal investigation into millions of dollars that whistleblowers say were intended to secure water for drought-stricken fish but flowed instead to farmers and ranchers. Two biologists for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation, which supplies farmers with irrigation water and farmland in the Klamath Project, became suspicious a little more than a year ago of a contract between the bureau and an organization called the Klamath Water and Power Agency,,, Read the rest here 12:17

Obama Proposes New Rules For Offshore Oil Wells – How about Observer Coverage??

The proposal Monday by the Interior Department builds on standards industry has set for so-called blowout preventers since the April 2010 disaster on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and establishes schedules for maintenance and repair. If adopted, the rules would mandate outside audits of equipment, require each device to have a backup shear to cut a pipe, and call for real-time monitoring onshore for heat and pressure at the well. Read the rest here  10:37

Follow that Oil Money Fueling Green Groups That Have Infiltrated The Agency’s That Regulate You To Death

Meet the conservation cash cartel of the uber-rich: the Environmental Grantmakers Association, This is the same EGA that emerged during the Senate confirmation hearings for Rhea Sun Suh, the Interior Department’s new head of national parks and the Fish and Wildlife Service — a veteran EGA member who invited colleagues to come visit her any time. <Read more here> 20:31

Drakes Bay Oyster Company weighing next steps in legal fight

US BuffaloAttorneys for Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the Interior Department are set to meet with a federal district judge Monday in Oakland to discuss the next steps in the case following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to consider the Marin County oyster farm’s appeal. Read more here 13:22

Drakes Bay oyster farm denied Supreme Court hearing

drakesOyster farmer Kevin Lunny’s reaction to what looked to others like the last legal gasp of his operation at  punched right to the point: “It’s not over until the last oyster is shucked.” Read more here 08:20

Obama administration takes step toward allowing Atlantic Ocean drilling

fisherman-obamaThe Obama administration forbids Atlantic Ocean drilling through 2017. An earlier version of President Obama’s five-year offshore drilling plan permitted such activity, but he excluded Atlantic drilling from the plan following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Read more here  16:50

Injunction Denied for Bay Area Herring Fishing

Commercial fisherman in the Bay Area cannot gather spawning herring within a protected quarter-mile, a federal judge ruled, refusing to issue an injunction. U.S. officials informed Bay Area fisherman in November 2012 that fishing would not be allowed within one quarter of a mile offshore of the shoreline of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Read [email protected]  11:52

Editorial: Sound science? Maybe, but always read the fine print.

Spin is eternal. Always read the fine print. That’s the message that interested citizens should take from the Interior Department’s review of a scientific-integrity complaint by former Bureau of Reclamation official Paul Houser, a scientific-integrty officer who lost his job when he had the gall to do his job. continue reading Scientific integrity? It’s a fine slogan and guide, but it’s rarely the final word when it comes to government.

Greater Federal, State Roles Sought to Help Develop Offshore Wind Potential

More than two years after the Interior Department launched an initiative to speed up and simplify its permitting process, there are still no commercial-scale wind projects up and running in federal waters. Read more here

Lawmaker attacks oil companies’ ‘free’ drilling in gulf

Once upon a time, the price of oil was so low — dropping under $11 a barrel in late 1998 — that Congress agreed that big oil companies needed incentives to drill for oil in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So in 1995 it ordered the Interior Department to waive royalties on virtually all of the oil and natural gas that would come out of wells drilled between 1996 and 2000. Read more

US orders Arctic drilling assessment after rig mishap. Is this the future for the East Coast?

The Interior Department on Tuesday ordered “an expedited, high-level assessment” of oil and gas activities in Alaska’s Arctic waters following a violent storm that drove Shell’s drilling rig, the Kulluk, aground last week and revivedstooge debate over the company’s plans to explore for oil in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. “Developing America’s domestic energy sources is essential for reducing our dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs here at home, and the Administration is fully committed to exploring for potential energy resources in frontier areas such as the Arctic,” Salazar said in a statement. But, he added, “we also recognize that the unique challenges posed by the Arctic environment demand an even higher level of scrutiny.” Read more

From Surf to Serfdom – By Kenneth Levin Frontpagemag.com

Unemployment in my home state of Massachusetts is less than the national average. In August, it stood at 6.3% compared to 8.1% nationally. 

The state benefits from very robust high-tech sectors. But, of course, low-tech industries also figure in its economy.

Particularly hard hit among the latter in the current downturn has been the state’s large fishing industry. Its problems, and the plight of workers dependent on fishing for their livelihood,

are illustrative both of the general difficulties of the economy across the country and of ways in which specific Obama administration policies have compounded the overall decline. ,,,Read More

http://frontpagemag.com/2012/kenneth-levin/from-surf-to-serfdom/