Tag Archives: Natural Resources Defense Council

Bonackers vs. Big Wind – Cuomo’s preposterous renewable-energy plan threatens Long Island’s fishing industry

Nat Miller and Jim Bennett didn’t have much time to chat. It was about 8:45 on a sunny Sunday morning in early May, and they were loading their gear onto two boats—a 20-foot skiff with a 115-horsepower outboard, and an 18-foot sharpie with a 50-horse outboard—at Lazy Point, on the southern edge of Napeague Bay, on the South Fork of Long Island. “We are working against the wind and the tide,” Miller said as he shook my hand.,, If Governor Andrew Cuomo gets his way, though, they and other commercial fishermen on the South Fork may need to look for a new line of work.,,, Deepwater Wind and D. E. Shaw have close ties to the NRDC and to Cuomo.  click here to read the story 19:11

American Backlash Against Big Wind: States Cut Subsidies & Ban New Wind Power Projects

If your understanding of the world is limited to what’s printed in the mainstream press, you’d be forgiven for thinking that rural folk can’t wait to nuzzle up to 300 tonne Vestas, with 70m blades towering 180m above them.,, To be sure, you won’t read about this in the New York Times.,, The backlash is happening offshore, too. In New York, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a boatload of fishermen and fishmongers have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a wind project from being built on top of one of best squid and scallop fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard.,, As Bonnie Brady, the fiery executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association told me recently, “Destroying one environment in the name of trying to protect another environment makes no sense at all.” click here to read the story 08:53

Rural America Keeps Rejecting Big Wind

The backlash against Big Wind continues. Indeed, entire states are now restricting or rejecting wind projects.,,, The backlash is so fierce that Big Wind has begun suing small towns to force them to accept wind projects. Since last October, NextEra Energy, the world’s biggest producer of wind energy, has filed lawsuits in federal and state courts against five rural governments, including the town of Hinton, Oklahoma, population: 3,000. NextEra is funding its courthouse mugging of small-town America with your tax dollars.,,, The backlash is happening offshore, too. In New York, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a boatload of fishermen and fishmongers have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a wind project from being built on top of one of best squid and scallop fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard. click here to read the story 08:56

Cause of Action Digs In: Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Designation: Some Stakeholders Are More Equal Than Others

This week we review the procedural history of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument (“Atlantic Monument” or “Monument”) designation, which was made by President Obama on September 15, 2016 (“Proclamation”), and show that certain, privileged, non-governmental entities were granted access to detailed information on the forthcoming monument and allowed input into the designation, while other stakeholders—notably those with specific legal authority, such as Regional Fishery Councils—were denied input and access.,,,  The following history, derived from the partial responses to CoA Institute’s FOIA requests and other publicly available documents, is illustrative: In March 2015, the Conservation Law Foundation (“CLF”) and Natural Resources Defense Council (“NRDC”),,, click here to read the story. Hang onto your Sou’wester. 17:53

Wind energy is not the answer

Urban voters may like the idea of using more wind and solar energy, but the push for large-scale renewables is creating land-use conflicts in rural regions from Maryland to California and Ontario to Loch Ness. Since 2015, more than 120 government entities in about two dozen states have moved to reject or restrict the land-devouring, subsidy-fueled sprawl of the wind industry.,, If the wind lobby and their myriad allies at the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups acknowledge turbines’ negative effects on landscapes and rural quality of life, it would subvert their claims that wind energy is truly green.,, In New York, angry fishermen are suing to stop an offshore wind project that could be built in the heart of one of the best squid fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard.  Read the article here 09:44

Bay-Delta Water Case Against EPA Advances

A federal judge refused  Tuesday to dismiss allegations that the Environmental Protection Agency shirked its duty to review temporary changes California made to its water-quality standards during the drought, an action that environmentalists say shrank the state’s salmon and steelhead fish populations. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar denied a motion by the EPA to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it last year by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Bay Institute and Defenders of Wildlife. Tigar said their claims are not moot and that they plausibly alleged that the EPA was required under the Clean Water Act to review the changes to more than two dozen water quality standards to protect fish and wildlife in the Bay-Delta Estuary. Read the story here 13:42

Will Obama use the State Departments “Our Oceans” Conference to designate canyons and seamounts National Marine Monument?

ObamaThe third installment of the Our Ocean forum will convene in Washington, D.C., this week and the betting window is open on whether the Obama administration will use the event to announce the designation of new National Marine Monuments. No one — neither conservationists nor fishing stakeholders — claims to know exactly what will happen when the two-day, international event opens Thursday. But it has not escaped anyone’s attention that the Obama administration has used the same forum in the past to make similar announcements. The Obama administration’s decision not to use the Antiquities Act to designate any portion of Cashes Ledge as a monument validated fishing stakeholders and others who characterized the proposal — which originated with the Conservation Law Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Pew Charitable Trusts — as an end-run around the existing fisheries management system and wholly unnecessary given the existing protections already afforded the area. Read the story here 07:55

“Make no mistake about it, the Town of East Hampton has sold out commercial fishermen,”

deepwaterwindbiwf_0New York is close to approving the state’s first offshore wind farm, hoping to sidestep the controversies that have left other East Coast projects in limbo and the United States’ vast offshore wind capacity untapped. (only in America can the wind become a commodity!) More hyperbole. By contrast, the South Fork proposal appears to have local support, notably in the town of East Hampton, where the wind farm’s transmission lines would connect to land. The town council voted in 2014 to secure a completely carbon-free electricity supply by 2020, followed by transportation and heating in 2030. “The citizens of East Hampton have been visionary about that goal, very vocal in their support for offshore wind,” said Kit Kennedy, the director of the energy and transportation program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. (beware of anyone that calls herself “Kit”) One advantage that South Fork has over Cape Wind: Its 30-mile distance from land means that the turbines will not be visible on the horizon. (because the citizens would be reminded every month of being scammed, when the open they open their electric bills) Read the rest here 08:13

Enviro’s spar with Obama administration over fish catches!

A proposed federal rule that would give regional councils more say in setting catch limits on fish has sparked rare friction between the Obama administration and environmental groups. The proposal, years in the making, could take effect this summer. It would provide the eight councils “additional clarity and potential flexibility” to comply with the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. Groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earth Justice say the change could roll back nearly a decade of progress in rescuing once-overfished populations. Read the rest here 20:58

White House, Greens target Atlantic fishing grounds

Fishermen and seafood-dependent communities in New England are battening down the hatches, fearing that an Obama administration move to create a giant Atlantic Marine Monument will spell the end to their way of life. Led by Earthjustice, the Conservation Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic Society, and the Pew Charitable Trust, environmentalists are urging the White House to use the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate a 6,000-square-mile area in the  and off the coast of Massachusetts as a National Monument. Read the rest here 09:25

Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ocean Conservancy – Ocean acidification poses threat to lobsters

lobsterThe Nature Climate Change study, which was led by researchers at the environmental groups the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Ocean Conservancy, set out to go beyond global models by identifying local risk factors. “They weren’t previously factored into the conversation,” Lisa Suatoni, senior scientist at the NRDC and a co-author of the report, said. “There are a lot more places at risk than conventional wisdom tells us.” Those places include New England and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Pacific Northwest, where the effects of acidification have already caused serious problems. Read the article here 08:01

House Natural Resources Committee Demands Obama Administration Info on Marine Monument Designtions

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee has demanded records of all meetings, correspondence and memos related to marine monument designations. The letter references emails that “show representatives from the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Pew Charitable Trusts warning their members to avoid talking to the ‘outside world’ about the organizations’ efforts to influence the Administration to announce a Marine National Monument off of New England during the ‘Our Ocean Conference’ in Chile.” The emails in question were originally obtained by Saving Seafood via public records requests, and were first reported by GreenwireRead the rest here 17:00

Enviro Lobby’s Coordinated Efforts to back door NE Marine Monument’s exposed!

duncey peteOne month ago, environmental groups were strategizing over their latest bid: Get the Obama administration to create its first marine monument off New England. They had talks with fishing groups, lawmakers and think tanks. At the end of August, they exchanged emails over their progress — and in one, the president of the Conservation Law Foundation warned everyone to keep quiet about the possibility of a breakthrough at the upcoming Our Ocean Conference in Chile. The email showed up in response to a public records request that Saving Seafood filed with the office of Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s. Read the rest here Read the email’s here 08:40

Analysis: New England Marine Monument Proposals Overlook Existing Protections, Overstep Democratic Management

cashes ledge closedFishermen, fisheries managers, and environmentalists agree that the Cashes Ledge region of the Gulf of Maine is home to some of the most important marine environments in New England. Since the early 2000s, federal fisheries managers have recognized the value of these areas and have taken proactive steps to protect their unique habitats, preventing commercial fishermen from entering the areas and allowing them to develop mostly undisturbed from human activity. But according to several environmental groups, including the Conservation Law Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Geographic Society, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, such long-standing and effective protections are suddenly insufficient. Read the rest here 09:17

Pew Enviro Groups eye Marine National Monuments protections for Cashes Ledge, canyons, seamounts off Cape Cod

Enviro groups this week plan to call for sprawling areas in the Gulf of Maine and off Cape Cod and Rhode Island to be declared the first “marine national monument” on the eastern seaboard. A January 2009 presidential proclamation established three Pacific Marine National Monuments. Now the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and partners like the National Geographic Society, Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources Defense Council are seeking protections for the Closed Area in the Gulf of Maine and the New England Canyons and Seamounts off the Cape – areas CLF describes as “deep sea treasures.” Read the rest here 16:17

Natural Resources Defense Council on the “Hot Seat” – Senate GOP wants green group’s tax exempt status revoked

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) wants federal officials to revoke an environmental group’s tax-exempt status over a political advertising campaign that the GOP group says violates the tax code. The complaint goes on to say that “NRDC’s donors include a Who’s Who of liberal billionaires and Hollywood elites,” and it is “perverse and indefensible” for the group to let those individuals take tax deductions for political activity. The NRDC is organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, prohibited from political activity. (its a good start!) Read the rest here 12:53

Putting lipstick on the ENGO Pig – Oregon fishermen and ENGOs in collaboration

During a recent lunch at Sharkbite’s Seafood Cafe in Coos Bay, area fishermen broke bread with an unlikely lunch mate — an attorney from the environmental advocacy group the Natural Resources Defense Council. The purpose of the meeting? For the group to open up communication and find common ground about how fish resource habitats are currently being managed. It’s a discussion that has taken place after years of fishermen and conservation organizations butting heads. Read the rest here 10:46

Sue and Settle Enviro Groups Go To Court to Protect Blueback Herring from Extinction

Washington, D.C. — Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a coalition of fishing and watershed protection groups, Anglers Conservation Network,  Great Egg Harbor River Council and Watershed Association, Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Association,  filed a complaint today in federal court seeking to reverse a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) not to list the blueback herring as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Read the rest here 13:41

No endangered listing for prized pinto abalone

The National Marine Fisheries Service has declined to list a prized 6-inch Pacific Ocean marine snail as an endangered or threatened species. The mollusks need federal protection because their populations have plummeted from 80 to 99 percent in much of their range, according to the  and the Center for Biological Diversity. “These are species that science shows ocean acidification and climate change are going to do it in,” he (Brad Sewell, a senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council) said. Shut up. Read the rest here 21:36

Expert says claims that war games will harm thousands of animals are ‘overblown’

earthjustice $upereco-manThat assessment was backed by Brandon Southall, a former fisheries service researcher who researches at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “I think the numbers” citing potential harm presented by the Navy and NMFS “are overestimates,” he said.  “Overall, I think the concerns are being amplified because the conservation groups are interested in getting people’s attention, and they get it by saying these animals are all going to die,” Southall said. Read the rest here 06:03

Buying our representatives – Wall St Environmentalist campaign spending on midterms to see huge jump this year

earthjustice $upereco-manLeague of Conservation Voters $25 million- Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund PAC $4 million- Environmental Defense Action Fund 1 Million- Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action Committee Mega$$  – The spending will be largely devoted to key Senate races but will also go to a handful of gubernatorial and state legislative contests. The increased funding reflects the growing role of environmentalists as political money players. Read the rest here 09:04

SAFMC halts MPA effort, includes catch shares in top ten list

council_fishing_headerThe SAFMC has been pushed hard for over two years by radical environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, and Pew to approve the proposed MPAs even though the SAFMC’s own scientific advisors have said there is no scientific justification. It is of great concern that at last week’s SAFMC meeting, when council members submitted their top three issues/solutions as part of the snapper-grouper fishery “visioning” process, catch shares made it into the top ten issues for consideration. Read more here 14:04

After record lows, herring stock is now healthier, living longer

nefmc logoAfter years of lobbying and litigation by local fishermen and environmental groups, the fisheries service and the New England Fishery Management Council are considering regulations to make sure the offshore herring fleet isn’t also catching river herring, but the majority of their runs remain dammed or neglected. A 2001-2002 survey looked at 215 Massachusetts coastal waterways and found 380 blockages, including dams, that kept fish from spawning grounds. The same survey found that almost half the 175 structures intended to get fish past dams were not functioning. Read more here  09:13

Council For Sustainable Fishing – Help get the best qualified fisheries managers

council_fishing_headerGood news from last week: Governors Nikki Haley and Rick Scott nominated charter boat operators Mark Brown from Charleston and Robert Johnson from St. Augustine respectively for appointment to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to fill seats for recreational/for-hire representation. Read more here  17:19

National Marine Fisheries Service New Navy whale rules under scrutiny – NRDC: Feds Give Navy Green Light to Kill Whales and Dolphins

nmfs_logo“In a Bizzaro-World move, with these rules the agency charged with protecting whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals gives its stamp of approval to Navy training and testing activities that will harm millions of marine mammals, killing many,” the Natural Resources Defense Council stated in a blog post. [email protected]  21:57 Feds Give Navy Green Light to Kill Whales and Dolphins NRDC link

Hammerhead shark protection debated – National Marine Fisheries Service pushed by WildEarth Guardians and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

A proposal to protect the great hammerhead shark has sparked a debate over whether federal protection is necessary to conserve a majestic ocean predator or whether this would just impose an unnecessary burden on the fishing industry. [email protected]

NOAA concedes:sturgeon not endangered, after all

gdt iconWithout a stock assessment and to howls of outrage by industry and questions about the justification of the action by the New England Fishery Management Council, NOAA approved a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council 15 months ago that granted Atlantic sturgeon protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration decided that its Jan. 31, 2012 action — declaring the sturgeon endangered along the entire Atlantic Coast except in the Gulf of Maine, where it was only “threatened” — was premature and may not have been necessary. continued

Environmental Group Sues Over Seismic Work in Cook Inlet

23:33:26 – Oral arguments are being heard Friday in US District Court in Anchorage for a lawsuit that challenges the decision made by the National Marine Fisheries Service to authorize the first of at least three years of seismic exploration in Cook Inlet. continued

Loud Seismic Tests Probed for Harm to Whales, Dolphins – ENGO Coalition Forces Government Agency’s

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, May 15, 2013 (ENS) – The U.S. federal agency that oversees offshore oil exploration will analyze the effects of noisy underwater seismic blasts on whales and dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. The BOEM and its predecessor, the Minerals Management Service, have allowed exploratory seismic surveys to go ahead without permits. The groups contend this omission violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. continued

Why Aren’t Environmental Groups Divesting from Fossil Fuels? Some of big green’s most powerful players still invest in energy companies.

THEY ARE STEALING OUR OCEAN. FOR PROFIT!!!  SOME BUYING FISH QUOTA!!Why do some of the largest environmental organizations still invest in fossil fuels? As outlined in my new piece, Time for Big Green to go Fossil Free, organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society aren’t taking the simple step of divesting their large endowments and publicly traded investments from energy corporations. Below is a cheat sheet (not comprehensive) for how much money big green groups are investing and for who is—and who isn’t—getting their financial house in order. continued