Tag Archives: Natural Resources Defense Council

House Resolution 1568 – SAVE Right Whales Act, committee backs right whale conservation bill

House Resolution 1568 — whose lead sponsor, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., is one of nearly two dozen people running for the Democratic nomination for president — provides $5 million per year from 2019 to 2029 that would go to relevant state and tribal agencies, research institutions and nonprofits with expertise required in right whale conservation.,,, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., presented the bill and said it’s been endorsed by the Massachusetts Lobster Association and the Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance. It’s also backed by Oceana, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Humane Society of the United States, among others. >click to read<11:43

North Atlantic Right Whale – New restrictions placed on New England fishing industry to protect whales

Fishermen across New England are facing new restrictions after a panel of experts convened by the federal government agreed on Friday to a plan to step up protection of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The group of federal and state officials, scientists, fishermen and environmental advocates created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration capped a four-day meeting in Providence by reaching consensus on a plan that aims to reduce entanglements in fishing gear, which is the leading cause of injuries to the whale and deaths. >click to read<18:20

New England Stakeholders Agree On Recommendations For Reducing Risk Of Right Whale Entanglements – >click to read<11:16

Congress Questions US Environmental Group’s Ties To The Chinese Government

A House committee is asking the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the U.S.’s most prominent environmental groups, about its ties to the China’s communist government. Top Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources sent a letter to the NRDC asking the group to clarify its two-decade relationship with the Chinese government and question whether the group should register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Lawmakers cited recent reports on China’s “vast influence machine” — through funding colleges, think tanks, advocacy groups and others — which it uses to shape its global image, including on environmental issues. >click to read< Find related material in the post comment section regarding the New England Marine Monument, 11:32

Vineyard Wind, Con Groups Reach Historic Agreement to Protect Right Whales

Vineyard Wind and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and Conservation Law Foundation today entered into an unprecedented agreement to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. Under the historic agreement, Vineyard Wind will institute a variety of protective measures to keep right whales safe while installing and operating turbines at its proposed 84-turbine project off the coast of Massachusetts. Harnessing offshore wind is a key step in transitioning the nation away from dirty, polluting fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. (Plenty of Fraudsters here!) >click to read<13:55

Fisheries Minister Wilkinson fires back at enviro groups for suing over killer whales

Canada’s fisheries minister has fired back at environmental groups for launching court action to protect endangered southern resident killer whales instead of working with the federal government on the issue. Jonathan Wilkinson said the groups abandoned discussions shortly after they began with federal officials and representatives from the transportation and fishing industries. “They were the ones who initially asked to convene the multi-stakeholder forum. They effectively attended one meeting and then decided that they would pursue a more adversarial approach rather than a collaborative approach.” >click to read<10:48

A mighty wind, by Kevin Gray – The more you read, the dirtier it gets.

Jeff Grybowksi likes to tell the story about the whale.,,, For Grybowksi and his surrogates, as well as for the powerful environmental groups blowing wind into his green-energy sails, this is a handy anecdote, one they frequently recycle to journalists and policy makers. In the face of commercial fishermen’s warnings that Deepwater’s wind farms will kill their industry, Grybowksi’s parable portrays the company as a true steward of the environment. At the same time, the story underscores the brinksmanship that has propelled Grybowski’s company from startup obscurity to leading player in the booming domestic offshore wind trade: They are ready to go down to the wire for the sake of their hedge-fund investors.,,, But not everyone out here is impressed by Deepwater’s plans, or by Grybowski, or his whale. >click to read<10:52

Trump administration replaces Obama-era ocean policy

The Trump administration has revoked an environmental and economic management program for the United States’ coastal ecosystems and replaced it with a program that the president says “streamlines federal coordination.” The National Ocean Policy (NOP), created by an executive order by President Barack Obama in July 2010, established a comprehensive program to ensure the sustainability of the country’s coastal areas and the health of oceans and the Great Lakes. According to a White House news release issued Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s repeal of the 2010 executive order was done because of “excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration,” citing the National Ocean Council’s 27 departments and agencies. >click to read<17:17

From the White House – Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States – >click to read<

Booker, Carper, Nelson Introduce Bicameral Bill to Establish Grant Program for Right Whale Conservation

U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), along with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Booker is a member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Carper is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Nelson is the top Democrat on the Senate’s Commerce Committee, which oversees ocean policy. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), along with Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Bill Keating (D-MA), has introduced a companion measure in the House of Representatives. >click to read<18:46

Congress Questions US Green Group’s Ties To The Chinese Government

A House committee is asking the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the U.S.’s most prominent environmental groups, about its ties to China’s communist government. Top Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources sent a letter to the NRDC asking the group to clarify its two-decade relationship with the Chinese government and question whether the group should register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Lawmakers cited recent reports on China’s “vast influence machine” — through funding colleges, think tanks, advocacy groups and others — which it uses to shape its global image, including on environmental issues. >click to read<13:38

The High-Stakes Battle Over Obama’s Atlantic Ocean National Monument

Mining and drilling for oil are already banned in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, established by former president Barack Obama in 2016 as the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Within five years, too, all commercial fishing will be phased out – or, at least that was the plan. A federal judge is now weighing the fate of those protections in a lawsuit originally filed in March 2017 by a coalition of New England fishing groups – and it has led to a rare case of President Donald Trump defending his predecessor’s authority.  >click to read<10:27

Marine Monument Case Aligns Trump, Conservationists

Cautiously aligned with the government in support of America’s first marine monument, environmentalists urged a federal judge Monday to sink a challenge by fishing groups. Designated by President Barack Obama in September 2016, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument encompasses 4,913 square miles off the coast of New England. Cordoned off from oil and gas exploration, as well as commercial fishing, the seabed within the monuments boasts four underwater volcanoes and three canyons. The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Conservation Law Foundation and naturalist Zack Klyver had all intervened in the case,,, >click to read<14:08

Conservationists, West Coast bottom fishermen embrace ‘grand bargain’

People who love fresh Northwest seafood and the sea should take note of what happened this week in a hotel conference room by Portland’s airport. There, the Pacific Fishery Management Council approved a plan to protect more coral, sponges, reefs and other sensitive animals and formations from the nets of bottom trawlers who work off the West Coast. The measure also offers something for fishermen: a reopening of some prime fishing areas that had been off-limits. >click to read<18:22

Cuomo’s latest green-power fiasco

Since 2015, Gov. Cuomo has been hyping his scheme to remake the state’s electric grid so that by 2030 half of the state’s electricity will come from renewable sources.,, In Albany, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority released its “offshore-wind master plan.” Why is the governor pushing so hard for offshore wind? The answer’s simple: The rural backlash against Big Wind is growing daily. The onshore backlash has left Cuomo with no choice but to move his renewable-energy obsession offshore. >click to read< 10:00

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