"Ten Things That Scare Me More Than A Horror Movie"
1- John McCain mocking Barack Obama on nuclear power safety.
Senator McCain is very pro-nuclear power, and it gives me the heebie-jeebies that the safety of it is not important to him. Senator McCain's quote:
"You know, the other night in the debate with Senator Obama, I said his eloquence is admirable, but pay attention to his words. We talk about offshore drilling and he said he would quote, consider, offshore drilling. We talked about nuclear power, well it has to be safe, environment, blah, blah, blah."2- Trying to again remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species list
Despite the public outrage and legal battle that reversed the plan to delist the gray wolf this summer, the government is still trying to remove it. From a Washington Post article:
"The position of the service is, we think the wolves no longer need the protection of the Endangered Species Act. We're asking the public to weigh in to that," said Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
3- Removing the last environmental hurdle to mountaintop removal coal mining
In another example of the government ignoring environmental harm, this month the Office of Surface Mining decided to eliminate the Stream Buffer Zone rule - basically saying coal mining in and near streams has no environmental impact. Have a problem with that? Tell the OSM it isn't right. [take action:]
4- Mountaintop removal coal mining, part II
The battle over the fate of Coal River Mountain rages on in West Virginia, with Gov. Ernie Manchin refusing to stop Massey Energy from destroying the mountain despite there being a competitive clean energy alternative.
I've discussed Coal River Wind in this column before - and they need your help even more to convince Gov. Manchin to choose wind over destructive mountaintop removal coal mining.
5- FEMA's formaldehyde trailers still being used, this time in Iowa
Oh, FEMA, when will you realize that you've done nothing but further harm to people's lives and your agency's reputation with these toxic trailers? Now it's in Iowa: FEMA trailers are in use for flood survivors, and the agency is still fighting the test results showing high levels of the toxic chemical in the structures, despite proof the levels are toxic. This time they're blaming the residents, too, for not having fully aired out the trailers first.
6- The lingering environmental impact of Hurricane Ike
Many are trying to convince the American public that off-shore drilling is safe and ready for hurricanes, but storms as recent as Hurricane Ike showed us how untrue that was. According to an analysis of government data from the Associated Press, "At least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas."
7- Speaking of off-shore drilling, the OCS moratorium expired on 9/30/08
The offshore drilling moratorium that has protected America's coasts since 1981 expired last month. Congress wasn't able to agree on the future of the moratorium, and it was not renewed this year. Though the lapse does temporarily leave our coasts at risk, I hope Congress will restore protections neat year as part of a comprehensive energy bill to move us toward a clean energy economy.
8- Despite Congressional ruling, the Grand Canyon threatened by uranium mining
And still another government rejection of law/decisions - Last month the Sierra Club won a tremendous victory when it stopped uranium mining exploration right next to the Grand Canyon. But now the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing to reverse that victory by repealing the regulation that gives Congress the authority to protect these public lands from mining. The BLM also only gave the public 15 days to weigh in.
9- The Environmental Protection Agency weakening clean air rules for power plants
That's right, four out of these ten Scary Things are the government showing its clear favor of business over any sort of environmental regulations. Number nine is the EPA weakening its clean air rules. From a Miami Herald article:
"The Clean Air Act requires older plants that have their lives extended with new equipment to install pollution-control technology if their emissions increase. The rule change would allow plants to measure emissions on an hourly basis, rather than total yearly output. This way, plants could run for more hours and increase overall emissions without exceeding the threshold that would require adding pollution controls."
10- ILLICIT URBAN CHICKENS!
They could be in a neighbor's yard near you - and wearing chicken diapers (see the article).
Just kidding about the chicken fear factor, though. We like urban farming, so long as you're conscious of your local regulations. And really, I had to throw in a more humorous "thing" so as to not depress us all in this post.
Happy Haunting and Halloween, folks!
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