The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

Navajo Nation & Havasupai Resist Trump Opening Up Uranium Mining on Tribal Lands

SUPAI, ARIZONA – Responding to President Donald Trump’s overtures to open up uranium mining on tribal lands, the Navajo Nation and Havasupai Tribe (People of the Blue Green Water) are expressing their opposition.

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez joined Arizona State Rep. Eric Descheenie and six other runners on a run to the village of Supai on February 14 to collect handwritten letters from the students of Havasupai Elementary School. The letters are addressed to U.S. President Donald Trump in response to speculation that he plans to lift a 20-year ban on uranium mining in the greater Grand Canyon region, which was established by the Obama administration in 2012.

“We came to support the efforts of Representative Eric Descheenie and the Havasupai tribe to elevate the voice of the Havasupai youth.” Vice President Jonathan Nez said. “Their voice needs to be heard, especially on issues that impact their health and way of life.”

Uranium has killed fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers across the Navajo Nation. It has contaminated the water supply in numerous areas poisoning plants, animals and people. For this reason, mining and transportation of uranium are banned on Diné Bikéyah, said Vice President Nez.

Trump Takes Aim at Obama-Era Rules on Methane Leaks and Gas Flaring

The Trump administration has taken its first step on a slow path to loosen curbs on methane emissions from oil and gas operations on public land, after legal roadblocks stymied its efforts to quickly set aside Obama-era rules on the potent greenhouse gas.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Bureau of Land Management published a proposal on Monday that in essence would restore the status quo from before the Obama rules took effect. Zinke is seeking to wipe out the requirements that operators monitor and detect leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, and capture and sell the fuel instead of flaring it off or venting it to the atmosphere.

Sea Level Rise Is Accelerating: 4 Inches Per Decade (or More) by 2100

The rate of sea level rise is accelerating so fast that some coastal communities could confront an additional 4 inches per decade by the end of the century—a growing concern now confirmed by thorough measurements from space.

At that rapid pace of change, vulnerable communities might not be able to keep up. Storm surges will increase erosion and damage homes, businesses and transportation infrastructure in some areas. In other places, seawater will intrude on freshwater aquifers. In South Asia and the islands, people will lose the land where they live and farm. And the changes will arrive much faster than they do today.

Court Sides with Arctic Seals Losing Their Sea Ice Habitat to Climate Change

A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that Arctic ringed seals must be protected under the Endangered Species Act because of their reliance on the sea ice, which is rapidly disappearing as the planet warms.

The seals—named for the light-colored circles that dot their coats—build lairs on the surface of the sea ice to birth and protect their young. That puts them, like other species that rely on the ice, in a precarious position as it vanishes.

“This major victory gives ringed seals vital protections in the face of climate change and melting sea ice,” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney from the Center for Biological Diversity who argued the case.

Intelligence Agencies Warn of Climate Risks in Worldwide Threat Assessment

In their annual summary of global threats, the nation’s intelligence agencies warned on Tuesday that climate change and other environmental trends “are likely to fuel economic and social discontent—and possibly upheaval—through 2018.”

While there may not be indications of an abrupt and cataclysmic event on the immediate horizon, the trends are already visible, they said in a statement presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee at a hearing where the Trump administration’s top intelligence officials testified.

Far More Methane Leaking at Oil, Gas Sites in Pennsylvania than Reported

Leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from oil and gas sites in Pennsylvania could be five times greater than industry reports to state regulators, according to a new analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund.

Drawing from peer-reviewed research based on measurements collected downwind of oil and gas sites, along with government data, the EDF analysis estimates that the state’s oil and gas wells and infrastructure leak more than 520,000 tons of methane annually, largely due to faulty equipment.

“This wasted gas causes the same near-term climate pollution as 11 coal-fired power plants and results in nearly $68 million worth of wasted energy resources,” the group said in its report, released Thursday.

At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

 

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