Natural Resources

Arctic Drilling Foes Sue To Block Seismic Surveys, Lease Sales in ANWR

"Environmental and Alaska Native groups asked a federal court in Anchorage on Tuesday to stop the U.S. Interior Department from opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas exploration before President Donald Trump leaves office next month."

Source: Reuters, 12/16/2020

A New Trump Rule Could Shrink Protected Habitat For Endangered Wildlife

"The Trump administration adopted a rule Tuesday that could shrink the historic habitats of plants and animals threatened with extinction, an action that opponents say will make it more difficult for them to recover."

Source: Washington Post, 12/16/2020

It’s Official: Alberta’s Oilsands Tailings Ponds Are Leaking. Now What?

"A years-long international investigation has found ‘scientifically valid evidence’ the massive pits that store toxic waste in the oilsands are leaking, leaving Albertans wondering who’s going to clean them up".

"There are more than a trillion litres of toxic oilsands waste stored in tailings ponds near Alberta’s Athabasca River — and they’re leaking.

Yes, we now have “scientifically valid evidence” that the ponds meant to contain toxic fluids are leaking, according to a years-long probe backed by the governments of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Source: The Narwhal, 12/15/2020

Yukon Wetlands Pushed To Tipping Point By Placer Mining: First Nation

"The Yukon Water Board is asking the public to weigh in as the territory considers legislation to protect remaining undisturbed wetlands from small-scale gold mining in streams and riverbeds".

"The Indian River watershed, which used to provide “sweeping” wetland habitat south of Dawson City, Yukon, has been all but destroyed by placer mining, Darren Taylor, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation’s director of natural resources, told the territory’s water board during a recent virtual hearing.

Source: The Narwhal, 12/15/2020

Biden Faces Environmental Challenges on Multiple International Treaties

As the incoming Biden administration prepares to re-engage on the global stage, environment-related treaties are high on the agenda. The latest Backgrounder, part of our 2021 Guide, takes a closer look at 10-plus top treaties, including those focused on climate change, biodiversity, plastics pollution, airplane emissions, the future of the Arctic and more.

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“You Can’t Fool Mother Nature: The Once and Future Triumph of Environmentalism”

It’s been a half-century since the first Earth Day in 1970 and a new book from an old hand catalogues the advances and the setbacks in the decades since. BookShelf contributor Francesca Lyman reviews “You Can’t Fool Mother Nature: The Once and Future Triumph of Environmentalism,” and explores how a long view from a veteran environmentalist informs the field of environmental reporting.

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Searching for Narrative in the Groundwater Where It Happens

A graduate field scientist-cum-multimedia storyteller trains her eye on the confounding challenges of western water, with award-winning student reporting on three family farms that face the draining of critical groundwater basins. Could land that drought makes untenable for farming be restored as habitat for endangered species? That, plus how the “ladder of abstraction” helped her tell the tale. The most recent entry in EJ Academy.

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Climate Change Policy Likely To Permeate Executive Under Biden

What will climate change policy look like under a Biden administration? If nothing else, it appears it will be broadly based across a wide range of executive branch operations. This week’s TipSheet walks you through the top 10 federal departments, agencies and spending centers and how they will pivot to focus on global warming. 

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