On April 7, 2021, undreds of Indigenous Kichwa people from the Ecuadorian Amazon marched through the city of Coca to mark one year since the country’s largest oil spill in recent history. Photo: Amazon Watch
Indigenous environmental defenders in Ecuador on Sunday pointed to a pipeline rupture in the Amazon rainforest as “the exact reason why we oppose oil extraction” as the pipeline operator temporarily halted pumping crude oil.
A sweeping Pennsylvania voting rights law that won praise from across the political spectrum when it was passed in 2019 was struck down by a state court Friday after Republican lawmakers—several of whom had voted for the law—claimed it unlawfully helped President Joe Biden to win the state in 2020.
The conservative-leaning Commonwealth Court ruled 3-2 that Act 77 is unconstitutional, reasoning that an 1838 amendment to the state constitution says Pennsylvanians must vote in person on Election Day unless they meet certain criteria. The rule must be overturned by the adoption of a new amendment, said the court. Continue reading →
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Thursday confirmed that it is no longer a “cooperating agency” for the Dakota Access oil pipeline and demanded federal action to address concerns that a leak could affect Lake Oahe, the tribe’s only source of fresh drinking water.
Janet Alkire, the tribe’s newly elected chairperson, warned in a statement that low water levels resulting from “misplaced priorities in the operation of Oahe and the other dams on the Missouri River” could affect cleanup plans in the event of a Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) spill. Continue reading →
n marketing material for gun-maker WEE1 Tactical, a girl holds a JR-15, a rifle for children inspired by the AR-15. (Image: WEE1 Tactical)
Gun control advocates on Wednesday sharply condemned an Illinois-based company for recently unveiling the JR-15, a long rifle inspired by the AR-15 but marketed for children.
Although it is under 2.5 pounds and 20% smaller than the standard version, the JR-15 “operates just like Mom and Dad’s gun,” WEE1 Tactical said in a statement. The weapon “functions like a modern sporting rifle,” but its “lightweight and rugged polymer construction and ergonomics are geared towards children.” Continue reading →
Coastal Wetlands at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, MA. Ohoto: Kelly Fike/USFWS/flickr/CC
Environmental advocates and congressional Democrats are raising alarm after the U.S. Supreme Court this week agreed to hear arguments in two cases regarding bedrock regulations designed to protect the quality of the nation’s air and water.
The nine justices announced Monday that they plan to hear arguments in the case of an Idaho couple who were blocked from building a home on their land by the Clean Water Act. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Chantell and Michael Sackett’s land contained wetlands and the couple needed a federal permit to build. Continue reading →
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Monday urged the top Democrat and Republican in the House of Representatives to “swiftly bring legislation to prohibit members of Congress from owning or trading stock” to the floor.
The call came in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—who has faced criticism for defending her husband’s trades and existing rules—and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is reportedly considering enacting a ban on lawmakers trading if the GOP wins control of the chamber in this year’s midterms. Continue reading →
Two centuries of burning fossil fuels has put more carbon dioxide, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere than nature can remove. As that CO2 builds up, it traps excess heat near Earth’s surface, causing global warming. There is so much CO2 in the atmosphere now that most scenarios show ending emissions alone won’t be enough to stabilize the climate – humanity will also have to remove CO2 from the air.
The U.S. Department of Energy has a new goal to scale up direct air capture, a technology that uses chemical reactions to capture CO2 from air. While federal funding for carbon capture often draws criticism because some people see it as an excuse for fossil fuel use to continue, carbon removal in some form will likely still be necessary, IPCC reports show. Technology to remove carbon mechanically is in development and operating at a very small scale, in part because current methods are prohibitively expensive and energy intensive. But new techniques are being tested this year that could help lower the energy demand and cost.
We asked Arizona State University Professor Klaus Lackner, a pioneer in direct air capture and carbon storage, about the state of the technology and where it’s headed. Continue reading →
Every Black member of the Mississippi state Senate walked out of the legislative chamber in protest on Friday as the Republican-led body passed a bill critics say will ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, from kindergarten through college.
S.B. 2113—titled Critical Race Theory, Prohibit—passed by a vote of 32-2 as 14 Black lawmakers filed out of the Senate chamber. Two white Democratic senators—David Blount (District 29) and Hob Bryant (District 7)—remained in the chamber to vote against the measure. Continue reading →
Aftermath of air strile in Hodeida on January 20, 2022. Photo: Marwa Osman/Twitter
A series of Saudi-led airstrikes were blamed Friday for killing scores of people in Yemen as civilians, including children, continue to suffer deadly consequences of the U.S.-backed conflict that has lasted for years.
Overnight bombings included one that targeted a prison holding mostly migrants in the northern city of Sa’ada, an area described as being under the control of Houthi forces. Continue reading →