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06.05.18

Republican moves on Arizona coal plant show they don’t believe their own rhetoric

The Navajo Generating Station (NGS), a coal-fired power plant in Northern Arizona, has in the past provided reliable power for consumers and good-paying jobs for tribal communities. As with other sites of this type, increased competition from natural gas and renewable energy has rendered NGS unprofitable. Instead of helping tribes prepare for the future, Republican coal loyalists are abusing congressional power to extend the life of NGS beyond 2019. In the process, they are acknowledging the fai… Continue Reading


05.15.18

Our Mining Laws Are More Than a Century Old—Time to Update Them

My Republican friends on Capitol Hill often complain that our nation's bedrock environmental laws are out of date. Their argument, which I disagree with, is that laws written in the 1960s and 1970s aren't relevant in the modern world. Unfortunately, their concern about updating laws written in the 1970s doesn't extend to at least one law from the 1870s. The General Mining Act of 1872 still governs all the mining for gold, silver, copper, and other metals that happens on our federal lands-and t… Continue Reading


05.08.18

Rep. Raul Grijalva: America risks being left behind on clean energy

French President Emmanuel Macron's recent visit to the U.S. offers a stern reminder that even as the Trump administration tries to withdraw our country from the global community, our friends and foes around the world continue to respond to climate change, and those responses will have long-lasting implications. Economies both large and small have begun a shift from fossil fuels to renewable and low-carbon energy sources. Unfortunately, for ideological reasons, Republicans in Washington are blin… Continue Reading


04.12.18

Opinion: When Trump Dreams About Our National Parks, He Sees Oil

For most Americans, the mention of national parks brings to mind the scenic vistas of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Valley or contemplative memorials like the Statue of Liberty and Pearl Harbor. Few people think of the tremendous amount of infrastructure - from roads and bridges to visitors centers and sewer systems - that supports 330 million annual visitors and $34.9 billion in annual economic output. The National Park Service manages a broad network that requires routine repairs, rehabili… Continue Reading


03.14.18

Industry should comply with the Methane Waste Prevention Rule

Before leaving office, President Obama instituted a rule limiting the oil and gas industry's wasting of natural gas on public and tribal lands. The standard, formally known as the Methane Waste Prevention Rule, was a set of commonsense updates - such as requiring companies to detect and fix leaky equipment - projected to bring in an additional $23 million annually in royalties to states, tribes and federal taxpayers, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 950,000 cars off the r… Continue Reading


12.19.17

Stop trying to militarize Interior, Ryan Zinke

During his confirmation hearing and throughout his time in office, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has presented himself as an admirer of Teddy Roosevelt and a believer in conservation. But less than a year into his tenure, his leadership has produced an existential crisis at the Department of the Interior. Zinke has surprised many with his willingness to support President Donald Trump's extreme environmental policies, including the recent attempt to erase most of two national monuments in Utah f… Continue Reading


11.27.17

Stop seeing the Grand Canyon as potential strip mine

For all its grandeur, some people see the Grand Canyon as a potential strip mine. Unfortunately, a new report from the Trump administration just opened the door to new uranium mining in the region - and raised questions about who's really making federal environmental policy. Since January of 2012, approximately 1 million acres of federal land outside Grand Canyon National Park have been protected by a moratorium on new uranium mining claims. The policy was created after a public outreach process… Continue Reading


11.16.17

A Democratic approach to energy: promote the interests of citizens, not industry

Donald Trump claims to have an "America First" energy plan. His administration's actions over the past 10 months have made it clear that what he truly puts first are the interests of oil, gas and coal executives. Everyday Americans and our iconic American landscapes come last, if he considers them at all. Time after time Trump has capitulated to oil and gas industry deregulatory demands by gutting safety standards, decreasing royalty rates, advantaging fossil fuels, ignoring the threats of cl… Continue Reading


01.31.17

Stand Up, Environmentalists — There’s More to Fight For Now Than Ever

Most of us who worry about environmental issues did not support Donald Trump for president. His tweeted claim that the very idea of global warming "was created by and for the Chinese" and his eagerness to repeal environmental protections make him ill-suited to head federal agencies that protect our natural world. So now what? What should committed environmentalists, in Congress and in communities around the country, be preparing for? The Trump administration and its House and Senate alli… Continue Reading


01.25.17

The Keystone pipeline will create just 35 permanent jobs. Don't believe the lies

For those who still insist fossil fuels are the future, the Trump administration represents a new day for some old ideas. In an early sign of things to come, the president showed his faith in big oil when he signed documents Tuesday pressuring federal agencies to support construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Each of these projects faced enormous protests and was put on hold by the Obama administration because of legitimate environmental and due process concerns. Congr… Continue Reading


03.31.16

Rep. Raúl Grijalva: How to Prevent the Next Oil Spill

A little more than six years ago, a Senate committee held a hearing about a major blowout on a rig off the coast of Australia. At that hearing, we were assured such an environmental tragedy couldn't happen in the United States. "Releases from oil and gas operations are rare," a BP executive said, "and the application of technology has enabled a dramatic reduction of releases from our industry over the last 30 years." Less than six months later, the Deepwater Horizon exploded, and the BP oil spi… Continue Reading


08.28.15

Toxic Legacy: 1872 Law Lets Miners Profit on the Backs of American Taxpayers

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