Weekly News Roundup- July 26, 2013

What’s happening at National Wildlife Federation this week?


NWF Taking Action

Sportsmen oppose energy bills

Lake fishing silhouettes

July 24- A national sportsmen’s coalition is taking aim at continued assaults on our public lands by U.S. House members who want to gut conservation measures, hamstring public participation in land-use decisions and impose arbitrary drilling quotas while millions of acres of federal leases sit idle and thousands of oil and gas permits go unused.

Two bills being considered by the House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday would undermine leasing reforms intended to balance activities on public lands, Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development wrote Tuesday in a letter to the committee.  Similar House bills failed last year.

“These bills are a give-away of public lands and resources in the guise of an energy policy.  There is nothing strategic about sacrificing our nation’s public lands and the contributions they make to our economy and our communities for the sake of exporting more natural gas overseas and boosting the price paid here in the U.S.,” said Kate Zimmerman, the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands policy director. “There is nothing smart about committing federal lands and resources to oil shale production when there is as yet no viable extraction technology for the most valued deposits.  These bills are just plain irresponsible.”

Read the letter and learn more about what NWF is doing for public lands here.


Coalition to Congress: Restore Great Lakes Funding

Sunset over lake with boat

July 23- As a U.S. House subcommittee prepares to vote on a bill gutting Great Lakes programs and a federal advisory board meets in Chicago to chart the future of Great Lakes restoration efforts, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is urging the nation’s public officials to maintain their commitment to the Lakes by rejecting the draconian cuts and supporting a strengthened national plan to guide restoration efforts.

The stakes are high for the more than 30 million people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, health, and way of life. The initial four-year, $1.3 billion investment in restoration efforts by the U.S. Congress and President Obama is paying dividends in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. But the nation is nowhere close to implementing the $20 billion restoration plan that initially galvanized support amongst the region’s environmentalists, industry leaders, chambers of commerce, mayors, governors, and tribes when the plan was unveiled in 2005.


Obama Administration Should Stop Damaging, Dated Levee Project


July 22- Conservation groups called on the Obama Administration to put a stop to the Corps’ sixty-year-old plan to levee off the New Madrid Floodway, a critical flood relief valve in Missouri. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has released its seventh environmental study in an effort to resurrect this proposal, which dates back to 1954.

The levee would sever the Mississippi River’s last connection with its floodplain in Missouri, increasing the potential for flooding in a dozen communities and harming fish and wildlife throughout the central portion of the Mississippi River.


And now here are highlights from NWF in the news

OpenSecrets.org: Billion Dollar Baby: U.S. Chamber is First to Hit Lobbying Milestone

According to Adam Kolton, executive director for advocacy at the National Wildlife Federation, many of the Chamber’s member organizations are actually in favor of emissions regulations and climate change legislation. But, said Kolton, a few corporations that heavily bankroll the lobby group’s operations — “pocketed interests” that are able to fund Chamber initiatives — have dictated the organization’s position on this issue.

Associated Press: House Panel Wants Deep Cut in Great Lakes Program

“Cuts of this magnitude would bring Great Lakes programs to a halt,” said Joel Brammeier, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Even during a time of belt tightening, he said, “what’s mystifying to me is these programs seem to be singled out for disproportionate treatment.”

Detroit News: Environmental Groups: Proposed Cuts Pose Major Threat to Great Lakes

On Monday, a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee introduced a bill that would reduce 2014 spending on the Great Lakes initiative from an expected $285 million to $60 million.

CleanEnergy.org: Obama Administration Moves Virginia Offshore Wind Energy Forward

“Today, Virginia gets over 90 percent of its electricity from just three sources – nuclear, coal, and natural gas. Virginia urgently needs to diversify its energy supply. Properly-sited and responsibly-developed offshore wind energy can protect wildlife, cut climate-disrupting carbon pollution, and create thousands of jobs,” said Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager for Climate and Energy at the National Wildlife Federation’s Northeast Regional Center.

UPI.com: Enbridge Reviews Michigan Security After Protest

Nearly 400 demonstrators took part in a July 14 protest organized by the National Wildlife Federation and 350.org turned against Enbridge pipelines running through the state.

The Journal-Gazette: Telling Actual Fish Stories: Environmentalist Wets Line to See US Policy in Action

Paul Moinester of Memphis, a former congressional staffer, is four months into a six-month fly-fishing adventure he’s calling his “Upstream Journey.”