Palm oil is produced by pressing the fruit of oil palm trees, which grows in bunches. Photo: Mongabay

By Taran Volckhausen
21 June 2018

(Mongabay) – The large-scale expansion of oil palm has been a major driver of deforestation and biodiversity loss in many areas of the tropics. In Malaysia and Indonesia, where 85 percent of the world’s oil palm is cultivated, rampant industry growth over the past several decades has replaced rainforest with monoculture plantations, devastating wildlife in the process and leading Indonesia to issue bans on further expansion. But as demand for palm oil continues to rise, other countries are looking to pick up the slack.

Colombia’s oil palm industry aims to overtake Thailand to become the world’s third largest supplier of the plant-based oil commonly found in household products such as snack foods, ice cream, cosmetics as well as biofuels.

Known as a mega-biodiverse country, Colombia claims 74 distinct natural ecosystems with a biodiversity rate second only to Brazil. The country occupies 0.22 percent of the earth’s surface area but it houses about 10 percent of the species currently known on the planet.

According to the Environment Vice Minister Carlos Alberto Botero López, Colombia boasts fertile soils, but 40 percent have been degraded. The degradation processes that most affect Colombian soils are erosion, urban constructions and infrastructure, pollution from toxic substances, organic matter loss, salinization and desertification.

Further, Colombia’s forests and natural ecosystems are disappearing at an accelerating rate as deforestation shot up following a historic 2016 peace deal with the country’s formerly largest rebel group, the FARC.

While Colombia and Southeast Asia face their own individual environmental challenges, activists and researchers are concerned that oil palm’s expansion in Colombia following the 2016 peace deal could cause degradation to sensitive ecosystems and biodiversity loss as has happened elsewhere. […]

Research indicates oil palm plantations support far less wildlife compared to natural habitat. Biologist researcher at James Cook University Lain Pardo conducted a large-scale camera-trapping study across 2,000 square kilometres in the Eastern Plains region where the largest oil palm plantations are found. Pardo’s results, published last month in PLOS ONE, found that these big plantations are not suitable for most mammals native to eastern savannah ecosystems.

“We found that the number and diversity of species differed significantly between oil palm plantations and their neighboring forests, with the number of species inside oil palm plantations 47% lower, on average, than in the forest,” Pardo said. […]

These impacts aren’t felt only by mammals. A study published by Diana Tamaris at Colombia’s Universidad Nacional showed that bird diversity was 90 percent lower in oil palm plantations in eastern Colombia than in nearby forests. […]

Rodrigo Bernal, one of Colombia’s leading palm oil researchers, is also concerned about the impacts of commercial oil palm cultivation on the genetic integrity of native palm species.

In a conversation with Mongabay, Bernal pointed to studies by investigators and the Humboldt Institute and the Sinchi Institute that showed the most common oil palm species is classified as invasive in northern South America. [more]

As Colombia expands its palm oil sector, scientists worry about wildlife

Aerial view of the town of Belet Weyne, in the Hiraan region of Somalia, after it was submerged in flood waters from the Shabelle river on 30 April 2018. Belet Weyne experienced its worst flooding ever and over 150,000 people were displaced. Photo: Ilyas Ahmed / UN Photo

8 June 2018 (UN News) – After four consecutive poor rainy seasons that brought Somalia to the brink of famine, the country is now seeing near-record rainfall, and with it, flooding that has already displaced hundreds of thousands of people, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.

According to the agency, about 230,000 people, over half of whom are estimated to be children, have been displaced since April due to flooding. They join around 2.6 million people across the country who have already been affected by drought and conflict.

“The rains signal the end of the drought for some areas of the country but they also sharpen the risks faced by acutely malnourished children, and particularly those who have been displaced,” Christophe Boulierac, UNICEF spokesperson, told reporters in Geneva.

The rains spread diseases that are particularly deadly for malnourished children whose immune systems are fragile and exhausted.

While there has not yet been a notable spike, the risk of further outbreaks is high and compounded by flooding, Mr. Boulierac said.

The flooding has also damaged water sources, sanitation facilities, and other critical infrastructure, and 22 nutrition centres treating over 6,000 acutely malnourished children in areas hosting the displaced, have had to shut down.

Many of the flood-impacted areas are in the path of an ongoing measles outbreak, and a spike in acute watery diarrhoea, or cholera, is a major threat, he said.

Children displaced from their homes are most likely to be malnourished.

About half of children under 5 – more than 1.25 million – are expected to be acutely malnourished this year, including up to 232,000 children who could suffer the harshest form of malnutrition that requires specialized lifesaving care.

UNICEF is still $110.3 million short of the $154.9 million in funding needed to support relief programmes in Somalia.

From drought to floods in Somalia; displacement and hunger worsen, says UN

Waterworks at Colt Mesa, Utah. Photo: Jamal David Green / Across Utah!

By Shannon Van Sant
21 June 2018

(NPR) – A Canadian mining firm says it will move forward with plans to mine minerals from land that was previously part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.

Last December, President Trump removed nearly half of the Grand Staircase-Escalante from protection, as well as part of the Bears Ears National Monument, which is also in Utah. The move was the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.

Glacier Lake Resources Inc., a Vancouver-based copper and silver mining firm, says it has acquired the Colt Mesa deposit, an approximately 200-acre parcel of land located about 35 miles southeast of Boulder, Utah. Because it was nationally protected, the area was previously off limits to development and mining. In a press release the company noted that the deposit "recently became open for staking and exploration after a 21 year period moratorium."

Saf Dhillon, president and CEO of Glacier Lake Resources, called the project "a welcome addition to the company's ever growing portfolio."

The company's extraction of resources would have little impact on tourism and the environment, Dhillon told the Huffington Post, "The target is a high value, underground scenario with modest disturbance." Glacier Lake Resources says it has conducted sampling that confirmed the presence of several minerals, including cobalt.

President Bill Clinton established the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996. It was previously the largest national monument in the country. President Trump has also slashed the Bears Ears National Monument by about a million acres — to roughly 15 percent of its original size.

These actions followed an executive order Trump issued in April 2017, when he instructed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review any national monument created since 1996. Trump said the review would return control of the land "to the people, the people of all of the states, the people of the United States." [more]

Firm Prepares To Mine Land Previously Protected As A National Monument

This pair of images shows the shoreline of Lake Superior before (14 June 2018) and after (18 June 2018) the torrential rain that hit Michigan on 17 June 2018. Splotches of tan, red, and orange along the lakeshore indicate where rivers and streams carried muddy floodwater out of neighborhoods. The sediment is dominated by iron–rich soil called spodosols. These images were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Photo: Joshua Stevens / NASA

By Kasha Patel
19 June 2018

(NASA) – In a matter of hours on 17 June 2018, torrential rains transformed parts of Michigan into a “state of disaster.” Early morning storms swept through the Upper Midwest, creating flash floods, a few fatalities, and historic property damage.

The potent storms developed when moisture in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere from Hurricane Bud merged with a lower-level air mass rich in moisture. The torrential rains also affected parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

This pair of images shows the shoreline of Lake Superior before (14 June 2018) and after (18 June 2018) the downpour. Splotches of tan, red, and orange along the lakeshore indicate where rivers and streams carried muddy floodwater out of neighborhoods. The sediment is dominated by iron–rich soil called spodosols. These images were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Houghton County was hit the worst in Michigan. The town of Lake Linden received between four to seven inches of rain in seven hours. Nearby, the Trap Rock River received three inches, and its discharge was 331 percent above normal for 17 June 2018. The graph shows a connection between the amount of rainfall and river discharge, which is highlighted in the satellite image above. The graph shows how the increased rainfall over the area correlated with the high amount of river discharge for Trap Rock River. The data in this chart was provided by U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources.

Cumulative precipitation and river discharge on the Trap River, in Houghton County Michigan, during the torrential rainfall on 17 June 2018. Houghton County was hit the worst in Michigan. The town of Lake Linden received between four to seven inches of rain in seven hours. Nearby, the Trap Rock River received three inches, and its discharge was 331 percent above normal for 17 June 2018. This graph shows how the increased rainfall over the area correlated with the high amount of river discharge for Trap Rock River. The data in this chart was provided by U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources. Graphic: Joshua Stevens / USGS

Massive Amounts of Rain in Michigan

Abdon Nababan, one of Indonesia’s foremost indigenous rights activists. Photo: Philip Jacobson / Mongabay

21 June 2018 (Mongabay) – In July last year, Abdon Nababan, one of Indonesia’s most prominent activists, announced his intention to run for governor in his home province of North Sumatra. During his decade-long tenure as head of AMAN, the country’s main advocacy group for indigenous rights, Abdon led the organization to a series of high-profile wins. These included a landmark court decision that eroded the state’s legal claim to indigenous peoples’ territories, which have widely been leased out to agribusiness and extractive companies by corrupt politicians. North Sumatra is no exception: Its last two governors were convicted of graft.

North Sumatra, home to nearly 14 million people, is a bastion of the indigenous rights movement, and in many respects Abdon was an ideal candidate — politically connected, charismatic, an experienced campaigner, social-media savvy, and a political outsider and reformer in the mold of current President Joko Widodo. The vote for governor will take place later this month, but Abdon didn’t make it onto the ballot. Instead, the election will be contested by two candidates representing the more familiar faces of Indonesian politics. One of the them is a retired army general, while the other is running alongside a wealthy palm oil baron.

The fact that Abdon couldn’t stand reflects a phenomenon Mongabay and The Gecko Project have been investigating over the past 18 months: the role of money in elections, and its connection to destructive business interests that have established a stranglehold over politics in much of Indonesia, a young democracy still recovering from more than three decades of military rule. To get on the ticket, Abdon says, he faced the choice of illegally paying political parties millions of dollars to back his candidacy, or standing as an independent by collecting the signatures and copies of the ID cards of nearly 800,000 voters. He chose the latter route and, despite garnering more than half a million backers in less than four months, was not able to meet the deadline.

As Abdon tried to get on the ballot, he was afforded an inside look at how business and political interests collide and corruption flourishes in the lead-up to an election in Indonesia. In an exclusive interview with Mongabay and The Gecko Project, below, he described how:

  • He was approached by a consortium of business interests who offered to provide 300 billion rupiah ($21 million) to bankroll his campaign;
  • The trade-off would have entailed handing over de facto control of budgetary and land allocations in the province;
  • Political operatives offered to provide him with an additional 300,000 signatures so that he could qualify to run as an independent, at a cost of 40 billion rupiah ($2.8 million);
  • He believes progressive candidates can break through by running as independents, given more time and civil society support;
  • He believes progressive candidates can employ national-level policies and transparency initiatives to close the opportunity for corruption.

An interview with Abdon Nababan

Mongabay and The Gecko Project: Why did you run for governor of North Sumatra?

Abdon Nababan: Firstly, because they asked me to run — indigenous peoples, farmers, activists. Secondly, because North Sumatra is one of the worst [provinces] for governance right now in Indonesia. We are lowest on the happiness index, almost equal with Papua. There is corruption, and a land mafia. So the second reason is because of the problems. I wanted to do something different in North Sumatra. The third, because it’s my home, my indigenous land. So I have personal reasons to do good things in my own land.

What’s the “land mafia”?

Abdon Nababan: There is a group of a few families in Medan [the provincial capital] that control land transactions. They work with the OKP [Organisasi Kemasyarakatan Pemuda, or youth community organizations], the civilian paramilitaries. Almost all mafia are connected with these organizations. They control the market and they control the bureaucracy related to land. They control the systems of land transfer from communities, even from the state, to become real estate or industrial special zones and so forth. They are criminal organizations. [more]

Abdon Nababan: ‘North Sumatran land mafia offered me $21m to win election — and then hand over control of government’

Imazon's SAD bulletin on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon for May 2018. In May 2018, deforestation increased 73 percent compared with May 2017, when deforestation totaled 365 square kilometers. Graphic: Imazon

By Fabiano Maisonnave
20 June 2018

(Folha de S. Paulo) – The Jamanxim National Forest (Flona) recorded in two months more than double the amount of deforested area in the last year.

Located in the southwest of Pará, Flona lost 57 km2  of vegetation cover between April and May, according to the calculation of the NGO Imazon (Institute of Man and the Environment of the Amazon), based on satellite images.

This is a setback in efforts to curb deforestation in Flona, ​​located in the area of ​​influence of the BR-163, which connects Cuiabá to Santarém and is an important outlet for soybean in Mato Grosso.

Last year, Jamanxim recorded a 65.6% drop in deforestation, according to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Monitoring of Deforestation in Legal Amazon by Satellite (Prodes) Project. The calculation of 25 km2 takes into account the period between August 2016 and July 2017.

Responsible for the management of Flona, ​​ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation) has admitted that deforestation has once again climbed.

"This deforestation is associated with the process of land grabbing within the conservation unit, driven by real estate speculation and the advance of livestock activity that is happening in Flona," says the local authority, via the press office.

Jamanxim is the second conservation unit that suffers most from deforestation, behind only the Xingu Triunfo Environmental Protection Area (APA), which has lost 123 square kilometers since August of last year.

Flona has been the subject of intense controversy since the end of 2016, when the government Michel Temer (MDB) issued a provisional measure to reduce it, legalizing grileiros.

In Congress, this reduction was increased, reaching 37% of its 13,019 km2.

Pressured by environmentalists, the Planalto vetoed the modification and in July sent a new bill with a smaller decrease, 27% of the area.

"Flona is going through a vicious circle in which those interested in the areas occupied within this unit pressure their political representatives to propose and support projects for their reduction," says Heron Martins, an Imazon researcher.

"With each new project presented or positive signals from the government in relation to this reduction, the expectation is growing, which will increase the number of new illegal occupations in order to benefit from a possible legalization of these lands."

Martins says that deforestation also seeks to de-characterize the Flona as a conservation unit.

Flona Jamanxim has already lost 12.4% of its forest cover, most of it converted to pasture for extensive cattle ranching.

One of the beneficiaries of a possible reduction of Flona, ​​the mayor of Novo Progresso, Ubiraci da Silva (PSC), Macarrão, says that the bill is standing in Congress and will not be voted on this year.

For Macarrão, which claims 963 hectares of Flona, ​​without the reduction of the forest, the economy of Novo Progresso (1,717 km of Bethlehem) becomes unfeasible.

"Here, we are just a corridor. On one side, it's indigenous area. The side that has the production is here on the banks of the BR-163, and the Flona is close here. If the government doesn't give in, our city will be over, there'll be a trucking corridor anyway."

Flona do Jamanxim was created in 2006 under the Lula government to mitigate the impact of the unfinished asphalting of BR-163, an important channel for the outflow of Mato Grosso soybean via the Tapajós and Amazonas rivers in Pará.

The boundaries of Flona, ​​however, included areas of squatters and squatters, initiating a long process of negotiation with the state.

Based on a census, the ICMBio identified 236 occupants that fit the profile for regularization, such as the presence prior to 2004, in a total of 77 thousand hectares, but the associations claimed more land, generating impasse that dragged until reaching MP 756 , which provides for a reduction in forest protection.

Last year, only the expectation of opening the Flona do Jamanxim to the human occupation has already provoked the first invasion.

One group set up a camp to claim 41,000 hectares. [Translation by Google, with help from Microsoft.]

Alvo de controvérsia, floresta do Jamanxim, no Pará, tem alta no desmate

By Stefania Costa
20 June 2018

In May 2018, SAD detected 634 square kilometers of deforestation in the Amazon forest. In this bulletin, the fraction of deforestation between 1 and 10 hectares was 1% of the total detected (3 square kilometers). Considering only the alerts from 10 hectares, there was an increase of 73% in relation to May 2017, when deforestation totaled 365 square kilometers. In May 2018, deforestation occurred in Pará (48%), Mato Grosso (29%), Amazonas (15%), Rondônia (7%) and Acre (1%).

The degraded forests in the Amazon forest totaled 130 square kilometers in May 2018. In May 2017, the forest degradation detected was only 1 square kilometer. In May 2018 the degradation was detected only in the State of Pará.

In May 2018, the majority (56%) of deforestation occurred in private areas or under various stages of ownership. The remaining deforestation was recorded in Conservation Units (30%), Land Reform Settlements (13%) and Indigenous Lands (1%). [Translation by Google.]

The National Forest of the Jamanxim, the target of legal projects that aim to reduce its area, experienced increased deforestation during April and May 2018. In these two months, the destruction of the forest was twice as great as all of the deforestation detected in 2017. [Translated from the Imazon Facebook page.]

Boletim do desmatamento da Amazônia Legal (maio 2018) SAD

A,The percentage of Medicare Part D enrollees who received prescriptions for at least a 90-day supply of an opioid in 2015. B, The percentage of the vote for the Republican presidential candidate in 2016. The opioid map includes 3118 of3142 U.S. counties (99.2 percent), and the voting map includes 3101 counties (98.7 percent). In each map, the rates are color coded by quintile of counties. The rates are not adjusted for any individual or county characteristics. Graphic: Goodwin, et al., 2018 / JAMA

By Paul Chisholm
23 June 2018

(NPR) – The fact that rural, economically disadvantaged parts of the country broke heavily for the Republican candidate in the 2016 election is well known. But Medicare data indicate that voters in areas that went for Trump weren't just hurting economically — many of them were receiving prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

The findings were published Friday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open. Researchers found a geographic relationship between support for Trump and prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

It's easy to see similarities between the places hardest hit by the opioid epidemic and a map of Trump strongholds. "When we look at the two maps, there was a clear overlap between counties that had high opioid use … and the vote for Donald Trump," says Dr. James S. Goodwin, chair of geriatrics at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and the study's lead author. "There were blogs from various people saying there was this overlap. But we had national data."

Goodwin and his team looked at data from Census Bureau, the 2016 election and Medicare Part D, a prescription drug program that serves the elderly and disabled.

To estimate the prevalence of opioid use by county, the researchers used the percentage of enrollees who had received prescriptions for a three-month or longer supply of opioids. Goodwin says that prescription opioid use is strongly correlated with illicit opioid use, which can be hard to quantify.

"There are very inexact ways of measuring illegal opioid use," Goodwin says. "All we can really measure with precision is legal opioid use."

Goodwin's team examined how a variety of factors could have influenced each county's rate of chronic opioid prescriptions. After correcting for demographic variables such as age and race, Goodwin found that support for Trump in the 2016 election closely tracked opioid prescriptions.

In counties with higher-than-average rates of chronic opioid prescriptions, 60 percent of the voters went for Trump. In the counties with lower-than-average rates, only 39 percent voted for Trump.

A lot of this disparity could be chalked up to social factors and economic woes. Rural, economically-depressed counties went strongly for Trump in the 2016 election. These are the same places where opioid use is prevalent. As a result, opioid use and support for Trump might not be directly related, but rather two symptoms of the same problem – a lack of economic opportunity. […]

"The types of discussions around what drove the '16 election, and the forces that were behind that, should also be included when people are talking about the opioid epidemic," Goodwin says. [more]

Analysis Finds Geographic Overlap In Opioid Use And Trump Support In 2016

ABSTRACT: The causes of the opioid epidemic are incompletely understood.

Objective To explore the overlap between the geographic distribution of US counties with high opioid use and the vote for the Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

Design, Setting, and Participants A cross-sectional analysis to explore the extent to which individual- and county-level demographic and economic measures explain the association of opioid use with the 2016 presidential vote at the county level, using rate of prescriptions for at least a 90-day supply of opioids in 2015. Medicare Part D enrollees (N = 3 764 361) constituting a 20% national sample were included.

Main Outcomes and Measures Chronic opioid use was measured by county rate of receiving a 90-day or greater supply of opioids prescribed in 2015.

Results Of the 3 764 361 Medicare Part D enrollees in the 20% sample, 679 314 (18.0%) were younger than 65 years, 2 283 007 (60.6%) were female, 3 053 688 (81.1%) were non-Hispanic white, 351 985 (9.3%) were non-Hispanic black, and 198 778 (5.3%) were Hispanic. In a multilevel analysis including county and enrollee, the county of residence explained 9.2% of an enrollee’s odds of receiving prolonged opioids after adjusting for individual enrollee characteristics. The correlation between a county’s Republican presidential vote and the adjusted rate of Medicare Part D recipients receiving prescriptions for prolonged opioid use was 0.42 (P < .001). In the 693 counties with adjusted rates of opioid prescription significantly higher than the mean county rate, the mean (SE) Republican presidential vote was 59.96% (1.73%), vs 38.67% (1.15%) in the 638 counties with significantly lower rates. Adjusting for county-level socioeconomic measures in linear regression models explained approximately two-thirds of the association of opioid rates and presidential voting rates.

Conclusions and Relevance Support for the Republican candidate in the 2016 election is a marker for physical conditions, economic circumstances, and cultural forces associated with opioid use. The commonly used socioeconomic indicators do not totally capture all of those forces.

Association of Chronic Opioid Use With Presidential Voting Patterns in US Counties in 2016

Global temperatures before and after Dr. James Hansen's Senate testimony on 23 June 1988, showing two periods, 1959—1988 and 1988—2017. Graphic: Harry Stevens / Axios

By Harry Stevens
23 June 2018

(Axios) – Three decades have passed since then-NASA scientist James Hansen testified before the Senate Energy committee and alerted the country to the arrival of global warming.

Why it matters: The predictions of the world's leading climate scientists have come true, with dire consequence for the planet.

  • In the 30-year period prior to Hansen’s testimony, the Earth’s surface was, on average, less than 0.2°F warmer than the 20th-century average. In the 30 years since, the planet’s surface has, on average, undergone a six-fold temperature increase.
  • Hansen's temperature projections weren't exactly on target, since he projected a slightly higher amount of warming than what has occurred, but about two-dozen climate scientists told Axios that overall, his main conclusions were right.

In his 23 June 1988 testimony, Hansen made three key points:

  1. The Earth has gotten warmer.
  2. So warm, in fact, that the temperature trend was almost certainly due to the greenhouse effect, which is enhanced by emissions of gases like carbon dioxide and methane from burning fossil fuels.
  3. As a result, summer heat waves and other extreme weather events will become more common.

"The greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now,” Hansen said. When he spoke, 1988 was on track to become the hottest year of all-time. Since then, that record has been broken six more times – in 1990, 1998, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

  • In an interview with the Guardian this week, Hansen gave a bleak assessment of the last thirty years. “All we’ve done is agree there’s a problem,” he said. “We haven’t acknowledged what is required to solve it.” [more]

Special report: A 30-year alarm on the reality of climate change

Screenshot of the Federal Register, Vol 83, No. 119, 20 June 2013, showing the Trump administration's proposal for the largest rollback in history to the protections for air, water, and wildlife provided by the National Environmental Policy Act. Graphic: Federal Register

WASHINGTON, D.C., 20 June 2018 (CBD) – The Trump administration today launched the largest rollback in history to the protections for air, water and wildlife provided by the National Environmental Policy Act.

In a request for public comment on “potential revisions,” the president’s Council on Environmental Quality initiated the assault on regulations outlining the 48-year-old law’s longstanding requirements for robust environmental assessments before approval of federal projects.

“The Trump administration is taking a sledgehammer to the review process that allows scientists and the public to have a say on federal projects that harm clean air, water and wildlife,” said Paulo Lopes, public lands policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is the beginning of the largest rollback in the history of the National Environmental Policy Act, and it will yield polluted air, dirty water, and devastation for our beautiful public lands.”

Much like when Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt allowed industry leaders to rewrite regulations protecting air, water, and wildlife from pesticides and other pollutants, today’s request is essentially an invitation for corporate lobbyists to craft new, less-protective guidelines for environmental reviews.

To lay the groundwork for the planned regulatory cuts, Trump’s Council on Environmental Quality is preparing to roll out by year’s end a long list of proposed changes that will essentially end consequential environmental assessments of projects and eliminate meaningful input by scientists and the public.

Although the National Environmental Policy Act is not as well-known to many Americans as the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act, it underpins the requirement for thorough assessments of every federal project’s harms to air, water and protected species.

“It was the detailed input from researchers and citizens required by this landmark law that prompted the Obama administration to wisely deny approval of the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Lopes. “If NEPA is gutted, the power plants and factories that corporations target for poor and under-represented communities will routinely be rubberstamped.”


Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121,

Trump Administration Moves to Gut National Environmental Policy Act


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