Tag Archives: United State

Re: Tell President Obama: No More Public Lands and Waters Giveaways

 I wanted to make sure you’d seen this, from Monday. It’s been five years since BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, but the Gulf Coast is still suffering. President Obama can help ensure there are no more Gulf oil spills — and establish his climate legacy at the same time.We’ve already had a great response from thousands of RAN supporters. Will you join them by adding your voice?

Tell President Obama: no more oil, coal and gas leases in coastal waters and on public lands.

Five years ago today, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, killing eleven people and sending some 210 million barrels of oil flooding into the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama called it “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced”.1

Never again. The president can help ensure there are no more disasters like the Deepwater Horizon — and establish his climate legacy at the same time. Call on President Obama to stop leasing our public lands and waters to the fossil fuel industry.


The Gulf Coast is still suffering. The 170,000 workers who cleaned up the spill are at greater risk for cancer, and kidney and liver disease.2 Last year, dolphins and whales off the Louisiana coast died at four times the usual rates.3 And 10 million gallons of oil sit on the Gulf floor in a congealed “bath mat” the size of Rhode Island.4

BP controls more of the deepwater Gulf than any other oil company, with an outrageous 600 leases.5 In the case of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a U.S. judge found BP’s conduct to be “grossly negligent”.6 But — to be clear — when it comes to the fossil fuel industry, gross negligence is business as usual.

So we’re joining our friends at CREDO Action to say: No more Gulf oil spills. No more giving away our public lands and waters to rapacious fossil fuel companies that care only about their profits. Tell President Obama to issue an executive order now.

President Obama wants to be remembered as a climate leader. But he has a huge climate blindspot. While the president has pushed for international agreements to limit carbon pollution, he’s also presided over a massive drilling boom on our public lands and in our coastal waters.

That explosive growth is killing the climate. Emissions from federally managed lands and waters cause approximately 24 percent of U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions annually — mostly from coal, oil and gas.7

The solution is simple. If President Obama wants to establish a real climate legacy, he should issue an executive order instructing federal agencies to stop granting new and expanded leases to extract fossil fuels from public lands.

To avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists say we must keep between 67% and 80% of the world’s remaining fossil fuels in the ground.8 One quarter of U.S. fossil fuel production happens on federally-managed lands and waters. The president can take a huge step towards stopping climate change — and preventing future Gulf oil spills. Urge him to issue an executive order today.

For our lands and our waters, our communities and our climate,

Amanda_400x400.jpg Amanda Starbuck
Climate and Energy Program Director
Rainforest Action Network

P.S. Bridge the Gulf, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Idle No More Gulf Coast are among the many organizations fighting for justice and accountability in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. On this fifth anniversary of the BP disaster, support them today.


1. “Remarks by the President to the Nation on the BP Oil Spill”, White House Office of the Press Secretary, June 15, 2010
2. “BP Oil Spill Cleanup Workers Are At Higher Risk Of Sickness, Cancer”, ThinkProgress, Sep. 17, 2013
3. “Science Links Dolphin Deaths to BP Oil Spill – Again”, National Wildlife Federation, Feb. 13, 2015
4. “Scientists have found a 10 million gallon ‘bath mat’ of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico”, Business Insider, Feb. 4, 2015
5. “Deepwater Gulf of Mexico”, BP
6. “U.S. judge upholds BP ‘gross negligence’ Gulf spill ruling”, Reuters, Nov. 13, 2014
7. “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fossil Energy Extracted from Federal Lands and Waters: An Update”, Stratus Consulting, prepared for The Wilderness Society, Dec. 23, 2014
8. “Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets”, Carbon Tracker Initiative & Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, 2013; “Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report”, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014.

In Memory … of MLK

 MLK Murder Still Haunting

Martin Luther King Jr., second right, and SCLC aides Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson Jr., from left, and Ralph Abernathy return to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis to strategize for the second Sanitation Worker’s march led by King in this April 3, 1968 file photo.

King was shot dead on the balcony April 4, 1968. AP Photo/File

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Martin Luther King Jr.


MLK’s Final Campaign


Taking time to remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final campaign to see how far we’ve come

On Monday, the Center for American Progress will join much of the rest of the country in commemorating and celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Much has changed in the 47 years since his death, while some things remain stubbornly similar to when Dr. King was alive. Following the gains from the Civil Rights Movement, in 1968 Dr. King launched the Poor People’s Campaign to try and move beyond Jim Crow to address the economic difficulties of the poor. As part of the Poor People’s Campaign, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, which Dr. King led at the time, drafted a letter addressed “to the President, Congress and Supreme Court of the United States” demanding “an economic and social bill of Rights.” Below is a partial list of the demands from the letter and a look at the progress, or lack thereof, we’ve made in reaching a more equitable society:

“The Right [sic] of every employable citizen to a decent job.”

From the letter: “According to the official statistics, Negro unemployment is twice that of whites. Yet even these scandalous figures profoundly understate the injustice. According to the “Sub-Employment Index” of the Department of Labor (which takes in poverty employment, part time unemployment, the number of people driven out of the labor market and the vast number of Negroes whose very existence is not reported in the official statistics) there are ghettoes in the United States with sub-employment rates ranging between 30% and 50%.”

  • Progress made: The unemployment rate has declined from 10 percent at the height of the 2007-08 recession to 5.6 percent as of last month.
  • Challenge ahead: The Black unemployment rate is more than “twice that of whites,” 10.4 percent compared to 4.8 percent. In addition, the Hispanic unemployment rate is at 6.5 percent.

“The right to the full benefits of modern science in health care.”

From the letter: “It is an abiding scandal of American society that infant morality [sic] and life expectancy vary according to social class-and that the babies of black and white poor die at birth more often than those of any other group and that those who survive still look forward to a truncated life span. Medicare has proved an enormous benefit to those over 65 years of age but the country has yet to extend coverage to millions of others who desperately need it. Every man, woman and child in America should be guaranteed medical care under the social security system.”

“The right to an adequate education.”

From the letter: “Today, most experts believe that a students [sic] required twelve years of training in order to be prepared to a place in an automating society. At the same time, Negro schools are regularly so inferior that a good portion of the students are not even taught the basic educational skills and therefore become bored, resentful and drop out at the first opportunity. According to the 1967 Manpower Report of the Department of Labor, even those black youth who are determined enough to finish twelve grades have often, only received instruction up to an eighth grade level in crucial subjects.”

BOTTOM LINE: These statistics highlight an unfortunate truth in American society: there is still so much to do to achieve Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a nation where everyone is judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. But honoring Dr. King’s legacy means continuing that difficult and important work in the hopes of truly achieving it one day.

Mayor Bloomberg On Homeless Girl Featured In The New York Times: ‘That’s Just The Way God Works’ ~~ a reminder

The Fifth Column

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and people in his economic class are so out of touch with real world problems..

Think Progress 

Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY) went on the defensive when asked whether he was moved by the New York Times’ powerful series on a homeless family struggling to survive in New York City. Bloomberg defended his homelessness policies and claimed that 11-year-old Dasani, the star of the piece, ended up in dire straits due to bad luck.

“This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not,” he told Politicker, calling her plight “a sad situation.”

Bloomberg argued that New York “has done more than any city to help the homeless,” citing the city’s policies of subsidized health care, job training, and shelter counseling. “But if you are poor…

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