Statements on the Senate Confirmations of President-elect Obama's Cabinet Picks
Friends of the Earth has released the following statements:
Friends of the Earth has just released a new report, entitled The Green Evolution, Environmental Policies and Practice in China’s Banking Sector, which overviews the efforts to green Chinese finance since the Chinese government released new environmental regulations for financial institutions. Chinese banks are playing an increasingly important role in financing large infrastructure and natural resource projects throughout the world, often without the social and environmental standards necessary to protect local communities and ecosystems. The Green Evolution is an update to our 2007 report, Time to Go Green.
Friends of the Earth’s new analysis shows that even though the oil and gas industry is experiencing record profits, it is set to receive at least $33 billion in handouts from taxpayers over the next five years. These companies stand to gain at least $23.2 billion from tax loopholes, $3.8 billion in royalty rollbacks, $1.6 billion in direct subsidies for research and development, and $4.3 billion through accounting gimmicks. The tax giveaways have increased dramatically since the passage of a Republican-drafted energy bill in 2005.
Holding Bush’s EPA Accountable
More than a year after the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA must treat greenhouse gases as "pollutants," President Bush's lap dog at the EPA—Administrator Stephen Johnson—still refuses to respond with meaningful action. We’ve decided enough is enough and are holding the EPA to account. Friends of the Earth and allied groups filed legal documents yesterday informing the EPA that will take it back to court in order to force it to act.
Friends of the Earth has been on the forefront of the battle to fix the Lieberman-Warner global warming bill. Republicans shut down debate on the bill and it was not fixed, so it was ditched by the Democratic leadership. While the bill fell short of what scientists say we must do to reduce global warming pollution, it is still abhorrent that Republican senators were unwilling to even allow debate on amendments that could have significantly strengthened the bill.
The climate crisis threatens our health, economy and way of life, and bold legislative action is urgently needed. Looking forward to 2009, the Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate must advance strong bills that inspire environmentalists and progressives across the country to take action and that can ultimately earn the support of all Americans.
The World Bank, the world's largest multilateral lender for fossil fuel projects, plans to reinvent itself as the world's leader on climate and development. It has proposed at least two new "Climate Investment Funds" to help "developing countries to address urgent climate change challenges." But a closer look at these funds reveals that the Bank would continue to fund greenhouse gas emissions, while re-branding its business as usual as "transformational, low-carbon" technologies.
Adm. Steven Johnson appears to be on course to do as much damage as possible to the EPA in the remaining months of President Bush's presidency. In just the last month, Johnson has shown contempt for his agency’s mandate, its employees’ viewpoints, and its independence from political manipulation. His abrogation of duty is a betrayal to the EPA's mission and Friends of the Earth calls for his resignation.
For the first time in decades, the nuclear power industry is considering building new nuclear reactors in the United States. They claim that nuclear power is a solution to global warming, but that’s just not true. Indeed, nuclear power costs too much, takes too long, and is too risky when better alternatives are available.
Private markets won't provide the funds for new reactor construction because nuclear power is too expensive and financially risky, so the industry is working to get taxpayers to foot the bill through a loan guarantee program that its allies in Congress are trying to insert into various pieces of legislation. Industry executives have admitted that without these loan guarantees, there will be no more nukes. Friends of the Earth is fighting to keep these loan guarantees out legislation. Will you join us?
Watch our Interactive Video: Don't Buy the Big Nuclear Lie!
This report is Friends of the Earth's fifth annual review of climate change reporting in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings of automobile, manufacturing, integrated oil & gas, insurance, petrochemicals, and utilities companies. It indicates that over the past five years, climate reporting in general has steadily increased in quality and quantity.