Environmental Roundup: January 16, 2009
Historic Obama Inauguration Takes Place Tuesday
On Tuesday, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. Tremendous environmental challenges confront the incoming administration, with the climate crisis at the fore. We will stand with his administration to achieve bold change, and provide pressure when needed. But all that can wait until Wednesday. For now, it's time to celebrate this historic Inauguration.
If you happen to be in D.C., Friends of the Earth invites you to attend a tour of eco-friendly houses of worship and a green inaugural ball. If you need resources for your visit, here is a good guide.
The Fight to Curb Gas Flaring in Nigeria
Gas flaring -- burning off extra gas that is released during oil drilling -- is toxic and illegal in Nigeria, but major oil companies, including Chevron and Shell, continue to do it. On January 1, 2009, Nigeria again missed its deadline to halt flaring.
Friends of the Earth International -- the 77-nation federation of which Friends of the Earth in the U.S. is a member -- is launching a global campaign to stop gas flaring in Nigeria. Stay on the lookout for our action alert next week.
"New Roads = New Pollution" Update
If you were writing the economic recovery package making its way through Congress, how would you invest $40 billion in transportation funding? Yesterday, the House of Representatives proposed a bill that would spend up to 75 percent of that amount on new highways, causing new pollution. However, a poll released today by our allies at the Transportation for America Coalition shows that most Americans would rather use federal dollars to improve public transportation and repair existing roads.
Help us shift some of that highway money over to clean transportation projects like public transportation, bike paths, and sidewalks: Tell Congress to keep new highways out of the economic stimulus.
Ship Shape: Watch out for that Dirty Water!
A new EPA report finds that even treated cruise ship discharges are highly polluted! Because of Friends of the Earth's diligence, the EPA has released a final report on cruise ship pollution called the Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report. It concludes what we already know -- that cruise ships routinely dump human sewage and contaminated water into our coastal waters.