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October 17, 2012

The Winner of Worst Environmental Offender of 2012 is...

Take your pick. Below are the three top environmental offenders of 2012 according to a poll taken by the Center for Biological Diversity. Every year CBD asks the public to vote for the "winner" of the worst. They are calling this "award" the Dodo Award, named after the most famous extinct animal.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Sen. James Inhofe: When it comes to denying the climate crisis -- the single-greatest threat facing life on Earth -- James Inhofe has few peers. The Oklahoma Republican is the ringleader of right-wing climate-deniers in Congress and a driving force behind the tragic lack of U.S. action to tackle this crisis. Sure, every major scientific organization on the planet is sounding the alarm bells about global warming, and more than 40,000 temperature records have been broken in the United States this year alone. Yes, a new study says climate change may kill 100 million people by 2030. But Inhofe insists it's all an elaborate hoax. Rather than heed the call from the world's scientists, Inhofe is doubling down on "denialist politics," insisting on projects like the Keystone XL pipeline that will dig us deeper into a climate hole that already comes up to our chins.
Sen. Jon Tester: If you're wondering why most wolves in the West are no longer protected by the Endangered Species Act, look no further than Mr. Tester. The Montana Democrat stuck a rider on a must-pass budget bill that eliminated federal protections from wolves in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and parts of three other states. The bill set a dangerous precedent, marking the first time that politicians, rather than scientists, decided when a species should lose its protections. It's had disastrous on-the-ground impacts, too: Since Tester's bill, more than 600 wolves in the West have been killed by hunters, trappers and government agents. What's more, Tester just added another provision to another bill, aiming to ban the government from saving thousands of eagles, condors, swans and other birds from being lethally poisoned by lead hunting ammunition left in the wild.
Shell: Talk about not taking "no" for an answer. Shell Oil is determined to sink its drills into the pristine Arctic, no matter how great the danger that poses to polar bears, walruses or other Far North wildlife. Since 2007 Shell had tried and failed to launch industrial oil-drilling operations in the Arctic Ocean (and recently sued a dozen environmental groups that had kept the company out of the region). The Obama administration opened the door to the Arctic this year, only to see Shell caught up in a series of blunders. First the company announced it couldn't comply with air-pollution permits and asked the EPA to waive Clean Air Act requirements. Next its drillship slipped its moorings off the coast of Alaska and drifted dangerously close to shore. Finally a mishap with an oil-spill containment device forced Shell to call off plans to drill for oil this year. But certainly the oil giant will try to return to the Arctic in 2013 -- much to the dismay of anyone who cares about clean oceans, safe sea life and a climate that's not choked by fossil-fuel pollution.
Tell me who you think should win the Dodo Award.

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