On December 4, 2016, the US Army Corps of Engineers said it would reconsider the Dakota Access Pipeline route. This announcement was met with celebration by those who had been working for months to stop the pipeline, and years to advocate for indigenous rights. Trish Weber talks about the groups on the ground who made this cautious victory possible.
With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas (and growing), addressing sustainability in our cities is a crucial undertaking. One city facing this challenge head-on is Portland, Oregon. From its renowned bike culture and green buildings, to its park system and green infrastructure, the city serves as a showcase for innovation in sustainable planning. Rachel’s Network traveled there in October for our Fall Retreat to hear from experts on the exciting solutions being developed in the region.
Powering 33 percent of our nation’s electricity, coal is a foundation to our lifestyles and industries. But Rachel’s Network Member Anne Butterfield shows that the nation is running out of its affordable, profitable supply. It’s time for the utility industry to stop taking coal for granted.
Third Way’s Board of Trustees announced that Rachel’s Network Member Kef Kasdin has joined the centrist think tank’s board, effective immediately. Third Way is working with elected officials, companies, environmental groups, and other nongovernmental organizations to build support for urgent climate action. Kef’s appointment was facilitated by the Rachel’s Network’s Board Placement Program, which matches environmental and social justice nonprofits with their talented membership of women environmental funders.
The Great Lakes of North America form the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world, holding more than 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater and 95 percent of North America’s. Despite the incalculable value of this resource, they’re in serious trouble. Climate change, invasive species, and wetland loss all taking a terrible toll on a watershed that provides life to so many people and species. Now, companies are using the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway as a carbon corridor for a newly aggressive North American energy industry. This poses the greatest threat yet to these waters.
Sucking oil and gas from dense shale formations involves drilling, explosions, toxic chemicals, and millions of gallons of water pumped at crushing pressures. Drillers maintain that these processes are well understood and tightly controlled and take place far below groundwater supplies. But ultimately the safety and quality of a well is dependent on the operator, the particularities of each site, local regulations and politics, and many other details. As water constitutes the largest component of fracking fluid by far, it is not surprising that questions about the quantity and quality of water used by drillers have been contentious.