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EPA’s New Regulations to Cut Carbon Emissions Are Obamacare for the Air – June 2, 2014

Just like health care, the plan to change the energy industry relies on a complex set of rules that harnesses the power of the marketplace — and it will be as controversial

Environmentally concerned voters will finally get what they paid for by giving their political support to President Obama when, Monday morning in Washington, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy unveils the draft of sweeping new regulations on existing power plants.

a coal power plant in New MexicoPhoto by Glennia/FlickrIf a state fails to submit a plan for lowering emissions from its power plants, the EPA has the authority to impose one — a scenario most states will choose to avoid.

Environmentalists’ relationship with the White House during the last six years has been a swirl of big hopes and harsh disappointments. When it comes… more

by: Jason Mark

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Annie Leonard to Take the Helm at Greenpeace USA – May 6, 2014

Story of Stuff founder demonstrates a “fierce love” for people and the planet

Annie Leonard – the creative force behind The Story of Stuff video series and currently Earth Island Journal’s “Material World” columnist – has been chosen as the new executive director of Greenpeace-USA, the organization is announcing today.

The pairing seems a perfect match. Leonard, 49, has a unique talent for translating complex policy issues into plain language that connects with a large audience. Her series of online videos – including The Story of Bottled Water, The Story of Electronics, even a Story of Citizens United – have been viewed more than 40 million times. With its history of iconic, in-your-face protests, Greenpeace has distinguished itself as an organization with… more

by: Jason Mark

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NY Attorney Wins Goldman Environmental Prize for Her Pioneering Work Against Gas Fracking – April 28, 2014

The story behind Helen Slottje’s legal strategy that has the gas industry on the defensive

When Helen Slottje quit her high-powered, well-paying job at a corporate law firm in Boston and moved to Ithaca to be with her new husband, David, she was hoping to make a quiet new life for herself amid the bucolic scenery of upstate New York. For a while everything went according to plan. She helped out at David’s family business. She began meditating. She adopted a vegetarian diet. It was a real shift, she says, to go “from corporate lawyer to … having a better quality of life.”

Helen Slotjee sititng outdoorsPhotos courtesy Goldman AwardsSlottje's efforts to halt the natural gas rush near her new… more

by: Jason Mark

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Goldman Environmental Prize Winners Offer a Lesson in Courage – April 27, 2014

Annual prize, now in its 25th year, is an important reminder of the seriousness of environmental advocacy

Being an environmental activist in the United States (or Canada, or most of Europe) is so easy. Sure, the hours are long and the pay — if there is any, which is a privilege in itself — sucks. Most of the hard work is thankless. But you can go organize a protest against, say, the Keystone XL pipeline or a clearcut logging proposal and know that, when the demonstration is done, you can go home safely. You might even be lucky enough to be part of a community of like-minded dissidents whose similar passion energizes you. And even if and when you do decide to cross the line into civil disobedience,… more

by: Jason Mark

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Earth Day: Now about as Green as St. Patrick’s Day? – April 22, 2014

From epic day of citizen action to marketing gimmick in just 40-odd years

It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m one of the last sentimentalists standing in this ironic age, but I’ll admit that I get a little misty eyed when I think about the first Earth Day.

Do you remember it? Can you imagine it? On April 22, 1970 some 20 million Americans in cities and towns across the country turned out for a coordinated day of action to express their desire for a society that would live more conscientiously with this one and only planet. People picked up trash on beaches and in streams, they planted gardens, they organized and attended environmental teach-ins, they marched and chanted and… more

by: Jason Mark

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