In a newsletter from the Center for Biological Diversity (affiliated with DemocracyInAction), received today:
"Pombo Loses Again; Endangered Species, Bambi Sigh in Relief "
Congress's single greatest opponent of endangered species protection -- and one of the greatest offshore oil drilling proponents -- was Rep. Richard Pombo of California. The San Jose Mercury-News rightfully said he "held a special place in the hearts of America's environmental movement somewhere next to Capt. Joseph Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez and the hunter who shot Bambi's mother."
Before being unelected in 2006 amid financial scandals and ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Pombo declared -- and lost -- a decade-long war on the Endangered Species Act. He tried to make a comeback this year, but just this week lost in the Republican primary to Jeff Denham.
Since he'll now have extra time on his hands, the Center is taking up a collection to send Pombo down to the Gulf of Mexico to clean up the mess he helped create. Let us know if you're interested.
also from the Center
Rolling Stone Quotes Center, Blows Open Gulf Oil Scandal
They didn't put our picture on the cover, but Rolling Stone Magazine featured the Center for Biological Diversity prominently in this month's mammoth exposé on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Titled "The Spill, The Scandal and the President: The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years - and let the world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder," Tim Dickinson's story explains how the deeply corrupt Minerals Management Service was allowed to keep ignoring and violating environmental laws through both the Bush and early Obama years.
A few excerpts:
"[Interior Secretary] Salazar did little to tamp down on the lawlessness at MMS...And instead of putting the brakes on new offshore drilling, Salazar immediately throttled it up to record levels. Even though he had scrapped the Bush plan, Salazar put 53 million offshore acres up for lease in the Gulf in his first year alone - an all-time high. The aggressive leasing came as no surprise, given Salazar's track record. "This guy has a long, long history of promoting offshore oil drilling - that's his thing," says Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "He's got a highly specific soft spot for offshore oil drilling." As a senator, Salazar not only steered passage of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which opened 8 million acres in the Gulf to drilling, he even criticized President Bush for not forcing oil companies to develop existing leases faster."
"A top-to-bottom restructuring of MMS didn't require anything more than Ken Salazar's will: The agency only exists by order of the Interior secretary…Even though Salazar knew that the environmental risks of offshore drilling had been covered up under Bush, he failed to order new assessments. "They could have said, 'We cannot conclude there won't be significant impacts from drilling until we redo those reviews,' " says Brendan Cummings, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity. "But the oil industry would have cried foul. And what we've seen with Salazar is that when the oil industry squeaks, he retreats."
Read the full story in Rolling Stone and check out the latest on the Center's Gulf Disaster Web site.