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Polar bear cub
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Tax Bill Also Opens Arctic to Drilling

The Republican-led tax bill approved in Congress this week doesn't just reward corporations and the super-rich; it comes with a steep environmental price, including opening the door to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

That will put polar bears and other Arctic wildlife in danger and push us even deeper into the climate crisis.

"Republicans are dropping a fat lump of coal into the stocking of any American who cares about wildlife or the future of our planet," said the Center for Biological Diversity's Brett Hartl. "Opening the door for oil companies to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will devastate Alaska's wildlife and push us further down the road of climate disaster. And doing it to fund tax cuts for billionaires is a sick joke."

This fight is only beginning, and we're going to need all hands on deck in 2018 to stop this environmental disaster. Consider donating to our Endangered Species Act Protection Fund.

Center staff protesting

Mistrial and Protest at the Bundy Trial in Vegas

A Center contingent was in Las Vegas this week to protest and voice support for public lands on the streets outside the courtroom trial of Cliven Bundy, his two sons and another defendant. They were on trial for conspiracy and assault charges at the 2014 Bunkerville standoff in Nevada.

On Wednesday a judge declared a mistrial in the case, citing the government's failure to turn over documents to the defendants. The case could be revived in early 2018.

"The government's missteps in this case do nothing to change the fact that the Bundy clan has carried out a campaign of terror against our public lands," said the Center's Kierán Suckling. "This is a movement deeply rooted in white supremacy and violence. We've seen it with their guns, threats and the armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon. No matter what happens in the courts, Americans will rise up against this dangerous movement. There's too much at stake for anyone who loves public lands or wildlife or has any sense of justice."

Read more in The Oregonian.

Trump Leases 33,000 Acres of Public Lands to Oil Companies

Great Basin Desert, Nevada

Trump's Bureau of Land Management auctioned off 33,483 acres of public lands for oil drilling and fracking in the Great Basin Desert in Nevada — including some of the last habitat for endangered species like the tiny White River springfish. The sale went forward despite a legal protest launched by the Center and allies.

Said Patrick Donnelly, the Center's Nevada state director: "To serve corporate polluters, Trump officials are flouting environmental regulations that safeguard endangered wildlife, wildlands and public health." Learn more.


Report: This Year's Top 10 At-risk Species

Federal officials making crucial decisions about protecting rare and vanishing species, including ocelots and dunes sagebrush lizards, often disregard key science. Besides breaking the law, that puts wildlife at risk, a new report from the Endangered Species Coalition finds.

Suppressed: How Politics Drowned Out Science for 10 Endangered Species highlights 10 wildlife-conservation decisions of the past several years where science was ignored or suppressed at the expense of animals and plants. Pressure is worsening under the Trump administration.

Ocelots, for instance, are particularly at risk from the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.

"Trump's border wall could be the last straw for ocelots," said the Center's Collette Adkins.

Read more in our press release.

Lawsuit Targets Trump Administration's Failures on Ozone

Los Angeles smog

The Center this week joined a lawsuit against the Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency for failing to enact nationwide standards limiting ozone pollution.

The Trump administration violated the Clean Air Act when it missed an Oct. 1 deadline to designate major metropolitan areas and rural regions across the country as out of compliance with clean-air regulations. That designation requires states to take additional steps to reduce ozone pollution.

"Delaying cuts to deadly ozone pollution puts polluters' profits over human lives," said the Center's Diana Dascalu-Joffe. Read more.

Endangered Species Condoms

For Trump Health Appointees? Endangered Species Condoms

The Center's Population and Sustainability program made a list, checked it twice, and found out who's been naughty and who's been nice.

To the naughty — six Trump appointees in the Department of Health and Human Services who've proposed cuts to family-planning programs and supported abstinence-only education along with limited access to contraception — we sent a "holiday gift" of a colorful package of Endangered Species Condoms and a letter defending reproductive rights.

"Everyone should have access to reproductive healthcare, contraception and science-based sex education," said the Center's Sarah Baillie. "But these top-ranking Trump appointees have a disturbing record of fighting these essential programs. Their extremist views have no place in public policy."

Learn more in our press release.

Two More Cities Stand Against Ocean Drilling, Fracking

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz and Watsonville have joined more than a dozen other California communities that have approved resolutions opposing new offshore drilling, as well as fracking in existing offshore oil and gas wells.

President Trump has ordered federal agencies to expand oil and gas leasing in federal waters. The order could expose the Pacific Ocean to new oil leasing for the first time in more than 30 years. The Center is working to stop offshore drilling and fracking, and we need Californians' help. Volunteer today to join our campaign.


U.S. Plane Emissions Have Jumped Dramatically

A new study shows that U.S. aircrafts' carbon emissions increased by 7 percent in just two years, between 2014 and 2016 — though the most efficient planes cut emissions (and fuel use) by more than a quarter.

After the Center and allies petitioned to regulate aircraft emissions, the EPA in July 2016 officially admitted that those emissions disrupt the climate and endanger human welfare. But the feds failed to address the problem.

"The airline industry's efforts to fight greenhouse pollution are still stuck on the tarmac," said the Center's Vera Pardee. "We need strong federal rules that actually cut these rapidly escalating emissions."

Learn more from our press release.

Monarch butterfly

EPA in Denial Over Controversial Chemical's Cancer Risk

The EPA released a flawed review Monday concluding that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, poses no significant risks to humans. The review not only contradicts prominent studies showing that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen — it ignores the agency's own carcinogen-assessment guidelines.

Glyphosate is the world's most widely used pesticide, with 300 million pounds sprayed yearly in the United States alone. It's a major threat to imperiled monarch butterflies, killing the milkweed plant their caterpillars depend on for survival.

"The only way the EPA could conclude that glyphosate poses no cancer risk is by analyzing studies by the pesticide industry itself," said Center scientist Nathan Donley.

Learn more from the Los Angeles Times and our website.


Wild & Weird: The Real Lives of Reindeer

Reindeer, known in North America as caribou, have been around since the time of woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats. Finely adapted to life in the circumpolar world, they thrive in subzero temperatures with the aid of a specialized coat of hollow, air-filled hairs for insulation. They can run about 48 mph when alarmed and have the longest annual migration of any land mammal: 3,000 miles.

Sadly they've suffered a 60 percent decline in the past three decades due to climate change and habitat destruction.

Watch our video of real-life reindeer on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Polar bear cub by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; Center staff demonstrating at Bundy trial by Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity; ocelot by sometimesong/Flickr; Los Angeles air pollution by Tyler Lowmiller/Flickr; Endangered Species Condoms courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Santa Cruz by jeshii/Flickr; airplane by seabirdnz/Flickr; monarch butterfly by Marcia O'Connor/Flickr; reindeer by Ivan Talavera.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702