Endangered Species Act of 1973 – 42nd Anniversary

Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 7 U.S.C. § 136, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.) is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation.” The U.S. Supreme Courtfound that “the plain intent of Congress in enacting” the ESA “was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost.”

The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered_species_act

* View and learn more about each section of the Act.
* Learn the history of the Act.
* Know your species map: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/map/index.html
* Access the full library of documents related to the Endangered Species Act..
* View and learn more about each section of the Act.
* Learn the history of the Act.
* Access the full library of documents related to the Endangered Species Act.
* Species in Your State and U.S. Territories http://www.fws.gov/endangered/map/index.html

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US Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

June 17, 2014 7:12 AM VOAnews

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said wildlife poaching is funding terrorism and corruption.

For that reason, Froman said, the U.S. considers poaching a threat to global security because it’s driven by criminal elements, including terrorists using profits from items such as rhinoceros horns and elephant tusks to finance their activities.

To meet the threat, U.S. officials are emphasizing the environmental component of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that the United States is negotiating with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Froman said in a Reuters report.

Similar efforts are also part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with the European Union, Reuters reported.

Froman spoke at a news conference at Kennedy Airport in New York Monday, standing next to a table heaped with illegal wildlife goods seized by U.S. customs officials.

They included stuffed lion and leopard heads, animal skins and figurines carved out of ivory.

Froman said terrorists use money gained from the illegal wildlife trade in Africa and Asia to fund their deadly activities.

U.S. officials have said they are working to reduce demand for illegal animal products at home and abroad, including Asia, where some believe such goods as powdered rhinoceros have medicinal benefits.

“The high demand for wildlife products is having a devastating impact, with iconic species like elephants and rhinos facing the risk of significant decline or even extinction,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement reported by Reuters.

“The president’s strategy to combat wildlife trafficking, including decreasing demand at home and abroad, is important to strengthen our nation’s leadership on countering the global security threat posed by the criminal markets that encourage poaching and illegal trade,” Jewell said.

 

Cathching & Changing the Word “Should” to “Shall” @ COP21

GOP Climate Change Denier cartoon

The one word that almost sank the climate talks

U.S. tactics during the negotiations included making a last-minute tweak to the text and amassing a huge coalition to help pressure China and India.

12/12/15 07:51 PM EST By Andrew Restuccia – politico

LE BOURGET, France — After years of preparation and two weeks of tireless negotiations, after all the speeches and backroom compromising, one misplaced word brought the momentum toward a historic global deal on climate change to a halt Saturday — for at least a few hours.

Obama administration lawyers discovered early in the day that the latest draft text had a potentially deal-killing tweak: Deep into the document, in Article 4, was a line declaring that wealthier countries “shall” set economy-wide targets for cutting their greenhouse gas pollution.

That may not sound like such a headache-inducing roadblock, but in the world of international climate negotiations, every word counts. In previous drafts, the word “shall” had been “should” — and in the lingo of U.N. climate agreements, “shall” implies legal obligation and “should” does not. That means the word change could have obliged the Obama administration to submit the final deal to the Senate for its approval. And inevitably, the GOP-led chamber would kill it on sight.

“When I looked at that, I said, ‘We cannot do this and we will not do this,'” Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters afterward. “‘And either it changes or President Obama and the United States will not be able to support this agreement.’”

And so the scrambling began. With the clock ticking and the start of the talks’ final meeting already delayed by several hours, top U.S. negotiators huddled in a cavernous plenary hall in this suburb of Paris trying to get the language changed. At the same time, supporters of the deal feared that re-opening the text would lead to a flood of revisions from other countries, possibly swamping the entire effort.

In the end, the U.S. persuaded the summit’s French hosts to change the wording, and the tweak was read aloud by a delegate in the plenary hall, lost in a package of other technical revisions. Minutes later, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius banged his gavel and the most significant international climate change deal in history won the resounding approval of 196 governments, representing nearly every country on the planet.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/paris-climate-talks-tic-toc-216721

COP21 Agreement announcement

“I want to commend President Hollande and Secretary General Ban for their leadership and for hosting such a successful summit, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for presiding with patience and resolve.  And I want to give a special thanks to Secretary John Kerry, my Senior Advisor Brian Deese, our chief negotiator Todd Stern, and everyone on their teams for their outstanding work and for making America proud.

I also want to thank the people of nearly 200 nations — large and small, developed and developing — for working together to confront a threat to the people of all nations.  Together, we’ve shown what’s possible when the world stands as one.”

12/12/15 President Obama’s remarks on the Paris Climate Agreement

 

U.S. Center COP21

http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/

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UN Conference on Climate Change – Paris COP21

2015 UN CCC

WHAT IS COP 21?

France will chair and host the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), from 30 November to 11 December 2015. The conference is crucial because the expected outcome is a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2°C.

THE CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS SO FAR

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted during the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. This Framework Convention is a universal convention of principle, acknowledging the existence of anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change and giving industrialized countries the major part of responsibility for combating it.

The adoption of the Kyoto Protocol at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 was a milestone in the international negotiations on tackling climate change.
For the first time, binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets were set for industrialised countries. The protocol, which entered into force in 2005, was intended to cover the period 2008-2012.

For more: http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/learn/what-is-cop21/

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President Obama Travel Itinerary

Sunday, November 29th

President Obama departs White House
South Lawn

President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews en route for Paris

President Obama arrives Paris
Paris Orly Airport, Paris, France

President Obama pays his respects to the victims of the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks
Bataclan Concert Hall, Paris France

 

Monday, November 30th

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi
Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

President Obama and his cabinet officials, US State Secretary Kerry, Interior Secretary Jewell, USDA Secretary Vilsack, Labor Secretary Moniz and EPA Administrator McCarthy, attend meetings at the COP21
Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

President Obama attends the opening ceremony 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

President Obama attends the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

President Obama delivers a statement at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

President Obama attends a lunch host by French President Hollande
Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi
Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

President Obama participates in a Mission Innovation Event with other leaders and the private sector
Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

President Obama attends a working dinner hosted by French President Hollande
Élysée Palace, Paris, France

 

Tuesday, December 1st

President Obama meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
US Chief of Mission’s Residence,  Paris, France

President Obama meets with Embassy personnel and families
Organization for Economic Co-Operation And Development Centre, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

President Obama convenes a meeting of the island nations leaders of the Seychelles, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia and Barbados who are most at risk from the threat of climate change
Organization for Economic Co-Operation And Development Centre, Issy-les-Moulineaux,  Paris, France

President Obama holds a press conference
Organization for Economic Co-Operation And Development Centre, Issy-les-Moulineaux,  Paris, France

President Obama departs Paris
Paris Orly Airport, Paris, France

President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews en route for White House

President Obama arrives White House
South Lawn

 

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November 30 – December 11, 2015
2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, France

Clean Water Act of 1972 – 43rd Anniversary

Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act

This Act [ voted into law on October 18, 1972 by Congress’ supermajority vote  over riding President Nixon’s (R) veto]  , is the principle law governing pollution control and water quality of the Nation’s waterways. The objective of this Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters (33 U.S.C. 1251). The Act has been amended numerous times and given a number of titles and codification. It was originally enacted as the Water Pollution Control Act in 1948 (P.L. 80-845), and was completely revised by the 1972 amendments, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments (P.L. 92-500). The 1972 amendments gave the Act its current form, and established a national goal that all waters of the U.S. should be fishable and swimmable. The goal was to be achieved by eliminating all pollutant discharges into waters of the U.S. by 1985 with an interim goal of making the waters safe for fish, shellfish, wildlife and people by July 1, 1983 (86 Stat. 816, 33 U.S.C. 1251) . The 1977 amendments (the Clean Water Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-217)) gave the Act its current title. Additional amendments were enacted in 1981 (Municipal Wastewater Treatment Construction Grants Amendments (P.L. 97-117)) and in 1987 (Water Quality Act of 1987 (P.L. 100-4).  The Act regulates discharges to waters of the United States through permits issued under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program. The Water Quality Protection Division, issues the NPDES permits and the Water Enforcement Branch assures that all discharges comply with the NPDES permits.

 Learn more: http://www.epa.gov/region6/6en/w/cwa.htm

Clean Water Legislative History

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_water_act

.Water Pollution

#CleanWaterAct

National Historic Landmarks Program – 55th Anniversary

National Historic Landmarks Program

National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are historic properties that illustrate the heritage of the United States. Today, just over 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. NHLs come in many forms: historic buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts. Each NHL represents an outstanding aspect of American history and culture. The program was formally inaugurated with a series of listings on October 9, 1960.

What are National Historic Landmarks?

National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are historic places that possess exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating the history of the United States.  The National Park Service’s National Historic Landmarks Program oversees the designation of such sites.  There are just over 2,500 National Historic Landmarks.  All NHLs are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

NHLs come in many forms: buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts.  A historic site may be important enough to receive designation as an NHL if it:

  • is the location with the strongest association with a turning point or significant event in American history.
  • is the best location to tell the story of an individual who played a significant role in the history of the United States.
  • is an exceptional representation of a particular building or engineering method, technique, or building type in the country.
  • provides the potential to yield new and innovative information about the past through archeology.

Most NHLs are owned by private individuals, universities, non-profit organizations, corporations, tribal entities, or local and state governments.  The Federal government owns fewer than 400 NHLs (16%).  The laws that govern property rights still apply to designated Landmarks.  Designation of a property as a National Historic Landmark does not give ownership of the property to the Federal government or the National Park Service.

For more: http://www.nps.gov/nhl/

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Learn about:

 For more: http://www.nps.gov/nhl/index.htm

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Latest NHL News:

  • On August 4, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced the designation of four new National Historic Landmarks: the George Washington Masonic National Memorial (Alexandria, Virginia), Red Rocks Park and Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (Jefferson County, Colorado), First Peoples Buffalo Jump (Cascade County, Montana), and Lafayette Park (Detroit, Michigan). To learn more about these NHLs, please consult the nominations on our Fall 2014 Landmarks Committee meeting page.
  • On June 19, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the designation of the newest National Historic Landmark, the Henry Gerber House in Chicago, Illinois, in recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. Henry Gerber is the founder of the Society for Human Rights, the first chartered organization in the United States dedicated to the advocacy of homosexuals, marking a turning point in LGBTQ history. The Henry Gerber House, where the organization was founded and headquartered in 1924, is the second National Historic Landmark designated for its association with LGBTQ history, and the first to be identified and designated through the LGBTQ Heritage Initiative. To learn more about this NHL, please consult the nomination on our Fall 2014 Landmarks Committee meeting page.
  • On April 15, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the designation of 5 new National Historic Landmarks: the Brookline Reservoir of the Cochituate Aqueduct (Brookline, Massachusetts), the California Powder Works Bridge (Santa Cruz County, California), Lake Hotel (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming), the McGregor Memorial Conference Center (Detroit, Michigan), and Samara (West Lafayette, Indiana).

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Alaska GLACIER Conference

Alaska GLACIER Conference

The Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience, or GLACIER, will highlight international and domestic priorities in the Arctic. At the direction of the U.S. Arctic Executive Steering Committee, the Department of State is developing the agenda for GLACIER in close coordination with the White House, and Departments and Agencies of the United States Government with Arctic responsibilities.

This global leadership focus on the Arctic is intended to generate momentum and expedite progress in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the region. This conference will bring together Foreign Ministers of Arctic nations and key non-Arctic states with scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from Alaska and the Arctic. Representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples will be invited to attend and encouraged to participate. GLACIER will discuss individual and collective action to address climate change in the Arctic; raise the visibility of climate impacts in the Arctic as a harbinger for the world, and the Arctic’s unique role in global climate change; identify ways that Arctic innovators are responding to these critical challenges; and share opportunities to prepare and respond to other issues in the changing Arctic.

GLACIER will take place during the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, but is not an Arctic Council sponsored event. GLACIER is also not directly related to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (otherwise known as COP-21) taking place in late 2015. This conference will, however, help to focus attention on the challenges and opportunities that the Arctic Council intends to address and highlight how a region vulnerable to climate change is experiencing and responding to these impacts, helping to drive political will for ambitious action at COP-21.

The full-day event will begin with an opening plenary session, after which attendees may participate in one of three tracks. Foreign Ministers will participate in sessions focused on changes in the Arctic and global implications of those changes, climate resilience and adaptation planning, and strengthening coordination on Arctic issues.

For more:  http://www.state.gov/e/oes/glacier/index.htm

WH 2015 Alaska GLACIER Conference

Camai President Obama

Monday, August 31, 2015

President Obama participates in a roundtable with Alaska Natives
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Barack Obama announces a “secretarial order” that has officially restored the Koyukon Athabascan name of Denali to the tallest mountain in North America, previously known as Mt. McKinley
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Obama addresses the GLACIER Conference
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Obama meets with foreign ministers, scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from Alaska and the Arctic region at the GLACIER Conference
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

President Obama hikes to the Exit Glacier
Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska

President Obama participates in a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska

President Obama announces New Investments to Enhance Safety and Security in the Changing Arctic

President Obama Announces New Investments to Combat Climate Change and Assist Remote Alaskan Communities

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

President Obama tours the Kotzebue Shore Avenue Project
Kanakanak Beach, Dillingham, Alaska

President Obama meets with local fisherman and families
Kanakanak Beach, Dillingham, Alaska

President Obama visits a local business
N&N Market, Dillingham, Alaska

President Obama attends a cultural performance
Dillingham Middle School, Dillingham, Alaska

President Obama delivers remarks on Energy Policy
Kotzebue HIgh School, Kotzebue, Alaska

@USArctic #GLACIER

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2015 National Clean Energy Summit 8.0

Natl Clean Energy Summit - lrg

The eighth annual National Clean Energy Summit will bring together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives, energy policy experts, entrepreneurs, investors, citizens, and students, to discuss empowering Americans to develop our massive clean energy supplies, secure greater energy independence, and create jobs. The day-long clean energy summit is cosponsored by US Senator Harry Reid, the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

PANELS

Ripple Effect: Game-Changing Clean Energy Investments

Moderator: Dan Klaich, Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education

Speakers: Jamie Evans, Managing Director and Head of U.S. Eco Solutions, Panasonic
Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development at Tesla Motors

Description: The “Ripple Effect: Game Changing Clean Energy Investments” brings the next generation of clean energy development into focus with an in-depth look at large, trend-setting investments in clean energy. A recent example of those game-changing investments is the “Gigafactory,”  the Nevada-based lithium ion battery plant currently being constructed by Tesla and Panasonic. The discussion will focus on how significant clean energy investments have dramatic positive impacts on the surrounding communities, including job creation, fostering entrepreneurship and building economic diversity. The panel will also provide an opportunity to discuss cooperation between the public and private sectors to prepare the workforce to match the needs of a growing clean energy economy, with the gigafactory highlighted as one of many models of success.

 Energy in the Information Age

Speakers: Dr. Ellen Williams, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)
Thomas Voss, Chairman of Smart Wires
Amy Ericson, Country President for the United States at Alstom
Susan Kennedy, CEO and BOard Member of Advanced Microgrid Solutions

Description: The “Energy in Information Age” panel will explore solutions to revitalize the nation’s outdated power grid. As homes and appliances become more connected to the internet and people generate more of their own clean electricity, the country will need to invest in innovative solutions to ensure the grid infrastructure is serving the needs of Americans. During “Energy in the Information Age,” the panelists will lead a thrilling conversation about how companies are inventing and deploying solutions that will ensure the grid communicates better with consumers and their homes, allowing them to save energy and deploy cleaner energy.

Energy in American Life

Moderator: Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress

Speakers:  Bill Ritter, Former Governor of Colorado
Antonio Villaraigosa, Former Mayor of Los Angeles
Nancy Pfund, Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Investors
Geisha Williams, President of Electric Operations at Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Description: The “Energy in American Life” panel features a timely discussion about the savings and opportunities that clean energy and efficiency bring to families and businesses today. Panelists will discuss how Americans are demanding cleaner energy, less pollution and solutions to climate change, and the ways in which communities are adopting those solutions today. The conversation will also focus on how state and federal clean energy investments and policies will help states implement President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting the nation’s health and environment now and for future generations.

For more: http://www.cleanenergysummit.org

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August 24, 2015
National Clean Energy Summit 8.0: Powering Progress
Las Vegas, Nevada
Keynote Speaker: President Barack Obama

#NCES8

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