CPR Archive for Shana Campbell Jones

Obama's Executive Order on the Chesapeake - a First

by Shana Campbell Jones | May 13, 2009

Yesterday, as the Executive Council for the Chesapeake Bay Program held its annual meeting, President Obama issued an Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration (a first), declaring the Chesapeake Bay a national treasure and signaling that EPA will play a strong role in leading Bay cleanup. For years, federal leadership on the Bay has been missing in action. President Obama's move is dramatic, and we dare to hope that this could be a turning point.

Among other things, the order:

  • Requires EPA to “examine how to make full use of its authorities under the Clean Water Act to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary waters”
  • Establishes a Federal Leadership Committee headed by EPA and including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and Transportation to oversee program activities, including data management and reporting;
  • Requires the agencies identified as part of the Federal Leadership Committee to make recommendations within 120 days on the regulations, policies, and programs needed to restore Bay water quality, as well as on how resources under the Farm Bill should be targeted to better protect Bay waters;
  • Requires the Federal Leadership Committee to define goals for the Bay and milestones for meeting the goals, as well as specific programs and strategies for meeting the goals; and
  • Requires an independent evaluator to “strengthen accountability” and report periodically on progress made toward meeting Bay-wide goals and to ensure these reports ...

Where Does Manure in the Chesapeake Come From Anyway? EPA, It's Time to Find Out

by Shana Campbell Jones | May 11, 2009
Cattle, chickens, and hogs create more than 500 million tons of manure in the United States annually – three times more than the sanitary waste produced by people. Yet, in contrast to a concerted federal and state effort to fund and build sewage treatment plants since the Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972, dealing with the water pollution problems caused by animal waste has been like wrestling a greased pig – a stinky, frustrating mess. Regulating agricultural waste in ...

Poisoned Waters: A Frontline Presentation You Don't Want to Miss

by Shana Campbell Jones | April 20, 2009
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Frontline will air Poisoned Waters, a two-hour documentary on the continuing pollution of American waterways (9pm on many PBS stations; check your local listings). Having seen part of the program, I recommend it. Watching a bulldozer move chicken manure – much of which will end up in the Chesapeake Bay – and seeing filthy stormwater drains pouring into Puget Sound serve as stark reminders for why fighting for clean water matters. Six-legged frogs swim in the Potomac River. ...

Let the Truth Trickle Up: Attack Science, Perchlorate, and Babies

by Shana Campbell Jones | March 12, 2009
The truth hurts. Some of us accept the truth; some of us ignore it. All too often, industry-sponsored scientists take another approach to the truth: attack.   A recent spat over a study finding that perchlorate blocks iodine in breast milk is an object lesson in what CPR Member Scholar Tom McGarity calls “attack science.”   In October, I blogged about this study, which was the first to ask whether perchlorate inhibits iodine transport to breast milk. Perchlorate is a ...

Industry Lobbyists Suiting Up for Climate Change Battle

by Shana Campbell Jones | March 02, 2009
The Center for Public Integrity released a report last week finding that the number of lobbyists seeking to influence federal policy on climate change has expanded more than 300 percent in five years. The report also finds that special interest industry lobbyists outnumber public interest environmental advocates 8-to-1.   That’s right. The most important environmental legislation in our lifetime is likely to come before Congress this year, and the overwhelming majority of meetings that Members of Congress have with advocates will ...

Cap-and-Evade: Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and the Clean Air Act

by Shana Campbell Jones | February 17, 2009
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: climate change is different from traditional environmental problems. It’s global, for one thing. Carbon dioxide isn’t a traditional pollutant, for another. It doesn’t cause cancer. It doesn’t kill fish. Plants use it in photosynthesis; every human and animal emits it. The problem is that combustion creates it, too, which is why our modern, engine-loving world has too much.   CO2 is also fungible. One ton of CO2 is as good or ...

Rescuing Science from Politics, Texas Style

by Shana Campbell Jones | January 28, 2009
We will restore science to its rightful place. -- President Barack Obama, Inaugural Speech   As Governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards. -- Former President George W. Bush, Aug. 2000 CNN Interview     With former President Bush hightailing it back to Texas last week, you’d think the cowboy clichés might be right behind him, maybe waiting for the next Ann Richards or Molly Ivins to make them fresh ...

If Yes Means Yes, EPA Must Act on Perchlorate

by Shana Campbell Jones | January 23, 2009
When it comes to protecting the environment and human health, the difference between what the Obama Administration portends and what the Bush Administration wrought may reside in the difference between three little words: “yes, we can” versus “no we won’t.” How and when Lisa Jackson, President-elect Obama’s pick to head the EPA, tackles perchlorate will be an early indicator of whether the difference between Bush and Obama will be as dramatic as environmentalists and public health advocates hope. Perchlorate, a ...

A Weather Forecast for Climate Change Governance

by Shana Campbell Jones | December 17, 2008
Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight. But the enormities of the times in which I have lived have forced me to take a part in resisting them, and to commit myself on the boisterous ocean of political passions.                                                            -- Thomas Jefferson   Last week, I attended the National Conference on Climate Governance at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.  Given the politicization of climate change ...

The Clean Water Act, Please, and Hold the Fried Fish

by Shana Campbell Jones | December 04, 2008
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Entergy Corp. v. EPA. The case involves a challenge by electric utilities to new EPA regulations requiring power plants to protect aquatic life by regulating “cooling water intake structures” at existing power plants. Billions of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic organisms are drawn into these cooling intake structures and killed yearly.   So basically the Court gets to decide between protecting all those creatures, or signing off on a very ...

The Chesapeake Bay Dead Zone Needs a Ref

by Shana Campbell Jones | December 02, 2008
Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Chief Justice Earl Warren once said he always turned to the sports section of the newspaper first. “The sports page records people’s accomplishments,” he explained. “The front page has nothing but man's failures.” The Chesapeake Bay has been in the news a lot lately, and its fans aren’t cheering. When it comes to Bay cleanup efforts, front-page failure – not a jolt of inspiration – is the order of the day.   Despite 25-plus years of study ...

The Era of Bigfoot Government Is Over

by Shana Campbell Jones | November 18, 2008
Bigfoot lives, and he’s not hiding out from the paparazzi somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. He drives more than 630,000 vehicles. He is the largest consumer of energy in the United States, costing taxpayers about $14.5 billion. He generates about 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide yearly, approximately 1.4 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases per year. Who is Bigfoot? He’s Uncle Sam, our very own federal government. And he’s got a carbon footprint bigger than all of Belgium, ...

Over Our Heads? Climate Change Threatens A Beleaguered Chesapeake Bay

by Shana Campbell Jones | November 06, 2008
You can never step in the same river twice, the saying goes. According to a new report about how climate change is expected to affect the Chesapeake Bay, that saying may become truer than ever.   In Climate Change and the Chesapeake Bay, a group of scientists and water quality experts found that, because of climate change, “the Bay’s functioning by the end of this century will differ significantly from that observed during the last century….” The report concluded that ...

Green Jobs Need Protection, Not Preemption

by Shana Campbell Jones | October 30, 2008
Next year, Congress is all but certain to try to tackle climate change legislation again, and the stakes are higher than ever. Further delay in federal action would only compound the problem. But while Congress has been sitting on its hands for more than a decade, many states have taken action, seeing climate change not only as an environmental threat but also as an economic development opportunity.   Last week, for example, New Jersey Gov. John Corzine released an “energy ...

More Rocket Fuel in Our Water

by Shana Campbell Jones | October 24, 2008
Earlier this month, and after six years of delay, EPA announced that it had decided not to regulate perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel and munitions that has leached into water supplies in various parts of the country, often near military bases. As it happened, the announcement came just a few days before the release of a new study on the subject that demonstrates that EPA’s lack of action may be even more disastrous than environmentalists and children’s health advocates ...

Also from Shana Campbell Jones

Shana Campbell Jones, J.D., is a consultant to the Center for Progressive Reform on Chesapeake Bay issues.  She joined CPR in 2007 as a policy analyst, and took on the role of executive director in 2009, before leaving the staff to teach environmental policy at Old Dominion University.

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