Several groups sue on reversal of Arctic Drilling ban

On May 3rd, several groups including Earth Justice, Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and others joined with Alaska Native groups to sue the Trump administration for its reversal of the Arctic drilling ban.

The complaint states there is no Constitutional authority for Trump to reverse a Section 12(a) withdrawal, the authority President Obama used to ban Arctic drilling. In the complaint, the claim for relief states:

In reversing President Obama’s Arctic and Atlantic Ocean withdrawals, President Trump acted in excess of his authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution and intruded on Congress’s non-delegated exclusive power under the Property Clause, in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.

The lawsuit is in preliminary stages, and so far, no group has asked to intervene on behalf of the government, though I expect this to change.

Integrating WordPress’ Multisite support

In the past, I’ve skipped between supporting multiple sites and only having a single site, here at Burningbird.

I like different domains and sites so that people can focus primarily on the topics they like. For instance, tech people may get a bit tired of my political writings, and those interested in the political writings may not care for in-depth overviews of JavaScript.

The main issue with multiple sites, though, is the amount of work to maintain the software for each site. In fact, that’s been a real pain in the past, and the reason I took down the individual sites.

Thankfully, WordPress has very good multisite support now. I can support different sites with different domain names, and you all have no idea it’s all fed by the same WordPress installation. More importantly, if I decide to subscribe to a security system for my site, such as Wordfence, I only need one subscription. Considering how much my site gets hammered on a daily basis, I’m definitely interested in increasing my security. However, security API keys are not cheap. They’re too expensive to get one for every domain.

I’m also eliminating all statically generated web pages. I just wiped out the old weblog.burningbird.net site. I thought about keeping some of the old content but then realized people have enough stuff to read, they don’t need to see stuff that’s 15 years old. In addition, I’m adding newer statically generated content into WordPress, in preparation for converting everything over to the secure version of HTTP, HTTPS.

As I add active content to new sites, I’ll post a note linking to them. Right now, I have active content here and at One Lawsuit.

NRDC pushes back on attempts to slow or stop environmental lawsuits

The Justice Department has asked the courts to hold EPA two court cases, including the case related to the Clean Power Plan, in abeyance. The request is a result of Trump’s recent Executive Order seeking to weaken or undermine EPA rules and regulations. The DOJ is asking for an abeyance until 30 days after the EPA determines whether to change or revoke the rules.

However, NRDC, one of many intervenors in the cases, will file motions in the courts next week asking them to deny the DOJ request.

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The GOP’s disHONEST Act against the EPA

Musician playing in empty Beijing square, mouth and nose covered to protect against the pollution

Yesterday, the House passed the Honest and Open New EPA Science, or HONEST, Act. Tortured use of acronym aside, this Act is anything but honest.

The GOP claims the act is to force the EPA to provide the raw data behind all of its decisions. However, the primary reason for the Act is to inhibit regulations based, in part, on confidential or proprietary raw data. The Act’s inspiration came from research published in 1993 and known as the Harvard Six Cities Study.

To summarize the Six Cities Study, the research found that people in cities with dirty air were dying sooner than people living in cities with clean air.

This research formed the basis for many of the EPA’s Clean Air Act regulations related to particulate matter. If you can clearly see the skyline of LA now, and breathe its air without a facial mask, thank the authors of the Six Cities Study.

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Several Groups file lawsuit against the Keystone XL Pipeline decision

Trump’s administration recently reversed the Obama administration’s decision to deny a permit to TransCanada for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Both the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Center for Biological Diversity announced today that several organizations have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for this decision. Among the plaintiffs are:

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