Last day for public comment on proposed pumped storage facility in WV’s Blackwater Canyon

The company FreedomWorks, LLC, is proposing to bring an industrial pumped storage hydroelectric plant to the Monongahela National Forest. Opponents of the Big Run Pumped Storage Project say that the siting of the project would impact the hydrology and ecology of Tucker County, WV by damming a tier 3 trout stream, impacting sensitive and endangered species, and destroying public lands and viewsheds in the Blackwater Canyon. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is accepting public comments until the end of the day today. The comment period is for the pre-permit, which covers preliminary activities like surveys and planning. There will also be a public hearing on the issue on January 9th, 2019 from 6 to 8pm at the Tucker County courthouse in Parsons, WV. To learn more about the project or sign the petition visit the Friends of Blackwater website.

 

Nine Attorney Generals sue Trump over offshore drilling

Attorney Generals from nine states including North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have joined a lawsuit filed by environmental groups that seeks to block the Trump Administration from doing seismic testing for drilling off of the Atlantic Coast. The Attorney Generals oppose the use of air guns to survey the floor of the Atlantic Ocean for oil and gas on the grounds that they will “expose whales, dolphins and porpoises to repeated sound blasts louder than 160 decibels,” which will threaten their health and violate the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and other federal laws to conserve wildlife. The Attorney Generals are also opposed to the prospect of drilling for oil and gas off of their shores. In January the Trump administration proposed to offer the oil and gas industry leases on almost the entire U.S. outer continental shelf, the largest expansion in US history. Governors in states along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, along with state lawmakers and congressional delegations, are in near-unanimous opposition.

 

American Explorer finishes solo, unaided journey across Antarctica

Portland, OR native Colin O’Brady, 33, is the first person to ski alone and unaided across Antarctica. The endurance athlete began his journey on the Atlantic Ocean on November 3 and arrived at the finish line 54 days later on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. O’Brady skied 932 miles pulling a 300-pound sled which carried all of the food and supplies he would need for the journey. Consuming 8,000 calories a day and battling life threatening cold temperatures and whiteout conditions, O’Brady accomplished his goal with a superhuman push to the finish line, traveling 80 miles for thirty hours straight to reach the end of his journey at the Ross Ice Shelf. “We all have reservoirs of untapped potential,” O’Brady is often quoted as saying.