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Do Interior’s latest actions mean the Arctic is finally protected? Not yet. The devil is in the details.

The Biden administration did several things earlier this month that could lead to enduring protections for the Arctic and potentially make meaningful headway on climate change. First, the Interior Department cancelled the last remaining oil leases stemming from the reckless Trump-era lease sale for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.… Read More

Teresa Clemmer talks about the zigzag way

By Teresa Clemmer

The trajectory of my life has always been more of a zigzag than a straight line.

I spent my early years living in San Diego, Miami, Tokyo, and Northern Virginia.  My teenage years were mostly in San Diego with my mom, but my sister and I took extended side trips to Jamaica, Venezuela, and Ecuador to spend time with our dad.  Then I went to college at Princeton in New Jersey, completed a year-long public interest fellowship in the San Francisco area, spent a second year in the Florida Keys, went to law school at Georgetown in Washington, DC, and then moved back to San Francisco cutting my teeth there as a young lawyer. 

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Big win in court for the Arctic Refuge: Court rejects AIDEA’s claims, upholds Interior’s authority to pause flawed leasing program

The U.S. District Court ruling today dismissed all claims made by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and the State of Alaska in their attempt to force the Interior Department to move forward with an illegal drilling program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Trustees for Alaska intervened in that lawsuit on behalf of the Gwich’in Steering Committee and allied groups in March 2022 to defend Interior’s suspension of leases and oil and gas activities on lands held sacred by the Gwich’in Peoples of Alaska and Canada. Today’s court ruling granted summary judgement for the Department of the Interior and Trustees for Alaska’s clients.… Read More

The light always returns: Alaska News Brief June 2023

Earlier this month, I joined my mom on her last—for now—“bucket list” adventure. We took the train to the Canadian Rocky Mountains for two days from Vancouver to Banff, going from an urban landscape and rainforest into high desert into boreal forest. Then we rented a car to spend some time in Lake Louise and Calgary. Stunning! And, because life works this way, I caught a virus at the end of this short-but-sweet trip.… Read More

How building a house in Idaho changed national wetlands policy and now threatens waterways in Alaska

In late May, the U.S. Supreme Court again stepped out of its role as interpreter of the Constitution and law and did what only Congress is allowed to do: Rewrite the definition of “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act.  If you care about clean water and understand the tremendous progress made in the last 50 years in cleaning up rivers choked with so much pollution they burned, seeing huge fish kills because of toxic pollutants, and seeing beaches closed to swimming because people were getting sick, then you should worry about how the Sackett v. EPA case reverses that progress. … Read More

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