Enviro Links: Moratorium Judge Ditches Energy Stocks, Alex Threatens Gulf, and More

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In BP oil disaster news:

Thousands of people around the United States gathered on their local beaches on Saturday for Hands Across the Sand, in protest of offshore drilling. In Florida, hundreds gathered on an oil-slicked strip of Pensacola Beach, including Gov. Charlie Crist.

Here are some heartbreaking images of those Pensacola beaches.

Martin Feldman, the federal court judge who blocked the Obama administration’s moratorium on new offshore drilling sold off his stock in a number of energy companies, including his investments in Transocean. But he waited to sell his stock in ExxonMobil until just five hours before he ruled to overturn the six-month drilling pause.

The National Weather Service raised the classification of Alex, the season’s first major Gulf storm, back up to a tropical storm on Sunday evening. While it does not appear likely to hit the oiled region of the Gulf at this point, the storm has raised anxieties about what a severe storm might mean for residents.

Nalco, the chemical company that makes the dispersant that BP has been using in unprecedented volumes in the Gulf, has hired some high-caliber lobbyists.

Shell’s CEO doesn’t think that the Gulf disaster will impact offshore drilling in the US.

Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is still bashing Obama’s oil spill response, and reporters are still dutifully writing about it.

In climate news:

President Obama’s bipartisan meeting on energy policy has been rescheduled for Tuesday.

Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) says he doesn’t see 60 votes for a climate bill in the Senate.

In a pleasant and surprising turn of events, on Sunday G20 nations agreed to remove the word “voluntary” from the pledge to cut fossil fuel subsidies that will be included in the final communiqué.

And in other environmental news:

Scientists have discovered that Jupiter has a very stinky moon.

An Alberta judge has found the oil company Syncrude Canada, the biggest producer in the tar sands, guilty in the deaths of 1,600 ducks. The ducks met their untimely end in 2008 after landing on a toxic pond.

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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