Cleaning House, and Senate Too
Voters sent a clear message this November that they wanted a change in leadership and demand for a new direction on energy was a significant reason why. And no election day victory was sweeter than the de-election of Congressman Richard Pombo.
Dancing with the Supremes
Global warming headlines a banner year for environmental cases before the Supreme Court. Also before the bench were cases involving the cleanup of dirty coal plants and the scope of the Clean Water Act.
Oil of Oy Vey
BP shuts down its Prudhoe Bay operation after the largest spill ever on Alaska's North Slope. President Bush appoints former ExxonMobil Chief Lee Raymond to the National Petroleum Council. And new evidence shows how oil companies ripped off taxpayers by avoiding billions of dollars in royalty payments.
Merit Badge for Protection
Congress steps in to protect New Mexico's wildlife rich Valle Vidal, which borders the nation's largest Boy Scout Camp, from a Bush administration drilling plan. California's legendary Lost Coast also received formal wilderness protection from Congress this year.
You know something different is happening when a documentary about a global warming slideshow breaks box office records. Amens from Pat Robertson ("If we are contributing to the destruction of this planet, we need to do something about it") and Rupert Murdoch ("time to give the planet the benefit of the doubt") made 2006 the year climate change reached a cultural tipping point.
Beyond the Beltway
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California legislature passed the world's strongest global warming emissions policy while more than 300 mayors representing more than 50 million Americans took major steps to curb greenhouse gas pollution.
The Bush administration proposed and then withdrew a controversial plan to sell off several hundred thousand acres of national forest land. And federal judges also smacked down the administration plans to allow logging in federal roadless areas and in Giant Sequoia National Monument.
The Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers launched a historic partnership aimed at getting the job - and jobs - done when it comes to smart new energy solutions.
Masters of Science Fiction
The Bush administration, already failing out of science class, got especially low marks this year for trying to shut down EPA's regional libraries, letting political appointees rather than scientists set clean air standards at EPA, and willfully ignoring the recommendations of wildlife biologists in the Department of Interior.
After the Storm
Wounds left by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita remained fresh throughout 2006. A Sierra Club investigation found that many families were living in FEMA trailers laced with toxic formaldehyde.