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Dear Activist,

This is it. In the mainstream media, the Gang of 10 (actually, now it's the Gang of 20) energy bill is all about offshore oil drilling. And, to be sure, there's lots of that in the bill, which is expected to come up in the Senate late this week. But the bill would also be the biggest giveaway to the nuclear power industry ever.

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Unlimited tax-payer backed loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear reactors. That's right, unlimited. As much money-hundreds of billions of dollars--as everyone in the nuclear industry wants, when it wants, for as long as it wants.

Nuclear power is a mature, 50-year-old industry that has had a long history of utility loan defaults and cost-overruns. In 2003, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that the risk of loan default by industry would be "well over 50%".  Unlimited loan guarantees for the nuclear industry will put billions of U.S. taxpayers' dollars at serious risk.

How do these Senators think they can get away with this? Because they're not hearing from enough of us, often enough. They think this is a popular stand. We all need to stand up now and be counted.

That's why Public Citizen, NIRS, Physicians for Social Responsibility and other national groups are putting out the word for a National Call-In Day to the Senate on Wednesday, September 17. We need at least 10,000 phone calls to the Senate on Wednesday. We need the phones there to be ringing non-stop from dawn to dusk. 

Please take a moment to let you Senators know that unlimited loan guarantees for nukes are unacceptable. After 50 years of massive federal taxpayer subsidies, enough is enough.

For more information on loan guarantee program click, here

For more information on nuclear subsidies in the Gang of 20 bill click, here


Energy Program
Your main source for information about nuclear power, nuclear waste, energy legislation, and deregulation.
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Eleventh-Hour Attack on Endangered Species

Walrus (Photo: USFWS)The Bush/Cheney Administration may be drawing to a close, but that’s not stopping them from trying to gut one of the most important laws that protects our imperiled wildlife.

Last month, the Administration proposed sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act that would eliminate some of the most important checks and balances that protect polar bears, wolverines, lynx and other wildlife struggling to survive.

Take Action Now: Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to withdraw this dangerous proposal -- and keep the Endangered Species Act intact.

Feature Story

Polar Bears in Deep Water

Polar bears are in serious trouble. As Arctic sea ice speeds toward another record low this year, more polar bears have been seen swimming in open water off the northern coast of Alaska -- when they would normally be on stable ice.

Although polar bears are strong swimmers, scientists are worried to see bears swimming so far from the nearest shore or sea ice -- one was seen at least 60 miles from shore. Such long distances can lead to exhaustion or drowning in the search for the sea ice they need to hunt seals, den and mate.

“We have some observations of bears swimming into shore when the sea ice was not visible on the horizon," said biologist Steven Amstrup, a polar bear expert from the U.S. Geological Survey. “In some of these cases, the bears arrive so spent energetically, that they literally don’t move for a couple days after hitting shore.”

Read more from the Christian Science Monitor.

Polar Bear (USFWS)
In Your Area

Threats Loom Large for Florida Wildlife

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently released a report predicting an unfortunate future for Florida’s wildlife -- that is, if current growth trends continue. Over the next 50 years, the human population is projected to double to 37 million and result in the urbanization of roughly 7 million acres of lands now inhabited by wildlife.

The FWC hopes the report will motivate Floridians to look at growth more wisely and inspire people to get involved to hold onto the quality of life that diverse wildlife and healthy habitat provide.

At the same time, climate change is expected to have dramatic impacts on Florida’s wildlife in the coming years. In fact, the summit (Florida's Wildlife: On the Frontline of Climate Change) originally scheduled in August, had to be postponed due to Tropical Storm Fay. Rescheduled for October 1-3, 2008, the summit will highlight a variety of challenges we can expect in the next 50 years. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Defenders' Senior Climate Change Scientist Dr. Jean Brennan will be a keynote speaker at the Orlando event.

Read more about the FWC report, “Wildlife 2060: What’s at stake for Florida?”

Sea Otter (Photo: NOAA)
Feature Story

Be Sea Otter Aware!

Each year, Defenders and our partners celebrate the important role sea otters play in their coastal ecosystems. This year is no different. With events throughout the U.S., in Canada and as far away as Australia, we’ll be giving these playful critters their due from September 21st through the 27th.

In California, the state legislature officially recognized the last week in September as Sea Otter Awareness Week -- making it a permanent annual celebration in the state!

Visit our website for more information on ways you can participate in this annual series of events!

Sea Otter (Photo: NOAA)
Defenders Updates
Same Old Drill?
As Congress returned from their 5-week recess, one of their top priorities was energy. But rising gas prices are spurring calls to let Big Oil spoil our coasts with more drilling. More than 40,000 Defenders supporters have spoken out to Members of Congress and the Administration against more drilling off our coasts. And Defenders staff is hard at work on Capitol Hill, advocating for smarter, cheaper and cleaner solutions.
>> Learn More

Another Brutal Season
In the wake of the defeat of a ballot measure that would have ended Alaska’s brutal aerial hunting program, Defenders is preparing for another bloody season. We’re redoubling our efforts to pass the PAW Act in Congress -- legislation that would end this terrible practice, and prevent programs like it from spreading to the lower 48 states -- and will continue our fight to hold state officials accountable.
>> Learn More

Your Lands, Your Wildlife
Last month, Defenders headed out to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the Outdoor Industry Association’s annual Summer Market convention. Our outreach activities to this growing and influential constituency included our booth and a session with renowned nature photographer Joel Sartore. We also promoted our latest campaign: Your Lands, Your Wildlife, featuring an essay contest to highlight treasured public lands.

Have you had a memorable encounter with wildlife in America’s national forests or on Bureau of Land Management lands? Tell your story and you could win $1000 in outdoor gear!
>>Learn More

North Atlantic right whale calf (Photo: NOAA)
Wildlife Heroes

Best Friend for the Black-Footed Ferret

Mike Lockhart knows a thing or two about black-footed ferrets. As a biologist with the Fish & Wildlife Service, he was instrumental in bringing these weasel-like animals back from the very brink of extinction -- and returning them to the wilds of the American Plains.

Before retiring in December 2007, Mike released the first ferrets to the Kansas prairie since they disappeared from the state decades ago -- onto land owned by Larry and Bette Haverfield (former Wildlife Heroes).

Mike has been a vocal critic of Bush Administration plans to poison prairie dogs -- a move that could derail ferret recovery since they depend on the rodents for prey and shelter.

In the meantime, the Kansas ferrets appear to be thriving, so far. Thanks to Mike’s hard work and dedication over the years, the future for the highly endangered black-footed ferret is a little more secure.

Read more about the Kansas ferrets and see a video from the Wichita Eagle
Mike Lockhart
Creature Feature
They’re the fastest land animal in the world -- but cheetahs are running for their lives. Habitat loss, declines in prey and genetic inbreeding are threatening the future of these spotted cats.

Learn More about Cheetahs

Farewell to Summer
As summer fades to fall, now is a great time to get your home ready for winter. Weatherizing a leaky home will increase your comfort, cut your energy bills and decrease your carbon footprint.

Find out more at the Department of Energy web site

Have an Enviro Tip to share?
E-mail us!
Upcoming Events
Whether you are an activist looking for ways to make your voice heard or a biologist seeking a conference where you can share your latest paper, Defenders has an event for you.

Click here for the latest upcoming events.
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Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities.

Defenders of Wildlife can be contacted at:
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036





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