Pick a Rubber Dodo Award Winner
For the third year in a row, the Center for Biological Diversity will soon announce the winner of the Rubber Dodo award, given to the person who has done the most to drive imperiled species extinct in 2009. The 2008 award went to Alaska governor Sarah Palin for taking potshots at polar bears, beluga whales, walruses, and any other endangered species that walked, crawled, or flew in her direction. The 2007 award went to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for setting a new record in failing to protect any endangered species at all for two years.
Help us decide which eco-villain below is most deserving, or nominate your own.
Background info on our top four candidates:
Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship: As CEO of West Virginia's largest coal company, Blankenship was the ringleader behind the anti-climate legislation, pro-coal, anti-union Friends of America 2009 Labor Day rally made infamous by the Center and allies. Known for his promotional rally video railing against "environmental extremists" who oppose the outrageously destructive practice of mountaintop-removal coal mining, Blankenship has already been dubbed "Scariest Polluter in the United States" from Grist magazine blogger David Roberts. The Center and allies recently waged a mobilization campaign against Blakenship's pro-mountaintop-removal rally as part of our on-going work to beat back Big Coal (and Oil and Gas) from destroying our mountains, forests, deserts and waters.
TAREX Portfolio Manager & Tejon Ranch Corporation Board Member Michael Winer: Pushing to build the largest master-planned community in California’s history, Winer intends to destroy up to 19,000 acres of designated "critical habitat" for the endangered California condor. Never mind that federal law prohibits the "destruction or adverse modification" of such areas. Winer's development group also sued to stop the reintroduction of condors and hosted hunts in condor habitat resulting in the killing of AC-8, one of the last wild members of the species.
As chronicled in Eco Barons: Dreamers, Schemers, and Millionaires Who Are Save our Planet, the Center is waging a knock-down, drag-out fight to save the condor and largest remaining private wilderness area in California, possibly the country.
Idaho Governor Clement Leroy "Butch" Otter: Well-known for his desire to eradicate gray wolves from Idaho, Governor Otter celebrated the removal of his state's gray wolves from the endangered species list at an anti-environmental rally, at which he said, "I'm prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself." The Center is working hard to protect Idaho wolves; we've sued to get all northern Rockies gray wolves back on the endangered species list and we’re still in court to block wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana.
Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe: Senator Inhofe has one of the most anti-environmental records in Congress and has vowed to do all he can to block progress against global warming -- which he won't even acknowledge exists. Since 2001, Senator Inhofe has taken more than $600,000 from polluting energy interests. The Center has launched a massive campaign, gathering the support of individuals across the country as well as more than 350 organizations, to make sure the latest climate bill comes out of the Senate geared toward reducing atmospheric CO2 levels to 350 ppm or below -- despite Inhofe's efforts.
Photo credits: Don Blankenship courtesy FluxView USA and MobileBroadcastNews.com; Michael Winer courtesy Realestateportfolio.com; Butch Otter courtesy US federal government; Jim Inhofe courtesy US federal government.
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