Sunday, December 7, 2014

Protesting the Council for Growth's Investors Meeting to Make Philly an Energy Hub

On December 5, 2014, a coalition of environmental groups protested an investors meeting directed at making Philly an "Energy Hub" for natural gas from the Marcellus Shale Formation. The meeting was the focus of an article in the Philadelphia magazine, entitled, "Philadelphia + a Pipeline (or Two) = America’s Next Energy Hub."  The agenda for the investors meeting was entitled, "Greater Philadelphia: The Next Energy Hub."  Of course, we've been fighting to make Pennsylvania an energy hub for sustainable forms of energy for years, but this meeting was focused on making Philly a depot for dirty fossil fuels.  Our activists made sure that the investors gathering at the meeting were aware that the citizens of Philly were not going to accept the pollution and environmental degradation that inevitably accompanies fossil fuel development.  In response to the media advisory, our protests were covered by, the local CBS affiliate, NPR, and other news sites

Here are some photos from the protest: 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hiking with Veterans in the Wissahickon on August 23

On August 23 at 10:45am, we will hike with veterans in the Wissahickon region of Fairmount Park.  The hike will begin at Valley Green Inn, follow Forbidden Drive and another trail , and a final leg along Rex Ave to Germantown Ave in  Chestnut Hill, where we will have a bite to eat.  Public transportation will be available in Chestnut Hill. 

The hike is 2 miles long; half of it is flat along Forbidden Drive, and the latter half climbs from the Wissahickon Valley up to Chestnut Hill, initially on a trail, then a cobblestone street, and finally, on a paved street. The total climb is ~300 feet in elevation, most of it over about a half mile starting from mile marker 1.  So it's a good climb toward the end to the hike.

The hike route is shown by the blue dotted line in the Google map below:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sierra Club Hiring an Associate Organizing Representative in Philadelphia

The Sierra Club is looking for an Associate Organizing Representative in Philadelphia, PA. Help continue Pennsylvania's transition beyond coal to clean energy by recruiting and engaging volunteers, working with media and cultivating grassroots networks in the Philadelphia area.

Interested candidates should have more than 1 year experience in grassroots organizing, strategy development, coalition building and media relations in environmental, social justice, political campaigns or related efforts." For all the details, and to apply, click here:

The Sierra Club's innovative Beyond Coal campaign ( is a nationwide grassroots effort to eliminate coal's contribution to global warming no later than 2030 and replace the existing coal infrastructure with a clean energy economy fueled by wind, solar, and geothermal.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Activists Testify and Rally at Clean Power Plan Hearings at EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

On July 29, twenty seven activists traveled by bus to Washington DC to support the Clean Power Plan rules, and to suggest that the EPA make the regulations even stronger. This rule proposes to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants. Among the group were seven vets from the Veterans Multiservice Center. Seven activists that traveled with the group testified at the hearing, and everyone attended an energetic rally outside the EPA headquarters. Ben & Jerry's provided free ice cream all day, and bicyclists towed trailers carrying signs calling for "Clean Air Now." A children's brigade organized by Mom's Clean Air Force submitted a banner full of handprints to a surprised EPA officer. The testimonials in favor of curbing carbon far outnumbered those opposed (117 to 13 were tallied up to a break in the proceedings prior to our departure). Public hearings were held in four US cities, and a comment period will remain open until Oct. 16. We encourage you to submit your comments prior to the end of the comment period, after which the EPA will finalize the rule.

Our activists are testifying in the Pittsburgh hearings also

Monday, July 14, 2014

Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan proposes to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. EPA's plan is a commonsense, flexible approach to protect public health, spur innovation, and create jobs under the President's Climate Action Plan

Some Background Info
Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions From Existing Power Plants:
Options to Ensure Electric System Reliability
– Analysis Group

This paper addresses whether EPA’s actions to regulate GHG emissions from existing power plants will give rise to electric system reliability problems and explains why it will not.

Climate Change and Your Health – Union of Concerned Scientists
Climate change has significant implications for our health. Rising temperatures will likely lead to more frequent and severe heat waves, heavier rainstorms and flooding, and increased air pollution. All of these changes could pose serious, and costly, risks to public health.
The Climate Change and Your Health initiative is a UCS effort designed to highlight some of the major health risks associated with climate change in the United States and attempt to quantify their impacts. We also include information to help your family, your community, and our country prepare for—and try to mitigate—the growing health risks of a warming world. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Labor and Climate Justice: Moving from “Jobs OR the Environment” to “Jobs FOR the Environment”

Wednesday, June 18, 6:45pm to 9pm
AFSCME District 1199C, 1319 Locust St.

  • Barbara Rahke, Director of PhilaPOSH (Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health)

Global warming is causing serious harm to people across the US and around the world. There is a growing understanding that a rapid transition to a renewable, clean energy economy is essential. A climate justice movement is evolving, seeking to rebuild our economy in a way that protects and is fair to workers and to members of all of our communities. It’s not true that we must choose between jobs and the environment. Increasingly, people are working together to push for good jobs and a liveable world. The speakers will share their thinking about how to forge labor/environmental alliances and invite a conversation about what we can do it here in Philly.

Sponsored by (list in formation):
  • AFSCME District 1199C
  • AFSCME District Council 33
  • AFSCME District Council 47
  • BlueGreen Alliance of Pennsylvania
  • Caucus of Working Educators
  • PennFuture
  • Pennsylvania Federation, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees/Teamsters
  • Philadelphia Area Jobs with Justice
  • PhilaPOSH (Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health)
  • Sierra Club SPG (Southeastern PA Group)
  • United Steelworkers Local 404
  • 350 Philadelphia

Join us for a discussion about how labor and environmental activists here in Philly can work together to stop catastrophic climate change and create economic justice. Please let us know if you plan to come! Click here to RSVP.

Questions? Contact John Braxton at

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Rally for Appalachia: Stand Up for Clean Water on June 4th

When: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 12:00 Noon
Where: EPA Region 3 Offices at 17th & Arch
Who: Environmental Activists like YOU that want to exercise our right of free speech
Why: The people and wildlife of Appalachia are not being protected from coal mines and its supporting industries.

This is Why We Need The EPA to Step Up for Clean Water!
Kentucky has little regulation of coal ash, and State regulators don't enforce those on the books.  The head of the North Carolina environmental agency spent 28 years working for Duke Energy -- responsible for both slurry spills -- before being appointed by Governor Pat McCrory.  Duke Energy contributed $1.1 million to McCrory’s campaigns and groups that supported him. Pennsylvania has the basis for strong regulations on coal mining and waste, but fails woefully in enforcement. Tennessee regulations lack requirements for protection of surface and subsurface waters and lack emergency action plans. Virginia fails to protect the public from coal ash by imposing basic safeguards at coal ash dumps. State regulators in West Virginia routinely fail to hold the coal industry accountable for its pollution.

State Regulators are NOT protecting their Citizens:

West Virginia chemical spill leaves 300,000 without tap water
REUTERS | January 11, 2014 By Ann Moore

W.Va. coal prep plant spills slurry into creek

Associated PressAssociated Press – February 11, 2014

Duke starts dredging river as coal ash deal dumped

Associated PressBy MICHAEL BIESECKER and MITCH WEISS | Associated Press – Tue, Feb 11, 2014

Second coal ash dump leak sends toxins into North Carolina river

ReutersBy Eric M. Johnson | Reuters – February 19, 2014

'Significant' slurry spill blackens Kanawha creek

Ken Ward Jr. Monday, February 24, 2014
More than 100,000 gallons of coal slurry poured into an eastern Kanawha County stream, blackening roughly six miles of Fields Creek, and some of the slurry made it into the Kanawha River.