Monday, December 9, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
EPA Listening Sessions on carbon regulations for existing power plants were held in 11 cities around the US in October & November 2013. Philadelphia's was on Nov. 8—the only session to be held in a state that is both a major producer and user of coal. Despite that, of the 94 people who testified at the session, only 16 spoke against the rule, while 76 spoke in favor, and 2 were neutral.
The fossil fuel industry paraded out their usual hackneyed denialist rhetoric. Here are a few quotes from those speaking in opposition (as captured by Russell Zerbo of Clean Air Council):
Emil Myer, President IBEW Local 614, displayed ignorance of the science of climate disruption by making the irrelevant point, "Carbon is not a poison…It's the only thing that keeps plants alive."
Electric Reliability Coordinating Council made the fallacious claims that the rule would have "no real impact on global warming" and would "hamper or stifle innovation."
John Gibbs, Business Agent for IBEW Local 614, stated, "We're all used to the comforts of life," ignoring the fact that a substantial proportion of energy use in industrialized European nations are generated by sustainable alternatives.
Additional questionable claims made during the PA Coal Alliance's anti-regulation testimony can be found an article in a local business journal.
Speakers in favor of regulating carbon made a powerful case for regulation of dirty, antiquated forms of energy:
Jan Marie Rushforth of Rushforth Solar business said there are currently 174,000 gas and oil industry jobs, while there are 3.1 million renewable energy jobs. She pointed out that the #1 cause of kids missing school is asthma, which is exacerbated by climate change.
Clifford Wagner, a science exhibit designer and one of the Sierra Club's supporters, said sea level rise could easily be 1 meter by 2050, and tidal wetlands will be decimated. He was an early adopter of climate change thinking: in 1988 he helped design a display on global warming for the Franklin Institute.
This being Philadelphia, 6 of those who testified identified themselves as Quakers, including the head of Friends Fiduciary, which provides prudent, cost-effective management of financial assets for Friends organizations. The Friends Fiduciary Corporation Board decided recently that they will exclude from their portfolios those companies whose primary business is the mining or production of coal.
One of those who testified, Gary Witt, Assistant Professor of Finance at Temple University, identified himself as a registered Republican and a supporter of carbon controls.
A Swarthmore College student who testified in support of climate action, Laura Rigell, said she traveled as an observer to climate talks in Cancun and was about to go to the Warsaw climate talks coming up this week.
The day included a press conference at Independence Mall featuring 6 speakers: Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network; Brian Kauffman, Executive Director of the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance; Ed Perry of the National Wildlife Federation (speaking as a sport fisherman); Walter Tsou, president of Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility; Gretchen Alfonso of Moms Clean Air Force; and Joy Bergey of Penn Future. It was covered by Sandy Bauer of the Inquirer, as well as a writer and a photographer from WHYY public radio. Brief clips of the coverage were aired on 11/9. A crowd of about 30 people was present to hear the speakers.
Acknowledgements of Contributions From Sierra Club Volunteers
Eight Philadelphia area volunteers did phone-banking to encourage people to come out for the session: Karen Melton, Gillian Norris, Matt Henry, Linda Yborra, Alexa Manning, Ashley Nagle, Martha Ralphe, and Sue Edwards. Randy Francisco, a Sierra Club field staff organizer from western PA, sent out e-mails that also brought people out.
Additionally, Gary Lytle recruited about 6 or 8 veterans to come from the The Philadelphia Veterans Multiservice and Education Center. These were men who have participated in several Sierra Club activities recently. Three of them gave testimony at the hearing.
Sue Edwards, Robin Mann, Jim Wylie, and Karen Melton each spent time signing people in as they arrived at the Federal Building to testify in support of the regulations. Randy Francisco provided 50 colorful aqua T-shirts reading "Our Communities Need CLIMATE ACTION NOW," which were eagerly snatched up by attendees.
E Bryan Crenshaw III
Sierra Club Volunteer Activists
Friday, November 15, 2013
SEPTA: Will it get enough money from Harrisburg? What is it doing for the environment?
Who: Erik Johanson of SEPTA will speak.
When: Monday November 18, 2013 at 6:45 PM
Where: Center for Business and Industry of the Community College of Philadelphia, 18th/Callowhill Streets NE corner, 3rd floor,Room C3-05.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
In our second outing as a part of the Sierra Club effort to provide opportunities for veterans and military families to experience nature, we sponsored a hike along the Schuylkill River Trail from Boathouse Row to East Falls, where we shared lunch at Johnny Mananas.
For details of the hike, see the hike announcement post.
Friday, November 1, 2013
When: Saturday, Nov. 2nd at 2pm
Start: Cosmic Café, Boathouse Row, Kelly Dr. and Sedgely Rd.
Finish: Wissahickon Transportation Center (WTC), Main St. and Ridge Ave.
Lunch: Johnny Mananas, Midvale Ave and Ridge Ave
View Hike from Cosmic Cafe to Wissahickon Transportation Center in a larger map
Monday, October 21, 2013
EPA Public Listening Sessions On Reducing Pollution From Existing Power Plants In Philly on Nov. 8 [New Date Announced Since Shutdown Over]
EPA will hold 11 public listening sessions across the country, including one in Philadelphia, to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. Let us know if you are interested in attending by clicking here.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
William Kramer, a local Sierra Club organizer, described the event. "Today, we reached out to one of the veterans service centers...we had a nice hike, we had a nice meal, and just got to know each other."
This local effort is part of broader, national, program in the Sierra Club to honor our veterans, and to provide opportunities for them to get out into nature and realize its healing powers.
Gary Lytle, the local Sierra Club lead for veteran outreach who is himself a veteran, says, "Anytime you have a chance to give honor to veterans, you should give honor to [them]."
During the lunch, the participants had a broad ranging discussion about how the Sierra Club can work together with veterans on issues that are important to both groups, including the impact of climate change on health, the potential for sustainable jobs, and protecting natural lands for future generations. Kramer states, "We're hoping to work more with veterans...We know there's alot of potential to create good jobs in Philadelphia in solar and wind energy or in retrofitting and insulation."
Lytle also added, "As Americans, we all have an obligation to take care of our country, and the lands that surround us."
Additional hikes with veterans groups are being planned for later in the fall. Contact William Kramer for more information < william.kramer (at) sierraclub.org >.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Proceeds Support the Sierra Club:
The event has been postponed to Saturday, Oct. 19th due to a forecast of high winds and inclement weather:For the latest info, including the line-up check the link below:
Friday, September 13, 2013
Bryan Crenshaw, the social media lead with the Philly Sierra Club, Pennsylvania Clean Air group, will introduce the social media channels used by the group, including Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, etc. We will review these channels, how they are used to communicate our message, the jargon associated with each of these channels, and best practices for their use. In addition, a brief introduction to the Hootsuite software that we use to manage several of these channels will be discussed. After the main discussion, Bryan will be happy to help you with any questions about the setup and use of your own social media channels.
When: Sunday, Sept. 21st at 2pm.
Where: 3232 W. Penn St in East Falls
Philadelphia PA 19129
Friday, July 5, 2013
The standards governing water pollution from power plants have not been updated in 30 years even though, according to the EPA, more than half of all toxic water pollution in the country comes from coal-fired power plants, making coal plants the number one source of toxic water pollution in the U.S.
Pennsylvania has 28 active coal-fired power plants and only 8 have permits that limit dumping of toxic metals, while only 4 plants have permits that limit selenium, mercury, and lead.
“National safeguards to limit toxic water pollution are well overdue. These new standards will not only clean up our rivers and streams, but require polluters for the first time to report dumping so that communities will know what’s going into their water and be empowered to take action to clean it up,” said Robin Mann of the Sierra Club.
More than 23,000 miles of U.S. rivers and streams are being damaged by steam electric plant discharges, which include arsenic, mercury, lead, boron, cadmium, selenium, chromium, thallium, vanadium, bromides and more. For example, each year nearly 65,000 pounds of lead, 3,000 pounds of mercury, and 80,000 pounds of arsenic are discharged into surface waters like rivers, streams and lakes where kids play, families fish and communities get their drinking water.
"The effects on human health and the health of our rivers, including the Delaware River, are well known" said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. "Limiting the amount of toxins in our water will save lives, prevent children from getting sick and ensure our water is safe to drink and fish are safe to eat."
“Clean water is as fundamental to life on this planet as clean air” said Joe Minott from the Clean Air Council. “All forms of coal power plant pollution must be addressed and we join with our colleagues in the Sierra Club and Delaware Riverkeepers in support of clean water, just as we will all combine our voices when the EPA publishes a rule on power plant carbon emissions, as called for by the President.”
Following the press conference, activists took to the streets with what they called a “living billboard” -- a series of posters that when joined together spelled out a clean water message on one side and formed a giant fish mosaic on the other. Volunteers handed out leaflets and collected supportive comments that will be sent to the EPA.
For More Information Contact:
Maya van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Joe Minott, Clean Air Council
Sandy Bauer's Post on "Green Space" blog at Philly.com; Groups support EPA rule for coal plant discharges.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Join us for a press conference and living mural demonstration on July 5th!
Coal-fired power plants across Pennsylvania and the rest of the country are allowed to dump millions of pounds of toxic heavy metals into our water every year -- but you can help change that!
The EPA is considering stronger limits on toxic coal waste in our water and we can help make sure the protections are put into place by showing strong public support.
Sierra Club volunteers will be at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia Friday the 5th to inform folks attending the Taste of Philadelphia event about the need for a strong EPA rule to keep toxic coal waste out of our water.
We'll be displaying a living mural to show how toxic coal waste affects our water, holding a press conference and collecting signatures in support of protections against toxic coal waste.
Join the fun -- help spread the word to keep toxic coal waste out of our water!
Here are the details:
WHO: You and other activists from Sierra Club and allied environmental groups
WHAT: Outreach and press conference at Taste of Philly festival to support limits on toxic coal waste pollution
WHEN: Friday, July 5, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 pm
WHERE: Meet at Front Street & Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia, by Penn's Landing
RSVP with this link or e-mail Randy Francisco at email@example.com.
Friday, June 21, 2013
The script was as follows:
COURT CRYER: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The case of The People of the United States vs. President Barack Obama is now in session.
JUDGE: Will the attorney for the prosecution please state your case?
PROSECUTOR: Your honor and esteemed members of the jury, The People of the United States bring this action in light of the fact that their elected President, having made fine proclamations, both in his Second Inaugural and his State of the Union Address in 2013, about his intention to rein in Climate Change, has failed to act upon said promises. He has failed to meet the legal deadline required of him to promulgate a final Carbon Standard. In fact, he unceremoniously withdrew the Rule he had previously announced. Yes, yes, it is well known that he DID establish a Mercury Rule, a Mileage Standard Reduction, and recently his administration did state an increased Cost of Carbon Calculation. However, allowing coal and oil fired power plants to operate at their present level of carbon emissions is unconscionable. These plants, both existing and on the drawing boards, emit more carbon than even the filthy tar sands that Canadians want to pipe across America. Their power plant emissions literally make people sick—with lung disease, mercury poisoning, cancers, asthma, and more. And the carbon dioxide they put into the atmosphere is making our planet sick. The climate chaos that results from our fevered earth is starting to wreak economic devastation as governments here and around the world try to come up with the funds to pay for the excess wildfires, floods, and submerged subway tunnels as well as food shortages from droughts. Therefore, with great regret (for they hold out great hope for this President), the people are bringing this suit. The charges are: Reckless Endangerment and Risking & Causing a Catastrophe. I don't think I need to elaborate on the threat to civilization that will result from a failure to curb our carbon dioxide emissions. Suffice it to say that the “catastrophe” referred to includes droughts in Russia, in many countries in Africa, and in the Midwest breadbasket of the US; floods in Pakistan, Germany, and the Mississippi River vicinity of the US; record high temperatures in many locales; rising sea levels; melting glaciers and Antarctic ice shelves; the spread of malaria, West Nile virus, and dengue fever; and much more. A friend of the court brief is also hereby submitted by the People of Bangladesh and the People of the Maldive Islands charging untold millions of counts of Involuntary Manslaughter in the expected deaths of many of their citizens in the widely assumed rise in sea levels of up to several meters by the year 2100. That summarizes our case, Your Honor.
JUDGE: What say you in response to these charges, Mr. President?
PRES. OBAMA: Your Honor, inasmuch as I am a Professor of Constitutional Law, I would like to represent myself in this matter, with your indulgence.
JUDGE: Certainly, certainly. How do you plead, Mr. President?
PRES. OBAMA: I plead No Contest, Nolo Contendere. I am not guilty, nor am I innocent. I admit to using language to obfuscate the issue and hide my lack of action. I've been told that I have the gift of fine speech-making. That's how I got where I am. (charming smile) To expect me to be able to move mountains, though, that's asking a lot. The coal companies can do it, but I don't know how. Do you have any idea how obstinate those Republicans can be? And how persuasive the big money from the oil, coal and gas industries? How am I to move forward to stop climate change when those industries are busy persuading Congress and the American people that we don't have a problem? The American Legislative Exchange Council and the Koch brothers have a disinformation budget larger than, I don't know, the CIA and the National Security Administration put together, most likely. And their money is far, far more than the alternative energy budget, which is so small, I can't even find it in the spread-sheets. My hands are tied. Sir, I'm glad the People of the United States have brought this suit. If they win, it will force me to do what I know is right on this Carbon Standard.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the winner of the My Air, My Health Challenge. The Challenge called upon innovators nationwide to design a small, low-cost sensor that integrates air quality measurements with related health data, such as heart rate and breathing. Such innovations will help EPA and NIH as they continue their work together to better understand, in real time, the impacts of harmful air pollution on people’s health.
Judges for the EPA and NIH challenge selected the team of David Kuller, Gabrielle Savage Dockterman, and Dot Kelly from among finalist teams. The award will be presented today at Health Datapalooza IV in Washington, D.C.
The winning team will receive a $100,000 award for developing Conscious Clothing, a wearable, real-time breathing analysis tool that calculates the amount of polluted air a person inhales. Estimates of pollution exposure result from how deeply the person breathes and how much pollution is in the air. This data is transmitted to any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a cellphone.
“This integration of technologies represents a growing area of interest for environmental and health scientists,” said Glenn Paulson, Ph.D., EPA science advisor. “We’re at the edge of a technology wave where anyone can use these sensors – these innovations will help EPA better understand air pollution’s impacts on people’s health. The potential impact on personal health care and local environmental quality is tremendous.”
“With people wearing these new data-collecting devices, researchers will be able to see and understand the relationships between varying levels of chemical exposures and individual health responses—in real time,” said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the NIH. “This is a big step forward toward treating, and more importantly, preventing disease and illness. This is an exciting time in research.”
These types of low-cost, portable, easy-to-use sensors have the potential to produce a more complete picture of air quality and individual health in communities across the country.
More information on the My Air, My Health Challenge: http://epa.gov/research/challenges
Also, see the EPA blog.
Cross-posted from: http://epa.gov/
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Join us Wednesday June 19th at 3 pm at 1650 Arch St #2, Philadelphia, PA 19103 as we ask Obama to issue new rules to limit carbon emissions from new and existing coal fired power plants. A strong rule for existing coal fired power plants to take more CO2 out of the atmosphere than the Tar Sands would put in.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Lecture Series: The Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and Pipelines in Southeastern Pennsylvania
The controversial KXL tar sands pipeline continues to make headlines, but rapidly proliferating shale gas pipelines carry many of the same risks. Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth and 350 Berks & Lehigh Valley Climate Action, will discuss these extreme energy pipelines, what they have in common, and what you need to know if one's coming to your community.
Call Casey’s Office and Tell Him That You Oppose Keystone XL:
- District - (215) 405-9660
- DC - (202) 224-6324
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Millbourne Borough, A Local Community Led By A Sierra Club Volunteer, Wins DVRPC's Air Quality Partnership Award
Millbourne Borough was honored to receive Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC) Air Quality Partnership Award on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013. Speakers included Jeanette MacNeille, Millbourne Borough Council President, Bill McCune, President of Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Sue Edwards of the Sierra Club's Pennsylvania Clean Air Campaign, John McBlain, Commissioner to DVRPC and Sean Greene, Senior Planner at DVRPC.
Many actions led to this award. The Borough planted 160 trees last year with support from PENNVEST and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Natural Lands Trust and PECO, bought and upgraded its street light system resulting in estimated savings of $105,000 over 6 years and 20% reduction in energy use, and developed a transit-oriented plan for an 18-acre lot near the Millbourne Station on the Market-Frankford EL.
In the future, the Borough and Millbourne businesses will fly Air Alert flags at Millbourne Borough Hall, Wister Drive Park, and Millbourne Train Station to let neighbors know that they should take steps to avoid adding ozone and particulates on days when air pollution is bad.
The award was accepted by Mayor Tom Kramer and Borough Council President Jeanette MacNeille in honor of all the children of Millbourne, who represent our future and need clean air to breathe.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The local Sierra Club group seeks creative ways to get out its message about the need for clean energy (efficiency and solar and wind power) to replace dirty fossil fuels. Recently we held a mock tug-of-war near Independence Mall between Fossil Fuel Fat Cats and supporters of Clean Green Energy. It was lots of fun while having a serious message for President Obama about the need for bold action to follow up on his words supporting clean energy.
You are invited to a Sierra Club House Party/Meeting.
Join like-minded people at my home and hear an update of the Sierra Club's 100-day plan. Find out what's planned ahead and how, if you'd like, you can help or be involved.
We will have refreshments (finger foods) wine, coffee and if anyone cares to bring beer. Our last event was fun and informative.
WHEN: Sunday, May 19thCall 215-508-2532 or Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> to RSVP or for directions
TIME: 2- 5 pm
527 Wartman Street
Phila PA 19128
Monday, May 13, 2013
Sierra Club Volunteer
Chester County, PA
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
More than 50 activists and supporters of clean energy gathered at Philadelphia’s Independence Mall on April 8th to urge President Obama to take action on climate change.
During his inaugural address and again during the State of the Union, President Obama committed to taking action on climate change. In March and April events are taking place across the country to pressure the president to move forward as a climate and clean energy leader.
The demonstration was co-sponsored by the Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Philadelphia Neighborhood Network, the Clean Air Council, The Blue Green Alliance, and Protecting Our Waters -- an example of how climate change is creating partnerships among organizations with wide-ranging missions.
Billed as “guerilla theater” a literal tug-of-war was staged to depict the competing interests of clean energy and fossil fuels. Fossil fuels were represented by a few tuxedoed cigar-smoking “fat cats”. Opposing them were people costumed to represent clean energy supporters such as asthma sufferers, hikers, bikers, farmers, scientists, health care workers and people in green jobs.
Billions of tons of heat-trapping gases are pumped into the earth’s atmosphere every year and much of it will not break down for hundreds of years. “Most of the CO2 produced during my lifetime will be in the atmosphere throughout the lives of my children and grandchildren. So it is urgent to stop burning fossil fuels and to stop building infrastructure for even dirtier sources” says Iris Bloom, from Protecting Our Waters, referring to the Keystone XL Pipeline that is proposed to transport tar sands oil across the U.S. from Canada.
The comment period for the pipeline expires in April. Opponents have been conducting actions against the pipeline for months, including a rally in Washington D.C. on February 17th that drew an estimated 35,000 protesters, and a demonstration that greeted President Obama at a recent fund raising trip to San Francisco.
“The March 29th tar sands spill in Mayflower, Arkansas shows us what can be expected if Keystone XL is built” says Sierra Club organizer Sue Edwards “except a Keystone XL spill would be many times worse due to the higher volumes it would transport.”
The Ogalalla Aquifer, which the pipeline would cross, supplies about 30 percent of all ground water used for irrigation in the U.S. and supplies drinking water to 82 percent of the people who live in the High Plains.”
Organizations fighting for more action on climate change give Obama credit for steps taken to increase fuel-efficiency standards for cars, and to better regulate mercury emissions and sulphur in gasoline. But they are disappointed by the delay in issuing standards on coal-fired power plant emissions and indecision about the Keystone XL pipeline.
They were further disappointed when Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey voted to support the pipeline in a recent non-binding budget proposal passed on March 23rd.
It is not just scientists and environmental groups trying to prod the President to more action. On February 14th, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its biannual high risk analysis report. According to the report “Climate change poses significant financial risks to the federal government, which owns extensive infrastructure, such as defense installations; insures property through the National Flood Insurance Program; and provides emergency aid in response to natural disasters.”
The report went on to say “GAO added this area because the federal government is not well positioned to address the fiscal exposure presented by climate change and needs a government-wide strategic approach with strong leadership to manage related risks.”
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency report on Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012, renewable energy accounts for almost half of new electricity capacity installed and costs are continuing to fall.
But a number of oil and gas-specific tax credits remain in place today, some put in place nearly a century ago when oil extraction was a fledgling industry, at many times the levels of those available to help emerging clean energy technologies.
Protesters also called on Congress to eliminate oil and gas subsidies, and to put a price on pollution through a carbon tax.
Fossil fuels enabled the industrial revolution, and for much of the 20th century the effects on climate were unknown. “But it is now time for the clean energy revolution” according to Matt Walker from the Clean Air Council, “and the good news is that renewable energy is catching up to fossil fuels on price and is already providing more jobs than fossil fuels per dollar of government investment.”
“Most of the fossil fuels still in the ground will have to stay in the ground.” he said.
Another co-sponsor of the demonstration, the United Steelworkers Union, is part of a coalition of labor and environmental organizations called the Blue Green Alliance. The goals of the alliance are to create jobs and transform the economy through renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass transit and rail, a new smart grid and other solutions to global warming.
Health impacts are also closely linked to burning fossil fuels. Researchers have ranked air pollution seventh on the list of risk factors for deaths worldwide, contributing to as many as 3.2 million deaths in 2010, based on data collected by the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study and reported in the British medical journal The Lancet.
Stanley Shapiro from Philadelphia Neighborhood Network points out that “approximately 22 percent of Philadelphia children under 18 have been diagnosed with asthma—nearly double the national rate.” And according to the American Lung Association about 23 million Americans suffered from asthma in 2010. Exposure to increased pollution heightens sensitivity to allergens, impairs lungs, and triggers asthma attacks.
2012 was the hottest year on record in the lower 48 states according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A paper recently published in Nature Geoscience reported that global warming predictions by climate scientists have proven to be highly accurate, based on data going back several decades.
“Reliance on dirty energy has resulted in climate disruption on a global scale. To further delay the shift to a clean energy economy means greater threats to our public health and ability to ensure a livable planet for future generations. We cannot allow fossil fuel interest to keep standing in the way of public interest. The stakes are far too high.” Said Allison Fisher, Outreach Director for Public Citizen’s Energy Program.
The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. The Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying and litigation.
Philadelphia Neighborhood Network is a culturally and racially diverse organization of Philadelphians dedicated to advancing social equality, economic justice and resource stewardship by influencing political decision-making from a grassroots level.
Public Citizen, founded in 1971, seeks to ensure that all citizens are represented in the halls of power. Public Citizen's energy and climate program advocates for affordable, clean and sustainable energy, promotes the strong regulation of energy markets, educates the public on the dangers of continued reliance on dirty energy sources.
The Clean Air Council, founded in 1967, is a member-supported, nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to protecting everyone's right to breathe clean air. The Council works through public education, community advocacy, and government oversight to ensure enforcement of environmental laws.
Protecting Our Waters is a Philadelphia-based grassroots nonprofit organization committed to protecting the Delaware, Susquehanna and Ohio River Basin and the southeast region from unconventional gas drilling and other threats to drinking water, the environment, and public health.
The Blue Green Alliance a national, strategic partnership between labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. Launched in 2006 by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club, this unique labor-environmental collaboration has grown to include the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association. The Blue Green Alliance unites more than eight and a half million people in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy.
***PRESS RELEASE FOR APRIL 8***
Contact: Sue Edwards or William Kramer
Phone: 610-717-7202 Phone: 732-589-8024
Email: sueedwards79(at)gmail.com Email: william.kramer(at)sierraclub.org
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The hearing runs from 10 am through whenever the last person speaks. This publication from the EPA explains the process in a bit more detail:
Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle mission and Fuel Standards; Public Hearing and Comment Period (PDF) (2 pp, 212K, published April 8, 2013).
Here is the relevant parts of the media kit from the Sierra Club:
Finalizing new cleaner tailpipe standards is one of the strongest steps President Obama can take in his second term to protect public health and secure his clean energy legacy. Today, one in three Americans lives where the air is sometimes dangerous, even deadly, to breathe.
Cleaner tailpipe standards will require that refineries produce cleaner-burning gasoline and automakers use advanced technology to reduce tailpipe pollution. Using cleaner-burning gasoline in advanced vehicle technologies will mean less smog-forming pollution from car tailpipes – Americans get cleaner air to breathe.
The new standards will not only reduce air pollution, they will create jobs as auto parts suppliers manufacture the technologies that reduce vehicle emissions, automakers apply advanced vehicle technologies, and refineries upgrade their equipment.
- Proposing strong cleaner tailpipe standards is one of the first steps President Obama can take to secure his clean energy legacy and protect our public health.
- More than 1 in 3 American children live where the air is sometimes dangerous to breathe, causing premature death, heart disease and asthma attacks.
- Cleaner burning gasoline will mean less smog-forming pollution from car tailpipes – giving Americans cleaner air to breath, saving lives and reducing asthma attacks.
- Cleaner tailpipe standards will prevent 400 premature deaths and 52,000 lost workdays due to illness each year.
- Cleaner tailpipe standards will create jobs as automakers apply advanced vehicle technologies and refineries upgrade refinery equipment.
- Big Oil opposes cleaner tailpipe standards; however, these health-protecting standards cost less than one penny per gallon.
- Automakers and the United Auto Workers strongly support these standards, along with local and state public health agencies, public health organizations, and environmental groups.
- The public supports cleaner tailpipe standards. According to a survey conducted by the American Lung Association, a 2-to-1 majority (62 to 32 percent) support the Environmental Protection Agency setting stricter standards on gasoline and tightening limits on tailpipe emissions from new cars.
- Passenger cars and trucks remain the second largest source of smog-forming pollution in the United States.
- These vehicles emit more than half of all carbon monoxide pollution and contribute significantly to deadly particulate matter emissions.
- Tier 3 cleaner tailpipe standards are expected to reduce the gasoline sulfur concentration from 30 parts per million (ppm) to 10ppm – a level already achieved by California, Europe and Japan.
- Tier 3 cleaner tailpipe standards have the potential to cut passenger car and truck emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds by 29, 38 and 26 percent respectively by 2030.
- By reducing the sulfur content of gasoline, these cleaner tailpipe standards will reduce nitrogen oxides from existing cars by more than 260,000 tons – equivalent to taking 33 million cars off the road.
- One in three children, more than 127 million Americans, live in areas where air pollution levels are sometimes dangerous. Our cars and trucks are a major source of this health-threatening pollution.
- Standards for reducing smog-forming pollution from passenger vehicles are critical to reducing the health impacts of poor air quality, including asthma attacks, respiratory problems, and premature death.
- A study by Navigant Economics stated that the health benefits have an estimated value of $5 to $6 billion annually by 2020, and $10 to $11 billion annually by 2030.
- The new standards will not only bring cleaner air, but more American jobs as emissions control equipment manufacturers develop and manufacture technology to reduce vehicle emissions.
- According to a study by Navigant Economics, implementation of the cleaner fuel standard will create almost 5,300 permanent jobs in the operation and maintenance of new refining equipment, as well as more than 24,000 new jobs over a three year period for equipment installation at the nation’s refineries.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Join us as we continue our focus on Ecological Justice with a documentary that will ignite your passion about this planet and our common future.
"A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet" chronicles the largest movement of the 20th Century and one of the keys to survival in the 21st. Connecting the major parts of environmental movement, the film humanizes the many different people working to protect their children, their communities and the future – and succeeding against all odds.
It will be held Wednesday April 3, 6:30-9:00 at the Friends Center at 1501 Cherry St.
Following the film, a reflection session will be facilitated by the Executive Director of Envision Peace Museum, Michael Gagné- who comes with 20 years of passion and engagement in the environmental movement.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
This is one of our events to push President Obama to take action on climate change policies that he promised in his Inaugural Address. For more information, check out our previous blog post outlining our strategy to motivate Obama on climate policies.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
Everyone, please call your congressman and comment.
-- Jeanette MacNeille
Borough Council President of Millbourne, PA
Sierra Club Volunteer Activist for Clean Air
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Locally, Sierra Club, Penn Future, PA Interfaith Power & Light, and Clean Air Council sent about 150 people, which filled two and a half buses, to this historic demonstration, the largest climate change rally in U.S. history. Estimates of the crowd at the rally and march were in the range of 35,000 to 50,000. Speakers included Michael Brune, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rosario Dawson, Chief Jackie Thomas, and more. In the biting cold, the throngs rallied near the Washington Monument and then marched around the White House and back to their starting point, where circles of people danced in the sunshine, celebrating an important milestone in the US environmental movement.
-- Sue Edwards
Friday, February 22, 2013
The NRDC has a great campaign comparing oil subsidies to other cuts made in the sequester. Click here to check out the photos on their Facebook page.
Monday, February 4, 2013
It was attended by about 35 or 40 people, two thirds of them children. It was a lively event, and the children got to move, play and hear songs about healthy eating and exercise, pretend to be a variety of things, make sounds like rain and thunder, and play with percussion instruments, a beach ball, ribbons, pompoms, and a parachute. They were greeted by a large green groundhog (aka William Kramer) as the concert got underway. Sierra Club activist Kevin Little spoke at the end about riding bikes, walking and using public transportation, turning off lights, and taking other steps to reduce climate change. Parents and older children took the opportunity to write short notes to Pres. Obama or Sen. Toomey about clean air and protecting our environment. Moms Clean Air Force had petitions to sign as well as stickers, notebooks and pads of paper for participants.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Here he goes...waiting to hear about.... twitter.com/PAcleanAir/sta…— PA Clean Air Sierra (@PAcleanAir) January 21, 2013
...Climate Disruption! Yea!.... twitter.com/PAcleanAir/sta…— PA Clean Air Sierra (@PAcleanAir) January 21, 2013
...and the devastating impact of climate disruption causing raging fires...Yea!... twitter.com/PAcleanAir/sta…— PA Clean Air Sierra (@PAcleanAir) January 21, 2013
...and the importance of a sustainable path to energy...Yea!... twitter.com/PAcleanAir/sta…— PA Clean Air Sierra (@PAcleanAir) January 21, 2013
...because sustainable energy is how we will preserve our planet..Yea!..So let's explore, enjoy and protect the planet twitter.com/PAcleanAir/sta…— PA Clean Air Sierra (@PAcleanAir) January 21, 2013
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Goals: Our campaign has been designed to reach two goals:
1) Push the President to provide strong, consistent American leadership on climate and clean energy in his second term, and provide a specific policy agenda that represents the best course of administrative action he can take.
2) Unify our Sierra Club campaigns and the larger climate movement behind a well-framed, concrete agenda with specific demands that will help us reach our climate goals, while also allowing people to focus on their specific campaign objectives.
● Secure key wins early in his second term and leverage public support on clear policy pieces to embolden further, bolder administrative action.
● Build the climate movement by uniting coal, gas, oil, clean energy, and lands activists, and by engaging key allies and working together on shared solutions.
● Focus our campaign on issues that matter to constituencies with a vested interest in the success of a clean energy economy that are most likely to motivate President Obama to act.
● Make climate disruption a key pillar of your second administration, take bold administrative action and stand up for climate science.
● Connect the dots so Americans understand how carbon emissions have led to a climate disruption, which can trigger more climate-related disasters.
● Speak often about the issue to the American people and the world and encourage all lawmakers -- from Heads of State, to Congress, to local cities and towns -- to support meaningful administrative action on climate disruption.
● Adopt and enforce coal pollution protections for carbon, soot, smog, sulfur, water toxics, and coal ash, and set water pollution standards that will end mountaintop removal mining.
● Enact standards and close loopholes to protect water, air, and climate from fracking and other forms of oil and gas production.
● Finalize Tier 3 clean fuel standards, finalize emissions standards for refineries, and establish strong mileage standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles
● Stop Keystone XL and other tar sands infrastructure.
● Halt expansion of fossil fuel exports, including liquefied natural gas export facilities, new coal export terminals, and increased oil exports.
● Increase US-backed international finance of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and phase out fossil fuel lending.
● Open innovative financing and investment avenues for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
● Facilitate environmentally responsible leasing and deployment of clean energy generation and technologies on public lands and waters and within federal agencies.
● Release equal and just national climate resilience plans that help create strong and sustainable communities, infrastructure and ecosystems.
● Hold EPA and FEMA accountable for ensuring equal, appropriate and just federal emergency and disaster response, including better equipping state and local officials to develop and support climate resilient communities.
● Stop the rush to expand oil and gas drilling, coal mining, and dirty fuels development on our public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf; reform the Department of Interior coal leasing program; and protect the Arctic Refuge and national parks from fossil fuel leasing and development.
● Ensure that lands and wildlife can adapt to climate change by protecting large scale landscapes that connect wildlife habitat, and ensure that every national forest addresses the impacts of climate disruption and protects carbon-storing old growth forests as part of their management plan.