North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

I know that like me, you take pride that North Carolina is a solar energy leader, not only in the region, but in the nation. Since 2007, we have been the only state in the Southeast with a renewable energy portfolio standard that requires a certain portion of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources.

However, the forward-thinking policies that got us here are under attack in our state legislature.  Click here to show your support for clean energy in North Carolina.

So what exactly is happening? Just days ago, members of the NC House passed a measure (H 760, Regulatory Reform Act of 2015) that freezes our Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) and and makes other changes that will almost certainly slow the number of new solar projects in the state going forward to a trickle.

The result? Less jobs and investment in our communities from the solar industry, and more reliance on dirty fossil fuels to meet our energy needs.

Click here to speak up for the progress we’ve made and ask you state Senator to fix H 760 and remove the attack on clean energy!

Is this a done deal? Absolutely not.

The NC Senate still has a chance to stop this attack on North Carolina’s solar industry. But in order for state Senators to know that their constituents reject these attacks, they need to hear from you today!

Click here for more information and to contact your state Senator today.

Thanks for taking action today to keep North Carolina the clean energy leader in the Southeast.

Yours,

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Jacquie Ayala

Associate Field Organizer, North Carolina Sierra Club

 

P.S. – The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard has saved North Carolinians $162 million since it was adopted and will save ratepayers an additional $489 million by 20291.  Click here to tell your legislators not to mess with our successful clean energy policy.

1 – RTI International. (2015). Economic and Rate Impact Analysis of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina—2015 Update. Retrieved May 13, 2015, from http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.energync.org/resource/resmgr/Resources_Page/RTI_2015.pdf

May 27 Monthly Sierra Club Meeting – Interfaith Perspectives on Caring For the Planet

May 27 Monthly Sierra Club Meeting – Interfaith Perspectives on Caring For the Planet

We are pleased to host a panel of distinguished local religious leaders of different faiths who will share with us their religion’s perspectives on caring for the environment and the planet. As you might know a significant meeting of world leaders is occurring in Paris this December to try to agree on limiting global CO2 emissions so that the average world temperature will stay below 2 deg C. Support of all faiths is crucial to permit the negotiators to overcome the difficulties of reaching agreement.

Pope Francis is expected to address this issue with an encyclical in June.

We will begin the meeting with a showing of the short film Stewardship. This will be followed by comments from our panel and then Q & A. We welcome a lively discussion.

As usual, our meetings are held at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park. The address is 2435 Cumberland Ave, Charlotte, NC. Pizza is served at 6:30pm. The formal meeting begins at 7pm. We expect to finish up by 8:30pm. The meeting is free and open to all. And ample parking is available and also free.

Hope to see you there.

David Robinson, Chair Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club

Speak out against the polluter agenda

Set the Senate’s priorities right:Tell Senator Tillis to stand up for people, not polluters!

Take action!

Take action

How you spend your money says a lot about you.A budget is all about priorities, and the U.S. Senate’s budget resolution is no different. So what did the new Senate decide were their priorities? They loaded up their budget with amendments to slash protections for our air and water, and wildlife, and gut the president’s Clean Power Plan.

That’s not what North Carolina needs — but Senator Tillis backed all those priorities — and now it’s up to you to set him right.

Kids in North Carolina don’t deserve a future with smog, carbon, mercury, and all the dangerous pollution that comes when reckless industries can run amok. That’s why it’s so disappointing that some U.S. senators — like Senator Tillis — keep choosing to side with the polluters who take in record profits at the expense of our communities, our health, and our climate.

When big polluters started pushing their agenda into the Senate’s budget resolution, Senator Tillis stood with them — and put polluter profits ahead of public health.

He needs to hear from you now. Tell him that it’s time to stop standing with polluters at the expense of our kids. Send your message now!

This was the first big environmental fight of the new Senate, and Senator Tillis let down the families of North Carolina when he voted:

Against increasing renewable energy to fight climate change
For an attack on the new Clean Power Plan
Against the simple statement that climate change is real and that Congress needs to act
Against protecting climate science from censorship

The Senate’s budget is a preview of the fights to come. The fossil fuel billionaires who bankrolled last year’s elections think that Americans voted for their agenda — for hazy skies and polluted water, scorching summers, droughts, and asthma attacks. But they’re wrong and it’s up to you to make sure Senator Tillis gets the message. Send your message now!

Thank you for all you do for the environment,

Verena Owen
Volunteer Co-Lead
Beyond Coal Campaign

April Monthly Meeting Postponed by One Week

As many of you know we normally have our monthly meetings on the fourth Wednesday of the month. this month, April, the fourth Wednesday is April the 22nd, Earth Day, and the day that Sustain Charlotte is having its annual awards event. In deference to Sustain Charlotte we are pushing back our monthly meeting by one week to Wednesday April 29th at the usual place and time. Many of us will be attending the Sustain Charlotte event and encourage all of you to do so also. See http://www.sustaincharlotte.org/calendar for details.

On April 29th we will have the Catawba River presentation by Prof Reed Perkins of Queens University that was postponed from February due to the weather. Dr. Perkins has taught at Queens since 1998 and is very involved with exploring the urban ad natural systems of greater Charlotte. We are honored to have him present to us. We will follow his presentation with an exploration of the Catawba River Basin using interactive simulation software.

See http://www.queens.edu/Academics-and-Schools/Schools-and-Colleges/College-of-Arts-and-Sciences/College-of-Arts-and-Sciences-Faculty/CAS-Profile.html?profileId=131281
for the Queens profile of Dr. Perkins.

We will meet at the Mahlon Adams Pavillion in Freedom Park, Charlotte at 6:30pm for pizza and socializing. The our formal meeting begins at 7pm.

The event and parking are free.

No RSVP is necessary. Hope to see you there.

David Robinson, Chair, Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club

Duke Energy can’t stop the sun

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

This could be a game-changer.

Click here to support the ability for all North Carolinians to find affordable solar solutions!

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Earlier this month, state Representative John Szoka (R-Cumberland) introduced HB 245: the Energy Freedom Act. This bill would legalize third-party energy sales in North Carolina, which would allow energy users to buy their electricity directly from renewable energy companies.

But just as soon as this solar access bill was introduced, Duke Energy and its team of lobbyists took to the NC legislature with a mission to stop it dead in its tracks.

Click here to support the Energy Freedom Act to make sure Duke Energy doesn’t stand in the way of North Carolinians having the opportunity to meet their energy needs with solar power!

The Energy Freedom Act, if passed, will allow companies to offer business and residential customers long-term contracts for affordable solar energy without the up-front costs of having to purchase solar panels. The company selling the electricity would own and maintain the panels and sell affordable clean energy to customers. This is a common-sense policy that will save North Carolinians money and protect public health.

Click here to watch our video about how third party sales would benefit North Carolinians.

Only four states in the nation don’t allow business and residents this option–and we are one of them.  Rep. Szoka’s bill would give North Carolinians the freedom of energy choice that most other Americans already enjoy.

The Energy Freedom Act will reduce the need for expensive, polluting traditional power plants and infrastructure, and will help North Carolinians reduce their energy bills by allowing them to choose affordable and cleaner options like solar. Third-party sales can also provide much-needed flexibility to public institutions and the military to reduce their energy costs by allowing them to choose cheaper and more reliable energy sources.

Your voice is critical! Tell your representative to support HB 245 and stand up for consumer choice for clean energy solutions!

Thanks for all that you do.

Great America Clean Up – Charlotte Edition

Here are some fun opportunities to give back to out community and help to clean up Charlotte. If you’re interested in helping to organize a work group, contact Bill Gupton.

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Keep Charlotte Beautiful to host local cleanup events

From March 1 to May 31, Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB) will participate in Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup, the country’s largest community improvement program.

In celebration of the Charlotte edition of the Great American Cleanup, KCB will host six local cleanup events, all of which will be held 9 a.m. to noon and will start at the following meeting locations:

  • The Greater Enderly Park Litter Cleanup
    Saturday, March 14
    Enderly Park
    1501 Enderly Road
  • Eastway-Sheffield Litter Cleanup
    Saturday, March 21
    Eastway Middle School
    1501 Norland Road
  • Ridge Road Litter Cleanup
    Saturday, April 18
    Ridge Road Middle School
    7260 Highland Creek Parkway
  • Oaklawn Park Litter Cleanup
    Saturday, April 18
    Meeting location to be determined
  • Little Sugar Creek Stream Cleanup
    Saturday, May 2
    Cordelia Park
    2100 North Davidson Street
  • Grier Heights Neighborhood Cleanup
    Saturday, May 16
    Billingsville Elementary School
    124 Skyland Avenue

Local residents who are interested in participating in the Great American Cleanup are also encouraged to organize their own event by hosting a tree planting party, adopting a local stream or city street, cleaning up a field that has become an illegal dump site, collecting recyclables on their block and more. KCB will provide trash bags, litter pickers and safety vests to groups that organize their own Great American Cleanup event.

For more information, visit kcb.charmeck.org or the organization’s Great American Cleanup webpage to register for one of the events.

Wind Vision: A New Era of Wind Power in the United States

Check out this new report about U.S. wind energy potential. It will blow you away!

The Difference Wind Power is Making Today

Today, wind power provides over 4.5% of U.S. electricity nationwide, and over 20% in several states.  Some of the exciting trends we’ve recently seen in American wind power include:

  • Wind is reaching more and more families – Wind power has delivered a third of all new power capacity in the past five yeras, and a record number of new projects are under construction today.
  • Wind is employing more and more Americans – Wind power has supported an average of 73,000 well-paying American jobs over the past five years and can create hundreds of thousands more with stable, common-sense policies.
  • Wind power prices are coming down fast – In the past five years, the cost of wind power has dropped by over 50% — and is still decreasing!

Expanding Wind Power Will Help Us Tackle Some of Our Biggest Challenges

In tapping our homegrown wind resource, we will tackle some of our biggest challenges:

  • Reducing air pollution by displacing dirty forms of energy with clean wind power.  As we secure more of our power from wind, we will cut emissions of carbon, sulfur, and nitrous oxides, as well as particulate matter, which harm our health and environment.  This would mean a $400 billion savings in climate change damages and an additional $108 billion savings on public health costs.
  • Conserving our water resources by growing a source of power that requires little to no water. Using wind in place of power plants that require substantial amounts of water for cooling processes would cut total U.S. power plant water use by about one quarter, or 260 billion gallons, in 2050 alone.
  • Creating high-paying American jobs in the manufacturing, construction, engineering, and transportation sectors, among others.  American wind industry jobs would total 600,000 in 2050.

We’ll get there by reaching smaller targets along the way – including doubling the amount of power we get from wind in the next five years.  That’s moving us up from securing 4.5% of our electricity from wind power nationwide today, to 10% by 2020.

The Power of Wind community will play a key part in creating this healthier country, by voicing support for the smart, fair energy policies that value clean power.  One quick thing you can do today is make sure your elected officials see this report – please take a moment to send them a note today.

Wind Vision

The Power of Wind community shares a vision of an America where every family has an easy, affordable way to power their home with clean energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Vision report gives a clear picture of how we can create that future.  It shows that wind power can grow from providing over 4.5% of U.S. electricity today to 35% by 2050, becoming America’s largest source of electricity.

To learn more, read the:
Executive summary,
Full report, or
Chapters on specific topics.