In this month’s edition of Footnotes Online, you’ll find an overview of the legislative session that just ended, an opportunity to join fracking activists in Washington, DC, and an action that you can take to stop a bill that ignores sea level rise science.
Keeping in line with the Sierra Club’s motto to – Explore, enjoy and protect the planet – we hope that you are enjoying the summer in North Carolina and we are proud to stand with you as we work together to protect our air, water, and open spaces.
Your staff at the NC Sierra Club
The Legislative Session: An Overview
You probably already guessed this was the case: “The 2012 ‘short session’ completed the worst legislative biennium for the environment since the first environmental lobbyist started at the North Carolina General Assembly nearly 40 years ago.”
That’s how Will Morgan starts his report that recaps the recently adjourned legislative session. From fracking to ignoring science to efforts to roll back water protections, the environment was under constant attack in the less than two months while legislators were in Raleigh.
The attacks weren’t coming because people didn’t speak up on the important issues. Rather, it was in spite of a tremendous groundswell of public support for environmental protections. Legislators just didn’t listen.
Will Morgan also writes in the report that, “there are many reasons for environmental advocates to be proud of their tenacity, determination, and effectiveness in holding the line during this historically hostile legislative session. Final versions of many bad bills were vastly improved from their original forms. High profile bills on fracking and air toxics were among the bills that were greatly improved by the time they became law.”
Your dedication made a difference! And we will keep working with you to make sure that it will continue to make a difference. Thank you for all of your hard work.
(Note: the above link directs you to a flash based website. Click here if you would prefer to download a pdf copy of the report)
The Unfinished Story: Forbidding the Sea from Rising
Fracking dominated much of the news and attention of this legislative season. However, the other big attention getter of the session was a bill that would have forbidden state regulators from taking scientific predictions of accelerated future sea level rise into account in planning for coastal land use. The notion that the NC General Assembly might believe its political power trumped the power of nature drew hoots and jeers from around the world, most notably the Colbert report.
To its credit, the NC House rejected the now infamous version of the bill as championed by NC Senator and US Congressional candidate David Rouzer.
But in the final days of the session, the legislature bowed to coastal developers and passed a “compromise” bill that prevents the state from putting into place policies affecting sea level rise for 4 years. Yet, the U.S. Geological Survey has just reported that the sea level is rising faster along the northern Atlantic Seaboard, from Cape Hatteras to Boston, than elsewhere in the world.
Now, H 819 is on Governor Perdue’s desk. She has until August 2 to decide if she will veto it.
Stop the Frack Rally in Washington, DC
What do Mike Brune, Mark Ruffalo, and Josh Fox have in common? They’ll be in DC on July 28 at the Stop the Frack Rally. And you could, too (along with a couple thousand of friends that you haven’t met yet).
And it’s not just a rally. There’s a lobby day, trainings, and more.
So, if you are interested in taking your fracking concerns to Washington, click here for more information on where, when, and how this is all going down.
Note: A caravan of Sierrans will be heading to DC from the Triangle. If you want more information about traveling with others from the area, click here!
Become an Outings Leader!
The NC Chapter will be sponsoring Outdoor Leadership Training on Saturday, August 18, 2012, at the Chapel Hill Community Center, 120 South Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, NC from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Outings are one of the core functions to Sierra Club groups offer its members – but great outings start with trained leaders. We will be offering both Outings Leaders’ Training 101 and first aid training so that attendees can qualify be become outings leaders or current leaders can update their skills. First aid training needs to be updated every three years.
Consider attending if you, as group outings leader, would like to update your skills. Consider attending if you have been thinking of becoming an outings leader, but thought the training was too time-consuming or expensive. By the end of the day, you will be a certified Sierra Club Outings Leader and will be able to lead many outings such as hikes, paddles, bike trips, field trips, and car camping weekends.
Sierrans of the Month
Meet Abby Glackin and Laura Schofield. They are our summer interns and have done amazing work.
|Abby is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a rising junior at Duke University majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Music. This summer as a Stanback intern, she’s organized volunteers, help coordinate the Frack Free Lobby Day, gotten a letter to the editor published in the News & Observer, participated in Global Wind Day events, and much more! After this summer she will be studying abroad at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.|
|Lauren is a rising junior at UNC-Chapel Hill with a major in Latin American studies and a minor in music. This summer she’s been working on preparing for the elections in November and trying to get folks active in the fight against the fracking in North Carolina. She’s active in her school’s chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, which this past year focused largely on protesting the recent tuition hikes within the UNC system. This fall her schedule will be full of classes about Latin American politics and history, and hopefully she’ll be studying in either Seville or Havana in the spring.|
We thank these impressive young leaders for their hard work. We are proud that they are now both Sierrans!
Before you go to the Stop the Frack Rally in DC, you may want to join Will Morgan, our Director of Government Relations, for a conversation about North Carolina’s new fracking law.
The webinar is on Monday, July 23, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
He will review how it came to be, what it means, and what to expect over the next two years.
There’s a lot to cover, but he’s good at what he does. You won’t want to miss this webinar!
Cape Fear River Boat Trip
There are a few seats left for the Cape Fear River Boat Trip on Saturday, August 4, from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.
The boat leaves from Wilmington and will travel up the NE Cape Fear River and will travel to of the proposed Titan Cement kiln site. It’s an opportunity to learn about the unique aspects of a blackwater river system. Along the way, passengers will learn about threats to the river from Progress Energy coal ash ponds and the proposed Titan coal-fired cement kiln. Speakers will include Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette and Kelly Martin, Beyond Coal campaign representative from Asheville. Local citizens Kayne Darrell and Dr. David Hill will talk about the impacts on the community.
NOTE: The boat trip is free to participants but RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.
Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.