Mark your calendar and plan to attend this exciting program on March 27th at 6:30 PM! See you there!
Cautionary Tales from Fracked Communities
Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte
234 N Sharon Amity Rd
Charlotte, NC 28211
Even if you have signed petitions against Keystone XL before, please do so again! Spread the word! Friday is the final day.
|URGENT: The comment period to speak up against Keystone XL is about to close! Share this graphic today to spread the world and amplify your voice!|
On Friday, we will deliver more than one million comments to the State Department to declare that Keystone XL is NOT in our national interest! The comment you’ve already submitted will be among them — but what about your friends and family? Make sure they don’t miss the deadline to speak out against Keystone XL!
Public comments may sound boring, but they’re an important part of this process. After years of blocking this pipeline, we’ve reached the final stretch, and this comment period is the last opportunity to influence the State Department’s final recommendation on Keystone XL!
President Obama is waiting to hear what the State Department recommends on Keystone XL. That’s why it’s so important that we send a clear message to Secretary of State Kerry: Keystone XL is not in our national interest and should be rejected once and for all!
Together, we can win this. Thank you for protecting our water, land and climate,
Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director
P.S. Click here submit comments – Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline!
Things are moving much to fast on this issue! Check out some recent updates. Stay tuned for more…
McAuliffe will join coalition pushing for off-shore drilling
“(Interior Secretary) Jewell and senior Interior Department officials met with McAuliffe, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) on Monday. The Interior Department is expected to release a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement within days that would allow oil and gas companies to begin surveying the outer continental shelf for natural resources. Once the PEIS is issued, seismic surveys for oil and gas deposits could begin within a matter of months.
“We want to find out exactly what’s out there, but we also want to do it in an environmentally sound way,” McCrory said in an interview. He called the meeting “very positive.”
McCrory heads the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, a group of mostly Republican governors pushing to expand offshore oil drilling. McAuliffe told The Washington Post he would join the coalition — the first Democrat to do so — as he sped out of the meeting Monday.”
McCrory on Offshore Drilling
Pursue a Balanced “All-of-the-Above” Energy Plan
McCrory presses President Obama on offshore drilling
Testing for Offshore Drilling Sets Off Debate
A few days before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released their Environmental Impact Statement on seismic airgun blasting, over one-hundred scientists sent a letter to President Obama and his administration urging him to “use the best available science” before permitting seismic airgun blasts in Atlantic waters, putting the lives of dolphins, whales and other animals at risk.
After the mayor of Kure Beach, North Carolina spoke out in favor of seismic airgun blasting for oil, hundreds of local citizens showed up at a town hall meeting to say that he doesn’t speak for them. These citizens don’t want blasting off their coasts, and they made their voices heard. We’re proud of our supporters and everyone who showed up to speak for the oceans that day—you made an impact that won’t soon be forgotten.
Take a couple of seconds to take action! Thanks so much!
Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Three days later, a Nebraska judge sided with landowners and struck down an unconstitutional law that gave the governor power to approve the Keystone XL pipeline route. And in a meeting with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts, President Obama gave no ground to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper when pressed to approve KXL.
The State Department’s final environmental impact report confirms that Keystone XL fails President Obama’s climate test.
Time is running out. Tell the administration that KXL is not in our national interest.
After two weeks of the news being dominated by severe winter weather and an historic coal ash spill, most of North Carolina is getting back to normal. The snow is gone– but the coal ash is not. For the Dan River, with heavy metals and toxics deposited along 70 miles of river bottom, it may be years before things return to the way they were. In fact, they may never.
More than any event in recent years, the coal ash spill on the Dan River highlights the cost of coal. And that cost is compounded when the Governor and the legislature don’t do their jobs. It is our job to hold them accountable.
We have an update for you below on the Dan River spill. But along with cleaning up the river, the question is how we can speed up the movement away from the dirty energy that produces toxic coal ash, dirty air, and poisons in our water.
For the rest of this year, we will be focused on actions we can take to put our state back on track for a future that values clean water, adequate safeguards and full enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
Your staff at the North Carolina Sierra Club
As you know by now, somewhere between 30,000 and 82,000 tons of toxic coal ash spilled into the Dan River in Eden, NC on February 2. Please send a message to Duke Energy demanding that they remove coal ash from all their lagoons in North Carolina, so that this never happens again! Click here to send your message to Duke Energy!
With so much happening around the third largest coal ash spill in the nation’s history, we thought a brief overview might be helpful:
The Dan River tragedy is the third largest coal ash spill in our nation’s history. The only way we can make sure that this never happens again is to make Duke Energy move its toxic coal ash ponds away from the banks of our state’s waterways and into lined landfills away from rivers and lakes.
The consequences of dirty energy to public health, our air and water, and our climate are clear. The dirty legacy of burning coal was known before the Dan River ran gray with toxic chemicals. But we do not have to be shackled to this dirty system.
The shift to clean energy in North Carolina is underway, but it will take the efforts of citizens across the state to achieve a clean energy future.
An effort by coastal North Carolina residents aims to educate the public about the potential benefits that wind power could bring to the eastern part of the state. Wind power can mean jobs, investment, and tourism – things that the Carolina coastal region needs and deserves.
Take a moment to learn about the local effort to bring on-shore wind to the Carolina coast by visiting http://www.coastalwind.org
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the North Carolina Wilderness Act, each month we will highlight a wilderness area or a piece of history about how these areas became protected. This month, we celebrate the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness Area.
The Uwharrie Mountains formed over 500 million years ago and are among the oldest mountain ranges in the world. At the northernmost tip of the Uwharries, 5,160 acres was set aside as the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness by the North Carolina Wilderness Act of 1984.
The wilderness got its name from the Birkhead family which settled on the land in the 1800s, but long before they arrived, the area was inhabited by Native Americans. Relics found here date back 12,000 years. During the early 1800s prospectors came in search of gold. Mines can still be found along with the remains of homesteads and farms throughout these hills. The highest peak in the wilderness is Cedar Rock Mountain at 950 feet.
Like most of North Carolina’s designated wilderness, the area is managed by the US Forest Service. But for the work of Sierrans in the 1970′s and 1980′s, this area would not be protected. If you are looking for a way to enjoy this wilderness area, Henry Fansler is leading a hike through Birkhead. Doesn’t that seem like a good idea?
To celebrate the anniversaries of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the NC Wilderness Act of 1984, the Wilderness Committee of the NC Sierra Club has issued a challenge that will recognize anyone who visits all 12 of our state’s wilderness areas and documents it.
The program will provide certification and an award to all participants who register and visit all of our wilderness areas within the year. Additional details and registration information will be available shortly. For now, be sure to snap and save a photo of yourself with the official Wilderness Area sign.
Check out the list of wilderness areas below and start planning your trips today!
February 19 – 7:00 p.m. – Capital Group Meeting & Film Screening – Raleigh, NC
The Capital group will screen the new documentary film, “A Fierce Green Fire” which spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism. The Sundance documentary brings to light vital stories of the environmental movement where people fought – and succeeded – against enormous odds. From the Academy Award-nominated director of “Berkeley in the Sixties,” the film features Lois Gibbs, Paul Watson, Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, Carl Pope, John Adams, Bob Bullard, Amory Lovins, Barbara Bramble, Jennifer Morgan and more. Screening followed by Q&A with the Director Mark Kitchell.
Doors open 6:30 p.m., meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.. Location: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, 3313 Wade Avenue, Raleigh, NC (map)
February 22 – 10:30 a.m. – Hike at Rattlesnake Lodge – Asheville, NC
This hike is approximately 5.2 miles round-trip. The group will start at Ox Creek Rd and stay mostly on Mountains-to-Sea trail, then on to the Main Reservoir trail. Plan to learn about the interesting remains from the old Rattlesnake Lodge, which burned down in 1926. It’s a nice place to stop for lunch, too. Wear good footwear and bundle up. Please email or write hike leader if you’d like to bring your well-behaved dog – who must be on leash at all times. Meet at 10:30 a.m. in Asheville, back around 4:30 p.m. Contact hike leader to sign up. Lisa McWherter at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 828-713-4994.
February 23 – 1:00 p.m. – NC Botanical Gardens, Piedmont Nature Trails Discovery Hike – Chapel Hill, NC
Join Sierrans for an easy 1 ½ mile educational hike at the NC Botanical Gardens located on Mason Farm Road just off the 15-501 bypass near the UNC campus. Behind the Education Center is an 88-acre area known as the Piedmont Nature Trails. Opened to the public in 1966, the trails provide over two miles of hiking through a typical central North Carolina forest. The group will see a variety of flora and learn about the impact of nearby development on natural areas. Trails are well-groomed with no steep elevation changes. Afterwards, we will visit the Educational Center and adjacent Exposition Gardens, both open until 5 p.m. (free admission).
Group size is limited to 12 participants ages 16 and up. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Sorry, no pets. Click here for more information.
March 1 - Behind The Scenes Tour Carolina Raptors Center – Huntersville, NC
Join the Sierra Club Foothills Group as we learn about birds of prey. We will travel to the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville, NC (near Charlotte) where we will observe 25 different raptor species. We will walk the Raptor Trail, watch the Live Bird demonstration, witness the Vulture Feeding, eat a picnic lunch, and learn about the Center’s efforts rehabilitating and releasing over 800 raptors each year in our special Behind-The-Scenes Tour. This Sierra Club outing is family-friendly.
Please pack your own lunch; food is not available on site. An admission ticket at the entrance is required, plus an additional $5 for the Behind-The-Scenes Tour. Admission fees are as follows: $10 adults; $8 Seniors 65 and over, military, and educators with valid ID; $6 students, including college students with a valid ID; kids 4 and under free. Contact Vance Parker, email@example.com or at (336) 768-0481 before 10:00 p.m. to register. 15 person limit, reservation deadline is February 22, 2014.
March 3 – 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Orange Chatham Group Meeting & Program on the NC Solar Revolution - Chapel Hill, NC
Even though solar power generation in North Carolina is expanding very fast, not everyone is happy about this new world of distributed energy generation. The biggest power company in the nation, Duke Energy, is putting its considerable lobbying efforts into changing the “net metering” law which allows homeowners who generate more electricity than they use to sell it back to the utility at a guaranteed price. Guests Michael Youth from the NC Sustainable Energy Association and Dustin Chicurel-Bayard from the NC Sierra Club will discuss solar policies in North Carolina. Location: Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (map)
Saturday, March 8 - 10:00 a.m. – Neusiok Trail in Croatan National Forest – Craven County
The Neusiok trail, one of the most scenic trails in eastern North Carolina and part of the developing Mountain-to-Sea trail, meanders over 20 miles in the eastern portion of the Croatan National Forest from Pine Cliff Recreation Area on the shore of the Neuse River to Oyster Point in the salt marshes of the Newport River. The group will hike about six miles of the northernmost section of the trail, which winds through pine/hardwood upland forest, cypress/palmetto swamp and ends along the sandy shoreline of the Neuse River. The trail is moderate in difficulty. Bring a lunch and drinking water. There are often muddy sections, so wear water resistant shoes and other appropriate clothing for weather conditions. Arrive in the Parking Lot of Pine Cliffs Recreation Area no later than 10:00 a.m..
The hike will begin at the trailhead on Minnesott Ferry Road and end along the beach at the Pinecliff Recreation Area. For more information or to register for the trip, contact Robert Scull at 636-5506 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 16 – 1:00 p.m. - Salem Creek in History and Today – Winston-Salem, NC
The outing is an activity of Forsyth County Creek Week co-presented by Gateway Environmental Initiative GEI and Old Salem Museum & Gardens. We’ll tour areas where the Moravians used Salem Creek to sustain their lives, and then see how the stream is faring today. Meet at the parking lot next to the tennis courts near the Salem Avenue roundabout. Learn more about Forsyth Creek at www.forsythcreekweek.com.
March 22 – 9:00 a.m. - Cook’s Wall Loop, Hanging Rock State Park – Danbury, NC
The group will begin on the Hanging Rock trail but leave it to ascend the ridge line to Wolf Rock, on to House Rock and Cook’s Wall, return via Magnolia Springs trail and the lake. Major views will be enhanced along the way by the bare trees. Hike length is about 6.5 miles with a 500 feet elevation gain. Bring water, lunch, rain gear and wear hiking footwear. For more information contact Tom Mann, email@example.com or 760-0265 (between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.).
March 22 – 10:00 a.m. - Green River Gamelands – Pullium Creek Trail – Asheville, NC
This hike’s difficulty level is rated moderate to easy. The trip length is approximately 6.5 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 900 ft. The group will meet in Asheville at 10:00 am and return about 5:45 p.m. It’s a beautiful trail that ends up at the Green River just below the narrows, with rapids moving through large boulders. On the way, there’s a tedious creek crossing with wiggly step-stones, so wear good footwear and consider a hiking pole. Plan to learn about the beautiful early-blooming wildflowers there as well. NOTE: Sorry, no doggies this trip due to Pullium Creek crossing. Contact hike leader Lisa McWherter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 713-4994 to reserve your spot.
March 22 – 10:00 a.m. - Backpacking Conditioning in Umstead – Raleigh, NC
Join our outings leaders for a backpacking conditioning hike to test your trail legs! We will cover about 6 miles in 3 hours using a combination of trails and old fire roads. Along the way we’ll talk about the gear in your backpack and best practices for minimizing the load.
Meet in the Reedy Creek parking lot in back right corner by 9:45 a.m. Look for the orange Honda Element with LOTS of stickers on the back. The entrance is located off I-40 at exit 287. Map to parking lot: http://goo.gl/maps/VcigC. Group size is limited to 15 to minimize impact on the ecosystem. And don’t miss the Beginner Backpacking in Uwharrie on April 26-27.
Please contact trip leaders, Debra & Jeff Rezeli, at email@example.com or 919-971-3788 for more information. Register for this event here: http://conditioningnccg.eventbrite.com/
James Taylor is speaking out against fracking in North Carolina! Sweet Baby James is starring in TV spots for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the first step in what will be a major anti-fracking campaign between now and the next legislative session in May. NRDC and other environmental groups are working together to point out the dangers of fracking in North Carolina.
Mark your calendar for March 27! That’s when experts from across the country will be gathering in Charlotte for an educational and training event on Fracking. Details to follow!
Here’s more about NC Fracking from the Natural Resources Defense Council -
The North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory are on a headlong rush to open North Carolina to fracking. Already, at their direction, the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has approved rules that would let fracking companies some of the chemicals they pump into the ground secret, and the commission is paving the way to let these companies frack under North Carolinians’ property whether they want it or not.
What’s next? That depends on whether North Carolinians stand up to fracking, or stand aside and let out-of-state fracking companies determine the state’s future.
All across the country, the oil and gas industry is pushing the controversial practice of fracking without sufficient safeguards to protect Americans’ drinking water supplies, public health or the environment. If what’s happened in other states is any indication, North Carolina could soon face a host of potential problems — from air pollution to water contamination — as oil and gas companies roll in. Communities and individuals could lose their rights to determine for themselves whether and/or how this practice is allowed to move forward in their own backyards.
Polling shows most North Carolina residents oppose opening the state to fracking altogether — and for good reason. Reckless fracking is not the right path for North Carolina. The state’s moratorium on fracking was enacted for a reason. It should not be lifted until the state fully assesses the risks and determines how to truly protect North Carolinians against them.
|URGENT: Victory is in sight, but we have to act now.
Tell President Obama that it’s time to keep his climate promise and reject Keystone XL once and for all.
Today, President Obama has all the information he needs — Keystone XL fails his climate test. The State Department just released its final environmental impact report on the project — and despite the spin from the oil industry, it shows our voices have made a difference. Don’t believe the media hype: with your help, we can defeat Keystone XL once and for all.
President Obama vowed to reject the pipeline if the project would “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” The verdict is in: Keystone XL fails President Obama’s climate test. Evidence from the scientific community, industry analysts, and the EPA had already shown that Keystone XL would increase carbon pollution from the tar sands, and today the State Department backed away from its previous claim that the pipeline won’t have a significant impact.
The State Department report was Big Oil’s last hope for cheating on President Obama’s climate test. A flawed and biased draft report — written by a dues-paying member of the American Petroleum Institute — claimed that Keystone XL wouldn’t have a significant environmental impact.
The facts, however, told a different story. Everyone from oil industry financial analysts to the EPA confirmed that Keystone XL would spur massive tar sands expansion in Alberta, which would lead to a significant increase in carbon pollution. While the State Department’s review has significant problems, it now acknowledges that Keystone XL will have the carbon pollution equivalent to adding up to 5.7 million cars to the roads.
The president made a promise to young people when he vowed to reject Keystone if it would harm the climate, telling them, “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing.”
Now is President Obama’s opportunity to show he means it, that his actions match his words, and that he’ll keep his promises to future generations. The only way he can do this is by listening to the facts and rejecting Keystone XL.
Together, we can win this. Thank you for protecting our climate,
Sierra Club Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 28, 2014
Contact: Maggie Kao, 202-675-2384 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sierra Club Statement on State of the Union
Washington, D.C. — Tonight President Obama gave his 2014 State of the Union address.
Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director, issued the following statement in response:
“Tonight, President Obama laid out his vision of opportunity for our nation and made it clear that our children will hold us accountable for what we do — or do not do — to address climate disruption.
“The President has taken significant steps forward by committing to hold dirty power plants accountable for their toxic carbon pollution and to protect our public lands. We’re also encouraged to hear his plans to help repair and modernize America’s infrastructure.
“Unfortunately, the sum total of the President’s commitments fall short of what American families need to ensure a safe, healthy planet for our children. We can’t drill or frack our way out of this problem. There is far more potential for good job creation in clean energy like solar and wind, and common sense solutions like energy efficiency.
“Make no mistake — natural gas is a bridge to nowhere. If we are truly serious about fighting the climate crisis, we must look beyond an ‘all of the above’ energy policy and replace dirty fuels with clean energy. We can’t effectively act on climate and \expand drilling and fracking for oil and gas at the same time.
“To fight the climate crisis, we must resist the temptation to trade away American jobs and public interest policies to foreign corporations. We must walk away from boondoggles like fracked gas. And we must seize on the opportunity and the obligation that the climate crisis has thrust upon us.”
|The State of Our Union:
Ready to leave fossil fuels behind.
If you tuned in to watch the State of the Union address tonight, you heard President Obama send a strong message on the need for urgent and bold climate action when he said:
“Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.”
- President Obama, January 28, 2014
But in tonight’s speech, President Obama missed his opportunity to truly commit to that vision. As long as his administration keeps throwing lifelines to old sources of energy like oil and gas, we won’t be able to lead the world on clean energy solutions like wind and solar.
Tonight, President Obama said that natural gas is “the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change.” He also said, “I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.” He’s trying to have it both ways — but we can’t drill and frack our way out of the climate hole we’re in.
The president is right to be proud of America’s progress on solar energy and the historic steps he’s taking to crack down on dangerous carbon pollution. When he unveiled his climate plan last summer, I said it gave me hope that he would continue to lead on climate and clean energy solutions.
We know how to build a 100 percent clean-energy economy1 and it doesn’t include tearing up more of our national treasures to pull more dirty fuels out of the ground. Getting all of the energy we need without using fossil fuels is no longer a question of whether we can — but whether we will. President Obama has the power to put an immediate stop to future drilling and fracking on public lands, but it doesn’t sound like he’s ready to use that power.
Now is the time for that leadership. Oil and gas companies are relentlessly pushing the president to keep one foot in the past — we need to be just as relentless in showing him how to stand up to the fossil fuel billionaires. Take action now!
Thanks for all you do to protect the environment,
Sierra Club Executive Director
 A Plan for a Sustainable Future: How to get all energy from wind, water and solar power by 2030, Scientific American, November 2009
|Fight Big Oil’s lies.Make sure Secretary of State John Kerry knows that Keystone XL is key to expanding the carbon-polluting tar sands.
Have you noticed more and more news stories recently about oil-carrying trains derailing and exploding? If you have, it’s not your imagination — dangerous crude oil shipments by rail are a growing problem.1
Yet while it’s clear that rail lines are already pushed to the limits with dangerous crude, the oil industry sees trains as a loophole to get Keystone XL approved.
Heard enough? Take action now to expose Big Oil’s flawed arguments! Or keep reading if you want the full scoop.
The oil industry’s twisted logic goes like this: President Obama promised that Keystone XL will be rejected if it results in significant carbon pollution, which it clearly will, since it will allow tar sands mining to intensify. But if they claim that the tar sands expansion is inevitable — because the oil could just travel by rail without Keystone XL — then they can claim the pipeline wouldn’t harm our climate at all!
Of course oil industry analysts and investors know rail can’t replace Keystone XL to transport tar sands, which is why the industry is fighting so hard for the pipeline. And with new safety standards likely coming soon for rail oil tankers, as a result of these recent disasters, it’s about to get even more expensive to ship oil by rail.
Why is all this important? Because Keystone XL’s approval may hinge on this question of whether or not tar sands will be transported with or without the pipeline. Now more than ever it is clear that tar sands expansion needs Keystone XL.
The final State Department review of Keystone XL will be released soon, so the clock is ticking to make sure it reflects the truth. Make sure State acknowledges that Keystone XL is key to expanding the climate-polluting tar sands!
The truth is that nothing about an energy system based on dirty fossil fuels is inevitable. President Obama has an enormous amount of authority to hasten our transition to a clean energy economy — by taking such important steps as rejecting polluting tar sands pipelines like Keystone XL and Alberta Clipper, and keeping dangerous oil tankers off railways. When it comes to energy, clean is better, and dirty is far from inevitable.
While President Obama has the power, it’s critical that we stand up and continue to rebut the lies of the oil industry. Keystone XL’s backers aren’t going to give up, so the State Department needs to hear from you now.
Thanks for all you do to protect our climate,
Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director
P.S. Six letters are better than one. Forward a copy of this message to five of your friends and family and let them know how they can help keep Keystone XL from being built. Or spread the word on social media with the share buttons below:
 Matthew L. Wald, Concern Over Safety Grows as More Oil Rides the Rails, New York Times, January 2, 2014.
A Compromise We Can’t Afford
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Yesterday, the Sierra Club and 17 other environmental, environmental justice, and public health advocacy groups sent a letter to President Obama in which we asked him to stop basing national energy policy on an “all of the above” strategy. If we want to reach the goal of 100 percent clean energy before our climate is catastrophically disrupted, then common sense demands that we prioritize clean energy — and make it official — right now. Here’s what we told the president, followed by a link to the letter itself:
Dear Mr. President,We applaud the actions you have taken to reduce economy-wide carbon pollution and your commitment last June “to take bold action to reduce carbon pollution” and “lead the world in a coordinated assault on climate change.” We look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve these goals.
In that speech, you referenced that in the past you had put forward an “all of the above” energy strategy, yet noted that we cannot just drill our way out of our energy and climate challenge. We believe that continued reliance on an “all of the above” energy strategy would be fundamentally at odds with your goal of cutting carbon pollution and would undermine our nation’s capacity to respond to the threat of climate disruption. With record-high atmospheric carbon concentrations and the rising threat of extreme heat, drought, wildfires and super storms, America’s energy policies must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, not simply reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
We understand that the U.S. cannot immediately end its use of fossil fuels and we also appreciate the advantages of being more energy independent. But an “all of the above” approach that places virtually no limits on whether, when, where or how fossil fuels are extracted ignores the impacts of carbon-intense fuels and is wrong for America’s future. America requires an ambitious energy vision that reduces consumption of these fuels in order to meet the scale of the climate crisis.
An “all of the above” strategy is a compromise that future generations can’t afford. It fails to prioritize clean energy and solutions that have already begun to replace fossil fuels, revitalize American industry, and save Americans money. It increases environmental injustice while it locks in the extraction of fossil fuels that will inevitably lead to a catastrophic climate future. It threatens our health, our homes, our most sensitive public lands, our oceans and our most precious wild places. Such a policy accelerates development of fuel sources that can negate the important progress you’ve already made on lowering U.S. carbon pollution, and it undermines U.S. credibility in the international community.
Mr. President, we were very heartened by your commitment that the climate impacts of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would be “absolutely critical” to the decision and that it would be contrary to the “national interest” to approve a project that would “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” We believe that a climate impact lens should be applied to all decisions regarding new fossil fuel development, and urge that a “carbon-reducing clean energy” strategy rather than an “all of the above” strategy become the operative paradigm for your administration’s energy decisions.
In the coming months your administration will be making key decisions regarding fossil fuel development — including the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking on public lands, and drilling in the Arctic ocean — that will either set us on a path to achieve the clean energy future we all envision or will significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. We urge you to make climate impacts and emission increases critical considerations in each of these decisions.
Mr. President, we applaud you for your commitment to tackle the climate crisis and to build an economy powered by energy that is clean, safe, secure, and sustainable.
Send your own message to the president encouraging him to take action on climate disruption.