Don’t Miss a Fracking Good Time! – March 27

Please make plans to take part in a powerful event this March 27th at 6:30 PM! Charlotte is one of only 2 North Carolina locations chosen for the national fracked communities tour. You’ll definitely want to hear the stories and learn how we can help protect our air, water, and lands.


Can you join us on Thursday, March 27th at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte to hear how fracked communities are fighting back?

Fracking wells, industrial zones, and contaminated water. Those are the realities that people across the country are living with where fracking exists. We know that North Carolina isn’t worth the risk, and some friends are coming to town to help us fight back.

“Cautionary Tales of Fracked Communities,” a nationwide speakers tour, is coming to Charlotte to help us in our fight. It’s a chance to hear from people living in the shadow of gas rigs, and learn how they are fighting back.

Thursday March 27 at 6:30 PM

Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte


234 North Sharon Amity Road

Charlotte, NC 28211

Speakers will include:

  • Karen Feridun, a grassroots activist from Kutztown, PA who is fighting against fracking in her community. She helped convince the Pennsylvania Democratic party to add a Fracking Moratorium to their party platform.
  • Jill Wiener, small business owner turned activist from New York who has been leading the charge to keep fracking out of New York.
  • Robert Nehman, a father from Iowa whose life was turned upside down after frac sand mining came to his town

The second part of the meeting will be a training on how to meet with elected officials.

Together, we can keep fracking out of North Carolina, and ensure that the next series of cautionary tales aren’t from the Tarheel state.

See you there!

Fracking Tour Sponsors

Bad Reputation

Coming Clean: The blog of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune

March 7, 2014

Bad Reputation

Michael Brune

The toxic industrial spills in West Virginia and North Carolina over the past weeks have delivered the first hard lesson of 2014: Never take safe drinking water for granted. And yet the natural gas industry has been asking us to do exactly that for years now.

No more. This year, the myth that natural gas is a “cleaner” fossil fuel will be dispelled for good. Natural gas drilling not only can contaminate water supplies — it’s clear that it already has. What’s not so clear is why state and federal agencies that are responsible for protecting our water supply have been so slow to acknowledge and respond to that reality to the extent that fracking for gas remains exempt from parts of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. It’s a problem that goes all the way to the top, as President Obama’s insistence that natural gas should be viewed as a “bridge fuel” to a clean-energy future shows.

Late in December, the inspector general of the EPA released a report (at noon on Christmas Eve) that found the agency had been correct to issue an emergency order in 2010 after getting reports that natural gas fracking operations had caused methane contamination of water wells in Parker County, Texas. Texas fossil-fuel regulators and Range Resources (the company doing the fracking) pushed back, though, and the EPA ultimately backed down.

That was a mistake on the EPA’s part, as has shown by multiple further tests that showed contamination. Results from the most recent tests, conducted last year by Robert Jackson, a professor at Duke University, are currently under peer review and will be released later this year. The professor did share the results with homeowners whose water was affected, though, who then shared them with the Associated Press (AP), which reported:

Jackson found higher levels of methane in some water wells — sometimes five to 10 times higher — than what Range Resources’ tests showed. In some cases, the levels are five times higher than the 10 parts per million per liter set as a threshold limit by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Jackson himself told the AP: “We’re seeing high methane concentrations and that result alone indicates to me that EPA closing the case was premature.”

What happened to homeowners in Texas would be disturbing even if it were an isolated case, but it’s not. In January, the AP reported that contamination from oil and gas wells has been reported in at least four states where fracking is booming, and that contamination has been “confirmed in a number of them, according to a review that casts doubt on industry suggestions that such problems rarely happen.” In Pennsylvania alone, “more than 100 cases of pollution were confirmed over the past five years.”

Across the U.S., utilities are preparing to replace old, polluting power plants that run on dirty fuels. The temptation, unfortunately, is to replace one dirty fuel (coal or oil) with another — natural gas. We cannot afford to let that happen. Besides the obvious threat that fracking poses to our water, choosing to burn more natural gas inevitably means choosing to add more climate-polluting carbon to our atmosphere.

That’s an especially poor choice because, thanks to lower costs, clean-energy alternatives have never been more competitive. When the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission recently asked a judge to evaluate competing energy proposals, he ruled that a plan based on solar arrays would be better for Minnesota’s ratepayers than one based on natural gas. By “better,” he didn’t mean “cleaner” (although that would certainly be a bonus). He meant it would be a better deal for them financially.

If Minnesotans are better off with solar power, then why would sunny Southern California opt to replace the defunct San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station with dirty natural gas plants? Why would sunny Southwestern states or windy Midwestern states choose to shackle themselves to another fossil fuel for decades to come?

A growing movement is working to make sure that everyone knows exactly what a dirty and dangerous choice natural gas really is. But the other side of that coin is an even more important message. We have better choices — choices that will deliver truly clean energy, that put more Americans to work, that and often will save money. Let’s move beyond dirty fuels and build an economy powered by clean energy.

Let President Obama know he’s got it wrong this time — natural gas is dirty, dangerous, and anything but a clean energy solution.

Amplify your voice against Keystone XL!

Even if you have signed petitions against Keystone XL before, please do so again! Spread the word! Friday is the final day.

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

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!

Last Chance! Make sure the State Department says NO to KXL!Share on Facebook

Dear Friends,

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!

The comment period ends this Friday! Help amplify your voice by sharing this graphic on Facebook to spread the word!

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!

You’ve already submitted an official public comment — now help encourage your friends and family to do the same by sharing this graphic on Facebook!

Together, we can win this. Thank you for protecting our water, land and climate,

Michael Marx
Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director

P.S. Click here submit comments – Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline!

Gov McCrory, NC Offshore Drilling, and Seismic Blasts

Things are moving much to fast on this issue! Check out some recent updates. Stay tuned for more…

The feds are eyeing North Carolina for offshore drilling. Thanks to chocolate syrup, no beaches or children were harmed in the making of this photo.

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

100+ scientists against seismic blasts

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.

Read more »

Kure Beach, NC stands up against seismic

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 dayyou made an impact that won’t soon be forgotten.

Read more »

Time is running out to Stop the Keystone XL – Act Now!

Take a couple of seconds to take action! Thanks so much!

Rallies Against KXL KXL: Not in Our National Interest

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.

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – February 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Friends,

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

The Dan River Spill

Dead Turtle.jpg
Click Coal Ash.png

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.

Click here to ask Duke Energy to prevent future disasters by cleaning up its toxic coal ash ponds.

Moving On: Clean Energy Around the Corner


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

Our Wild North Carolina

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?

  • Foothills Group Outings Chair, Henry Fansler, will lead the first wilderness area hike of the year on the Birkhead Mountain Trail on Saturday, February 22.  The hike will cover around five miles and is rated easy to moderate.  If you’d like to go, contact Henry at or 336-473-0283.  Visits to all NC designated wilderness areas are limited to 10 participants. Reserve your spot today!

Our Wild North Carolina Wilderness Areas Challenge

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!

Happy Hiking!


Outings & Events

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, 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, 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

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

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, 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 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: 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 or 919-971-3788 for more information.  Register for this event here:

James Taylor says fracking in Carolina is on his mind

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.

* BREAKING: Keystone XL fails the climate test!

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

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.

Make sure President Obama makes the right decision on KXL

take action button


Dear Friends,

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.

But we can’t stop until we finish this. Tell President Obama that it’s time to keep his climate promise and reject Keystone XL once and for all!

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 verdict is in. Send a message to President Obama today to make sure he stays true to his word and rejects the climate-killing Keystone XL pipeline!

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.

Big Oil won’t take this defeat lying down, so we can’t stop now. We need to flood the White House with emails telling President Obama to keep his pledge and reject Keystone XL. Send your message now!

Together, we can win this. Thank you for protecting our climate,

Michael Brune
Sierra Club Executive Director

Sierra Club Statement on State of the Union – Send the President a Message


January 28, 2014

Contact: Maggie Kao, 202-675-2384 or

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.”


Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear Friends,

The State of Our Union:
Ready to leave fossil fuels behind.

State of the Union
Take Action

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.

Tell President Obama: Our government shouldn’t be in the business of propping up yesterday’s dirty fuels. It’s time to end oil and gas fracking on public lands.

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.

Send your message now: Tell President Obama that now is the time for the bold action and real leadership that will finally leave fossil fuels in the past.

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,

Michael Brune
Sierra Club Executive Director

[1] A Plan for a Sustainable Future: How to get all energy from wind, water and solar power by 2030, Scientific American, November 2009