Aug 5 – Sustain Charlotte launch of 2014 Sustainability Report Card

Come and hear about how sustainable Charlotte really is!

Sustain Charlotte is launching a groundbreaking new report!  
And you’re invited!

For over a year, Sustain Charlotte has been hard at work researching and writing the first ever independentcomprehensive report card assessing Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s
economic, social, and environmental health.

And now, they’re ready to share it with you!

This Tuesday, Aug 5th, they be holding two launch events (one in the morning and one in the evening) and you’re invited to join either — or both!

See below for details of both events and please RSVP to let us know you’re coming!


MORNING EVENT

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham, Charlotte City Council Member John Autry, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio, and Sustain Charlotte Founder + Director Shannon Binns will speak about the importance of sustainability to Charlotte’s future. Charlotte City Council Member Greg Phipps and Pineville Mayor John Edwards will also be in attendance.

WHEN

Tuesday, Aug 5
10-11 AM

WHERE

Marshall Park
800 E. Third Street, Charlotte 28202

RSVP for this event!



EVENING EVENT

Sustain Charlotte’s Monthly Mixer + 2014 Sustainability Report Card Launch Party!
Light Snacks Provided by Earth Fare

WHEN

Tuesday, August 5
5:30-7:30 PM

Schedule
5:30: Networking Begins
6:30: Report Launch + Sustainability Trivia!
6:45: More Networking

WHERE

Triple C Brewing Company
2900 Griffith St, Charlotte 28203

Tell the EPA – Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency ARE part of the Climate Solution

Citizens from across the southeast are rallying in Atlanta today, July 29th, for Sold-Out Hearings for EPA Climate Plan as the Chamber of Commerce and Big Polluters Cry Wolf Over EPA Plan to Fight Climate Change and Protect Human Health.

Won’t you join them in solidarity and submit comments that Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency ARE part of the Climate Solution (see sample talking points below).

Email A-and-R-Docket@epa.gov: Include docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602 in the subject line of the message.

Thanks so much!

Power Plan Message BoxClean Power Plan Message Box

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan Fact Sheet & link to full plan:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/25/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-climate-action-plan

 

News articles on anticipated EPA proposed carbon rules:

http://grist.org/climate-energy/heres-what-to-expect-from-obamas-big-new-climate-rules/

http://www.nrdc.org/air/pollution-standards/files/pollution-standards-report.pdf

http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/nation-world-news/epa-readying-climate-rule-existing-power-plants-deadline-approaches

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/epa-power-plant_n_5356784.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-22/obama-divides-power-players-with-rule-utilities-accept.html

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/30/3442251/carbon-pollution-rule-attacks/

P.S. Want to submit a quick comment? Click on Tell President Obama and the EPA you support strong climate action!

Tell the EPA – Fracking is NOT part of the Climate Solution

Citizens from across the southeast are rallying in Atlanta today, July 29th, for Sold-Out Hearings for EPA Climate Plan as the Chamber of Commerce and Big Polluters Cry Wolf Over EPA Plan to Fight Climate Change and Protect Human Health.

Won’t you join them in solidarity and submit comments that Fracking is NOT part of the Climate Solution (see sample talking points below).

Email A-and-R-Docket@epa.gov: Include docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602 in the subject line of the message.

Thanks so much!

EPA Carbon Rules and FrackingEPA Power Plant Rules and Fracking Talking Points

Tell the EPA – Nuclear Power is NOT part of the Climate Solution

Citizens from across the southeast are rallying in Atlanta today, July 29th, for Sold-Out Hearings for EPA Climate Plan as the Chamber of Commerce and Big Polluters Cry Wolf Over EPA Plan to Fight Climate Change and Protect Human Health.

Won’t you join them in solidarity and submit comments that Nuclear Power is NOT part of the Climate Solution (see sample talking points below).

Email A-and-R-Docket@epa.gov: Include docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602 in the subject line of the message.

Thanks so much!

Sierra CLub Nuclear Free Comments on EPA Carbon RuleSierra Nuclear Free – Comments on EPA Carbon Rule

Stop new offshore drilling in America’s oceans!

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear friends,

Tell the Obama administration to stop all new oil and gas leasing in America’s oceans!
Shell Oil Rig
Send Your Letter

Four years ago, America’s worst oil disaster, the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, killed eleven people and gushed 210 million gallons of oil into the ocean.1 Today at least 14 species — including birds, fish and dolphins — are struggling to survive, and the once lucrative fishing, tourism and recreation economies of the Gulf have still not recovered.2

Not only does offshore drilling threaten our oceans, marine life and people, but increasing offshore oil drilling will also accelerate climate change. If we are serious about avoiding the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, we have to keep dirty fuels like oil and gas in the ground.

Despite this fact, the Obama administration is setting the stage for oil drilling in our oceans from the Arctic to the Atlantic over the next several years.

The administration is taking public comments now. We only have until July 31 to tell them to say no to new leasing for gas and oil in America’s oceans. Send your comment now! 

Offshore drilling will put people, marine animals and other wildlife at risk.

Last week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved seismic testing in the Eastern Atlantic3 — testing that will deafen nearly 140,000 marine mammalsjust to determine if there is oil on the ocean floor! And as Shell Oil has already demonstrated with mishap after mishap, drilling in America’s Arctic Ocean is far too risky.5

The Exxon Valdez oil disaster in Alaska’s Prince William Sound decimated orca, otter and fish populations, and 25 years later they have yet to fully recover.6

Our marine ecosystems cannot withstand any more oil spills. Our fishing and recreation economies may not survive any more oil spills. 

Tell the administration to say no to new gas and oil leases and protect our oceans, people and wildlife from destructive oil drilling!

When it comes to stopping offshore drilling, our past efforts to protect the Arctic Ocean have been successful due to strong support from people like you. We can protect all of America’s oceans if you take action now!

For the sake of our planet, the climate and future generations, we must stop offshore drilling, end our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and transition to a clean energy economy.

The administration can take a stand by starting with our oceans. Please, tell them to say no to future oil and gas leases today!

Thanks for all you do to protect the environment,

David Scott
Sierra Club President

P.S. After you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues!

Join the virtual rally to #ActOnClimate

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear friends,
Join the virtual rally to support limits on carbon pollution!

Join the Thunderclap!

Take action

In just a few clicks you can help make historic limits on carbon pollution a reality.

President Obama promised that his administration would take action to confront the climate crisis — and now the EPA has finally proposed the first-ever safeguards against carbon pollution from our nation’s aging power plants.

From July 29-31, the EPA will be holding public hearings on these historic limits. Hundreds of activists will testify and rally outside hearings in Denver, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. Even if you can’t be there in person, you can help put pressure on the EPA by donating a tweet or Facebook status update in advance, all timed to hit at once as the hearings begin Tuesday morning. 

This will help make #EPA and #ActOnClimate important trending topics on social media, creating a buzz for people to take action. It also puts pressure on EPA to listen to grassroots activists, not lobbyists paid by the big polluters.

Join the “Thunderclap” to support limits on carbon pollution, showing EPA that Americans demand they #ActOnClimate.

You may be asking yourself, what’s a “Thunderclap”?

Here’s how it works: we provide you with a message of support for EPA to #ActOnClimate (which you can personalize), and using an online service called Thunderclap, you can have the message automatically posted to your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr accounts at the exact same moment as hundreds of others across the country.

Donate a Tweet, Facebook status, or Tumblr post now.

This is a big deal, and the big polluters know it. 

This is the beginning of what could be the biggest climate fight in history. Fossil fuel billionaires are mobilizing like never before. They’re already sending their lobbyists to Washington and spreading their fear-mongering talking points on Fox News. While their money talks, they can’t match our people power.

By joining this virtual rally of thousands of people taking action online, you will fight back. You will also spread the message directly to your friends, family, and followers– the people you have the most social media influence over. No talking head or slick ad campaign will be as influential as you.

Spread the message and ask your friends and followers to submit a written comment into EPA supporting their Clean Power Plan.

Thank you for all you do,

Andy Wilson

Online Organizer
Beyond Coal Campaign

P.S. Six messages are more powerful than one! After you take action, forward this message to five of your friends and family and make sure you spread the word about the Thunderclap on social media.

Sierra Club NC Chapter – Legislative Update 07-18-14

Protect Enviro Democracy

Dear Friends,

This week in the General Assembly it began to really feel like the end of session with a variety of old proposals resurfacing and quickly moving through committees without much discussion.

Update on the coal ash bill:

On Monday the Senate failed to concur on the coal ash bill – S 729 – which means that House and Senate conferees will negotiate a final bill behind closed doors. Senator Apodaca asked Senators to not concur so that some changes made by the House could be fixed. Apodaca specifically noted that he does not support the variance procedure added by the House that would allow the Secretary of DENR to approve variances to deadlines in the bill and he does not support housing the new Coal Ash Management Commission under DENR. The Senate’s version of the coal ash bill had the Coal Ash Management Commission housed under the Department of Public Safety. We expect to see changes to both of these parts in a final bill. Senate conferees were appointed yesterday – they are: Senators Berger (R – Guilford, Rockingham), Wade (R – Guilford) and Apodaca (R – Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania). House conferees have not yet been officially appointed but Representatives McGrady (R – Henderson), Samuelson (R – Mecklenburg)and Hager (R – Burke, Rutherford) carried the bill in the House so they are very likely be appointed as conferees. The coal ash bill may not come to a final vote until the very end of session (which should be in the next few weeks) because votes on major bills are often held back until the end to encourage negotiation between the chambers.

Opportunity for Action:

As you may recall, the coal ash bill still lacks assurances that groundwater and surface water will be protected from continuing pollution at all sites. Please contact the Senate conferees and ask them to add clear standards to the bill to ensure that any closure method allowed is protective of groundwater near coal ash sites.

Everything old is new again?

  • Last session the House passed H 201, then called “Reinstate 2009 Energy Conservation Codes” to roll back energy efficiency requirements for commercial buildings. But the bill was never brought to a vote in the Senate. This week, the Senate Rules Committee introduced a revised version of H 201 that renames it “Building Reutilization for Economic Development Act” and narrows the impact of the energy efficiency rollbacks but then proposes new exemptions from stormwater rules and the NC Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for some commercial buildings. If passed, the result would be that some commercial buildings would be allowed to be built 30% less efficient and would get exemptions from the NC Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). We understand that the intent of the bill is to help one company redevelop a building, but nonetheless its a statewide bill. Energy use in buildings accounts for 70% of total electricity use. And since buildings have a lifespan of between 50 and 75 years it’s critical that new construction be to efficient standards to reduce our overall energy usage and dependency on dirty energy like coal. H 201 is calendared to be voted on by the Senate on Monday.
  • S 883 “Disapprove/Amend Buffer Rules” would strike a list of environmental rules created to protect water quality that were only recently adopted. The existing rules resulted from a lengthy stakeholder negotiation process in which environmental groups were involved. The new proposed rules were created by a separate stakeholder group that did not include environmental groups. One of many problems we see with this bill includes striking a requirement for those who do mitigation projects to provide funds for long term maintenance. Mitigation projects are meant to make up for the loss of wetlands and habitat to development but if we don’t ensure their long-term success we are not really mitigating our losses. More to follow on this bill. S 883 is on the Senate calendar for Monday evening along with H 201.

And why should we have to choose between education and transit?

H 1224 “Local Sales Tax for Education/Econ Dev Changes” was revised by the Senate this week to add a cap on the total sales tax a county may levy and disallow counties from using local sales tax revenues to fund both public education and public transit (thereby forcing a choice between the two). The Senate changes to this bill received negative attention from a number of groups this week, including Sierra Club. H 1224 was removed from the Senate calendar Thursday and sent to Senate Finance Committee where there will likely be revisions proposed on Monday evening. We created an action alert on this bill for Wake County residents since we know that Wake County is considering a transit tax; but again this is a statewide bill so if this concerns you please contact your Senator.

Thank you for your interest and volunteer advocacy! Be on the lookout for more frequent updates and action alerts as the legislative session comes to a close.  The end of session always brings surprises.

Best,

Cassie Gavin, Director of Government Relations

Sierra Club – NC Chapter

cassie.gavin@sierraclub.org

Webinar: How To Testify at EPA Clean Power Plan Hearing

LEARN HOW TO TESTIFY! Want to learn more about how to give effective public comments on the Clean Power Plan?

Testify

Join us for a Webinar on July 24
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/540442391
The Chicago Organizing Team will lead a webinar on how to prepare persuasive testimony for the EPA Clean Power Plan hearings
Title: How To Testify at EPA Clean Power Plan Hearing
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

NC Public Citizen’s Hearing on EPA Carbon Rules – July 22, Chapel Hill

On June 2, EPA announced the first ever regulations of carbon pollution on existing power plants. The Clean Power Plan, as it is called, has a chance to be the single largest step the U.S. has ever taken to combat climate change. EPA is holding public hearing in four cities – North Carolina’s closest hearing is in Atlanta – NC Interfaith Power & LightClean Air Carolina, Environment NCNC Wildlife Federation, and Sierra Club NC Chapter are collaboratively organizing a Citizen’s Hearing in Chapel Hill to gather testimony and public comments on the plan. Organizing groups will deliver these official public comments to EPA.

Think it’s time for the U.S. to acknowledge and address climate change, then come make your voice heard!

Date:  Tuesday, July 22nd – Chapel Hill, NC

Time:  5:30pm – 8:00pm  public testimony time slot sign-up upon arrival

Assembly Hall
5:30 – 8:00    Group Networking and Informational Tabling with snacks and beverages
6:00 – 7:00    Elected Officials and invited speakers will give testimony

Community Lounge
5:30 – 8:00    Public testimonies (2 min/person) recorded in groups of three

Location:
United Church of Chapel Hill
1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919-942-3540

Help fix the NC coal ash crisis

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear friends,

As the 2014 session of the NC General Assembly heads into its final days, one major environmental bill remains in the balance —  one that will succeed, or fall short, of addressing the coal ash crisis in our state.

Gus Belews convio.png
Coal Ash Action Button - june - convio2.png

As the House takes up S. 729, “Coal Ash Management Act of 2014″, there is critically important issue remains to be addressed in the coal ash bill. We need you take action today.

The February coal ash spill into the Dan River was the third largest in our nation’s history. The spill highlighted the dangerous practice of  storing 103 million tons of toxic coal ash in unlined pits next to our state’s waterways– and to end that practice requires the legislature’s attention, action and leadership.

The Senate has acted.  S 729 “Coal Ash Management Act of 2014″, was approved unanimously last week.  It goes a long way towards addressing the pollution entering our waterways and groundwater from Duke Energy’s 33 coal ash ponds in the state.

But it has one serious shortcoming.

The Senate’s bill does not adequately ensure that all coal ash ponds, including those categorized as “low risk”, will permanently isolate coal ash from water to prevent further water pollution. Coal ash contains toxic heavy metals that are water soluble and at every coal ash site in NC these chemicals are leaking into groundwater supplies.  A proposed solution called “capping in place”, which leaves the coal ash in the ground with a landfill liner on top, can still lead to polluting ground and surface water.

The NC House will take up the coal ash bill at any time now.

Please contact your House Representative today.  Ask that clear criteria be established that would make sure that alternative closure methods selected for all 33 sites would only be allowed if Duke Energy could stop the water pollution from coal ash.

Click here to contact your representative today!

Thanks for standing up for clean water,

Zak Keith
Lead Organizer for the NC Sierra Club

P.S. – This bill could move quickly, please send your message today!  We need your state House Representative to know that without permanent separation of coal ash and ground water, covering coal ash pits is not a solution.