4 NC Buses to NYC Sept 21 People’s Climate March!

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4 NC Buses to NYC Sept 21 People’s Climate March!

Organizers from around the state are working together to secure funding, finalize contracts with bus companies, determine the fares and departure/return times, and handle the travel logistics. There are volunteer Bus Captains that will be finalizing these items and making announcements on the NC People’s March Facebook page (be sure to “Like” the page and invite your friends!) as soon as the details for each city are set.

We’ll also be posting other information and resources on the NC People’s March Facebook page.

As it stands today there will be 4 buses from North Carolina to NYC:

Asheville – Bus Captains Debby Genz dgenz@skyrunner.net and Mary Olson maryo@nirs.org

Boone – Bus Captain Dave Harman dh.harman@hotmail.com

Charlotte – Bus Captains Hanna Mitchell hanna.mitchell@greenpeace.org and Bill Gupton at wmgupton@aol.com

Raleigh/Durham – Bus Captain Caroline Hansley caroline.hansley@greenpeace.org

Non Departure City Contacts

Winston-Salem/Greensboro – Karen Bearden chickadeebirders@earthlink.net

NC Coast – Priss Endo pauline.endo@gmail.com

If you would like to help with announcements, recruitment, or other trip logistics, please contact the closest Bus Captain to your area. 

Much more to follow. See you in NYC!

Recap of First MEC Fracking Hearing in Raleigh

Thanks to NC Sierra Club Lead Organizer Zak Keith for this great Wednesday, Aug 20th, update! Please submit as many comments as you would like! Check out our online resource for more info on the proposed rules and to submit comments.

 

Hey folks, today has been a busy day in Raleigh between the coal ash bill and the fracking MEC hearing. But I wanted to give a quick update on the MEC hearing and what happened this morning.

Before the hearing at NC State’s McKimmon Center, the Frack Free Alliance put on a rally outside. There were around 150 folks at the rally, a great turnout since it was a hot morning at 9:30.

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Check out the great list of speakers below who talked about the need for local control and the need to slow the rush to frack NC.

  • State Senator Mike Woodard, Dist 22
  • State Representative Duane Hall, Dist. 11
  • Michael Tiemann, CEO of Redhat
  • Mayor Darryl Moss, Creedmoor
  • Dr. Susan R. DeLaney, N.D., Medical Advocates for Healthy Air 
  • Rev. Steve Halstead, Pastor, Community United Church of Christ
  • Danielle Adams, Durham County Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor
  • Daniel Dayton, Old Milburnie Farm

After the rally folks went into the center and over 100 people signed up to speak with around 400 in attendance.

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The final count (if I did my math correct) was 78 against fracking and 8 for. Clearly folks came out in force to express their issues with fracking. Residents were concerned about setbacks, contamination of our drinking water, air pollution, and the lack of oversight in the rule making process. Many called for a moratorium to be reinstated.

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We had some great Sierrans speak including Capital Group excom/leader Harvey Richmond, Marvin Woll (he ask who thought the rules were inadequate and you can see in the picture most folks agreed!) from the Capital Group, and Jon Sheline from the Headwaters group among many others who spoke. If I missed you, please let me know! And thanks to all the folks who got the word out. See some pictures below.

This was the first in the upcoming MEC hearings. There will be one in Sanford this Friday and Reidsville next Monday. Check out our online resource for more info on the proposed rules.
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Please contact me if you are interested in getting more involved as we move forward on the next phase of the fracking issue. Thanks!

Zachary Keith
Lead Organizer
North Carolina Sierra Club

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – August 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Friends,

Last night, the state legislature adjourned and left Raleigh until the 2015 session begins in January. We will have a full review of what happened on environmental issues during the session available in next month’s edition of Footnotes.

For this edition, the spotlight is on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act, as well information about the public hearings happening right now as part of the public review of the proposed fracking rules.  As always, thanks for all that you do and we hope to see you at our Wilderness Celebration next month at Morrow Mountain State Park!

Cheers,

You staff at the NC Sierra Club


Coal Ash Legislation Passes

The legislature gave final approval yesterday to the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, a complex measure that takes steps forward in regulating coal ash as other wastes but also undermines a court ruling that would have required immediate cleanup of coal ash.

It’s time for the EPA to finish what North Carolina started to ensure full protection by adopting strong national standards for coal ash to protect every community in the United States. EPA action is needed more than ever to set a national standard and to stop the piecemeal approach to addressing coal ash waste and contamination across the US.

Click here to learn more about the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 and what it means for North Carolina.

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Public Comments Being Accepted Now on Proposed Fracking Rules

Public hearings on the state’s proposed fracking rules started yesterday in Raleigh. And between 400 and 500 people showed up! There are three more public hearings around the state in coming days where you can give your input on ways to strengthen the proposed rules.

Click here for more information including location details and ideas on things to include in your comments!

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Hundreds of people at the Raleigh hearing on Wednesday in Raleigh give a show of hands for those wo think the proposed fracking rules are not adequate.


Wilderness Celebration in the Heart of Carolina

On September 26-27, the NC Sierra Club is hosting a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  Held at Morrow Mountain State Park, this celebration is centrally located to all North Carolinians wishing to pay respect to past efforts to protect wilderness, as well as to build support to carry on the proud legacy of protecting our wild areas!

Activities include canoeing, hiking, service, birding, fishing, stargazing and a special guided tour of the Kron restoration!

Click here for more event details or to reserve your spot today!

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Clean Energy for Raleigh

The Capital Group of the NC Sierra will soon be launching its Clean Energy for Raleigh campaign.  This exciting project aims to make it easy and affordable for homeowners, businesses, and tax-exempt entities in Raleigh, NC, to go solar and invest in energy efficiency.

The program was recently featured in a Triangle Business Journal article, in which, Chelsea Barnes of the Capital Group makes a very compelling case for going solar.  Click here to read the article.

Click here to learn more about this program and to find out how you can enroll!

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Wilderness Spotlight: Ellicott Rock

Ellicott Rock is unique among wilderness areas in that it is shared among three states: North Carolina (3,394 acres), Georgia (2,021 acres) and South Carolina (2,859 acres).  The area was designated as wilderness in 1975.  It received its name for the “N G” chiseled in a rock by surveyor Andrew Ellicott in 1811 indicating the point of beginning of the dividing line between North Carolina and Georgia.

Click here to learn more about this wilderness area on the Our Wild NC website!

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Upcoming Events and Outings

Fracking Public Hearings (See above for more information)

August 22, 2014 - Wicker Civic Center, Sanford, NC from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

August 25, 2014 - Rockingham County High School, Reidsville, NC from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

September 12, 2014 - Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center- WCU, Cullowhee, NC from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

 

Featured Wilderness Outings

There are two featured wilderness outings coming up!  If all of this talk about celebrating wilderness has you itching to get outside, we have two great opportunities for you!

There’s an overnight backpack and camping outing to Cold Mountain & Shining Rock Wilderness on September 5-7 and a wilderness day hike and car camping in Linville Gorge  on September 6-7.

Click here for details and to see all of our upcoming wilderness events!

 

August 24 - 1:00 p.m. – Kayak With Candidates – Neuse River

The Croatan Sierra club is hosting this short paddle up the Neuse River. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early where Glenburnie Road meets the Neuse River with their own canoe or kayak, paddle, and personal flotation device.  The group will paddle past the marsh islands and up the short cypress-lined creeks on both sides of the river there will be time to discuss water quality issues, especially the impact of the Lee Coal Plant upstream in Goldsboro, which has been leaking toxic chemicals for decades.  Sierra Club lobbyist Cassie Gavin, the Lower Neuse Riverkeeper Travis Graves and endorsed General Assembly candidates George Graham, Carr Ipock, and Whit Whitley will be there to answer your questions and concerns about the environment.  You must sign a waiver to participate in this outing.  Bring your own water supply and environmental questions.

For more information and to register, contact Robert Scull at scull1453@gmail.com.

 

August 30 - 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Alpaca Meet & Greet – Chatham County

Come visit an alpaca farm set in the rolling hills of southwest Chatham County and learn about the origin and history of alpacas. Find out why they are called the green livestock and see where your alpaca sweater comes from.The group will visit the animals in their barn as they talk about their basic care and the gentle impact they have on the environment.  Attendees should bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the porch in a relaxed country setting after the tour.

Closed-toed, sturdy shoes are required. Hat and sun protection are advisable. Bring your camera. No pets please. Tour will be held rain or shine. Participation is by advance registration only and is limited to 10 people. Exact meeting location will be provided when registration is confirmed.

To register, please contact Rosmarie: rbrosenbloom@gmail.com

 

September 3, 10, 17, & 24 - 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Walking Wednesdays – Durham

Join Sierrans for a fast-paced, mid-week walk on the Al Beuhler Trail. The trail circles the perimeter of the Washington-Duke Golf Course, offering shade, moderate hills, and natural scenery. The leader will set the pace to complete the 3-mile course in 1-hour although you are welcome to go your own pace and do as many laps as you would like. Standard Sierra Club waiver applies.

Click here for more information.

Want to know the latest? Join us on Facebook or Twitter!

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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.

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Stand up to carbon pollution in North Carolina

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Friends,

Stand up for limits on carbon pollution: Submit your official comment to the EPA today!

Ian Somerhalder and Mary Anne Hitt
Take Action!

The time is now to act to put historic limits on carbon pollution.

Now that the EPA has finally proposed the first-ever safeguards against carbon pollution from our nation’s aging power plants, we have a real chance to make a difference in the fight against climate change.

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

You can join thousands of others who have already submitted a comment to the EPA or testified at one of their hearings in July. Submit your comment to the EPA today.

 Activists here in North Carolina have been especially vocal, calling on Duke to deal with their carbon and coal ash pollution. Our fights against local coal plants even were featured in the documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously,” featuring Ian Somerhalder.

As we ramp up our climate work here, you can get involved! The first step is to submit your official comment to the EPA supporting their proposed limits on carbon pollution.

This is the beginning of what could be the biggest climate fight in history. Fossil fuel billionaires are mobilizing like never before. But their money can’t match our people power.

Don’t let the fossil fuel billionaires get the last word. Flood the White House and EPA with thousands of official comments saying that America is ready for strong climate action!

Thanks for everything you do to protect our environment,

Emma Greenbaum
Beyond Coal Campaign
Sierra Club

P.S. You can also join us in Charlotte for a Citizens’ Climate Hearing on Tuesday, September 9. Click here for more info and to RSVP.

Sierra Club-wide call on the EPA Clean Power Plan – Sept 10

Sierra Club Aim Higher

Greetings Sierra Club staff and volunteers! We are writing to invite you to a Sierra Club-wide call on the EPA Clean Power Plan, and to provide you with a couple of new resources to support your advocacy in the weeks ahead.
 
First, mark your calendars for a call Wednesday, Sept. 10. Join us at either 2:00pm or 8:00pm ET, whichever works best for your schedule, at the following number: 866-501-6174, code 107-397-1913. We’ll update you on the latest developments around the Clean Power Plan, share the work of some chapters and volunteers from around the country, and have policy experts on the line to answer your questions.
 
Second, below you’ll find three resources to support your advocacy on the Clean Power Plan:
  • One page fact sheet: An overview of the Clean Power Plan and the historic opportunity it creates for us to build a clean energy roadmap in all 50 states.
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ): Answers some of the questions that have been rolling in from staff and volunteers around the nation.
  • Strengthening document: An overview of our latest thinking on areas where the rule needs to be strengthened.
 
We’ll share an agenda for the call as the date gets closer – in the meantime, mark your calendars and keep sending along your needs and questions around the Clean Power Plan. And thanks for all your great work!
 
Mary Anne Hitt
Director, Beyond Coal Campaign
Sierra Club
 
 
 

Friday, Aug 22 deadline: Submit comments on proposed NC water quality rules – Triennial Review

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Because heavy metals like selenium do this…

Coal Ash Fish Pollution Impact

Figure 5. Abnormal bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus, top) from Lake Sutton (second collection batch) showing multiple defects of the mouth (which is permanently distended and less than 20% of its normal size) and other craniofacial structures including “gaping” distorted, permanently deformed gill cover. Bottom individual is normal.

Submit comments on proposed water quality rules – Triennial Review

NC regulators must conduct a Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards as required by the Federal Clean Water Act this year. North Carolina has not adopted revised water quality rules in the previous Triennial cycle. NC DENR has now proposed revisions to water quality rules as required by the Clean Water Act, and public comments are accepted through August 22.

North Carolina is also the only state in the Southeast so far not to adopt the nationally recommended criteria for concentrations of heavy metals in our water. Heavy metals can occur naturally, but when introduced in mass amounts due to unchecked industrial waste, it affects our health and our environment.

Triennial Review Information

The federal Clean Water Act requires states to “hold public hearings for the purpose of reviewing applicable water quality standards and, as appropriate, modifying and adopting standards” at least once every three years. NC last held such a public hearing to update its water quality protections in July 2006. The current hearing is four years overdue. NC lags behind neighboring states in adopting standards that meet the National Recommended Water Quality Criteria and that incorporate the best available science. The EPA has the authority to promulgate regulations to protect NC’s water if NC does not do so itself. Clean water and a healthy environment are vitally important to all North Carolinians – for their health, property values, recreational and business opportunities, etc. NC should not weaken any standards, but should retain its current water quality standards and strengthen them as described below.
Click on one of the sections to find more information about each subject.

Public Comment Period:
2014-06-14 thru 2014-08-22

Submit Comments Electronically:
DWR-Classifications-Standards@ncdenr.gov

Mail Comments To:
DENR/Division of Water Resources/Water Planning Section,
1611 Mail Service Center,
Raleigh, NC 27699-1611

For more information, see http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/rules

 

Water Quality Links and Lists:

This is where you can subscribe to the TMDL and Water Quality Assessment mailing list: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/ps/mt/unitinfo#Mailing

DENR’s Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs lists events, activities, and workshops for all ages in a searchable database here: http://web.eenorthcarolina.org/core/event/calendar.aspx?show=list&s=0.0.108.37430.  Or, they can be viewed in a searchable calendar format here: http://web.eenorthcarolina.org/core/event/calendar.aspx.

The Stormwater Outreach and Education Listserv is frequently used to announce speaker events and workshops relevant to water quality. Here is a link to the subscription page: https://lists.ncmail.net/mailman/listinfo/stormwater.outreachandeducation.

Celebrate Wilderness! Sept 26-27 at Morrow Mountain State Park

What does Wilderness mean to you?

Come celebrate our North Carolina and national wilderness areas at a very special location so near to Charlotte – Morrow Mountain State Park!

Come for the day, the evening, or plan to join us Friday and Saturday as we camp in this beautiful setting.

Activities include canoeing, hiking, service, birding, fishing, star-gazing and a special guided tour of the Kron restoration. Our Friday dinner and program will be a fun and inspiring look at the past, present and future of our wilderness areas.

For questions or more information, contact Nancy Card, NC Wilderness Celebration Chair at OurWildNC@gmail.com or 910-540-3088

Sign up today for our state wide Sierra Club Wilderness Celebrationhttps://ncsierrawilderness50celebration.eventbrite.com.

Wilderness Celebration FlyerNC Sierra Wilderness 50 Celebration Invitation

P.S. Don’t miss out on this special event! Sign up today for our state wide Sierra Club Wilderness Celebrationhttps://ncsierrawilderness50celebration.eventbrite.com.

Charlotte Interfaith Call for Action on Climate Change – Sept 9th Citizen Hearing

“We have a moral obligation to future generations to leave our land, water and wildlife better than we found it.”

~ Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

from Dealing with Climate Change: A Moral Obligation

Calling all Charlotte area clergy and lay leaders!

We need your voice and that of your congregants for an important Citizen’s Climate Hearing on September 9th at Myers Park Baptist Church. 

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan is a historic measure calling for strong carbon pollution reductions to combat the worst effects of climate disruption. Now in the public comment period, the EPA needs to hear from concerned citizens that want strong protections from carbon pollution. This is a critical moment for North Carolinians to make sure our voice is heard. Citizens from across NC will gather at Myers Park Baptist Church to give oral testimony, which will be recorded and submitted as official comments to the EPA. Join us as we call on the EPA to take swift and strong action on climate for North Carolina.

For additional information or questions, contact Bill Gupton or Renee Reese.

Sept 9 Interfaith Call to Action on Climate Change 2Charlotte Interfaith Call for Action on Climate Change

To learn more about the issues and solutions, plan to attend this September 4th  program at the University City Regional Library!

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An American Moment – The People’s Climate March, Sept 21st, NYC

Coming Clean Mike Brune Blog

An American Moment

Michael Brune Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. View my blog.

You might want to save this date: September 21. Here’s why.

Activists working to address the climate crisis have been cautiously cheering President Obama this year — for telegraphing that he’s likely to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and for the Clean Power Plan, an important set of standards that his Environmental Protection Agency has proposed for cutting carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants.

Yet as scientists know, as polar bears know, and as people who’ve experienced extreme weather know, the nation and the world are still moving too slowly to avert climate disaster.

The drumbeat for urgency is growing, however, and it’s not just coming from the tree-hugging contingent. Last week, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, retired hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and other leaders known for keeping an eye on bottom lines released a report called “Risky Business.” It makes a sobering case for why the nation cannot afford the economic costs of climate change.

The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has already reached levels not seen since long before we even evolved. The human suffering that results may be incalculable, but the economic consequences are not. The International Energy Agency has estimated that for every year the world delays taking significant action to curb climate change, we will have to spend an additional $500 billion down the road.

At a Senate hearing that many Republicans hoped would undercut the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Act, four former heads of the EPA, under Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush testified instead that action is imperative. Noting that businesses and states are already taking the crisis seriously, William Ruckelshaus, who headed the first EPA under Nixon, said: “There is a lot happening on climate. It’s just not happening in Washington.”

Indeed, our government may be gridlocked by the Republicans who control the House while hamstrung by ties to a fossil fuel lobby that demands utter fealty, but local leaders and the American people are moving forward fast.

Just last year, Al Gore and I stood and watched as then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s history-making plan to stop using coal-fired power by 2025 and replace it with cleaner energy sources.

That was a proud moment for Los Angeles, and Al Gore ended an impassioned speech that day on a hopeful note about the ability of our society to quickly evolve: “If somebody had told you four years ago,” he said, “that on this beautiful March day, 60 percent of the American people would say, ‘we are in favor of gay marriage,’ you would have said, ‘no we can’t change that much that fast.’ But we can, and we did.” The same will be true of attitudes about cutting carbon, he predicted.

My guess is that even Al Gore is surprised by how soon his prophecy has become reality. When this month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its Clean Power Plan for cutting carbon emissions from power plants, polls found about 70 percent of Americans in favor.

This really is a potentially defining American moment. We cannot let it slip from our grasp, for while momentum is on our side, time is not. And so on September 21, tens of thousands of people will converge on New York City to urge the president to show the hundreds of world leaders gathering in that city for the United Nations Climate Summit, that America is ready to lead a global response to this global crisis.

We’re going to make 2014 the tipping point year in the international effort to solve the climate crisis, and contrary to what those who remain corrupted by the influence of the coal, oil, and gas industries would like you to think, the world we’re already tipping toward is not one of diminished lifestyle, but one of rare historic opportunity.

Already, people across America are finding well-paying, meaningful jobs building the wind turbines and installing the solar panels that will let us walk away from the dirty 19th-century fossil fuels that are making us sick and wreaking havoc on our planet’s climate. Already, investors are profiting from the technological innovation that is creating an era of clean energy prosperity, while communities that have long borne the brunt of fossil-fuel refining and burning are demanding an energy future that does not perpetuate sacrifice zones in places like Wilmington, Detroit, and Houston.

Every day, more people recognize the obvious course we need to take. And on September 21, the cross section of people rallying at the People’s Climate March will state the obvious more loudly and assertively than ever before in New York City and around the country.