Take Action: Gather Comments to EPA on Carbon Pollution

Climate Change

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.

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.

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

So what do I do with my signed comment forms? Bring them to our next monthly meeting or mail them to the NC Beyond Coal team at Sierra Club, 34 Wall Street Suite 709, Asheville, NC 28806. For questions or comments, contact contact Zak Keith or Emma Greenbaum.

Thanks for  being a Climate Action Champion!

Carbon Pollution Standards CommentsCarbon_Pollution_Postcard_Existing Plants

Speak Out! – EPA Hearing on Carbon Pollution Standard, July 29th, Atlanta

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EPA Hearing on Carbon Pollution Standard
We invite you to join us!
Tuesday, July 29, from 9am to 8pm
At
lanta, GA

Concerned citizens from around the region are planning to attend the EPA’s public hearing in Atlanta on the newly-proposed Clean Power Plan to set limits on carbon pollution. The hearing will convene at 9:00 a.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. EST and you will need to register here to offer comments. The last day to pre-register in advance will be Friday, July 25, 2014.

For more information about the hearing, visit EPA’s Carbon Rule hearing page; for more information about the proposed rule, check out Mary Anne Hitts’ recent piece on The Next Steps for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards webpage.

If you are interested in participating, contact Zak Keith or Emma Greenbaum today!

03-PL-koch-brothers-carbon-pollution-cartoon

EPA Hearing on Carbon Pollution Standard

When: Tuesday, July 29th, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where: Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA, 30303

Register: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/forms/public-hearings-clean-power-plan-proposed-rule#register

Interested in coming but not sure what to say? Contact

Can’t make it to Atlanta? Submit a comment online, here.

 

Hearing Set for NC Fracking Stormwater and Water Quality Rules – July 1

Fracking NC

Public invited to comment on stormwater and water quality rules for oil and gas development

DENRRALEIGH – State officials will host a public hearing on July 1 in Sanford on a proposed rule that would put in place stormwater management requirements for oil and gas exploration and production sites, and proposed revisions to four land application and wastewater reuse rules.

The public hearing is being hosted by the state divisions of Water Resources, and Energy, Mineral and Land Resources on behalf of the N.C. Environmental Management Commission. The hearing starts at 6 p.m. at the Dennis Wicker Center at 1801 Nash Street in Sanford. People wishing to speak during the hearing are asked to register starting at 5 p.m. The hearing will be recorded.

Rules discussed at this meeting will include only those related to stormwater, land application and wastewater reuse. The bulk of the rulemaking necessary for development of the state’s oil and gas regulatory program falls under the authority of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission. The Mining and Energy Commission’s rulemaking process is separate from this rulemaking by the Environmental Management Commission. Public hearings for the Mining and Energy Commission’s rules are scheduled for August.

Written comments from the public will be accepted at the meeting and may also be submitted until 5 p.m. Aug. 1. Written comments should be sent to: Evan Kane, Division of Water Resources, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1617. Written comments may also be sent by email to: Stormwater_and_LandApp_Rules@lists.ncmail.net.

The complete text of the proposed rule and proposed revisions to existing rules are available online at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/rules.

Take Action: Help Kids and Families Get Healthy Outdoors

Speak out today to help connect youth with the outdoors!

To find out more about our Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors (formerly Inner City Outings) program check out website or contact our ICO Chair Karan Barber.

Take Action: Help Kids and Families Get Healthy Outdoors

Take Action: Help Kids and Families Get Healthy Outdoors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children engage in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Research shows that youth who have nearby access to parks and nature are more likely to get outdoors and be physical fit than those living in park poor communities.

Time in nature has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall mental health. Regardless of where kids live, every single one of them deserves the chance to explore and enjoy nature.

Take Action
Tell your representative to support the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act to help states create strategies to get our kids active, healthy, and outdoors.

Have a Voice in Our NC National Forests – Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan Revision

Pis and Nantah Plan

The Forest Service will hold a public meeting for the plan revision on July 10,2014

At the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Asheville, NC

Discussion topics will include  (1) wildlife habitat and (2) managing for ecosystem integrity and ecosystem diversity. An information and comment station for Wild and Scenic Rivers will also be available

Tentative meeting time is from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

A meeting agenda will be posted online by July 1st

The Preliminary Need to Change the Existing Land Management Plan has been updated based on scoping comments.

Coming Next in August and September: Establishing Management Areas, Desired Conditions, Objectives, Standards and Guidelines in the Revised Plan

We anticipate six public meetings across Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in the vicinity of the six ranger districts.

They will be talking about wildlife habitat, ecosystem diversity and integrity, and Wild and Scenic Rivers.  There is going to be a presentation on Potential Additions to Wilderness.

The Power of a Plan

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

June 24, 2014

The Power of a Plan

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

In his 19th-century curmudgeon’s classic, The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce defined a plan as “the best method of accomplishing an accidental result.” When the EPA released its “Clean Power Plan” this month for reducing carbon pollution from power plants, the agency was clear about the results it expects by 2030: Cutting carbon pollution from the power sector to 30 percent below 2005 levels, while also reducing other air pollutants (which by themselves cause thousands of premature deaths) by 25 percent.

Maybe you’ve heard that this plan is momentous — a real game changer. Or maybe you’ve heard that, by itself, it’s not nearly tough enough to get us where we want to be by 2030. Actually, both of those things are true. This plan really is a big deal and it’s the payoff for years of hard work by dedicated activists. And, yes, it can and should be made even stronger — and we’re going to keep working to make that happen. Because the plan focuses on action at the state level, the Sierra Club is particularly well positioned to do that, too.

So, kudos to the EPA. But you know what? We’ve already seen some important results from this plan that — if not quite “accidental” — were by no means a sure thing, either.

Because President Obama is walking the walk on his 2009 Copenhagen pledge to reduce emissions, U.S. international credibility on climate action was boosted overnight. Most notably, we had the first indication ever from China that it was considering capping its own carbon emissions — an announcement that came the day after the EPA rolled out its plan. An important climate summit is happening in Paris next year, and this plan puts the U.S. in a better position to help secure an agreement.

Here at home, the plan has left the fossil-fuel lobby (and the politicians who take their marching orders from the Koch brothers) flailing for a credible response. Many cited a discredited report from the Chamber of Commerce that wasn’t even based on the EPA’s actual plan. Apart from the Tea Party choir, their sermons fell on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, the plan has drawn considerable support from non-fossil fuel industries and businesses, including some utilities. I think there are at least three good reasons for that. First, the EPA bent over backward to make its plan fair and flexible. Second, the reality of climate disruption has long since been accepted by businesses that can already see its effects on their bottom lines. Third, as the EPA’s own analysis shows, these standards not only are a cost-effective response but also will generate new economic opportunities and thousands of jobs.

Most exciting of all has been the response of those who will be most affected by this new plan: the American people. Overwhelmingly, that response has been positive. Polls (including one a week ago from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News) have found two out of three Americans supporting the new standards. Best of all, in at least one poll, a majority stuck to that view whether they were Democrats, Republicans, or independents.

But, getting back to long-term results, do I think that by 2030 we will achieve the results the EPA is aiming for with this plan? No. I think we’ll do far better. By 2030, clean, renewable energy will be playing a much bigger role in our economy than the EPA is guessing, and that transformation will multiply the already significant public health, economic, and climate benefits we’re expecting from these carbon pollution reductions.

Should that be called an accidental outcome? If so, then it’s a happy one.

You can submit an official comment on the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan here.

A Powerful Show: “Freedom Summer” on PBS

Nancy and I watched this last night. Wow! Double Wow!!

This is a powerful and sobering reminder of the courage and sacrifice needed to create change in the civil rights movement. What lessons can we learn, what spark of passion and commitment can be gained to apply to our work to protect our environment and our democracy today? Watch this and be moved…

Set your DVR for WTVI on Wednesday, June 25th at 9pm!

During the summer of 1964, the nation’s eyes were riveted on Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in an historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in the nation’s most segregated state. Working together, they canvassed for voter registration, created Freedom Schools, and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, with the goal of challenging the segregationist state Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. The campaign was marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches and the bombing of 70 homes and Freedom Houses.

Today at the Legislature: Tues June 24th

Belews Lake Coal Ash Banner

Dear Friends,

The Senate voted unanimously today in support of S 729, the Senate’s coal ash bill. The measure will be back on the floor for a third and final vote by the Senate tomorrow and then the bill will go to the House for consideration next week.

A number of amendments were offered on the floor.  Two modest but good amendments passed (one to encourage reuse of coal ash and one to require longer monitoring of coal ash structural fill sites). A third positive amendment offered by Senator Josh Stein (D – Wake) was withdrawn for further reworking but may be back on the floor tomorrow. And Senator Mike Woodard (D – Durham, Caswell, Person) offered an amendment to require Duke to pay for the full cost of all coal ash cleanup at all sites; his amendment was blocked by a procedural move and thus failed.

The real focus of the debate today, though, was on amendments offered by a number of senators seeking to have the coal ash sites in or near their districts added to the bill as priorities for full and clean closure.  Currently, of the 14 sites, only Asheville, Dan River, Sutton (Wilmington) and Riverbend (Charlotte) are listed by name in the bill as priorities for full and clean closure (excavation of ash and removal to lined storage).

All of the proposed amendments to add sites to the high priority list failed along party lines, but may drive further changes in the bill by focusing public attention on the sites not identified as priorities.

Please thank these Senators for offering amendments to have the coal ash sites in or near their districts named in the legislation as priority sites for clean-up and for their powerful words on the Senate floor:

Sen. Valerie Foushee (D- Orange, Chatham): Cape Fear (Moncure)
Sen. Gene McLaurin (D-Anson, Richmond, Rowan): Buck
Sen. Gene Jackson (D-Mecklenburg): Marshall
Sen. Terry Van Dyne (D-Buncombe): Cliffside

The coal ash bill may see more amendments tomorrow in the Senate during third reading, then the House will have its chance to debate the bill in committees.  The bill is slated to go to House Environment and then House Public Utilities Committees before it reaches the House floor – the bill could be finalized next week.

Best,
Cassie

Cassie Gavin, Director of Government Relations
Sierra Club – NC Chapter
cassie.gavin@sierraclub.org

“Energizing Charlotte with Solar Power” – Program and Materials

We had a great turnout and response to our Solarize Charlotte program last night! Thanks again to Myers Park Baptist Church, the Cornwell Center, and the EarthKeepers for hosting the event. Big, big kudos and thanks to Mary Lou Buck for her great logistics and promotion, Rachel Shook for materials and signs, Bob Thomason for leading two tours of the church solar installation, and our presenters Solarize Champion Steve Rundle  and RED Group Jeff Redwine!!!

Solarize Charlotte MPBCPhoto by Ahmer Inam

Presentation on Solarize Charlotte Program

Solarize Charlotte MPBC June 24.Solarize Charlotte MPBC June 24

Video on the RED Group and the Solarize Charlotte sign up/installation process

Video on Solarize Charlotte related tax issues

NC Solar Center: Residential Customer Guide to Going Solar

Duke Solar Residential GuideDuke-Energy-Carolinas-Solar-Guide

Solarize Charlotte Resources

Solarize Charlotte
www.cleanerischeaper.com

Solarize Charlotte Facebook
www.facebook.com/SolarizeCharlotte

Renewable Energy Design Group, l3c (RED Group)     
www.redgroupnc.com

NREL’s PVWatts® Calculator 
www.pvwatts.nrel.gov

NC Sierra Club Solar
www.nc2.sierraclub.org/issue/solar

NC Sustainable Energy Association
www.energync.org

 

Please share this link and information with your friends and neighbors. Solarize Charlotte is hot, hot, hot!

18 months

 

June 28 Films: “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” and “State of Conflict: North Carolina”

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
– John Muir

“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The same people the Sierra Club is fighting for attacking clean energy and climate change protection laws are the same people who are trying to restrict voting. We know that to protect our environment we must protect our democracy.”
– Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club

Here’s an opportunity to see two really interesting films that tie into the Sierra Club’s Democracy Program. Please RSVP and thanks to the organizers of these events!

Koch Brothers 2014

Movie Party in Charlotte: America Has a Koch Problem

Host: Ann H.

Where: CM Independence Reg. Library Conference Room (in Charlotte)

When: Saturday, Jun. 28, at 2:00 p.m.

What: We’re getting together to watch Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition. This acclaimed new release pulls back the curtain on Charles and David Koch, yanking them out of the shadows and exposing them for what they are: a self-interested, ultraconservative demolition crew hell-bent on crushing the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, and so much more. Will you join us?

Please RSVP at Yes, I’ll be there!

State of Conflict

State of Conflict: North Carolina

Fellow Carolinian’s,

This may be the timeliest movie we have done considering the recent lifting of the fracking ban in our state. Some counties are planning to sue the state around stopping the process. Please see the attached flier and come out for this movie and a planning session afterwards considering what we in Charlotte might do.

Sacred Activist at Unity of Charlotte