The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking

Thanks to Food and Water Watch for this excellent report.

The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking

September 16th, 2014

In recent years, the term “fracking” has come to mean far more than just the specific process of extracting oil and natural gas by injecting large volumes of various mixes of water, sand and chemicals deep underground, at extreme pressure, to create fractures in targeted rock formations.

Today, the term “fracking” represents the host of problems that this dangerous practice entails. This report details evidence on the many reasons why fracking should be banned, including:

  • Producing massive volumes of toxic and radioactive waste. The disposal of this waste is causing earthquakes and putting drinking water resources at risk.

  • Pumping hazardous pollutants into the air. Fracking utilizes over 100 dangerous chemicals known to cause life-threatening illnesses, including cancer.

  • Destabilizing the climate. Fracking wells release large amounts of methane gas, which is known to trap 87 times more heat than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and contributes greatly to global warming.

  • Disrupting local communities. Fracking presents a broad number of consequences for people living in areas where it is occurring, including damage to public roads, declines in property value, increased crime and an increased demand on emergency services.

  • Turning homes into explosive hazards. Contaminating water wells with methane and other flammable gases from fracking puts families’ health, safety and property at high risk.

  • Causing thousands of accidents, leaks and spills. More than 7,500 accidents related to fracking occurred in 2013, negatively impacting water quality in rivers, streams and shallow aquifers.

Urgent Case Fracking Banurgent_case_for_ban_on_fracking

Nov 18 – Work-in-progress screening of Coal Ash Chronicles documentary

Come out and meet the Queen of Coal Ash for a fun and informative event!

Coal Ash Chronicles Screening

Ever wanted to contribute to a film? Now’s your chance.

Tues., Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. we’ll screen the work-in-progress version of the documentary film Coal Ash Chronicles at UNC Charlotte’s Uptown campus, and you’re invited to this free event where you can add your feedback to the final edit.

We’re honored to be screening this week as a work-in-progress at the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Event: Coal Ash Chronicles Work-in-Progress screening and feedback session), and we’d love to see you there.

However, after inviting friends from Charlotte it became clear that we needed to bring a piece of the film festival to the Queen City. So here we come! Hope you’ll join us.

Tuesday, November 18
at 6:30pm – 8:00pm
UNC Charlotte Center City

320 E 9th St, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

See you soon, Charlotte!
Rhiannon Fionn, director/ creator

The “We the People Amendment” won in this election

Some good news from the election. If we want the next election to be different, we need to End Corporate Personhood and Demand Real Democracy!

The National Campaign to End Corporate Personhood and Demand Real Democracy!

Move to Amend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2014

Move to Amend Wins Big at the Ballot: Americans Ready to Amend the Constitution

In Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Florida, citizens voted overwhelmingly yesterday for their legislators to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling and declare that only human beings – not corporations – are entitled to constitutional rights and that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.

Residents in dozens of cities had the opportunity to vote on measures calling for an end to the doctrines of corporate constitutional rights and money as free speech, and in every single town the vote was supportive. Often by an overwhelming margin.

In WI where all eyes were on Republican Scott Walker’s victory, twelve communities voted in support of an amendment. Walker and Burke voters alike support amending the Constitution, as not a single measure garnered less that 70% support.

“Money in politics affects our lives everyday,” said Donna Richards, a Move to Amend volunteer of of Fond du Lac, WI. “We pay too much for healthcare. Our taxes go towards corporate welfare and wars, instead of education and protecting our environment. Our energy policy is dictated by Big Oil, and we can’t even pass reasonable gun background checks because the gun manufacturers have bought half of Congress. This isn’t what democracy looks like.”

Tuesday’s vote brings the total number of Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment to 54. In total, 2.4 million people (41% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions. Across the country, 16 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as almost 600 towns, villages, cities and other organizations.

In Mentor and Chagrin Falls, Ohio the votes were respectively 66% and 70% support. In Alachua County, Florida, voters supported Move to Amend’s campaign by 72%. The final vote count is still being tallied in the 18 legislative districts that voted last night, but the results were the same as in other states.

“Nearly all Americans share the sentiment that corporations should not have the same rights as people, and big money in politics should be removed,” stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Director of Move to Amend. “It is time for Congress to pass the We the People Amendment and send it to the states for ratification. The leadership of both parties need to realize that their voters are clamoring for this amendment, and we are only going to get louder.”

Move to Amend is a national coalition of hundreds of organizations and over 370,000 people. The organization also boasts over 150 local affiliates across the country.

# # #

This is big, William! Despite anything else that happened last night, Americans are ready to Move to Amend. It is critical you share our MOTION TO AMEND with everyone you know and ask them to sign up to be part of the campaign.

Please forward this email and ask your friends to sign the Motion to Amend: http://movetoamend.org/motion.

What’s 86 Times More Potent Than Carbon Dioxide?

Send a message to protect our air, health and planet.

Take Action: Protect Our Climate from Methane
Take Action: Big Oil Must Stop Poisoning Communities
Methane — it’s the greenhouse gas that flies under the radar. But pound for pound, methane is 86 times more potent over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide. As the oil and gas industry pushes to frack more, President Obama needs to come up with a plan for cutting this dangerous greenhouse gas. President Obama and his administration can ensure the protection of our climate and our communities by taking an important first step — regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Take Action
Tell President Obama and his administration to step up, cut methane, and help us move toward a future where our homes, schools, and businesses are powered with clean energy.

 

Send a message to protect our treasures.

Take Action: Protect Boulder-White Clouds as a National Monument
Take Action: Protect Boulder-White Clouds as a National Monument
Boulder-White Clouds in central Idaho is filled with 150 alpine peaks that rise over 10,000 feet in the air. It is the crown jewel of Idaho wilderness and is treasured by, and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. But as population grows and industry looks to expand, the fate of this pristine region is uncertain. Boulder-White Clouds is the largest unprotected roadless forest landscape left in the lower 48 states. But with your help we can change that and protect Boulder White-Clouds for future generations to enjoy.

Take Action
Tell President Obama that Boulder-White Clouds should be our nation’s next national monument.

Colbert Shames GOP Climate Deniers: ‘I am Not a Scientist’

True. Funny. Scarey. We have a lot of work ahead of us!

Im Not a Scientist

Watch Colbert Shame GOP Climate Deniers: ‘I am Not a Scientist’

A favorite meme among climate denier politicians these days is “I’m not a scientist but …” Usually, the “but” is their escape hatch to say they don’t have to believe what scientists are saying about climate change.

And with their election victories Tuesday and takeover of the Senate, putting James Inhofe, author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, in charge of the Senate Environment Committee, we’re going to be hearing that line a lot more.

Stephen Colbert shows a video montage of Republican leaders mouthing those words, commenting to appreciative applause from his audience, “Yes, everyone who denies manmade climate change has the same stirring message: we don’t know what the f**k we’re talking about.”

He added, “I hope that these conservative leaders can inspire all the children out there watching to think to themselves, ‘Hey, maybe someday I can grow up to be not a scientist.’”

He then performed his “not a scientist” demonstration of the impacts of rising sea levels by pouring colored water over a map of the U.S., saying, “Remember, kids, if you get unhooked on science early maybe some day you could completely lack any understanding of science and then grow up to be chairman of the Senate Environment Committee!”

Anastasia Pantsios | November 8, 2014

http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/08/colbert-climate-deniers/

 

 

That Which Doesn’t Kill Us…

Great post-election message from the Sierra Club.

“It’s no secret what’s going on here: The same people who are poisoning our air and our water are also poisoning our democracy.”

~ Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director

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

Nov 7, 2014

That Which Doesn’t Kill Us…

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

Yes, the election hurt. We feared it would be bad — and it was worse. By now we’ve all heard the Wednesday-morning quarterback analyses of how and why the Democratic Party gave up control of the Senate and lost a bunch of other races around the country. For the Sierra Club, it’s especially painful to know that in far too many places we have lost long-standing, hard-working champions for clean energy, for the climate, and for the environment. And believe me, it’s not going to be easy to see climate-denier James Inhofe chairing the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Big Oil booster Lisa Murkowski picking up the gavel at the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Not to mention Kentucky coal senator Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader — that’s a dirty-fuel dream team right there.

I could go on. But the fact is that losing elections is part of having a democracy. I may not be happy about it when good candidates lose, but I can accept it and move on. There’s one troubling aspect of this election, though, that none of us should accept: an attack of democracy itself.

Without question, a rash of discriminatory voter-suppression laws in 21 states kept millions of Americans from voting in this election. Did these new voting and registration laws affect the outcome of this election? It’s definitely possible. The New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Social Justice has already made a strong case that in at least four states (Virginia, Kansas, Florida, and North Carolina) enough votes were suppressed to make a difference in specific close races.

It’s no secret what’s going on here: The same people who are poisoning our air and our water are also poisoning our democracy. This erosion of voting rights affects all of the work that we care about: clean energy, conservation legislation, climate legislation. The Sierra Club, along with a coalition of environmental groups, workers’ groups, and civil rights organizations, and others, will redouble our efforts to stop this assault on our democracy.

Even without voter suppression, though, this would have been a disappointing election for people who care about clean energy and the environment. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t any bright spots. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we dust ourselves off and prepare for what will be a challenging couple of years.

First, this election marked a huge turning point for climate change as an issue. Two successful senate candidates, Gary Peters in Michigan and Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, leaned in hard on clean energy and climate. Perhaps even more telling, we’re starting to see Republican candidates back away from outright climate denial — at least rhetorically. That’s why Colorado’s Cory Gardner ran an ad claiming — falsely — that he supports wind energy.

Poll after poll has shown that the public wants clean air, clean water, and climate action. They want an end to tax breaks for oil companies and they want more investments in clean energy now. It’s extremely unlikely they’ll get progress from Congress on those issues during the next two years — instead they will almost certainly see them attacked. You can bet that will be a big issue in 2016.

Second, although the oil and gas industries saw plenty of their candidates succeed, they were by no means invincible. In Nebraska, eight-term congressman Lee Terry, an ardent climate denier and proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, was defeated. In cities and counties in Ohio, California, and (for the first time ever) Texas, activists succeeded in getting fracking bans passed — despite being massively outspent. And in the refinery town of Richmond, CA, Chevron failed miserably in its attempt to defeat a slate of pro-environment and clean energy candidates, even after it spent at least $3 million (that’s $72 per registered voter) on negative ads.

Third, the most important clean energy and climate champion of all is still in office. President Obama has made fighting climate change a priority, especially during the past two years, and there’s no reason to doubt that he will stay that course. He has significant authority to speed up the transition to clean energy and to establish an even stronger climate and environmental legacy. He’s also got plenty of ink left in his veto pen.

Another thing to remember: We’ve been here before, more times than we care to remember, and the political outlook was as bleak or bleaker than it is today. If we look back at what happened, though, progress didn’t stop — in fact, we came out stronger. The most successful activist campaign in Sierra Club history — Move Beyond Coal — began and flourished under Bush/Cheney. When Ronald Reagan put James “mine more, drill more, cut more” Watt in charge of the Interior Department, it inspired a generation of activists who are fighting for wilderness, wildlife protection, and clean energy to this day. Sure, we’re probably going to be playing more defense during the next couple of years. But guess what? We are really good at playing defense. After all, we have something that’s actually worth defending.

Our job now is to sharpen our insights, strengthen our programs, and find new and even more-effective ways to make the clean energy future a reality. As we do that, we’ll see a new wave of voters becoming engaged in the political process who know that protecting nature and replacing dirty fuels with clean energy not only makes air and water cleaner and helps to stabilize our climate but also saves money and creates jobs at the same time. That will be a winning ticket all the way.