In recognition of his strong support on environmental issues over the years, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club has announced its endorsement of Dan Frankel in the upcoming General Election. Rep. Frankel currently represents citizens in the 23rd District, which includes Hazelwood, Squirrel Hill, and parts of Oakland and Point Breeze.
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Brad Koplinski and his campaign for Lt. Governor. This decision was based on a questionnaire sent to all the candidates, follow-up interviews, and research.
“Our members were impressed with Brad Koplinski’s recognition of the range of challenging environmental issues we face in Pennsylvania, and his courageous stance on Marcellus Shale drilling”, said Sierra Club – Pennsylvania Chapter Director Joanne Kilgour. “He has a clear understanding of the opportunities before the Commonwealth to improve the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our shared land.”
Koplinski is the only candidate for Governor or Lt. Governor to sign a pledge to not issue any new drilling permits until stronger regulations protecting property owners and pipelines are put in place, a severance fee on extracted gas is established and the contents of the fracking fluid that is pumped into the land is fully disclosed. In addition, Koplinski is committed to addressing climate change, improving green building standards in Pennsylvania, and supporting renewable energy.
The only candidate endorsed by the Allegheny Group and the Pennsylvania Chapter in the May 20 Democratic Primary election is Erin Molchany. In the newly formed 36th District current incumbent Molchany is running against current incumbent Harry Readshaw. Since the Sierra Club endorsed Molchany in 2012, she has proved to be a strong friend of the environment with a particular interest in transportation issues. The new House District 36 includes Arlington, Brentwood, Carrick, Overbrook, and parts of Mount Washington and the South Side Slopes
The annual League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard is a useful revelation of how well our members of Congress are performing with respect to the environment. For example, in 2013 year Tim Murphy (R-Mt. Lebanon) was the only Pennsylvanian member to score zero percent on the 28 votes considered most important in 2013, although his lifetime score is 11 pct. Local fellow Republicans didn’t do much better, with Kelly (Butler) at 4 pct, Rothfus (Ross Twp) at 7 pct, and Shuster (Bedford) at 11 pct. Mike Doyle (D-Pittsburgh) scored 82 pct in 2013 to raise his lifetime score to 71 pct. A similar split occurred in the Senate, with Bob Casey scoring 85 pct on 13 votes in 2013 for a lifetime score of 91 pct, while Pat Toomey managed a score of 8 pct and a lifetime score of 9 pct.
We must admit it doesn’t always happen this way, but in the recent Primary Election ALL the candidates endorsed by the Sierra Club in western Pennsylvania won. Top of the list was Bill Peduto’s mayoral victory with 53 pct of the vote to Wagner’s 39 pct and Wheatley’s 7 pct. In a Pittsburgh City Council race with three good candidates, Dan Gillman earned 59 pct, Sam Hens-Greco 25 pct, and Jeanne Clark 16 pct. In a second City Council race Natalia Rudiak moved towards re-election with 52 pct of the vote against Johnny Lee’s 48 pct. Thanks to all who helped achieve these three important victories. NOTE: See a lively and interesting morning-after analysis of the local elections by Lynn Cullen and Chris Potter.
On May the Pennsylvania Chapter Sierra Club unanimously endorsed Dan Gilman for District 8 in Pittsburgh City Council.
“Dan Gilman has been and will continue to be one of the strongest advocates in City Council for protecting the environment,” writes Allegheny Group Chair Barbara Grover. “Dan worked with a collaborative group of labor leaders, faith-based groups and environmental organizations to get City Council to pass Pittsburgh’s Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and prevailing wage bill. He is the only candidate who supports the ban on fracking in the city.” (more…)
Across the street from Pittsburgh’s iconic ‘green’ building – Phipps Conservatory – on April 30 representatives of Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, and the Sierra Club rallied to personally endorse Bill Peduto for Mayor of Pittsburgh. “I am pleased to receive such enthusiastic endorsements from three of the leading environmental advocacy groups,” Peduto said. “Working together with their members, we will make Pittsburgh a model city in the area of protecting and preserving the environment.” (more…)
On March 9 the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club endorsed Councilman Bill Peduto for Mayor and incumbent Natalia Rudiak for Pittsburgh City Council, District 4 in the May 21 Primary Elections. During his terms on City Council Bill has been an environmental leader, and has the vision and skills to make Pittsburgh a healthier and greener city. With the departure of Bill Peduto and Doug Shields, we expect Natalia to play an even stronger role in moving the city along an economically sustainable and environmentally sound path.
John Hangar, former PUC Commissioner, DEP Secretary (2008-11), and founder of the environmental group PennFuture, is the first declared candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2014 race for Pennsylvania Governor. How effective Hangar will be in injecting environmental issues into the campaign will be interesting to watch, following his statement that climate change will be a major focus for him. Hangar is currently Special Counsel for the national law firm Eckert Seamens, based in Philadelphia.
In an otherwise successful election local environmentalists are disappointed in the eventual loss of Dave Levdansky to Rick Saccone in the 39th House District. Although Dave had a clear majority in Allegheny County he failed to check Saccone in the Washington portion of the district, and finished with a 114 vote loss at last count. The following is part of a letter that Dave sent to his supporters on Wednesday. (more…)
As the dust settles, and the re-election of President Obama, Senator Casey, and Congressman Doyle is celebrated, the Sierra Club congratulates Eugene DePasquale in his election to the oversight position of state Auditor General. We also congratulate Matt Smith in his election to fill a vacant seat in the state Senate, and Erin Molcahny in the state House. At the time of writing we are hoping that a recount will reverse the apparent loss of Dave Levdansky by a mere 36 votes. Unfortunately, and despite a strong effort, Missa Eaton lost 41 to 55 pct to incumbent Congressman Mike Kelly in the District north of Pittsburgh. (more…)
The Sierra Club has strongly endorsed the following candidates for the Nov. 6 election: Obama for President – with the promise of action on climate change and a ‘greeener’ economy; Casey for US Senate – a solid supporter of the environment; DePasquale for PA auditor-general – to keep an eye on the Corbett administration; Eaton for the 3rd Cong. Dist. – to replace a friend of the polluters; Doyle for the 14th Cong. Dist. – a solid supporter of the EPA; M. Smith for PA Senate – dedicated to a ‘green’ economy; Molcahny in the PA House – advocate for sustainable transportation system; and environmental hero Levdansky in one of the two closest races for a state House seat.
For more information about these endorsements, please contact Political Chair Angel Gober at [ angeldaguard at gmail.com ].
In a race that has caught national attention, on October 20 the Sierra Club endorsed Missa Eaton in the Third Congressional District. Her opponent is incumbent Mike Kelly. Extending south from Erie, the Third District includes all of Armstrong, Butler, and Mercer Counties as well as part of Lawrence County. (more…)
In an acknowledgement of his strong support of the environment, the Sierra Club has joined the League of Conservation Voters in endorsing Bob Casey in his bid to return to the US Senate. The Sierra Club has also endorsed incumbent Mike Doyle for the 14th Congressional District (Pittsburgh). Alone among Western Pennsylvania Congressmen, Rep. Doyle has been a stalwart defender of sensible air pollution regulation and protector of our National Forests.
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