For more than two years, we have witnessed the dismantling of environmental programs in the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Send a message to Gov. Corbett. Help shift the DEP back to taking care of our environment and our health, not the fossil fuel industry.
ACTION: Click HERE to say NO to the Canyon Mine.
In January 2011 environmentalists believed that they had a mayor victory when the Obama Administration decided to protect the Grand Canyon from uranium mining in nearby Kaibab National Forest. Now the Forest Service has granted Energy Fuels Resources permission to resume mining that was suspended more than 20 years ago. The Sierra Club is among a group suing the Forest Service based on the argument that the old permission was based on a flawed environmental study. Get more information below: (more…)
ACTION: Contact EPA’s Office of Chemical Pollution and request a suspension of the neonicotinoid seed coatings until independent scientists verify safety.
We recently reported on the suit against the EPA over honeybee collapse disorder, brought by a coalition that includes the Sierra Club. At issue is the suspicion that the world’s most widely used class of pesticides, neonicotinoids, may be the leading cause of colony collapse disorder. While we wait for EPA to act, on April 29 the European Commission announced steps to ban the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides for a period of two years for corn, rapeseed, and sunflower crops. Two European producers of the banned pesticides, Bayer of Germany and Sygenta of Switzerland, have said their products aren’t to blame for the bees’ decline. See Impact on PA and Fed report below. (more…)
During the marathon 2014 budget voting session in the Senate on March 25-25 Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D_RI) offered a non-binding amendment calling for “establishment of a fee on carbon pollution.” All 45 Republicans voted Nay, along with 13 Democrats from energy-producing states. Among the 41 Democrats voting Aye was Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey. Given the assumed lobbying from the fossil fuel industry, Casey deserves a ‘Thank You” note from us.
ACTION. Urge DCNR Secretary Allan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to open a State Forest drilling plan to public comment. (See talking points.)
You may have never heard of Loyalsock State Forest. It lies at the heart of the Endless Mountain region in Sullivan County, and has become another focal point in protection from shale gas drilling. As in most of the State Forests, the state owns the surface rights but not the mining rights. In the case of Loyalsock SF, the company Andarko is negotiating with the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources to drill for shale gas in an area of great ecological and recreational significance known as the “Clarence Moore lands”. With special conditions set out in the mineral rights covenant, State-wide organizations called on DCNR Secretary Allan to sponsor public comment and a hearing into Anadarko’s development plans.
ACTION: Rep. Doyle gets it, but Congressmen Kelly, Murphy,
Rothfus, Shuster, and Thompson all need to hear from YOU.
Not as hot as Australia, but for the contiguous USA, 2012 was the hottest year on record, (see video for divergence from norm) and the third hottest year in Pennsylvania. It is probably not by coincidence that the drought and storms in 2012 followed a record emission of green house gases globally in 2011. According to the WMO, the concentration of long-lasting CO2 in the atmosphere has now reached 391 ppm, having increased at a rate of 2 ppm per year for the past decade. NOTE. Many scientists believe that 350 ppm is the upper limit for safe CO2 content in our atmosphere, up from pre-industrial level of about 280 ppm.
The Group Against Smoke and Pollution (GASP) has launched two new projects that will help us understand who the worst polluters are and where the pollution is happening. GASP is looking for volunteers to put particulate monitors on their bikes as they ride to work or just ride for fun. The collected pollution data will be mapped in order to display the varying levels of diesel pollution in Pittsburgh. Cyclists can join Bicycle Air Monitoring Program, to help identify the worst polluters and determine how to avoid the pockets of worst air.
In the second project, pedestrians may use their smart phones to upload geo-tagged images of polluting vehicles, which again will be shown on a map that lets citizens see pollution hotspots in the city. To participate, download the SENSR app and choose the “Dirty Diesels” program.
Without much public notice, and with no Congressional oversight, the US is negotiating a trade agreement that will have an impact not only on jobs and possibly on environmental regulations in the US, but could seriously affect the shale gas industry. The NAFTA-like Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement currently involves nine countries around the rim of the Pacific, with Japan and South Korea showing an interest. As detailed below, There are three aspects of this agreement being negotiated by the US Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk reporting directly to President Obama: Extreme secrecy, Unfettered corporate rights, and Increase in dirty fracking. NOTE: See also the 6-min TPP video from Public Citizen.) (more…)
Few people want to talk about Allegheny County’s $4 billion sewer overflow problem. But almost every time it rains in Allegheny County raw sewage flows into our waterways. The Clean Rivers Campaign believes that we need green infrastructure to be part of the solution. PLEASE WRITE today to:
County Executive-elect Rich Fitzgerald at executive at alleghenycounty dot us.
Tell Mr. Fitzgerald:
- You want to see green infrastructure as part of the solution to our sewer and storm water overflow issues.
- Green infrastructure will create more good, long-tem jobs
- Green infrastructure will help re-vitalize our communities, making them places where folk want to live, work, and shop.
Include your full name and address, and ask for a response.
The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers recently drafted guidelines for what is meant by ‘wetlands’ when applying the Clean Water Act. The new guidelines provide clear protection for many of the small streams and wetlands that provide drinking water, flood control, filtration, and habitat for fish and wildlife. That protection was removed by the Bush administration in 2003 in response to calls from developers, oil companies, and agri-business. Environmentalists welcomed this return to the original intent of the 1972 Clean Water Act. In Pennsylvania the new guidelines could have an effect on the EPA and Corps’ ability to protect wetlands from Marcellus drilling.
Unfortunately, in a sneaky move on June 15 the House Appropriations Committee removed funding to “develop, adopt, implement, administer or enforce” the new guidelines from the Corps of Engineers’ budget.
Most attempts by conservatives to use the recent budget deal to remove programs they were ideologically opposed to failed, but not all. For the very first time, Congress circumvented the Endangered Species Act and removed an animal from the endangered species list. This unprecedented measure, without any scientific justification, concerned the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies. It was attached to the budget by Representative M. Simpson (R, ID) and Senator J. Tester (D, MT) in a straightforward political move that had nothing to do with reducing the debt.
The survival of the gray wolf in the northern Rockies has a long history, a history of wildlife protection and ranchers rights. In January 2009 President Obama ordered Interior Secretary Salazar to halt action on de-listing of the gray wolf until the matter has been fully reviewed.
ACTION: Please contact your Congressman and Senators Casey and Toomey. Urge them to ensure that in future any removal of species from the endangered list only be done by the means set our under the Endangered Species Act, including public hearing and debate.
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C02 PPM from co2now.org