Climate Change

Locals Joined Environmental and Climate Justice Day of Action on June 10.

 

Group Photo

As part of a national action calling cities and states to uphold the Paris Agreement and commit to 100 pct renewable energy, on June 10 more than sixty people celebrated Mayor Peduto’s recent announcement that Pittsburgh would move to 100% renewable energy by 2035.

At this local Day of Action in Homewood, against backdrop of solar panels and an urban farm, speakers from various backgrounds including a coal miner from Washington County urged support for all the community groups, businesses, and city leaders working for a just, sustainable, and livable Pittsburgh.

The Day of Action was sponsored by 350 Pittsburgh, Sierra Club Allegheny Group, March for Science Pittsburgh, Penn Environment, and Pittsburgh Climate Movement.

Tell Toomey No EPA Funding Cuts, Tues. June 13

Every week the organization ‘Tuesdays with Toomey’ rallies outside the Pittsburgh office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey. The purpose is to protest a range of actions and policies supported by the Senator and deemed detrimental to the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians.

On Tuesday, June 13 the matter of protest will be the Trump Administration’s planned funding cuts at the EPA. Protesters will meet at First Side Park/Grant Street around 12:15-12:30 pm and then walk over to rally in front of the Grant Building at 310 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 until about 1pm.

“Stop the Madness” – March against the Toxic Gas and Plastic Infrastructure, June 20

Shell’s building an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County and the prospect of at least four more such plants in our region will no doubt spur much hopeful discussion at the upcoming DUG and Northeastern Petrochemical Construction conferences in Pittsburgh later this month.

Dismayed at the prospect of our region being turned into another Houston, with an increased demand for fracking and new pipelines, protesters will be rallying here in Pittsburgh during the conferences.

Concerned citizens are encouraged to join the march from Station Square across the Smithfield Bridge and along Smithfield Street to the rally outside the Convention Center.

5 pm to 8pm, Tuesday, June 20
125 Station Square Drive, Pgh., 15219

If you need a ride click HERE.

 

Third Annual Allegheny SolarFest, Children’s Museum, June 25

This year the annual Allegheny SolarFest is held in conjunction with the first Summer Free Day at the Children’s Museum. The 100 pct solar-powered event will celebrate the power of the sun and explain how to go solar.

10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Sunday, June 25
Buhl Community Park
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children’s Way
Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Electric vehicle car show, food trucks, music and information on solar, energy efficiency, solar-powered aquaponics, efficient solar home design, community solar projects and ways to strengthen Pennsylvania’s renewable energy laws.

Outdoor entertainment powered by Zero Fossil:
• 10:15 – 11:45 am: The Chiodi Trio
• 12:15 – 1:30 pm: Buffalo Rose
• 1:45 – 3:00 pm: Brad Yoder

Attendance to SolarFest is free, but please register here.

PEDUTO TO TRUMP: PITTSBURGH WILL MOVE TO 100% CLEAN ENERGY

Pittsburgh, PA. – Just hours after Donald Trump claimed to be represent the voters of Pittsburgh in his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, Mayor Bill Peduto today announced his support for a goal of powering Pittsburgh entirely with clean and renewable energy by 2035.
Mayor Peduto joins a growing coalition of Mayors for 100% Clean Energy who have similarly announced support for a goal of powering their communities with 100 percent renewable energy such as wind and solar.

“Donald Trump said he was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, but his misguided decision to withdraw from the Paris climate does not reflect the values of our city,” said Mayor Peduto. “Pittsburgh will not only heed the guidelines of the Paris agreement, we will work to move towards 100 percent clean and renewable energy for our future, our economy, and our people”
Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, an initiative of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, represents a growing number of mayors from across the country who have endorsed a community-wide goal of transitioning entirely to renewable energy. The full list of Mayors for 100% Clean Energy can be found here.
On Wednesday, Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin along with his Mayors for 100% Clean Energy introduced a landmark resolution to the U.S. Conference of Mayors that would formally establish support from the nation’s mayors for the goal of 100 percent renewable energy in cities nationwide.
“For every terrible decision Trump makes, local leaders like Mayor Peduto are fighting to make sure clean energy continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Today’s announcement shows how grassroots activists, frontline communities, local governments, and concerned people across the United States can and will continue to drive the transition away from fossil fuels to 100% clean and renewable energy,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.
“Pittsburgh is the first post-industrial city in the United States to aim to power itself with 100 percent clean energy,” said Eva Resnick-Day, Community Organizer at the Sierra Club. “Our city has always been on the forefront of innovation and today’s announcement by Mayor Peduto shows that we will continue to be.”
Ahead of the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Miami Beach in June, Mayor Peduto’s endorsement serves as a powerful message to the broader mayoral community regarding the opportunity and benefit that city leaders see in the transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
“Pittsburgh knows that our children’s future and the future of our workforce are one and the same,” said Glenn Grayson, Organizer with One PA. “We are working hard to invest in clean energy technology not only for the future of our planet, but for the health of our children, and the health of our economy.”

More than 25 U.S. cities have now committed to transition entirely to clean and renewable energy.

“Cities can help lead the transition away from dirty fuels to renewable energy, but it will require boldness and ambition to get it done.  I’m proud to stand with my fellow Mayors for 100% Clean Energy to call for a transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy in my community,” said Mayor Peduto.

Movie and Forum: Possible Impact of Shell’s Cracker Plant

How will the operation of a huge Shell ethane cracker plant in Beaver County affect the health, environment and economy of surrounding communities? To gain some background information, there will be a showing of the PBS documentary ‘Fence Line: A Company Town Divided’ …

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Thursday, May 25
Calvary Episcopal Church
315 Shady Avenue (at Walnut Street)
Pittsburgh Pa 15206

The following panel discussion will include Thaddeus Popovich, engineer and co-founder of Allegheny County Clean Air Now, Terrie Baumgardner, Beaver County Marcellus Shale Awareness Committee, and Matt Mehalik, who teaches environmental policy at CMU’s Heinz School.

Climate Marches Launch Resistance to Trump Administration

PCM buses group

Pittsburghers drive at RFK Stadiumm for the Peoples March, April 29. (Photo courtesy of Fred Kraybill.)

In Washington on April 29 more than 200,000 people in the Peoples March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice showed that the Trump administration’s attacks on the environment and the climate movement will be resisted with passion and reason. Joining the huge throng of indigenous people and members of labor unions, faith-based organizations, and environmental groups were three busloads of people from SW Pennsylvania. Across the nation Sister Marches involved a further 100,000 people, and here in Pittsburgh about 1,000 people marched in Oakland.

The long day for the 150 bus riders began at 4:30 am. In DC the weather was hot and humid, but the atmosphere was exciting and inspiring. As one of the riders wrote afterwards:

“I derived hope from this event. It’s an unfortunate aspect of my nature to envision the worst possible future and to expect very little of my fellow human beings. My default mindset is that people are selfish and primarily look out for themselves. But when I see tens of thousands of diverse people from all over the country (and world) marching to protect the planet for future generations with possibly very little to directly gain for themselves, it gives me hope that all is not lost. While I can’t say I’m optimistic about the future, I can say that I feel energy building and see a light growing brighter. My fervent hope is that this carries us all to a better place where the planet and all living creatures can thrive in a sustainable way. I see this movement as being about more than just the environment; it’s about a just and compassionate way of living and working in the world. Like everyone else, I’m fumbling my way forward trying to be better than I’ve been. For me, this march was a gift of energy and hope to keep me moving in that better direction.”

Our thanks go out to the folk who represented SW Pennsylvania in the national march and who took part in the march in Oakland. Thanks are also due to these local groups for their financial support of the bus riders:  Allegheny Group Sierra Club, Group Against Smog and Pollution, Marcellus Protest, and 350 Pittsburgh.

Sierra Club’s 100 pct Clean Energy Campaign Comes to Pittsburgh

Smaller Mayors iconWith climate deniers blocking climate action in Washington and state capitols, the Sierra Club recently launched a national ‘Ready for 100‘ clean energy campaign. A major goal is to urge city mayors to commit to achieving 100 pct clean energy for their cities by 2035. So far 27 mayors have made that commitment.

Now Pittsburgh has been chosen as the first ‘old industrial city’ to be included in the national campaign, with Eva Resnick-Day as the full time organizer based in Pittsburgh. The immediate goal is to persuade Mayor Bill Peduto to publicly endorse 100% renewable by the June 23-26 U.S. Mayors Conference in Miami Beach. If you don’t believe that 100 pct renewable energy is really doable, please check HERE for 10 case studies.

 

Trump’s Climate Policy Legally Challenged by 17 States, but not PA

On March 27 Donald Trump ordered Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, to review and revise the measures set in place by Barack Obama to reduce the emission of GHG emissions. A central target of these measures is the Clean Power Plan. Following Trump’s order, the EPA asked the US court of appeals in DC to delay proceedings related to the Clean Power Plan while the Obama regulations are being reviewed

In a counter move, on April 5 the attorneys general of seventeen states asked the to reject EPA’s request for a delay. Leading the … was New York’s attorney general, who argued ““In order to repeal Obama-era protections, the Trump Administration must replace those protections, as well — and we know how well repeal-and-replace went the first time around.“

Pennsylvania’s attorney general was not among those of the seventeen states filing the motion

Chatham University Moves Towards Divestment

Of all the universities, non-profits, endowed foundations, pension funds, etc., in Pittsburgh, only Phipps Conservatory has shed fossil fuel stock from its investment portfolio. Now Chatham University shows signs of joining Phipps, as the investment committee recommended to the Board of Trustees moving away from fossil fuels and towards a sustainable fuels.

Initiated by students, this is a significant move for the nascent fossil fuel divestment movement in Pittsburgh. May Carnegie Museums, CMU, Pitt, UPMC, etc., soon follow suit.

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