Political endorsements

Why We Need Katie McGinty in the US Senate

One week before Election Day the chances remain that Hillary Clinton will be elected our next President. For those looking towards full implementation of measures such as Obama’s Clean Power Plan this will be good news. And if there is any doubt about Clinton’s commitment to battling for the environment, the energy policy discussions revealed in hacked Clinton campaign Emails are encouraging.

But a President Hillary will need a Democratic Senate to support her policies. She will also need a Democratic Senate to ensure appointment of enlightened members of the Supreme Court for protection of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and to overturn Citizens United.

That is why the election of Katie McGinty to replace Sen. Pat Toomey is vital. According to the League of Conservation Voters scorecard Toomey voted only 7 pct of the time for the environment during his past five years in the Senate, and that includes zero percent in 2015.

The following is adopted from the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter newsletter:

Katie McGinty began her career as a congressional research fellow and then as a legislative assistant to Sen. Al Gore. After Gore became vice president, McGinty served as chairwoman of Bill Clinton’s White House Council on Environmental Quality and then became an environmental adviser to Gore’s presidential campaign. McGinty later served five years as Gov. Ed Rendell’s Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection. In that capacity she worked on e efforts to curb mercury pollution from coal- red power plants, impose more stringent vehicle emission rules, strengthen safety measures in coal mines, secure taxpayer funding to underwrite clean energy projects, promote regulations to advance cleaner sources of electric power and encourage the private sector in the cleanup of waste coal and acid mine drainage polluting Pennsylvania water- sheds and rivers.

Why the Sierra Club Endorses Secretary Hillary Clinton for President

As early as June the Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“We firmly believe Secretary Clinton will be the strong environmental champion that we need to lead our country, which is why the Sierra Club is proud to endorse her and her vision for America.

“Over the last eight years, our country has made enormous advancements in cutting carbon pollution, transitioning away from dirty fuels, and increasing clean energy deployment. Secretary Clinton has a long record on the environment and is the leader we need to build on this progress made by President Obama and the climate movement. She has listened to the grassroots and crafted detailed plans to safeguard our climate, air, water, and public lands, to protect the most vulnerable from environmental injustice, and to continue the rapid expansion of our clean energy economy.

“Senator Bernie Sanders and his millions of supporters ran a hard-fought campaign and helped elevate climate change and protecting our environment while reducing inequality as key issues in the Democratic Primary. Senator Sanders and his supporters brought the passionate, principled advocacy that we need, and we are eager to work together to raise these issues in every campaign–not just the presidential race.

“Together, Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton made this an election about the issues and finding real solutions. Solutions like protecting our oceans and public lands from fossil fuel development; rejecting dangerous trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership; and transitioning onto 100% clean, renewable energy.

“Contrasted with that, we have a reckless and misinformed candidate in Donald Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax,” a “con job,” and a “concept created by the Chinese. Trump’s record setting contradictory statements includes his “energy plan.” Trump claims he’ll protect clean air and water but has pledged to dismantle the EPA. He offers vague promises to create jobs but would stifle growth in wind and solar, which are among the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy. And when he gets to specifics, Trump makes rash promises, like ripping up the Paris Climate Agreement, a landmark agreement that brought 196 countries together for the first time in history. The gap on environmental and climate issues between Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump is the largest in U.S. political history.

“The Sierra Club, like so many Americans, not only wants to protect President Obama’s legacy–we want to expand it. That is something we can accomplish with a Clinton White House, and it’s why the Sierra Club’s members and supporters will work tirelessly to make sure she’s elected this November. We have an historic opportunity to build a clean energy economy that puts millions of people to work, and there’s no turning back.”

How ‘Green” are YOUR State Legislators.

Just how well are your elected state legislators helping to protect the environment? From the scorecard “2015-2016 Pennsylvania Environmental Scorecard”, we are able to see how the House members voted on eleven key measures in the current session. A table for Representatives in SW Pennsylvania (see House map) reveals that Dan Frankel and Ed Gainey (both Pittsburgh) and Dan Miller (Mt Lebanon) scored 100 pct. Five Representatives scored from 65 to 82, fourteen from 27 to 65 pct, all Democrats. Eight Representatives including two Democrats scored from 9 to 18 pct. At the bottom with scores of zero were nine Republicans.

In the Senate five measures were considered key. The three Democratic Senators in SW Pennsylvania (see Senate map) managed to only vote for two, and five Republicans voted for just one. Three Republicans including Reschenthaler of the South Hills scored zero on all five key measures.

Allegheny Group Endorses John Craig Hammond


Mr. Hammond is a Democrat running against Mike Turzai (R-incumbent) in the November 8, 2016, general election. His district is PA-28, which includes Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall Township, McCandless Township, and Pine Township.

Regarding Mr. Hammond’s views on protecting our environment, his main concern is the disposal of the toxic waste water that is a by-product of fracking. He feels the strategy for reducing the hazards of fracking is to convince the Pennsylvania General Assembly representatives whose constituents are in the rural areas of Pennsylvania, that jobs can be shifted from the gas industry to the wind and solar industries. Mr. Hammond is also dedicated to championing smart growth in his district; he is especially concerned about the lack of convenient public transportation from areas in his district to downtown Pittsburgh.

John Craig Hammond lives in Franklin Park with his wife, a Bradford Woods native, and two children. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Kentucky. Mr. Hammond also teaches at Penn State New Kensington, where he is an internationally recognized scholar of slavery and politics in early America and has been recognized for his commitment to teaching and undergraduate education.

Mr. Hammond is also an active member of the North Allegheny community where he has coached youth soccer and softball. 

The Sierra Club Allegheny Group endorses John Craig Hammond in the November 8, 2016 election. We encourage our members, as well as their friends and family, to cast their vote for Mr. Hammond for State Representative, district 28.


Lisa Mekovsky

Political Chair

Sierra Club, Allegheny Group

Pennsylvania Chapter

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