Environmental News

Sierra Club Wildlife Grants for 2018 Now Available

For twenty years, the Huplits Wildlife Grants Committee of the Sierra Club Allegheny Group has awarded grants to help protect animal wildlife and wildlife habitat in Pennsylvania. Past grants have been awarded for land acquisition, education, grassroots campaigns, and litigation. Last year five grants were awarded totaling $50,000. Applications for 2018 grants may be made HERE before the deadline of May 7.

2018 Sierra Club Calendars Now Available

To order Wilderness and Engagement calendars click here

250 US Mayors Adopt 100 pct Renewable Energy Resolution by 2035

At the conclusion of the US Mayors Conference on June 26 more than 250 city mayors sent a strong message to the Trump administration and Congress. Not only did they call for full commitment to the Paris Accord and the Clean Power plan, but they resolved that:
The United States Conference of Mayors supports cities establishing a community-wide target of powering their communities with 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2035; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors proclaims its commitment to equity, affordability, public participation, and access for all people in America as cities pursue this transition to 100% clean, renewable energy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that priority should be given to the lowest cost measures to meet energy needs including efficiency, weatherization, cogeneration, district heating and cooling, decentralized electricity generation and smart grids/micro grids, the use of industrial waste heat, building controls, automated lighting, solar-powered hot water heaters and programs that create an energy-saving culture in our nation’s cities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that given the economic development, job creation, and job training potential of clean, renewable energy, the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy should include structured mechanisms to include low-income citizens in the benefits to be derived from the transition, including creating quality careers adhering to local source hiring, a just transition for workers displaced by fossil fuel reduction, equitable access through ownership and benefits to create new opportunity for historically marginalized communities, and affordable clean energy options.

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.

Allegheny Group Preserves Selected Federal Climate Information

The Trump Administration intends to remove all references to climate change from Federal Government web sites.

To protest this action, the Allegheny Group has preserved selected climate information from the NOAA web sites.

You can view the NOAA home page (as of January 25, 2017) at:


NOAA’s climate page (as of January 19, 2017) at:

NOAA Climate

MOVIE: “The Salt of the Earth” is Worth Watching for Many Reasons.

The 2014 documentary “The Salt of the Earth” follows Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado as he artistically records the state of mankind and nature over a period of more than 35 years. The film begins with amazing views of workers in a Brazilian gold mine, and concludes with re-forestation in the Atlantic rain forest. Directed by Wim Wenders and Salgado’s son Juliano, the award-winning film leaves the viewer with memorable images both good and bad. Available on NetFlix and YouTube.

Planet Keeps Warming While We Wait for Trump to Act



Although President-elect Trump may be in denial, the planet continues to get hotter and hotter. The second warmest October on record will most likely make 2016 the hottest year on record, with no sight of slowing down. And of significant concern is the abnormal temperatures in the polar regions, causing accelerated melting of glaciers in Antarctica and rising sea levels.

After no discussion of climate change during the Presidential debates, at the moment there is little pressure on Donald Trump to renege on his campaign promises. How those promises will play out is uncertain. Dismantling of the EPA may be difficult, but the possible choice of energy lobbyists to head the EPA is not encouraging. Also uncertain is the fate of Obama’s major effort to curb climate change,  the Clean Power Plan. While being contested in court, there may be limits to the changes Trump can make, and the coal miners of Appalachia may be disappointed. Of global impact Trump’s position on the implementation of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change; as seen at the current COP22 conference in Marrakech the ratification of the Paris Agreement is proceeding, but the desire of the Trump administration to work with China and India to reduce GHG emissions may be wanting.

Interesting times. Stay tuned.

ACTION: Call for a “Green Solution” to ALCOSAN’s Wet Weather Sewage Overflow Problem

ALCOSAN’s solution to the problem of sewage overflowing into our rivers during a storm was to build a huge multi-billion dollar storage chamber with large concrete tunnels beneath the rivers. Regardless of the carbon foot-print of such a venture, the cost of this project for ALCOSAN’s customers would be exorbitant.

The Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, and the Clean Rivers Campaign are urging their members to contact John Weinstein, Chair of the ALCOSAN Board, and demand that ALCOSAN adopt a ‘green solution’ to this fouling of our rivers.

SEND A LETTER to Chairman Weinstein by clicking HERE.

All the letters will be delivered in person to the ALCOSAN Board.

Formore information contact Tom Hoffman at tom.hoffman@sierraclub.org.

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