Environmental News

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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.

U.S. Appeals Court Chides EPA for Attempt to Ease Fracking Methane Regulation

The Trump administration is not getting a free-pass to de-regulate environmental protection. On July 3 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC ruled 2-1 that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt acted improperly and unreasonably. At issue was the rule concerning methane emissions from new oil and gas operations. As requested by six environmental organizations, the 2016 rule will remain on the books.

France to End Sale of Gasoline and Diesel-Powered Cars by 2040

On July 6 France joined Norway and India in planning to end the sale of gasoline and diesel cars. France’s deadline is 2040, but auto maker Volvo has already stated that in 2019 all their new models will be either hybrids or fully electric.

Ireland Set to Ban Onshore Fracking

On June 28 a bill to ban on-shore fracking in Ireland was sent for the Irish president’s signature. As pointed out earlier in the public debate, Ireland is a big flood plain and an extremely bad place to frack. This action follows similar national bans by Germany, France, and Bulgaria.

Support and Enjoy Farmers’ Markets in 2017

The Post-Gazette has again published a guide to the farmers’ markets in the region. Visit the extensive list 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.

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.

Read the Fall 2017 Sierran



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