Posts tagged: Climate and Energy

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Climate and Energy


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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Bill Walker's blog posts
24 July 2009, 10:18 AM
Save the planet and billions of dollars with efficient appliances

Would you like to help the United States cut 158 million tons of global warming pollution a year? Thought so.

How about saving Americans $123 billion over the next 20 years?

Right again.

What if you could do both at the same time?

That's how much pollution we could cut and money we could save by adopting strong new national energy efficiency standards for common household and commercial appliances.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
22 July 2009, 10:38 AM
Editorial backs up Earthjustice call to defend bill against coal lobby

The New York Times, in an editorial today, zeroed in on a coal loophole that must be fixed in the House version of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill.

Echoing comments by Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen, the Times called on the Senate to impose greenhouse gas emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants, which were deliberately excluded from those standards in the House bill. Because of what the Times called "wheeling and dealing," those plants—which are the dirtiest coal polluters—would not be subject to the Clean Air Act.

Legislation aimed at controlling climate change can't work if it doesn't control the biggest contributors to climate change. We all need to get this common sense-message across to senators who even now are being wheeled and dealed by coal industry lobbyists. To speak out, go to the Earthjustice action alert page. It's a quick, easy, and effective way of joining the debate.

View Brian Smith's blog posts
17 July 2009, 4:54 PM
Earthjustice employees offer their views on biking to work

The new book Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities has been warmly received by the cycling community. Musician/artist/cyclist David Byrne called it, "...great ammunition for those of us who would like to see American cities become more bike-friendly" in his New York Times book review.

Author Jeff Mapes, senior political reporter at The Oregonian, told the crowd at a recent book reading in San Francisco that his identification as a cyclist came late in life, during the time when Portland, Oregon was becoming the Amsterdam of the United States. After riding to work through America's bike Mecca, Mapes would joke to his co-workers "I Lost 15 pounds Commuting to Work, Ask Me How." But it's no joke, as recent research suggests, not surprisingly, that walking or biking to work is linked with better fitness.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
16 July 2009, 3:35 PM
Massive coal lobby threatens nation's chance for a clean energy future

The Senate, perhaps inadvertently, has given the American public a chance to help counter a massive assault by the fossil fuel industry on our nation's best hope to fight climate change and forge a clean energy future—the American Climate and Energy Security Act.

The mission of ACES is historic and essential: drive the transition to a clean energy economy with millions of new jobs and dramatically reduce carbon emissions to avert the worst impacts of climate change. It could enable the United States to play a powerful leadership role in global climate negotiations later this year.

But, though well intentioned, the legislation suffered at the hands of fossil fuel lobbyists in its passage through the House of Representatives, and even its champions acknowledge that some of the concessions in the bill may hamper its effectiveness. Now, in the Senate, it faces even more attacks on its integrity from lobbyists led by coal.

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View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
16 July 2009, 3:21 PM
While Washington debates climate change, coal mining in the West gets a pass

For the past month, the klieg lights have been squarely focused on attempts inside the Beltway to cobble together compromise legislation to address global climate change (AKA the Waxman-Markey bill), and President Obama's commitment at the G-8 summit to keep the planet from heating up more than two degrees celsius.

Meanwhile, out here in the West, it's CO2-emitting business as usual, with the federal Bureau of Land Management this month proposing to lock in long term federal coal leases to giant mining firms. And not small amounts of coal either.

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View Jared Saylor's blog posts
16 July 2009, 10:32 AM
Only a few boos mar debut of powerful documentary on Appalachia coal

The email came late Wednesday afternoon, just three days before the July 11 premiere that's been planned for months. The South Charleston Museum in West Virginia, which had agreed to show the documentary, "Coal Country," was backing out because of "concerns" about security at the event. Threats of protests meant the museum didn't want to take part in showing a film that offers an unbiased and frank portrait of coal and its impact and history in Appalachia.

When executive producer Mari-Lynn Evans (who produced the powerful documentary "The Appalachians" for PBS in 2005) got the bad news about the South Charleston Museum, she immediately sent an email to the local activists helping plan the premiere. By Thursday morning, a flurry of phone calls, emails, conference calls and meetings were taking place in a mad rush to find an alternate location to show the film.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
15 July 2009, 12:03 PM
 

American politics is a wonder. Let’s say you’re unhappy with the climate bill narrowly passed by the House of Representatives a while back. You think you might be able to influence the Senate and an eventual conference committee if you could get an opinion piece published in the Washington Post. Who would be your best messenger? A respected scientist to argue about the science? A Nobel prizewinning economist to attack the economics of the bill? Maybe a former government energy official from the not too distant past? How about Sarah Palin?

Sarah Palin? The soon-to-be-former governor of Alaska and Tina Fey lookalike who ran for vice president on the McCain ticket? Why, yes. Sarah’s your choice.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
02 July 2009, 3:07 PM
Sunflower Electric must apply for new air permit

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has thrown a wrench into the expansion of Sunflower coal-fired power plant in Kansas. It's the first hopeful sign out of that state since its new governor cooked up a deal allowing the expansion in May.

In a letter this week, the EPA told the state and Sunflower Electric that it must apply for a new air permit before building a massive, dirty 895MW coal-fired power plant. Agreeing with a position taken by Earthjustice, the EPA said Sunflower must submit new environmental analyses addressing hazardous pollutants, dirty particulates and the possibility of cleaner technology than may exist today.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
30 June 2009, 11:25 AM
 

How many Presidents of the United States does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one.

It's no joke. Millions of Americans have already changed their light bulbs to save energy and fight global warming. New lighting standards announced Monday will help all our homes and businesses make the switch, and as a result, save billions of dollars in utility bills and create thousands of new jobs.

The new lighting standards will save enough energy annually to power all U.S. homes for almost a year, while saving consumers $1 billion to $4 billion a year in utility bills. The long-delayed standards come just a few months after the president directed Energy Secretary Steven Chu to speed up the process of setting efficiency standards for a variety of home and commercial appliances, from refrigerators to soft-drink vending machines.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
30 June 2009, 9:20 AM
 

A good case could be made that the most important U.S. federal environmental laws are the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. And what do they have in common? They were enacted (amended since in some cases) in the early 1970s and signed into law by Richard Nixon, a conservative republican.

Which makes the reaction of the Republican right wing to the recent House passage of a compromise climate bill so interesting.