AlterNet.org: Stefanie Spear https://www.alternet.org/authors/stefanie-spear en WATCH: John Oliver Exposes One of the Biggest American Health Hazards No One Is Talking About https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/watch-john-oliver-exposes-one-biggest-american-health-hazards-no-one-talking-about <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">As much as one-third of the country lives dangerously close to high-level nuclear waste.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2017-08-22_at_10.50.27_am.png?itok=xX5XAkct" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>"One out of three Americans lives within 50 miles of high-level nuclear waste, some of which, like plutonium, is lethally dangerous and will be around for an incredible long time," <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/john-oliver">John Oliver</a> explained on "<a href="http://iamjohnoliver.com/" target="_blank">Last Week Tonight</a>" Sunday.</p><p>According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, there is more than 71,000 tons of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/hanford-tunnel-collapse-2400226509.html">nuclear waste</a> stranded at 104 reactors. "It was a problem we should have solved in the 1980s," Oliver said, "much like a Rubik's Cube."</p><p>Despite years of using <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/nuclear">nuclear energy</a>, the country still doesn't have a permanent <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/nuclear-waste-storage-california-2411457559.html">facility for its storage</a>. Oliver believes what the U.S. really needs is some kind of "nuclear toilet."</p><p>Watch below:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZwY2E0hjGuU" width="560"></iframe><script src="https://actionsprout.io/embed.js"></script><script> <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!-- window.ActionSproutEmbed('35F588'); //--><!]]> </script></p> Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:47:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1081440 at https://www.alternet.org News & Politics Environment Media News & Politics john oliver Last Week Tonight EcoWatch environment energy Swedish Government Belittles Trump With This All-Woman Photo https://www.alternet.org/environment/swedish-government-belittles-trump-all-woman-photo <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Is Sweden&#039;s deputy leader trolling Trump?</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/0305a0115fba4aa66eb54c548e5c379bdb8a0d26_0.jpg?itok=pfoS78Vv" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The Swedish government announced new <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/">climate change</a> legislation Thursday that requires the country to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, one of the most ambitious plans by any developed country.</p><p>Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin posted a <a href="https://twitter.com/IsabellaLovin/status/827457588094758912" target="_blank">photograph</a> on Twitter of her signing the bill surrounded by an all-female staff. Many people are comparing this photo to the viral photo of <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/trump-watch/">Donald Trump</a> when he signed an executive order restricting access to abortion while surround by men.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Compare and contrast: Trump restricts women's rights; Sweden's Isabella Lovin pushes world's most ambitious (?) climate law <a href="https://t.co/1po54sDYsb">pic.twitter.com/1po54sDYsb</a></p>— Megan Darby (@climatemegan) <a href="https://twitter.com/climatemegan/status/827484481154084865">February 3, 2017</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>"You can interpret it as you want," Lovin's spokesperson <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/the-swedish-government-trolled-donald-trump-with-this-all-wo?utm_term=.hheKBBGqr#.qi4eDDbLY" target="_blank">told BuzzFeed News</a>. "It's more that Sweden is a feminist government and this is a very important law that we just decided on ... And to make the Paris agreement happen we need climate leadership."</p><p>The legislation will "bind all future governments to net zero emissions by 2045," Lovin said, and require Swedish governments to provide updates on climate change efforts and whether the country is on track to meet its target.</p><p>The new Swedish law was developed after agreement from seven out of the eight political parties in parliament. It takes effect on Jan. 1, 2018. </p><p>According to the <a href="https://www.apnews.com/6514eb080aac424fab783f6ea3dcb1a4/Sweden-unveils-new-climate-law,-criticizes-Trump" target="_blank">AP</a>, Lovin said, Sweden wanted to set an example at a time when "climate skeptics (are) really gaining power in the world again." She criticized climate skeptics within the new Trump Administration and said, "the position we hear from the new administration is worrying," and warned that all countries need to "step up and fulfill the Paris agreement."</p><p>Lovin's concern is clearly warranted as news this week continued to show Trump's war on the environment.</p><p>Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/pruitt-epa-vote-2233447446.html">suspended</a> their panel's rules Thursday to force through <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/tag/scott-pruitt" target="_blank">Scott Pruitt</a>'s nomination to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Groups Denounce GOP's Move to Force Through <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Trump?src=hash">#Trump</a>'s <a href="https://twitter.com/EPA">@EPA</a> Pick <a href="https://t.co/ybzROoRIoC">https://t.co/ybzROoRIoC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SierraClub">@SierraClub</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/NRDC">@NRDC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/greenpeaceusa">@greenpeaceusa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/billmckibben">@billmckibben</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/350">@350</a></p>— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) <a href="https://twitter.com/EcoWatch/status/827232296063348737">February 2, 2017</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/tillerson-confirmed-secretary-of-state-2229192205.html">confirmed</a> former <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/tag/exxon" target="_blank">ExxonMobil</a> CEO <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/tag/rex-tillerson" target="_blank">Rex Tillerson</a>for Secretary of State, revealing "just how much fossil fuel industry money has corrupted Congress," as climate group 350.org <a href="http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2017/02/01/350org-senate-confirmation-exxonmobils-rex-tillerson-us-secretary-state" target="_blank">put it</a>.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Rex Tillerson Confirmed as Secretary of State <a href="https://t.co/SPHswjFPBM">https://t.co/SPHswjFPBM</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Sierra_Magazine">@Sierra_Magazine</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Earthworks">@EARTHWORKS</a></p>— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) <a href="https://twitter.com/EcoWatch/status/826947054815547392">February 2, 2017</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>And, on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) drafted a bill to <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/florida-abolish-epa-ban-fracking-2230901745.html">abolish the EPA</a>and is seeking support from his colleagues for the measure.</p> Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:00:00 -0800 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1071691 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment News & Politics World trump climate women sweden John Kerry Visits Antarctica, Vows to Do 'Everything Possible' to Prevent Trump From Dismantling Paris Agreement https://www.alternet.org/environment/john-kerry-visits-antarctica-vows-do-everything-possible-prevent-trump-dismantling-paris <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">&quot;We will wait to see how the next administration addresses this, but I believe we&#039;re on the right track.&quot;</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_250391197.jpg?itok=jK9BF9Pa" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry, while speaking in New Zealand Nov. 13, vowed to do "everything possible" to prevent president-elect <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/tag/donald-trump">Donald Trump</a> from pulling the U.S. out of the <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/tag/paris-agreement">Paris climate agreement</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">"I believe the evidence is clear, and the question now that we, this administration, are going to continue to address is how we will implement the Paris Agreement," Kerry said. "And until January 20th when this administration is over, we intend to do everything possible to meet our responsibility to future generations to be able to address this threat to life itself on the planet.</span></p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Trump?src=hash">#Trump</a> Plans to Quit Paris Deal, Hires <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Climate?src=hash">#Climate</a> Denier for EPA Transition Team <a href="https://twitter.com/EcoWatch">@EcoWatch</a> <a href="https://t.co/b5ZlNbdHxs">https://t.co/b5ZlNbdHxs</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/350">@350</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/foe_us">@foe_us</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Greenpeace">@Greenpeace</a></p>— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) <a href="https://twitter.com/EcoWatch/status/798172082710319104">November 14, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><span style="font-size: 12px;">"We will wait to see how the next administration addresses this, but I believe we're on the right track, and this is a track that the American people are committed to because the majority of the American people believe climate change is, in fact, happening and want to see us address it."</span></p><p>On Friday, before heading to New Zealand and the United Nation's <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/marrakech-climate-change-cop22-2083399692.html">COP22</a> in Morocco, Kerry visited Antarctica to get a firsthand glimpse of the impact <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/">climate change</a> is having on the southernmost continent of our planet. He became the highest-ranking U.S. official ever to visit the South Pole.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="490" style="width: 600px; height: 300px;" width="980"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="490" style="width: 600px; height: 300px;" width="980" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/980x_20.jpg" /></div><div data-id="30316"><div role="listbox"><div data-id="oHpVci" data-tracking-code="" data-type="1" id="slide-oHpVci"><div><p><em>A U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane—carrying U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry—idles at the Williams Skiway in Antarctica. Photo credit: State Department</em></p></div></div></div></div><p> </p> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 15:00:00 -0800 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1067192 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment News & Politics World Paris agreement climate change john kerry antarctica Climate Change All But Ignored Again at Presidential Debate https://www.alternet.org/environment/climate-change-all-ignored-again-presidential-debate <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">It wasn&#039;t until the bitter end that the issue of energy and climate change came into the discussion.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/cuayrozxyae9kkk.jpg?itok=5LYjPeW8" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><div><p>Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met in St. Louis last night for the 2nd Presidential Debate moderated Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC. It wasn't until the bitter end that the issue of energy and <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/">climate change</a> came into the discussion when Town Hall participant Ken Bone, asked:</p><p>What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?</p><p>Trump responded:</p><p>Absolutely. I think it's such a great question, because energy is under siege by the Obama administration. Under absolute siege. The EPA—the Environmental Protection Agency—is killing these energy companies. And foreign companies are now coming in, buying so many of our different plants and then rejiggering the plant so they can take care of their oil. We are killing, absolutely killing our energy business in this country. </p><p>Thanks to NPR's Scott Horsley, we find Trump's response skewed. Horsley <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/10/09/497056227/fact-check-clinton-and-trump-debate-for-the-second-time" target="_blank">noted</a>, while fact checking Trump's response:</p><p>Domestic oil and gas production have increased steadily during President Obama's time in office. The U.S. has been the <a href="http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=26352" target="_blank">world's leading producer</a> of natural gas since 2011 and the top producer of oil since 2013.</p><p>The Energy Information Administration says gasoline prices averaged $2.25 a gallon last week—about seven cents a gallon cheaper than a year ago, and about 20 cents a gallon less than Obama's first year in office.</p><p>Clinton's initial response to Bone's question, "We are, however, producing a lot of natural gas which serves as a <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/natural-gas-bridge-fuel-1983761881.html">bridge</a> to more renewable fuels. And I think that's an important transition," took a hard hit on Twitter:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/debate?src=hash">#debate</a>. Who lost in the debate tonight? Planet earth. Trump believes in "clean coal" and Clinton believes gas is a good "bridge" fuel.</p>— Dawn Dannenbring (@DawnDannenbring) <a href="https://twitter.com/DawnDannenbring/status/785312095160205313">October 10, 2016</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">First discussion of climate change. Answer from Clinton: "Natural gas is a great bridge fuel."<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/debate?src=hash">#debate</a> <a href="https://t.co/suUhzy2EtL">pic.twitter.com/suUhzy2EtL</a></p>— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) <a href="https://twitter.com/KateAronoff/status/785308417686642688">October 10, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>However, Clinton followed her bridge fuel remarks saying she has "a comprehensive energy policy but it really does include fighting climate change because I think that is a serious problem" and that she supports "moving to more clean and renewable energy as quickly as we can. Because I think we can be the 21st century clean energy superpower and create millions of new jobs and businesses."</p><p>Sierra Club's Executive Director <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/community/michael_brune" target="_self">Michael Brune</a> praised Clinton for her plans. "With each answer tonight, Hillary Clinton showed that she has thought about the challenges facing our country, developed solutions to address them and—as even Donald Trump admitted—she'll never give up fighting for the American people," Brune said.</p><p>"By contrast, there is a reason people are fleeing from Donald Trump in droves. Neither his temperament nor his ideas are a match for what the country needs."</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">There no room for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/debate?src=hash">#debate</a>: It's clear that electing Donald Trump President would mean <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/climate?src=hash">#climate</a> disaster.</p>— Sierra Club (@sierraclub) <a href="https://twitter.com/sierraclub/status/785309553248178176">October 10, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Greenpeace USA's Executive Director <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/community/annie_leonard" target="_self">Annie Leonard</a> showed disappointment at the lack of conversation on climate change during last night's debate.</p><p>"In addition to more targeted insults to women, communities of color and immigrants on a regular basis, <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/michael-mann-climate-change-2028789080.html" target="_self">Donald Trump</a> also insults the entire human race on a daily basis with his aggressive denial and inaction regarding climate change," Leonard said.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">11 Times Trump Said 'Climate Change Is a Hoax' <a href="https://t.co/yPSAirwPia">https://t.co/yPSAirwPia</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/EcoWatch">@EcoWatch</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/debates?src=hash">#debates</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/debatenight?src=hash">#debatenight</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/elections2016?src=hash">#elections2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZlTWomTi4k">pic.twitter.com/ZlTWomTi4k</a></p>— YEARS (@YEARSofLIVING) <a href="https://twitter.com/YEARSofLIVING/status/781111316413083648">September 28, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>"The candidates spent very little time talking about climate change during tonight's debate but it is on the minds of so many Americans, especially as <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/hurricane-matthew-storm-surge-2033927290.html">Hurricane Matthew</a> continues to take a heavy toll here and in Haiti," Leonard continued. "Climate change demands the attention of both candidates and their parties, and it is shameful that it was given so little."</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">A climate changed hurricane just killed 900 people in Haiti and 17 in the United States. Perhaps that should be part of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/debate?src=hash">#debate</a>.</p>— 350 dot org (@350) <a href="https://twitter.com/350/status/785298404364718081">October 10, 2016</a></blockquote></div><p> </p> Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:30:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1065161 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Election 2016 Environment debate China South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change Leonardo DiCaprio: ‘Do Not Wait Another Day’ to Move to 100% Renewable Energy https://www.alternet.org/environment/leonardo-dicaprio-do-not-wait-another-day-move-100-renewable-energy <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">&quot;Climate change is the most fundamental and existential threat to our species.&quot;</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2015-12-05_at_2.48.37_pm.png?itok=aJXqR-HO" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Leonardo DiCaprio <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/climate/2015-paris-climate-talks/leonardo-dicaprio-michael-bloomberg-climate-mayors" target="_blank">delivered a powerful speech</a> Friday at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders at City Hall in Paris, a side event of <a href="http://ecowatch.com/cop21/">COP21</a>. The event was hosted by Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris and former mayor of New York City and the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy for cities and climate change Michael R. Bloomberg. Mayors from Los Angeles, Berlin, Madrid, Johannesburg and other major cities around the world gathered to discuss their role in mitigating <a href="http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/">climate change</a>.</p><p>“Our world leaders are here in Paris in an effort to finalize a global agreement 20 years in the making, to finally address the very real threat that climate change poses to our planet,” DiCaprio said to the mayors. “These leaders have met before. They met in Kyoto, they met in Copenhagen, and in cities on every continent, but each and every time, they have come up short. This time must be different, because we are fundamentally running out of time.”</p><p>“Climate change is the most fundamental and existential threat to our species,” he continued. “The consequences are unthinkable and worse, it has the potential to make our planet unlivable.</p><p>“So to all the mayors and governors in this room today, I implore you to join with your peers to commit to moving to no less than 100 percent <a href="http://ecowatch.com/business/renewables/">renewable energy</a> as soon as possible. Do not wait another day.</p><p>“Our future will hold greater prosperity and justice when we are free from the grip of fossil fuels. Now to get there, we must act. We must finally leave behind the inefficient technologies of another century and the business models that they have created.”</p><p>DiCaprio has been a <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=leonardo+dicaprio">long time environmental advocate</a>. In September, he <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/09/22/dicaprio-divest-fossil-fuels/">pledged</a> to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions on behalf of himself and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.</p><p>Also at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, 1,000 mayors and local leaders adopted a <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/ocyc49dzrrcfd9g/SummitForLocalLeaders_Declaration.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank">declaration</a> to “support ambitious long-term climate goals such as a transition to 100 percent renewable energy in our communities, or a 80 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2050.”</p><p data-canvas-width="14.05469908076254">The declaration also included:</p><ul><li data-canvas-width="580.7749627903694">Advance and exceed the expected goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement to be reached at COP 21 to the full extent of our authorities.</li></ul><ul><li data-canvas-width="578.1973855824865">Produce and implement participatory resilience strategies and action plans to adapt to the rising incidence of climate-related hazards by 2020.</li></ul><ul><li data-canvas-width="435.7527664478327">Deliver up to 3.7 gigatons of urban greenhouse gas emissions reductions annually by 2030 the equivalent of up to 30 percent of the difference between current national commitments and the 2 degree emissions reduction pathway identified by the scientific community.</li></ul><ul><li data-canvas-width="580.7801532398419">Engage in partnerships among ourselves and with global organizations, national governments, the private sector, and civil society to enhance cooperation and capacity-building programs, scale-up climate change solutions, develop metrics and promote innovative finance mechanisms and investments in low-emission projects across the world.</li></ul> Sat, 05 Dec 2015 11:47:00 -0800 Stefanie Spear, Eco Watch 1046837 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment climate change environment Obama in Paris: We Must Create a ‘World That is Worthy of Our Children’ https://www.alternet.org/environment/obama-paris-we-must-create-world-worthy-our-children <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Obama said we need to deliver a meaningful deal because the “next generation is watching.”</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2015-11-30_at_1.48.43_pm.png?itok=B0HnhYty" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">Today, President Obama joined more than 150 world leaders to kick off the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/cop21/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">COP21</a> UN Climate Summit in Paris. The goal of the two week conference is to finalize a binding agreement that will reduce global carbon emissions to limit <a href="http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">global warming</a> to 2C or 3.6F.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">The talks opened with a moment of silence for victims of the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">“A political moment like this may not come again,” U.N. Secretary-General <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=Ban+Ki-moon" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">Ban Ki-moon</a> said in his opening remarks. “We have never faced such a test. But neither have we encountered such great opportunity.”</p><p class="zn-body__paragraph" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">President Obama said we need to deliver a meaningful deal because the “next generation is watching.”</p><p class="zn-body__paragraph" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">“Accepting this challenge will not reward us with moments of victory that are clear or quick,” he said. “Our progress will be measured differently—in the suffering that is averted, and a planet that’s preserved … but the knowledge that the next generation will be better off for what we do here—can we imagine a more worthy reward than that? Passing that on to our children and our grandchildren, so that when they look back and they see what we did here in Paris, they can take pride in our achievement. Let that be the common purpose here in Paris. A world that is worthy of our children.”</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">Watch here:</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;"> </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">"Let that be our common purpose in Paris: A world that is worthy of our children" —<a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ParisClimateConference?src=hash">#ParisClimateConference</a> <a href="https://t.co/5w2hTP5Cja">https://t.co/5w2hTP5Cja</a></p>— The White House (@WhiteHouse) <a href="https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/671300176007585792">November 30, 2015</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> </p><p dir="ltr" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">“This morning, President Obama made the case that all the incredible momentum that we have seen in recent months can and should be transformed into a strong, significant agreement among nations to act in Paris and beyond,” <a href="http://www.sierraclub.org/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;" target="_blank">Sierra Club</a> Executive Director <a href="http://ecowatch.com/author/mbrune/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">Michael Brune</a> said.</p><p dir="ltr" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">“<a href="http://ecowatch.com/business/renewables/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">Clean energy</a> is more affordable and more accessible than ever before. More than 160 countries are at the table already with commitments to slash emissions. Record numbers of people around the world have <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/11/29/global-climate-march-cop21/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">taken to the streets calling for action</a>—and their calls are being echoed in corporate boardrooms nationwide. Now, it’s time to make it count and fight for an agreement that puts us on a path to tackle the worst effects of the climate crisis, protect the most vulnerable communities, and grow a just, equitable clean energy economy.”</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;"><a href="http://350.org/" rel="noreferrer" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;" target="_blank">350.org</a> Executive Director May Boeve agrees. “President Obama has lifted up climate change as the great moral issue of our time. Now, he must deliver. The science is clear: we must end the use of fossil fuels and fully transition to 100% <a href="http://ecowatch.com/business/renewables/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">renewable energy</a> by 2050,” she said. “Here in Paris, politicians must agree on that North Star and chart a clear course to get there. The hundreds of thousands who took to the streets over the weekend for the Global Climate March expect nothing less.”</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">“President Obama’s words today made clear that communities around the world can’t wait any longer for real action on climate,” commented <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;" target="_blank">Greenpeace</a> Executive Director <a href="http://ecowatch.com/author/aleonard/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">Annie Leonard</a>. “His speech showed that the political leaders and diplomats gathered in Paris need to deliver an ambitious agreement to protect those least responsible yet most affected by climate change.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;"> “As the world’s second largest emitter and the biggest economy, the U.S. has a key role as a leader in international climate negotiations. That leadership entails a huge responsibility to  those most affected by the negative impacts of climate change, not only in America but all over the world.”</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">Also today at <a href="https://ecowatch.com/cop21/page/3/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">COP21</a>, President Obama and French President Hollande, along with other global leaders, announced “<a href="http://mission-innovation.net/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;" target="_blank">Mission Innovation</a>” to reinvigorate innovation to help accelerate the global clean energy revolution to address <a href="https://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;">climate change</a>.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;"><a href="http://mission-innovation.net/countries/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;" target="_blank">Twenty participating countries</a>—including China, India, the U.S., Indonesia and Brazil—will work to double its clean energy research and development investment over the next five years. All partner countries together represent 75 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions from electricity, and more than 80 percent of the world’s clean energy R&amp;D investment.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">“We know that large scale penetration of clean energy technologies will require that smart investment by governments is followed by smart private-sector investments,” Paul Bodnar, National Security Council’s senior director for Energy and Climate Change, and Dave Turk, deputy assistant secretary for International Climate and Technology at the U.S. Department of Energy, said in a <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/11/29/announcing-mission-innovation" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">“That is why Mission Innovation is complemented by a separate private sector-led effort that has pledged to invest extraordinary levels of private capital in clean energy, focusing on early-stage innovations. This parallel initiative—spearheaded by Bill Gates—includes a coalition of over 28 significant private capital investors from 10 countries, and will be called <a href="http://www.breakthroughenergycoalition.com/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;" target="_blank">Breakthrough Energy Coalition</a>.”</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">Martin Kaiser, head of international climate politics at <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(67, 146, 65); transition: color 0.2s linear; background: transparent;" target="_blank">Greenpeace</a> welcomed the announcement.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">“The offer of billions of dollars for research into clean renewable energy is a welcome addition to an energy sector that is already making huge strides,” Kaiser said. “This could help deliver the great prize—100% renewable for everyone by 2050.  The President told the summit he means business this time. If the new cash is ploughed into the genuine clean high-technology renewable industries that are already delivering, we’ll know he means it.”</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 25.2px;">With the huge sums being talked about, there has to be some democratic accountability as to how it’s spent. For example it mustn’t go towards so-called geo-engineering—short-term quick-fixes that would store up long-term danger. We don’t yet know who will decide how the cash is distributed, but the people who have most to lose from climate change should certainly have a voice at the table.”</p><div> </div> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:00:00 -0800 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1046544 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment Video World COP21 Paris climate summit climate change obama Bernie Sanders: ‘Climate Change Is Directly Related to the Growth of Terrorism’ https://www.alternet.org/environment/bernie-sanders-climate-change-directly-related-growth-terrorism <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">“If we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say … you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict,” said the Democratic contender.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/21581179719_571bb5a7ab_z.jpg?itok=7PfyWD_N" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>During Saturday night’s Democratic presidential debate, a day after the horrific <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34814203" target="_blank">terrorist attacks in Paris</a>, <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=bernie+sanders">Bernie Sanders</a> stood by his claim that <a href="http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/">climate change</a> is the greatest threat to national security.</p><p>CBS’s John Dickerson, the debate's moderator, asked Sanders : “You said you want to rid the planet of ISIS. In the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/10/14/democratic-debate-climate-change/">previous debate</a> you said the greatest threat to national security is climate change. Do you still believe that?”</p><p>“Absolutely,” Sen. Sanders replied. “Climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism and if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see countries all over the world, this is what the CIA says, they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops and you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict. But, of course international terrorism is major issue that we have to address today.”</p><p>Watch here:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ojFfyQFIINc" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>RELATED: <a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/4-main-arguments-president-obama-tying-climate-change-national-security">4 Reasons Climate Change Affects National Security</a></strong></p><p>Climate change will take center stage in Paris at the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/cop21/">COP21</a> climate talks from Nov. 30 – Dec. 11. A senior French diplomatic source told <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/14/us-france-shooting-climatechange-idUSKCN0T30QT20151114#SBJWatBb551kf7MB.97" target="_blank">Reuters</a> Saturday—after the deadly attacks in Paris—that the “French government <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/11/14/paris-climate-talks-not-cancelled/">plans to go ahead</a> with a climate change summit.” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the climate conference would go ahead as planned. “<a href="http://ecowatch.com/cop21/">COP21</a> must be held,” he <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/un-climate-conference-ahead-near-paris-despite-attacks-152628517.html" target="_blank">said</a>.</p><p>A U.S. official announced Saturday that the Paris terrorist attacks will not stop President Obama from attending the climate talks. “President Barack Obama still plans to participate in a UN climate conference near Paris in two weeks, despite attacks that killed 128 people in the French capital,” the official <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/un-climate-conference-ahead-near-paris-despite-attacks-152628517.html" target="_blank">said</a>.</p><p>World leaders, from more than 190 nations, will gather in Paris for <a href="http://ecowatch.com/cop21/">COP21</a> to discuss a possible new global agreement on <a href="http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/">climate change</a> that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the catastrophic consequences of global warming.</p><p><script src="https://actionsprout.io/embed.js"></script><script> <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!-- window.ActionSproutEmbed('034CCA'); 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It did take me a long time to decide that, but I am against it.”</p><p>Next, the conversation turned to <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=donald+trump">Donald Trump</a>. “Hillary” said, “Oh Val, I’m just so darn bummed, all anyone wants to talk about is Donald Trump.” “Val” replied with a great impression of Trump and said, “Donald Trump? Isn’t he the one that’s like ‘Uh, you’re all losers?'”</p><p>There are many other hilarious moments in this segment too. Watch here:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6Jh2n5ki0KE" width="560"></iframe></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 08:53:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1043518 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Election 2016 Environment Video hillary clinton saturday night live comedy donald trump keystone xl Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: Pope’s Climate Change Call Is a Moral Imperative https://www.alternet.org/environment/robert-f-kennedy-jr-popes-climate-change-call-moral-imperative <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">RFK Jr. says that placing climate change in a moral context is an important development leading up to the Paris climate talks in December.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_225437152.jpg?itok=wOjvYQ-e" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>NY1’s Michael Herzenberg sat down Monday with environmental activist and president of <a href="http://waterkeeper.org/" target="_blank">Waterkeeper Alliance</a> <a href="http://ecowatch.com/author/bkennedy/">Robert F. Kennedy Jr.</a> to discuss <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=pope+francis">Pope Francis’</a> place in Catholic history and the pontiff’s staunch stance on <a href="http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/">climate change</a> amid the Pope’s <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/09/22/climate-deniers-pope-francis/">visit to the U.S.</a></p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="450" style="width: 600px; height: 360px;" width="750"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="450" style="width: 600px; height: 360px;" width="750" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/ny1kennedy750.jpg" /></div><p><em>NY1’s Michael Herzenberg interviewed environmental activist and president of Waterkeeper Alliance Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to discuss Pope Francis’ staunch stance on climate change amid the Pope’s visit to the U.S.</em></p><figure class="wp-caption alignnone" id="attachment_368689" style="max-width: 760px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="figcaption_attachment_368689"></figcaption></figure><p>“Obviously I’m pleased with it, but how can you ignore that as a moral issue?,” Kennedy said in response to Herzenberg’s question on his reaction to the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/18/pope-encyclical-action-climate-change/">Pope’s encyclical’s</a> focus on climate change. “How can you ignore what we are doing to the planet, what we are doing to creation, what we are doing to our children?”</p><p>Kennedy went on to say, “Any economic system has to be judged using moral criteria. It has to be judged by whether it’s serving the public interest. Whether it’s serving the people or whether it’s just simply an adultery of money and whether it’s serving just an narrow corner of humanity and making a few people rich by impoverishing the rest of us.”</p><p>Herzenberg asked Kennedy what he thought of the political stance the Pope has been taking. Kennedy responded, “We have the ice caps melting, we have millions of environmental refugees, we have water supplies drying out, we have fires and floods and cities being inundated and it’s a crisis right now and what he is saying is that we need to treat this as the crisis that it is.</p><p>“Placing this controversy clearly in a moral context is going to be a really <a href="http://ecowatch.com/cop21/">important development for Paris</a>. This is not just economics or the quality of our lives, there is a moral imperative we doing something about global warming.”</p><p>And, as a final question, Herzenberg asked Kennedy, “If you had one tangible wish to come true as a result of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., what would it be?”</p><p>Kennedy replied, “The public and press and corporate America begin recognizing that this is a moral imperative, that we can no longer lie to each other and lie to the public about global warming, that that’s a sin. A sin is an injury to a relationship, an injury to another person, and we are injuring whole generations of humanity as well as the rest of God’s creation. We need to start looking at it that way rather than looking at it as a political battle, or Republicans vs. Democrats, we have to understand that this is a moral issue.”</p><p>Watch <a href="http://www.ny1.com/section/papal-visit-2015/papal-visit-2015-features/2015/09/22/robert-f--kennedy-jr--says-pope-s-call-to-protect-environment-a--breath-of-fresh-air-.html" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p><script src="https://actionsprout.io/embed.js"></script><script> <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!-- window.ActionSproutEmbed('E2712D'); //--><!]]> </script></p><p><strong>YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE</strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/5-reasons-pope-francis-encyclical-environment-matters">5 Reasons Pope Francis' Encyclical on the Environment Matters</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/climate-denial-immoral-says-head-us-episcopal-church">Climate Denial Is Immoral, Says Head of U.S. Episcopal Church</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/what-world-needs-paris-climate-conference">What the World Needs from the Paris Climate Conference</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/dalai-lama-endorses-pope-francis-climate-change-encyclical">The Dalai Lama Endorses Pope Francis’ Climate Change Encyclical</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/heartland-institute-attacks-pope-francis-climate-change">Extremist Heartland Institute Attacks Pope Francis on Climate, Claims Paganism Has Entered Catholic Church</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/how-pope-revving-climate-action-las-most-polluted-neighborhood">How the Pope Is Revving up Climate Action in One of the Most Polluted Neighborhoods</a></strong></p><p> </p> Wed, 23 Sep 2015 08:48:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1042883 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment Video Visions robert kennedy Robert Kennedy Jr Pope Francis climate change Hillary Clinton: Arctic Drilling Is ‘Not Worth the Risk’ https://www.alternet.org/environment/hillary-clinton-arctic-drilling-not-worth-risk <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The Democratic presidential front-runner distanced herself from President Obama’s approval of Arctic offshore drilling.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_287370872.jpg?itok=6R2gf-kG" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>It’s <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/07/29/hillary-clinton-arctic-drilling/">not the first time</a> Democratic presidential candidate <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=hillary+clinton">Hillary Clinton</a> has come out against <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=arctic">Arctic</a> drilling. But with the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/08/17/obama-final-approval-shell-arctic/">news yesterday</a> that the Obama administration has given final approval to Shell to drill this summer in the world’s most pristine waters, she must have felt obligated to mention it again. This time in a tweet.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">The Arctic is a unique treasure. Given what we know, it's not worth the risk of drilling. -H</p>— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/633629814713397249">August 18, 2015</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>“Hillary Clinton got it right on the Arctic,” said <a href="http://ecowatch.com/author/aleonard/">Annie Leonard</a>, executive director of Greenpeace USA. “She joins the growing ranks of politicians who recognize real climate leadership means opposing Arctic drilling.”</p><p><a href="http://ecowatch.com/author/mbrune/">Michael Brune</a>, executive director of the Sierra Club agrees. Clinton “is exactly right: everything we know about dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic indicates it imperils a national treasure and is guaranteed to make our climate crisis worse. Whomever the next President is will have the opportunity to back up words with action by denying Shell’s application to commercially drill in the Arctic.”</p><p>However, not everyone was cheering, at least not GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush. He tweeted this in response:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">.<a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton">@HillaryClinton</a> Wrong. Being more-anti energy than Obama is extreme. We should embrace energy revolution to lower prices &amp; create US jobs.</p>— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) <a href="https://twitter.com/JebBush/status/633660508957245440">August 18, 2015</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>But as Leonard says, “The next President will be responsible for saving the Arctic, so it’s vital we hear where all the candidates stand.”</p><p><strong>RELATED STORIES</strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/watchdog-group-sues-us-access-shell-oils-safety-plan-arctic-drilling">Watchdog Group Sues U.S. for Access to Shell Oil's Safety Plan for Arctic Drilling</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/shell-ceo-admitted-hes-not-familiar-companys-arctic-oil-spill-response-plan">Shell CEO Admitted He's Not Familiar with Company's Arctic Oil Spill Response Plan</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/shell-dumps-alec-oil-giant-prepares-drill-arctic">Shell Dumps ALEC as Oil Giant Prepares to Drill in Arctic</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/shell-got-permission-harass-thousands-whales-and-seals-arctic-heres-what-means">Shell Got Permission to Harass Thousands of Whales and Seals in the Arctic — Here's What That Means</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/dear-president-obama-prove-your-climate-rhetoric-and-stop-arctic-drilling">Dear President Obama: Prove Your Climate Rhetoric and Stop Arctic Drilling</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/frustrated-tar-sands-industry-looks-arctic-export-route">Could Frustrated Tar Sands Industry Start Shipping Oil Through Arctic?</a></strong></p><p> </p> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 04:24:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1041139 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Election 2016 Environment News & Politics arctic hillary clinton president obama jeb bush drilling shell sierra club greenpeace 10 Stunning Photos of Climbers Suspended from Bridge Blocking Shell Oil Vessel from Heading to Arctic https://www.alternet.org/environment/10-stunning-photos-climbers-suspended-bridge-blocking-shell-oil-vessel-heading-arctic <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Greenpeace activists in Portland are blocking Shell’s icebreaker ship.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/gpbridge2.jpg?itok=wHkziRdZ" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/07/29/greenpeace-block-shell-vessel/">Thirteen Greenpeace climbers</a> remain suspended below the St. John’s Bridge, <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/breaking-climbers-in-portland-block-shell-oils-alaska-bound-vessel/" target="_blank">blocking the Shell Oil vessel</a>‘s route out of Portland, Oregon, for more than 24 hours. The climbers spent much of yesterday, Tweeting, livestreaming and speaking with journalists, while hanging from the bridge, to urge President Obama to use his last chance to stop <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/07/23/obama-grants-shell-arctic-drilling/">Shell’s Arctic oil drilling plans</a>.</p><p>“The sun is now setting on an incredible day of speaking truth to power and effective direct action,” Greenpeace activist Georgia Hirsty said yesterday, one of the climbers rappelled from the bridge.</p><p>“Kayaktivists occupied the sea, local activists protested from shore, Greenpeace occupied the air and Shell’s Fennica did not pass! I’m filled with gratitude and humility for all those who have carried this fight and for my fellow climbers who, although too far away to speak to, are beautifully represented by their strong, billowing flags steadily pointing for Shell to turn around and stay out of the Arctic,” Hirsty said.</p><p>The Shell Oil vessel, the MSV Fennica, after receiving repairs to its damaged hull, is now trying to leave the Portland Port to take the required capping stack for the oil wells to the drill site in the Arctic Ocean. Last week, the Obama administration granted federal permits that <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/07/23/obama-grants-shell-arctic-drilling/">clear the way</a> for the oil company to begin drilling. The company is only permitted to drill the top sections of its wells, thousands of feet above any projected oil, but once the Fennica is at Shell’s drill site, Shell can reapply for federal approval to drill into hydrocarbon zones in the Chukchi Sea.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="453" style="width: 600px; height: 418px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="453" style="width: 600px; height: 418px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/gpbridge1.jpg" /></div><p>Streamers float in the wind under the St. Johns Bridge as activists climbed under the bridge in an attempt to prevent the Shell leased icebreaker, MSV Fennica from joining the rest of Shell’s Artctic drilling fleet. According to the latest federal permit, the Fennica must be at Shell’s drill site before Shell can reapply for federal approval to drill deep enough for oil in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="992" style="width: 600px; height: 916px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="992" style="width: 600px; height: 916px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/bridge6.jpg" /></div><p>An activist under the St. Johns Bridge in an attempt to prevent the Shell leased icebreaker, MSV Fennica from passing underneath the bridge on its way to join the rest of Shell’s drilling fleet. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="433" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="433" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/gpbridge2.jpg" /></div><p>Activists hang under the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon, In an attempt to block the Shell leased icebreaker, MSV Fennica, July 29. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="433" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="433" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/climb10.jpg" /></div><p>Activists hang under the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon. The climbers have enough supplies to last for several days. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="433" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="433" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/bridge5.jpg" /></div><p>Kayaktivists and activists hang under the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon, in an attempt to block the Shell leased icebreaker, MSV Fennica. The climbers are trying to keep the ship from passing underneath the bridge on its way to join Shell’s drilling fleet. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="463" style="width: 600px; height: 427px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="463" style="width: 600px; height: 427px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/gpbridge4.jpg" /></div><p>A flotilla of kayaktivists floats underneath the activists hanging from the St. Johns Bridge in a channel of the Williamette River. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="433" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="433" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/climb8.jpg" /></div><p>According to the latest federal permit, the Fennica must be at Shell’s drill site before Shell can reapply for federal approval to drill deep enough for oil in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="491" style="width: 600px; height: 453px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="491" style="width: 600px; height: 453px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/climber11.jpg" /></div><p>A Greenpeace climber hangs under the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon, In an attempt to block the Shell leased icebreaker, MSV Fennica. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="489" style="width: 600px; height: 451px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="489" style="width: 600px; height: 451px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/gpbridge3.jpg" /></div><p>Streamers float in the wind under the St. Johns Bridge In as activists hang under the bridge in an attempt to prevent the Shell leased icebreaker, MSV Fennica from joining the rest of Shell’s Artctic drilling fleet. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="977" style="width: 600px; height: 902px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="977" style="width: 600px; height: 902px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/gpclimb9.jpg" /></div><p>Artist Quinn Sweetman paints the scene of activists hanging under the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Greenpeace USA)</p><p>Earlier this month, a nationwide protest was held where people in 13 states gathered for a <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/07/19/shellno-arctic-drilling/">“ShellNo” Day of Action</a> asking President Obama to <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/07/18/stop-shell-save-the-arctic/">revoke oil and gas exploration leases</a> in the Chukchi Sea.\</p><p><strong>TAKE ACTION: <a href="https://www.savethearctic.org/en-NZ/obama/?utm_source=email&amp;utm_medium=campaign&amp;utm_term=Email,portland&amp;utm_campaign=Polar&amp;__surl__=IgtQ9&amp;__ots__=1438270413129&amp;__step__=1&amp;utm_campaign=Portland+Bridge+-+GPNZ&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=Portland+Bridge+-+GPNZ" target="_blank">Ask President Obama to cancel Shell's drilling plans and protect the Arctic</a></strong></p> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:17:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1040137 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Activism Environment Take Action shell greenpeace activist ShellNo activism arctic arctic drilling Brad Pitt Wants You to Know Something Horrible About Costco https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/brad-pitt-wants-you-know-something-horrible-about-costco <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">&quot;Cramming hens into cages for their entire lives constitutes cruelty to animals, and animals deserve better,&quot; the actor said.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_122716087.jpg?itok=QwtfM3G0" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Last week EcoWatch <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/26/ryan-gosling-costco-eggs/">reported</a> that the Humane Society discovered that a Costco egg supplier uses abhorrent <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/05/27/factory-farms-load-of-crap/">factory farming</a> conditions to raise its egg-laying hens despite the fact that Costco made a public commitment eight years ago to eliminate cage confinement of chickens from its supply chain.</p><p>The campaign to expose Costco and encourage them to keep their promise, has gotten the support of many high-profile actors. Last month heartthrob actor <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/26/ryan-gosling-costco-eggs/">Ryan Gosling</a> sent an <a href="http://cagefreefuture.com/docs/Ryan%20Gosling%20to%20Costco.pdf" target="_blank">open letter</a> to the CEO of Costco, Craig Jelinek, saying, “So many corporations are meeting public demand for more humane products and transparency in the food chain. I sincerely hope that Costco will set plans now to go completely cage-free for its eggs.”</p><p><strong>TAKE ACTION: <a href="https://www.change.org/p/tell-costco-to-stop-selling-factory-farmed-eggs" target="_blank">Tell Costco to stop selling eggs from factory farms</a></strong></p><p>Now, Brad Pitt and Bill Maher are following Gosling’s lead, calling out how Costco contributes to animal cruelty by selling eggs from caged hens.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="338" style="width: 600px; height: 312px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="338" style="width: 600px; height: 312px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/bradpitt650.jpg" /></div><p>Pitt <a href="http://cagefreefuture.com/docs/Brad%20Pitt%20to%20Costco.pdf" target="_blank">sent a letter</a> to Costco’s CEO Thursday asking the company to “stop selling eggs from hens confined in tiny cages.” He said:</p><p style="padding-left: 30px;">Nearly a decade ago, Costco indicated that its next step on this issue would be creating a timeline for getting those cages out of your egg supply, and yet today, you appear to have made no progress at all — even as you have set timelines for getting pigs and calves out of cages.</p><p style="padding-left: 30px;">As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings.</p><p style="padding-left: 30px;">In these cruel cages, the animals’ muscles and bones atrophy from years of immobilization. That’s why the cages are illegal in most of Europe, and why California banned the cages by an overwhelming vote years ago.</p><p style="padding-left: 30px;">In short, cramming hens into cages for their entire lives constitutes cruelty to animals, and animals deserve better. As you know, many major corporations, from Burger King to Unilever, are getting rid of cages — and Whole Foods hasn’t sold eggs from caged hens in years.</p><p>Maher has also taken a strong stand against Costco by writing a piece, “<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/10/opinion/free-the-hens-costco.html?_r=1" target="_blank">Free the Hens, Costco!</a>,” in the New York Times last week. In the op-ed, Maher said:</p><p style="padding-left: 30px;">I’ve also been impressed by Costco’s support for animal protection. For example, the company mandated that its suppliers stop locking pregnant pigs in cages called gestation crates by 2022. So I don’t understand how Costco can justify its refusal to set a timeline for getting rid of eggs from battery cages, which is the third system, along with pork and veal, in the factory farming cruelty trifecta.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Bill Maher to Costco: 'Free the hens already' v/ <a href="https://twitter.com/CNNMoney">@CNNMoney</a> <a href="http://t.co/Y7Xd7WWVOz">http://t.co/Y7Xd7WWVOz</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BantheBatteryCage?src=hash">#BantheBatteryCage</a> <a href="http://t.co/h6Pf6K6CUX">pic.twitter.com/h6Pf6K6CUX</a></p>— Animals Australia (@AnimalsAus) <a href="https://twitter.com/AnimalsAus/status/621489715322040324">July 16, 2015</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Pitt and Maher spoke out on behalf of <a href="http://www.farmsanctuary.org/" target="_blank">Farm Sanctuary</a>, an organization that advocates against the mistreatment of animals and factory farming. The president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur, was a <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/04/07/jon-stewart-gene-baur-farm-sanctuary/">guest on The Daily Show</a> with Jon Stewart in April, discussing the many benefits of a <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=vegan">vegan diet</a>.</p><p>Costco has not directly responded to the actors letters, but said in a June statement that there are “vigorous debates about animal welfare and laying hens.”</p><p>“Some, such as the Humane Society, advocate that hens be ‘cage free,’ and not confined in cages. Some advocate that cages are safer for hens,” the statement reads.</p><p>Costco said it is “committed to the ethical treatment of animals” and its code of ethics is part of the company mission statement.</p><p>Check out the undercover investigation here:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZeabWClSZfI" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>TAKE ACTION: <a href="https://www.change.org/p/tell-costco-to-stop-selling-factory-farmed-eggs" target="_blank">Tell Costco to stop selling eggs from factory farms</a></strong></p><p><strong>YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE</strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/ryan-gosling-what-costco-doesnt-want-you-know-about-their-eggs">Ryan Gosling: What Costco Doesn’t Want You to Know About Its Eggs</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/every-day-us-factory-farms-produce-enough-waste-fill-empire-state-building">Every Day, U.S. Factory Farms Produce Enough Waste to Fill the Empire State Building</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/jon-stewart-and-his-wife-build-shelter-rescued-farm-animals">Jon Stewart and His Wife Bought a Farm to Rescue Farm Animals</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/are-industrial-farms-also-blame-americas-drought">Are Industrial Farms Also to Blame for America's Drought?</a></strong></p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:18:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1039496 at https://www.alternet.org Animal Rights Activism Animal Rights Environment Food Take Action Video eggs animal cruelty hens animal welfare agriculture Humane Society of the United States costco brad pitt bill maher laying hens ryan gosling humane animals birds factory farms food farm sanctuary jon stewart Naomi Klein: We Can Save Ourselves, but Only If We Learn to Work With Nature https://www.alternet.org/environment/naomi-klein-we-can-save-ourselves-only-if-we-learn-work-nature <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The author and social activist introduced a Vatican conference linking the Pope&#039;s climate encyclical to the key U.N. conferences later this year.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/naomi_klein_warsaw_nov._19_2008_fot_mariusz_kubik_05.jpg?itok=p5VHTwHs" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Naomi Klein spoke at the Vatican on July 1 introducing <em><a href="http://www.cidse.org/articles/rethinking-development/conference-people-and-planet-first-the-imperative-to-change-course.html" target="_blank">People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course</a></em> at a high-level meeting to explore <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/18/pope-encyclical-action-climate-change/">Pope Francis’ encyclical</a>, which was released on June 18.</p><p>Here’s the video of the full press conference. Other speakers included Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Bernd Nilles, secretary general of the International Alliance of Catholic Development Organisations.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y6Sk4hZQmkE" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Here are the prepared remarks by Naomi Klein:</p><p>Thank you. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and to CIDSE for hosting us here, and for convening this remarkable 2-day gathering that I’m very much looking forward to.</p><p class="indent">It’s also a real honour to be here supporting and indeed celebrating the historic publication of the Pope’s encyclical.</p><p class="indent"><a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=pope+francis">Pope Francis</a> writes early on that <em>Laudato Si’</em> is not only a teaching for the Catholic world but for “every person living on this planet.” And I can say that as a secular Jewish feminist who was rather surprised to be invited to the Vatican, it certainly spoke to me.</p><p class="indent"><strong>RELATED: <a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/5-reasons-pope-francis-encyclical-environment-matters" target="_blank">5 Reasons Pope Francis' Encyclical on the Environment Matters</a></strong></p><p class="indent">“We are not God,” the encyclical states. All humans once knew this. But about 400 years ago, dizzying scientific breakthroughs made it seem to some that humans were on the verge of knowing everything there was to know about the Earth, and would therefore be nature’s “masters and possessors,” as René Descartes so memorably put it. This, they claimed, was what God had always wanted.</p><p class="indent">That theory held for a good long time. But subsequent breakthroughs in science have told us something very different. Because when we were burning ever larger amounts of fossil fuels—convinced that our container ships and jumbo jets had leveled the world, that we were as gods—greenhouse gases were accumulating in the atmosphere and relentlessly trapping heat.</p><p class="indent">And now we are confronted with the reality that we were never the master, never that boss — and that we are unleashing natural forces that are far more powerful than even our most ingenious machines. We can save ourselves, but only if we let go of the myth of dominance and mastery and learn to work with nature—respecting and harnessing its intrinsic capacity for renewal and regeneration.</p><p class="indent">And this brings us to the core message of interconnection at the heart of the encyclical. What <a href="http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/">climate change</a> reaffirms — for that minority of the human species that ever forgot — is that there is no such thing as a one-way relationship of pure mastery in nature. As Pope Francis writes, “Nothing in this world is indifferent to us.”</p><p class="indent"><strong>RELATED: <a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/dalai-lama-endorses-pope-francis-climate-change-encyclical" target="_blank">The Dalai Lama Endorses Pope Francis’ Climate Change Encyclical</a></strong></p><p class="indent">For some who see interconnection as a cosmic demotion, this is all too much to bear. And so—actively encouraged by fossil-fuel funded political actors — they choose to deny the science.</p><p class="indent">But that is already changing as the climate changes. And it will likely change more with the publication of the encyclical. This could mean real trouble for American politicians who are counting on using the Bible as cover for their opposition to climate action. In this regard, Pope Francis’s trip to the U.S. this September could not be better timed.</p><p class="indent">Yet as the encyclical rightly points out, denial takes many forms. And there are many across the political spectrum and around the world who accept the science but reject the difficult implications of the science</p><p class="indent"></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="390" style="width: 600px; height: 360px;" width="650"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="390" style="width: 600px; height: 360px;" width="650" typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/kleinvatican650.jpg" /></div><p class="indent">I have spent the past two weeks reading hundreds of reactions to the encyclical. And though the response has been overwhelmingly positive, I have noticed a common theme among the critiques. Pope Francis may be right on the science, we hear, and even on the morality, but he should leave the economics and policy to the experts. They are the ones who know about carbon trading and water privatization, we are told, and how effectively markets can solve any problem.</p><p class="indent">I forcefully disagree. The truth is that we have arrived at this dangerous place partly because many of those economic experts have failed us badly, wielding their powerful technocratic skills without wisdom. They produced models that placed scandalously little value on human life, particularly on the lives of the poor, and placed outsized value on protecting corporate profits and economic growth.</p><p class="indent"><strong>RELATED: <a href="http://www.alternet.org/environment/pope-francis-pulls-no-punches-leaked-climate-change-encyclical" target="_blank">Pope Francis Pulls No Punches in Leaked Climate Change Encyclical</a></strong></p><p class="indent">That warped value system is how we ended up with ineffective carbon markets instead of strong carbon taxes and high fossil fuel royalties. It’s how we ended up with a temperature target of 2 degrees which would allow entire nations to disappear — simply because their GDPs were deemed insufficiently large.</p><p class="indent">In a world where profit is consistently put before both people and the planet, climate economics has everything to do with ethics and morality. Because if we agree that endangering life on Earth is a moral crisis, then it is incumbent on us to act like it.</p><p class="indent">That doesn’t mean gambling the future on the boom and bust cycles of the market. It means policies that directly regulate how much carbon can be extracted from the earth. It means policies that will get us to 100 per cent renewable energy in 2-3 decades — not by the end of the century. And it means allocating common, shared resources — like the atmosphere — on the basis of justice and equity, not winners-take-all.</p><p class="indent">That’s why a new kind of climate movement is fast emerging. It is based on the most courageous truth expressed in the encyclical: that our current economic system is both fueling the climate crisis and actively preventing us from taking the necessary actions to avert it. A movement based on the knowledge that if we don’t want runaway climate change, then we need system change.</p><p class="indent">And because our current system is also fueling ever widening inequality, we have a chance, in rising to the climate challenge, to solve multiple, overlapping crises at once. In short, we can shift to a more stable climate and fairer economy at the same time.</p><p class="indent">This growing understanding is why you are seeing some surprising and even unlikely alliances. Like, for instance, me at the Vatican. Like trade unions, Indigenous, faith and green groups working more closely together than ever before.</p><p class="indent">Inside these coalitions, we don’t agree on everything — not by a long shot. But we understand that the stakes are so high, time is so short and the task is so large that we cannot afford to allow those differences to divide us. When 400,000 people marched for climate justice in New York last September, the slogan was “To change everything, we need everyone.”</p><p class="indent">Everyone includes political leaders, of course. But having attended many meetings with social movements about the COP summit in Paris, I can report this: there is zero tolerance for yet another failure being dressed up as a success for the cameras. Until a week later, when those same politicians are back to drilling for oil in the Arctic and building more highways and pushing new trade deals that make it far more difficult to regulate polluters.</p><p class="indent">If the deal fails to bring about immediate emission reductions while providing real and substantive support for poor countries, then it will be declared a failure. As it should be.</p><p class="indent">What we must always remember is that it’s not too late to veer off the dangerous road we are on—the one that is leading us towards 4 degrees of warming. Indeed we could still keep warming below 1.5 degrees if we made it our top collective priority.</p><p class="indent">It would be difficult, to be sure. As difficult as the rationing and industrial conversions that were once made in wartime. As ambitious as the anti-poverty and public works programs launched in the aftermath of the Great Depression and the Second World War.</p><p class="indent">But difficult is not the same as impossible. And giving up in the face of a task that could save countless and lives prevent so much suffering — simply because it is difficult, costly and requires sacrifice from those of us who can most afford to make do with less — is not pragmatism.</p><p class="indent">It is surrender of the most cowardly kind. And there is no cost-benefit analysis in the world that is capable of justifying it.</p><p class="indent">“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”</p><p class="indent">We have been hearing these supposedly serious-minded words for more than two decades. For the entire lifetime of today’s young climate activists. And every time another UN summit fails to deliver bold, legally-binding and science-based polices, while sprinkling empty promises of reshuffled aid money, we hear those words again. “Sure it’s not enough but it’s a step in the right direction.” “We’ll do the harder work next time.” And always: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”</p><p class="indent">This, it must be said inside these hallowed walls, is pure nonsense. “Perfect” left the station in the mid-1990s, after the first Rio Earth Summit. Today, we have only two roads in front of us: difficult yet humane — and easy yet reprehensible.</p><p class="indent">To our so-called leaders preparing their pledges for COP 21 in Paris, getting out the lipstick and heels to dress up another lousy deal, I have this to say: Read the actual encyclical—not the summaries, the whole thing. Read it and let it into your hearts. The grief at what we have already lost, and the celebration of what we can still protect and help to thrive.</p><p class="indent">Listen, too, to the voices of the hundreds of thousands who will be on the streets of Paris outside the summit, gathered simultaneously in cities around the world. This time, they will be saying more than “we need action.” They will be saying: we are already acting.</p><p class="indent">We are the solutions: in our demands that institutions divest their holdings from fossil fuel companies and invest them in the activities that will lower emissions.</p><p class="indent">In our ecological farming methods, which rely less on fossil fuels, provide healthy food and work and sequester carbon.</p><p class="indent">In our locally-controlled renewable energy projects, which are bringing down emissions, keeping resources in communities, lowering costs and defining access to energy as a right.</p><p class="indent">In our demand for reliable, affordable and even free public transit, which will get us out of the cars that pollute our cities, congest our lives, and isolate us from one another.</p><p class="indent">In our uncompromising insistence that you cannot call yourself a climate leader while opening up vast new tracks of ocean and land to oil drilling, gas fracking and coal mining. We have to leave it in the ground.</p><p class="indent">In our conviction that you cannot call yourself a democracy if you are beholden to multinational polluters.</p><p class="indent">Around the world, the climate justice movement is saying: See the beautiful world that lies on the other side of courageous policy, the seeds of which are already bearing ample fruit for any who care to look.</p><p class="indent">Then, stop making the difficult the enemy of the possible.</p><p class="indent">And join us in making the possible real.</p> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 09:00:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1038914 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment Video naomi klein vatican Pope Francis COP 21 climate change divestment fossil fuels pollution Maryland Passes Fracking Ban https://www.alternet.org/environment/maryland-passes-fracking-ban <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The 102-34 House vote prohibits fracking permits until October 2017.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/12777357583_8bbf8c8444_m.jpg?itok=tZwmSJUe" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>On April 10, the Maryland House of Delegates passed legislation, voting 102 – 34, that would prohibit fracking permits in the state until October 2017. The bill will head to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk in the coming days.</p><p>Earlier in the week, the Maryland State Senate passed the legislation, <a href="http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&amp;stab=03&amp;id=sb0409&amp;tab=subject3&amp;ys=2015RS" target="_blank">voting 45-2</a>, to prohibit fracking permits in the in the state. The governor’s position on the bill is unknown, but the Senate and House passed the bill with a veto-proof majority.</p><p>“After months of campaigning, a bill that prohibits fracking for two and a half years passed overwhelmingly in the Maryland legislature today,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food &amp; Water Watch. “This is a testament to the growing movement to protect our communities from the dangers of fracking. Conventional wisdom in the state was that we could never get a moratorium passed in Maryland, just as we were also told we could never get a ban in New York. But naysaying just inspired us all to work harder in bringing the voice of the people to Annapolis in this grassroots initiative. Now it is time for Governor Hogan to heed the call of the people and sign the bill that gives Marylanders more time to examine the impacts of fracking.”</p><p>Business owners in Western Maryland have expressed concern that fracking would greatly impact the booming tourism industry in that part of the state. More than 100 Western Maryland business owners signed a <a href="http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/Businesses_Against.pdf#_ga=1.81272791.1978311515.1422401512" target="_blank">letter</a> to the leadership of the General Assembly in support of the fracking moratorium.</p><p>“Maryland’s more sustainable businesses, like farming, tourism and restaurants would be devastated by fracking,” said Eric Robison, owner of Eagle Rock Construction, LLC and president of Save Western Maryland. “We don’t need a short term boom and bust economy, we need to maintain a strong economic foundation for future generations.”</p><p><a href="http://www.dontfrackmd.org/" target="_blank">Don’t Frack Maryland</a> has sent more than 25,000 messages supporting a moratorium. Letters signed by more than <a href="http://foodwaterwatch.pr-optout.com/Tracking.aspx?Data=HHL%3d8%2c%3b6%3a5-%3eLCE180%3c7%401-GLCE17.6&amp;RE=MC&amp;RI=3646477&amp;Preview=False&amp;DistributionActionID=22670&amp;Action=Follow+Link" target="_blank">100 health professionals</a>, and more than <a href="http://foodwaterwatch.pr-optout.com/Tracking.aspx?Data=HHL%3d8%2c%3b6%3a5-%3eLCE180%3c7%401-GLCE17.6&amp;RE=MC&amp;RI=3646477&amp;Preview=False&amp;DistributionActionID=22669&amp;Action=Follow+Link" target="_blank">50 restaurant owners, chefs, winemakers and farmers</a> from across the state have also been delivered to the General Assembly. And last night, the Friendsville Town Council, whose city is the center of a thriving white-water rafting industry in the state, sent a <a href="http://foodwaterwatch.pr-optout.com/Tracking.aspx?Data=HHL%3d8%2c%3b6%3a5-%3eLCE180%3c7%401-GLCE17.6&amp;RE=MC&amp;RI=3646477&amp;Preview=False&amp;DistributionActionID=22668&amp;Action=Follow+Link" target="_blank">letter</a> supporting a moratorium to President Miller, urging him to encourage a vote in the Senate.</p><p>Last week, actor and Maryland native Edward Norton lent his support to the Maryland fracking moratorium in a radio ad. The ad, paid for by Food &amp; Water Watch, features Norton speaking out about how fracking could harm Maryland’s environment and public health, as well as tourism in the state.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199564534&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Polling has also shown that a clear majority of Marylanders <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2015/02/10/National-Politics/Polling/question_15380.xml?uuid=TemzDrFCEeS_OVVg85GNSw" target="_blank">oppose fracking</a> and support action from the <a href="http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/fracking-poll-strong-majority-marylanders-want-long-term-hold-risky-drilling/" target="_blank">General Assembly</a> to prevent drilling in the state.</p><p>“This moratorium will give legislators more time to evaluate the public health, economic and societal dangers of fracking, and give our communities statutory protections against drilling in the meantime,” said Dr. Ann Bristow, a commissioner on Governor O’Malley’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, on behalf of the Don’t Frack Maryland campaign.</p><p>According to Food &amp; Water Watch, more than 425 peer-reviewed <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/12/12/fracking-public-health-risk/">scientific studies on the effects of shale gas development</a> now exist, and 75 percent of those have been published since January 2013. Of the 49 studies that investigated the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/06/fracking-just-got-worse-health/">health effects of fracking</a>, 47—more than 96 percent—found risks or adverse health outcomes.</p> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 07:00:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1034687 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment Fracking News & Politics fracking maryland energy activism Jon Stewart Slams Big Food For ‘Death Menu of Artificial Chemicals, Antibiotics and Cool Ranch Carcinogens’ https://www.alternet.org/food/jon-stewart-slams-big-food-death-menu-artificial-chemicals-antibiotics-and-cool-ranch <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The &#039;Daily Show&#039; host takes on the food companies for their practices. </div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/jon_stewart-big_food.jpg?itok=TgPm5i5_" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>“Making food slightly less bad for you craze is spreading,” according to Jon Stewart in his “the Snacks of Life” segment on <em>The Daily Show</em>.</p><p>From sharing the announcement by McDonalds that it will only <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/03/05/mcdonalds-antibiotics-chicken/">buy chicken raised without antibiotics</a> within the next two years to Dunkin’ Donuts eliminating the chemical that gives its powered donuts that bright, white look, Stewart hammers <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=big+food">Big Food</a> for turning our “food supply into an addictive, fattening, death menu of  <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/14/food-additives-bad-for-you/">artificial chemicals</a>, <a href="http://ecowatch.com/?s=antibiotics">antibiotics</a> and cool ranch carcinogens.” He also exposes the new “KIDS eat right” label that Kraft is helping to financially support via the not so academy of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.</p><p>Watch here:</p><div style="background-color:#000000;width:520px;"><div style="padding:4px;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="288" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:thedailyshow.com:3c1e03ef-6a19-4948-a336-4547e0eea01f" width="512"></iframe><p style="text-align:left;background-color:#FFFFFF;padding:4px;margin-top:4px;margin-bottom:0px;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;"><b><a href="http://thedailyshow.cc.com/">The Daily Show</a></b><br />Get More: <a href="http://thedailyshow.cc.com/full-episodes/">Daily Show Full Episodes</a>,<a href="http://www.facebook.com/thedailyshow">The Daily Show on Facebook</a>,<a href="http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos">Daily Show Video Archive</a></p></div></div><p> </p> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:45:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1033558 at https://www.alternet.org Food Food Media Personal Health jon stewart big food food health dunkin donuts mcdonalds chemicals carcinogens Record Spill Contaminates North Dakota River With 3 Million Gallons of Fracking Wastewater https://www.alternet.org/fracking/fracking-spill-north-dakota <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Pipeline bursts spilling 3 million gallons of toxic fracking wastewater. </div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/ndspill600.jpg?itok=Y7InzuZn" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p><em>Republished with permission from <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/23/fracking-wastewater-spill-north-dakota/">EcoWatch</a>.</em></p><p>Three million gallons of brine, a salty, toxic byproduct of <a href="http://ecowatch.com/news/energy-news/fracking-2/">oil and natural gas production</a>—also known as<a href="http://ecowatch.com/news/energy-news/fracking-2/injection-wells/">fracking wastewater</a>—<a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/22/1359512/-Three-million-gallon-drilling-waste-spill-is-North-Dakota-s-worst-but-far-from-the-state-s-only-one" target="_blank">spilled from a leaking pipe</a> in western North Dakota. State officials say it’s the worst spill of its kind since the fracking boom began in the state.</p><figure aria-labelledby="figcaption_attachment_355772" id="attachment_355772"><a href="http://ecowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ndspill600.jpg"><img alt="Photo credit: MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show" src="http://ecowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ndspill600.jpg" /></a><figcaption id="figcaption_attachment_355772">Photo credit: MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show</figcaption></figure><p>The spill was reported 17 days ago when Operator Summit Midstream Partners found a toxic leak of salty drilling waste from a pipeline in the heart of the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/03/11/radioactive-bakken-oil-waste-concerns-water-contamination/">Bakken oil boom</a>.</p><p>Officials say there’s no immediate threat to human health but as <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/pipeline-spill-exposes-fracking-cost" target="_blank">Marketplace’s Scott Tong reports yesterday</a>, there could be trouble ahead. He interviews Duke geochemist <a href="http://sites.nicholas.duke.edu/avnervengosh/people/" target="_blank">Avner Vengosh</a> who has sampled frack wastewater and has found that “North Dakota’s is 10 times saltier than the ocean, that endangers aquatic life and trees, and has it has ammonium and radioactive elements.”</p><p><iframe align="left" frameborder="0" height="240px" scrolling="no" src="http://www.marketplace.org/node/149765/player/storyplayer" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; width: 600px;" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Tong also interviewed <a href="http://www.law.fsu.edu/faculty/hwiseman.html" target="_blank">Hannah Wiseman</a>, law professor at Florida State, who says the disposal of fracking wastewater is underregulated.</p><p>“A typical well can spit about 1,000 gallons a day,” says Tong. “Some of the water is recycled back into fracking, stored in pits or used to de-ice roads. It’s also injected deep underground, which has been known to <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/06/fracking-cause-ohio-earthquake/">cause earthquakes</a>.”</p><p>Wiseman shares that fracking wastewater issues also exist in <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/20/sue-kasich-fracking-waste/">Ohio</a>, <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/09/fracking-wastewater-injection-wells-oklahoma-earthquakes/">Oklahoma</a> and <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/08/earthquakes-rock-texas-fracking-heartland/">Texas</a>.</p><p> </p> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 05:34:00 -0800 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1030740 at https://www.alternet.org Fracking Environment Fracking News & Politics fracking bakken crude pipeline Pope Francis Says 'No' To Fracking https://www.alternet.org/environment/pope-francis-says-no-fracking <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The Catholic pontiff says we should be stewards, not masters of the Earth. </div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screenshot_from_2015-01-12_105532.png?itok=YNvIT9Nx" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p><em>Republished with permission from <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/12/pope-francis-says-no-fracking/">EcoWatch.</a></em></p><p>We’ve been busy lately providing news on all the great ways Pope Francis is working to create a healthy, sustainable planet. In July 2014, Pope Francis called <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/07/pope-francis-destruction-nature-modern-sin/">destruction of nature a modern sin</a>. In November 2014, Pope Francis said <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/13/pope-francis-unbridled-consumerism-g20/">“unbridled consumerism” is destroying our planet</a> and we are<a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/28/pope-francis-stewards-earth/">“stewards, not masters” of the Earth</a>. In December 2014, he said he will <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/12/30/pope-francis-climate-change/">increase his call this year to address climate change</a>. And, last week we announced that Pope Francis is <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/07/pope-francis-opens-vatican-farm-to-public/">opening his Vatican farm to the public</a>.</p><p>Now, we learn from Nicolás Fedor Sulcic that Pope Francis is supportive of the anti-<a href="http://ecowatch.com/news/energy-news/fracking-2/">fracking</a> movement. Watch this interview by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Solanas" target="_blank">Fernando Solanas</a> where he met with Pope Francis soon after finishing a film about fracking in Argentina.</p><p>The movie, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA6Xp1WDQq4#t=23" target="_blank">La Guerra del Fracking</a> or The Fracking War, was banned in cinemas by the Argentinian government, so the filmmakers decided to post it on YouTube. We are awaiting translation of the film and then we’ll feature it on EcoWatch.</p><p>“When I was doing research for the film, every time I’d ask someone if they knew what fracking was they had no idea,” said Sulcic. The problem was that “the government didn’t call it fracking, they called it ‘non conventional gas’ so no one was making the link to what was happening in Argentina to what was happening America. I got really mad and knew something had to be done to make people aware of what was going on. I saw the website <a href="http://artistsagainstfracking.com/" target="_blank">Artist Against Fracking</a> and felt that was a very good example of what was needed to be done here to take the cause to more people rather than just environmental activists.”</p><p>With support by Peace Nobel prize Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Oscar winning Juan Jose Campanella and other very well known Argentinian intellectuals and social leaders, a <a href="http://argentinasinfracking.org/">website was launched</a> to help raise awareness about the dangers of fracking Argentina.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WAX4mrhw0zw" width="560"></iframe></p> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:48:00 -0800 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1030126 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Belief Environment Fracking News & Politics Water World catholic church Pope Francis fracking 6 Jailed, 9 Arrested in Ongoing Battle Against Methane Gas Storage in New York https://www.alternet.org/6-jailed-9-arrested-ongoing-battle-against-methane-gas-storage <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Nineteen people were arraigned for blockading the gates of a proposed storage site for fracked gases. </div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/seneca2.jpg?itok=8pONVEUL" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p><em>Republished with permission from <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/12/05/ongoing-fight-methane-gas-storage/2/">EcoWatch</a>.</em></p><p>New York’s Town of Reading courtroom was full Wednesday night when 19 people were arraigned after being arrested for blockading the gates of Crestwood Midstream in an ongoing “We Are Seneca Lake” campaign <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/17/10-arrested-we-are-seneca-lake/">protesting the storage of fracked gas</a> along the shores of Seneca Lake.</p><p>Nearly four hours in the courtroom resulted in jail terms of wildly different lengths for six of the defendants and a mix pleas. The court hearing took place after a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4srmDENfVTs">rally outside the courthouse</a> in blustery, cold conditions with more than 100 supporters. Former Schuyler County legislator, Ruth Young, 77, and current Town of Caroline council member, Irene Weiser, led the rally and later pled not guilty to their trespassing charges and were given April 15 trial dates.</p><p>Yesterday, nine more people were arrested for blockading Crestwood’s gates, bringing the total number of arrests to 92.</p><p>All of the defendants who pled guilty before Justice Raymond H. Berry Wednesday night petitioned the court for reduced fines or minimum sentences. Those who refused to pay the fine and accepted jail sentences said they did so on ethical grounds.</p><p>Many defendants gave impassioned pre-sentencing statements in order to petition the court for less-than-maximum sentences—a $375 fine or 15 days in jail—on the grounds that they did not seek to impose ruinous costs on Schuyler County for jailing them and that, as civil disobedients, their motivation in breaking the law was to protect, rather than cause, harm. Their appeal was echoed throughout the evening by attorney Sujata Gibson, of Ithaca, New York who acted as legal advisor to the group.</p><p>So far throughout the six-week campaign, Justice Berry has consistently meted out maximum sentences to all protesters who appeared before him and pled guilty.</p><p>“I would like to know why the trespass violations are being pursued so vigorously by Reading Town Court with maximum sentences handed down, while Crestwood seems to be in violation of the Town of Reading’s own land use law of 1992 and nothing is being done about it,” said John Dennis, a 64-year-old environmental planner and consultant from Ithaca.</p><p>Dennis received the maximum sentence of 15 days in jail and was transported by deputies to Schuyler County Jail as the arraignments continued.</p><p>Three other defendants—Jimmy Betts, 30, of Omaha, Nebraska; Michael Clark, 29 Cuyahoga Falls, OH; and Kelsey Erickson, 23, a Cornell University graduate from Carlisle, Massachussets—also received maximum jail sentences. They were all part of the recent <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/17/great-march-climate-action/">Great March for Climate Action</a>, a 3,000 mile walk from California to Washington, DC calling for climate action.</p><p>“I am here, one of the Seneca Lake Defenders, because this affects every single one of us, whether we realize it or not,” said Betts to the judge. “This is not just a local issue. <a href="http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/">Climate change</a> affects us all from coast to coast and globally.”</p><p>“This is an act of love to stand with a community who is trying to defend itself,” said Clark. “I petition for a minimum sentence to give you an opportunity to stand with us.”</p><p>Erickson told the judge, “It’s my obligation to protect the water, the air, the planet we all depend on.”</p><p>Attorney Gibson appealed to the judge for leniency throughout the first half of arraignments and sentencing. “We need to take into account whether anyone was hurt and what their motivations are. These are outstanding members of the community. The maximum penalty is not justified,” she said.</p><p>Then Gibson asked the judge to recuse himself for prejudging the case during the arraignment of Judy Leaf of Ithaca. The judge refused. A brief adjournment was called by the judge so that the violation trespass statute could be reviewed. When court was again called to order, Leaf was sentenced to one day in jail and taken into custody. She was later released from the Schuyler County Jail shortly after midnight, time served.</p><p>The last defendant of the evening to refuse the fine on ethical grounds—Susan Mead, 66, from Ithaca—was sentenced to seven days in jail. The judge offered no explanation for his change of heart in meting out maximum sentences, nor why Leaf and Mead received less-than-maximum sentences of different lengths. The only clue to his reasoning came in a comment the judge made about grandchildren in a reply to Mead’s pre-sentencing statement.</p><p>“I believe I’m part of the last generation who can turn global warming around. With that belief, I participated in this action,” said Mead to the judge.</p><p>Judge Berry responded before issuing the 7-day sentence, “I don’t like putting people in jail. My granddaughter doesn’t like it when I put people in jail, and she won’t speak to me when I do. I don’t know if you have a grandchild, but it’s very difficult. I will give you a break.”</p><p>Mead and Erickson were transported to the Schuyler County Jail, processed and then remanded to Wayne County Jail. Schuyler County has no facility to house female inmates. Dennis, Clark and Betts will serve their maximum sentences in Schuyler County Jail.</p><p>Judge Berry offered no leniency to Paul Passavant, 48, from Geneva, New York. Passavanant, who identified himself to the judge as a professor of constitutional law at Hobart and William Smith and a member of the Town of Geneva’s planning board, provided a tutorial on civil disobedience during his pre-sentencing statement. Referring to civil disobedience as “an appeal to the public’s conscience,” Passavant argued that judges should treat civil disobedience actions with leniency because they “presuppose a commitment to democracy.”</p><p>Passavant received the maximum fine of $375 and chose to pay it. His fine was paid with community donations to <a href="http://www.wearesenecalake.com/">We Are Seneca Lake</a>.</p><p>“It was hard to know what was going to happen next,” said Sandra Steingraber, 55, one of the original conveners of We Are Seneca Lake—and who herself had been <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/26/steingraber-boland-released-jail/">recently released from jail</a> after receiving a maximum 15-day <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/21/steingraber-boland-jail/">sentence from Justice Berry on Nov. 19</a>. “The judge was, by turns, sarcastic and compassionate, condescending and flummoxed. The sentences he dispensed were certainly erratic.”</p><p>“Some kind of change came over him after hearing a parade of defendants give moving statements about the moral urgency of climate change and the obligation to protect water,” Steingraber said. “But then Judge Berry recovered from his temporary lapse into mercy and returned to maximum sentencing. It was hard to know why.”</p><p>Near the end of the evening, Irene Weiser, a town council member in nearby Caroline, asked the judge to consult his grandchild—to whom he had earlier referred—on her behalf. Here are excerpts of Weiser’s statement:</p><p>“Tell her what’s happening in this courtroom. Tell her what it’s like to be part of this historical moment. Like the civil rights movement, what do you …  want her to know about it? What do you want her to see? … Tell her what kind of future you want for her and about the changes you’ve seen in the lake during all the years that you’ve lived here.”</p> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:25:00 -0800 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1028242 at https://www.alternet.org Activism Environment Fracking Seneca Lake lng new york fracking 25 Arrested Shutting Down Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Office in D.C. https://www.alternet.org/25-arrested-shutting-down-federal-energy-regulatory-commission-office-dc <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">After a 3,000-mile march across the country, 100 people shut down federal energy regulations office. </div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/fercarrests2.jpg?itok=eGITFuAZ" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p dir="ltr"><em>Republished with permission from <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/03/25-arrested-shutting-down-ferc/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&amp;utm_campaign=52b68af0a5-Top_News_11_3_2014&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-52b68af0a5-85955477">EcoWatch.</a></em></p><p dir="ltr">Nearly 100 people from across the country participated in a nonviolent direct action protest this morning <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/17/beyond-extreme-energy-dechristopher-yearwood/">shutting down the office of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission</a> (FERC) in Washington, DC. Today’s action was led by some of the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/17/great-march-climate-action/">Great March for Climate Action</a> marchers who arrived at the nation’s capital on Nov. 1 after a 3,000-mile cross country walk from Los Angeles, California to Washington, DC.</p><p dir="ltr">Police say 25 people were arrested this morning.</p><p dir="ltr">“We walked 3,000 miles across the country and heard firsthand from families and communities the hardships they are facing due to extreme energy extraction,” said Faith Meckley, one of the climate marchers who lives in New York state.</p><p dir="ltr">Meckley said she’s participating in these actions because FERC rubber stamped a <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/29/protesting-gas-storage-facility/">methane gas storage facility</a> on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake that allows methane storage in unstable salt caverns that threatens her community.</p><p dir="ltr">Other people who took part in today’s action said they have had enough of FERC rubber stamping fracking infrastructure projects in their communities, including pipelines, gas storage under lakes, compressor stations and <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/26/house-lng-exports/">fracked gas export facilities</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">Today’s action used a massive portrait of families from Maryland and New York whose homes and communities are threatened by <a href="http://ecowatch.com/news/energy-news/fracking-2/">fracking</a> infrastructure that has been approved by FERC. A model town was erected as part of the action which blocked the entrance to FERC preventing employees from entering the building.</p><p dir="ltr">“The object of the blockade art is to give FERC no other option but to destroy the town and families in order to get to work,” said Kim Fraczek of Sane Energy Project of New York. “The destruction of the art serves a metaphor of reality.”</p><p>More than <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/beyondextremeenergy/who-we-are" target="_blank">50 organizations</a> have endorsed this week of action and support the following demands in the face of “ongoing threats to their health, communities, democracy, property values, environment and <a href="http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/">climate</a>:”</p><p>1. We demand that FERC withdraw its permit for the dangerous fracked-gas export facility at <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/18/public-outcry-stop-cove-point-lng-export/">Cove Point</a>, as well as recent gas expansion permits at Myersville, <a href="http://ecowatch.com/search/?q=minisink">Minisink</a> and <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/29/protesting-gas-storage-facility/">Seneca Lake</a>. In addition, we demand a stop to the permitting of all fracked-gas export facilities and other fracked-gas infrastructure.</p><p>2.  We demand that all future FERC permits:</p><p>• Consider as the top priority the rights of human beings and all life on Earth;</p><p>• Fully assess the cumulative harm from infrastructure projects on public health, local economies and the climate. FERC must consider the damage from fracking–the extreme extraction process that generates the gas for these projects–and from climate change. FERC must reject industry’s practice of disguising major projects by dividing them into separate, ostensibly unrelated ones.</p><p>• Adhere to the precautionary principle: in the face of uncertainty and the absence of scientific consensus, the benefit of the doubt will go to public health and the environment. The burden of proof that a project is safe falls with those proposing the project; communities will not need to prove that a project is harmful.</p><p>3. We demand that FERC commissioners meet with communities affected by approved and proposed fossil fuel infrastructure, including the Cove Point export facility, Myersville and Minisink compressor stations, and Seneca Lake gas storage project. This is a key step in changing FERC from an agency that protects only the interests of the fossil fuel industry to one that protects the public interest.</p><p>4. We demand a Congressional investigation into FERC’s rubber stamping of industry proposals.</p><p dir="ltr">Organizers say actions against FERC are <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/beyondextremeenergy/action-overview" target="_blank">planned to continue throughout the week</a> in order to demonstrate that FERC’s actions are “incompatible with all that sustains life on Earth, including our climate system and clean water, air and land.”</p> Mon, 03 Nov 2014 08:23:00 -0800 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1025697 at https://www.alternet.org Activism Environment Fracking News & Politics climate change activism fracking 10, Including Biologist Sandra Steingraber, Arrested as Human Blockade of Methane Gas Storage Facility Continues https://www.alternet.org/10-including-biologist-sandra-steingraber-arrested-human-blockade-methane-gas-storage-facility <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">For the second morning in a row, the “We Are Seneca Lake” protesters have blocked the gates of the Crestwood facility. </div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/unnamed_9.jpg?itok=EAe2EEag" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Ten people were arrested yesterday after blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood methane gas storage facility. Seven were arrested at the north gate, blockading a truck, and charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. Three were arrested at the south gate and charged with trespassing. All have been released and have a Nov. 5 court date.</p><p>After blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood methane gas storage facility on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/23/methane-storage-seneca-lake/">for two days last week</a>, including a rally with more than 200 people, the human blockade continues.</p><p>For the second morning in a row this week, the “<a href="http://www.wearesenecalake.com/" target="_blank">We Are Seneca Lake</a>” protesters are blocking the Crestwood gate with protesters expanding the blockade to include a second driveway. With last Friday marking the day that the construction project on this huge gas storage facility was <a href="http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20140812-5017">authorized</a> by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin, community members, after pursuing every other avenue to stop this project, are participating in ongoing nonviolent civil disobedience as a last resort.</p><p>“We are not going away,” said renowned biologist and author <a href="http://ecowatch.com/author/ssteingraber/">Sandra Steingraber</a>, PhD. “The campaign against dangerous gas storage in abandoned salt caverns near our beloved lake will continue with political pressure on our elected officials—who should be protecting our drinking water, our health and our wine, and tourism-based economy—and nonviolent acts of civil disobedience.”</p><p>These community protestors are not the only ones against this project. Last week, the <a href="http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/local/2014/10/19/tompkins-seneca-hydrocarbon-storage/17589943/" target="_blank">Tompkins County legislature</a> approved a resolution that opposes gas storage on the lakeshore, while the <a href="http://www.fltimes.com/news/article_6e6f66dc-553f-11e4-a05b-63dc7447858a.html" target="_blank">Yates County legislature</a> passed a similar resolution the prior week. These counties now join the Board of Supervisors of both Ontario and Seneca counties, which previously passed motions opposing gas storage, along with the Geneva City Council and the Watkins Glen Village Board that oppose this project.</p><p>“As a registered nurse, I know that we need clean drinking water, and it’s important to protect people from all of the insidious byproducts of petrochemical companies,” said Coby Schultz a resident of Springwater in Livingston County. “This area is too precious and water is too valuable of resource to exploit so recklessly.”</p><figure aria-labelledby="figcaption_attachment_347561" id="attachment_347561"><a href="http://ecowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/weareseneca.jpg"><img alt="&quot;We Are Seneca Lake&quot; protesters block a second gate at Crestwood's methane gas storage facility this morning. Photo credit: Lindsay Speer" src="http://ecowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/weareseneca.jpg" /></a><figcaption id="figcaption_attachment_347561">“We Are Seneca Lake” protesters block a second gate at Crestwood’s methane gas storage facility this morning. Photo credit: Lindsay Speer</figcaption></figure><p>On Monday, Steingraber joined <a href="http://www.thomhartmann.com/bigpicture" target="_blank">Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture</a> sharing her reasons why this project must be stopped. Watch here:</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image"><div class="media-youtube-outer-wrapper" id="media-youtube-1" style="width: 312px; height: 222px;"> <div class="media-youtube-preview-wrapper" id="media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"> <object width="312" height="222"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_dzOO3alQo0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_dzOO3alQo0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="312" height="222" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object> <script type="text/javascript"><!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!-- if (Drupal.settings && Drupal.media_youtube) { Drupal.settings.media_youtube = Drupal.settings.media_youtube || {}; Drupal.settings.media_youtube["media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"] = {}; Drupal.settings.media_youtube["media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"].width = 312; Drupal.settings.media_youtube["media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"].height = 222; Drupal.settings.media_youtube["media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"].video_id = "_dzOO3alQo0"; Drupal.settings.media_youtube["media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"].fullscreen = true; Drupal.settings.media_youtube["media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"].id = "media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1_iframe"; Drupal.settings.media_youtube["media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"].options = { autoplay: 0 }; Drupal.media_youtube.insertEmbed("media_youtube__dzOO3alQo0_1"); } //--><!]]> </script></div> </div> </div><p>Barbara Schiessher of Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association agrees with Steingraber: “The expansion of the Crestwood facility <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2013/05/08/cuomo-protect-tourism-industry-from-fracking/">will affect everyone who lives, works or plays on the lake</a>, or consumes agricultural products from the region, including its award winning wines. It will affect the 100,000 residents who get drinking water from the Lake. It increases the likelihood of contamination of our air, soil and water, plus the always present risk of gas leakage, unpredictable explosions and sink holes such as have occurred in a number of salt cavern storage facilities of <a href="http://ecowatch.com/news/energy-news/fracking-2/">natural gas</a> and LPG.”</p> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:03:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1025248 at https://www.alternet.org Activism Environment Water natural gas new york Seneca Lake Judge Overturns Colorado City's Five-Year Fracking Ban https://www.alternet.org/fracking/judge-overturns-colorado-citys-five-year-fracking-ban <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Bans passed by Fort Collins voters ruled to impede the state&#039;s interest in oil and gas production. </div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_184689941.jpg?itok=jz5mgEZ0" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p><em>Republished  with permission from <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/08/08/judge-overturns-fort-collins-five-year-fracking-ban/">EcoWatch.</a></em></p><p>District Judge Gregory M. Lammons ruled on the lawsuit filed in late 2013 by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association challenging the bans passed by voters in Fort Collins and Longmont stating that the Fort Collins moratorium is preempted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act because it “impedes a state interest and prohibits what the state law allows.” </p><p>“The City’s five-year ban effectively eliminates the possibility of oil and gas development within the City,” Lammons writes. “This is so because hydraulic fracturing is used in ‘virtually all oil and gas wells’ in Colorado. To eliminate a technology that is used in virtually all oil and gas wells would substantially impede the state’s interest in oil and gas production.”</p><p>The moratorium in Fort Collins stopped new wells from being fracked within city limits, while the city performed a study on the health impacts of fracking. City officials now have seven weeks to decide if it plans to appeal the court’s decision.</p><p>“We are disappointed at the outcome,” Interim City Attorney Carrie Daggett told the <a href="http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2014/08/07/judge-overturns-fort-collins-fracking-moratorium/13743031/" target="_blank">Coloradoan</a>. The city is reviewing the judge’s order and will be considering its options, Daggett said.</p><p>“The decision of overturning the protective moratorium in Fort Collins against the inherent human and environmental dangers of fracking is yet another display of puppetry enforced by the regulatory scheme,” said Shane Davis, aka The Fractivist.</p><p>On Monday, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/08/04/polis-pulls-anti-fracking-initiatives-colorado-ballot/" target="_blank">pulled two ballot measures</a> from the November ballot that sought to provide far greater local control of Colorado’s fracking industry. The initiatives would have forced fracking wells to be 2,000 feet from schools, hospitals and other community facilities, and established an environmental bill of rights allowing local governments precedence when laws conflict with the state.</p><p>Late July, Boulder County District Court Judge D.D. Mallard <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/25/colorado-longmont-fracking-ban/" target="_blank">ruled against Longmont’s fracking ban</a> in favor of “state’s interest,” clearly stating that concerns about health risks to residents don’t quite stack up against Colorado’s stake in the oil and gas industries. Voters <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2012/12/06/ban-fracking-in-us/" target="_blank">approved the ban in 2012</a>, but the Colorado Oil and Gas Association never stopped fighting to overturn it.</p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 09:41:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 1014732 at https://www.alternet.org Fracking Environment Fracking Water fracking "Enough is Enough:" Hostility Increases Over Faulty Southern Leg of Keystone XL Pipeline https://www.alternet.org/environment/hostility-increases-over-faulty-southern-leg-keystone-xl-pipeline <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">&quot;Stopping the pipeline is going to be a legal, not political solution and that it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when this line will leak.”</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_128585405.jpg?itok=Igo2ecg9" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p><em>This <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2013/opposition-escalates-faulty-southern-leg-keystone-xl-pipeline/">story</a> first appeared on <a href="http://ecowatch.com/">EcoWatch</a>.</em></p><p>“Enough is enough,” said Michael Bishop during our phone conversation Saturday morning after he found out TransCanada and its vendor, Michels, are planning to dig up buried pipe, part of the 485-mile southern segment of the <a href="http://ecowatch.com/p/energy/keystone-xl-pipeline-2/" target="_blank">Keystone XL</a> pipeline, on his property in the east Texas rural community of Douglass.</p><p>The representative for Michels, who showed up on Bishop’s property last week, said he was there to mark the utility lines prior to the crews “coming out next week to replace the anomalies.” Bishop asked if they were going to dig up portions of the line they just laid and the representative responded, “Yes, those sections where anomalies are.”</p><p>Last month, it was <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2013/transcanada-damage-control-flaws-southern-keystone-xl-pipeline/" target="_blank">reported</a> that TransCanada was in damage control mode concerning flaws in the newly laid southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline after dozens of anomalies, including dents and welds, were identified along a 60-mile stretch north of the Sabine River in Texas.</p><p>As if Bishop and his neighbors haven’t been through enough with the invasion of this Canadian company taking their property via eminent domain and then bulldozing their land. Now they watch as Michels digs up and rebuilds dozens of sections of the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline.</p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 10px 0px; ">Property owners along the pipeline route have been concerned about potential leaks even before the pipeline construction began. TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline, which runs from Canada to the U.S. Midwest, <a href="http://tcktcktck.org/2011/08/heather-libby-infographic-explores-keystone-pipelines-built-spill/10109" target="_blank">experienced 12 spills</a> in the first year after it began operation in June 2010—the highest spill rate of any oil pipeline in U.S. History.</p><p>Now Texas and Oklahoma residents are even more outraged with the news of the pipeline anomalies and the ExxonMobil <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2013/arkansas-spill-red-flag-keystone-xl-pipeline/" target="_blank">Pegasus pipeline rupture</a> on March 29 that spewed Canadian <a href="http://ecowatch.com/p/energy/oil-tar-sands/" target="_blank">tar sands</a> oil in a suburban community in Mayflower, AR, where residents are still complaining of <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2013/months-later-arkansas-residents-hurting-exxonmobil-tar-sands-spill/" target="_blank">health problems</a> and the impact on wildlife and the environment.</p><p>“I have said from the beginning of this fight that stopping the pipeline is going to be a legal, not political solution and that it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when this line will leak,” said Bishop.</p><p>“When it does, it will be devastating to not only the area it crosses, but to the groundwater. The fact that this controversy has become a political football is sad and it is even sadder that in spite of laws on the books protecting the public, that politicians from both parties have allowed this to continue under the false pretenses of national security, independence from foreign oil and the creation of jobs.”</p><p>Watch this exclusive video taken last week showing excavated pipe just outside of Wells, TX, and footage taken just south of Jacksonville, TX, at a PUP—pulled up pipe—yard where pipe has been deemed inadequate:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JUR2XJyTQH8" width="430"></iframe></p><p>Bishop had a lot to say after watching this video for the first time yesterday:</p><p>The video clearly shows that this is a bigger problem than what the TransCanada propaganda machine is saying publicly. This is the smoking gun.</p><p>My sources tell me that the so called ‘anomalies’ total over a mile in a short, 60-mile section of north Texas including Wood County. Additionally, it is apparent that inspector oversight during the welding process, as well as deficiencies in the trenching and laying of the pipe, occurred.</p><p>I have been told that the minimum segment allowable by law is eight feet, but the video clearly shows segments being replaced that are much less, including one segment that is three feet or so in length.</p><p>When the new segments are welded up, how can the public be assured that the work will not be a repeat of the shoddy, prior performance that has brought them back to our properties? If we were concerned about leaking before construction began, how can we have confidence in TransCanada at this point?</p><p>Additionally, if this is allowed to be put into service, the federal government is going to be complicit in a criminal act when this leaks and destroys our land and groundwater, forcing the permanent evacuation of hard working landowners who might be compensated but will never fulfill their dreams or leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. PHMSA [<a href="http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/" target="_blank">Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration</a>] must act and permanently shut this project down now.</p><p><a href="http://landownersagainsttranscanadapipeline.org/" target="_blank">Landowners Against TransCanada</a>, an organization formed to provide assistance to landowners in the U.S. to legally fight the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, launched a <a href="http://ecowatch.com/2013/investigate-anomalies-keystone-xl-pipeline/" target="_blank">petition</a> today telling PHMSA to perform its legal duties to protect human health and the environment, and immediately investigate the anomalies and stop further construction of the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline.</p><p>“The truth is, this is the taking of land from sovereign citizens and taxpayers for the benefit of a private, foreign corporation. It is against every tenet of our beliefs and understanding of the Constitution of the United States of America,” said Bishop.</p><p>“This pipeline will be stopped, eventually. We the people will prevail in this battle. We have had enough of leaks, spills and deceptions to last us a lifetime. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”  </p> Mon, 24 Jun 2013 11:02:00 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 859698 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Activism Environment News & Politics keystone pipeline environment Pivotal Figure in Fracking Debate Tumbles from Summit of His Own Ambition https://www.alternet.org/story/155245/pivotal_figure_in_fracking_debate_tumbles_from_summit_of_his_own_ambition <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Aubrey McClendon has been taking out personal loans to finance stakes in Chesapeake Energy&#039;s wells, and using those same stakes as collateral for additional loans.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/default.jpg?itok=wQcwl0WS" alt="" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Billionaire Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, will relinquish his title of chairman of the board. McClendon founded Chesapeake Energy—the second largest natural gas producer in the U.S. with drilling rights to some 15 million acres—in 1989 and will continue to serve as its CEO.</p> <p>The impetus for this move is McClendon’s involvement in the controversial Founder Well Participation Program (FWPP). The FWPP was approved by shareholders in 2005 to extend through 2015, providing McClendon with up to a 2.5 percent stake in thousands of oil and gas wells.</p> <p>Citing a conflict of interest between McClendon’s stake in the FWPP and shareholders, the board today announced the early termination of the program, effective June 30, 2014. According to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/18/us-chesapeake-mcclendon-loans-idUSBRE83H0GA20120418" target="_blank">Reuters</a>, McClendon has been taking out personal loans to finance stakes in the company’s wells, and using those same stakes as collateral for additional loans.</p> <p>As highlighted in a March Rolling Stone article, <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-big-fracking-bubble-the-scam-behind-the-gas-boom-20120301" target="_blank">The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind the Gas Boom</a>, much of Chesapeake Energy’s profits come from buying and flipping the land that contains the gas. Chesapeake, the most aggressive player in the natural gas field, operates more like a land speculator than a drilling company. This shell game has allowed Chesapeake to stay afloat even as natural gas prices have plummeted and other companies are struggling to survive.</p> <p>According to insiders, Chesapeake essentially sublet its vast leaseholds to Chinese and Norwegian gas companies at premium prices. These foreign companies apparently hoped that Chesapeake would share its technological wizardry for extracting gas from shale. According to gas industry insiders, those foreign companies were disappointed because the most valuable elements of the recipe for gas fracking was not held by Chesapeake but by the service companies, like Halliburton and Schlumberger. “Statoil and the Chinese put a lot of dough in the Chesapeake leases and never got the technology transfers they were hoping for,” said a gas industry insider.</p> <p>McClendon compromising his fiduciary duty and Chesapeake’s enormous debt load are only the beginning of the problems this company faces.</p> <p>Chesapeake certainly has emerged as one of the natural gas companies least trusted by the environmental community. Chesapeake was at the center of an attempt to find common ground between environmental organizations and the natural gas industry several years ago. The heads of the largest environmental groups and leaders from natural gas companies, as well as policy officials and industry groups, came together to identify areas of agreement and a potential path forward that would facilitate a reduced reliance on coal (a much dirtier fossil fuel), while also developing model regulations and increased safety standards at well sites, justifying increased confidence in the natural gas industry.</p> <p>This attempt to find common ground quickly eroded when the natural gas industry failed to live up to its end of the bargain, speaking out against the passage of an amendment to a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would have mandated disclosure of the chemicals used in the highly controversial process of hydraulic fracturing. It was understood by both sides that disclosure was to be the baseline test of the industry’s good faith, not only in working with the environmental community, but in protecting the public as such disclosure would help link faulty wells with the contamination they cause.</p> <p>McClendon personally allied with the environmental community to reduce the country’s reliance on coal by increasing demand for natural gas through a series of state policy efforts. In return, he agreed to fight for tougher regulations for the natural gas industry, including the transparency of fracking fluids, to align with environmentalists and help keep bad actor companies from joining the fracking boom. But when the federal legislation was killed in committee, it was clear that industry leaders had betrayed the environmental community by speaking out against the amendment through their lobbying associations.</p> <p>According to Waterkeeper Alliance President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., “Among the environmental community and the more responsible gas industry players, we found a widespread mistrust of Aubrey McClendon. My personal experience with him confirms that impression. I think his conduct severely damaged the possibility that the environmental community might work with the natural gas community to develop a regulatory framework that would protect the public interest, and reduce our reliance on coal and foreign oil.”</p> <p>McClendon initially demonstrated his good faith to the environmental community by taking New York City’s 2,000-square-mile Catskill watershed—much of it under lease by Chesapeake and its allies—off the table, promising to permanently ban fracking on Chesapeake land in the Catskills. He also offered many environmental groups support for their anti-coal campaigns, including Waterkeeper Alliance. “We thought it would be inappropriate to take that money,” said Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance who was at that time running the Waterkeeper Alliance’s national campaign against mountaintop mining.</p> <p>The Sierra Club certainly has taken a lot of heat for accepting money from Chesapeake Energy. Current Executive Director Michael Brune explained the Sierra Club’s new position on natural gas drilling in an <a href="http://ecowatch.org/2012/the-sierra-club-and-natural-gas/" target="_blank">Insights piece on EcoWatch.org</a>.</p> <p>“In 2010, soon after I became the organization’s executive director, I learned that beginning in 2007 the Sierra Club had received more than $26 million from individuals or subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy, one of the country’s largest natural gas companies. At the same time I learned about the donation, we at the Sierra Club were also hearing from scientists and from local chapters about the risks that natural gas drilling posed to our air, water, climate and people in their communities. We cannot accept money from an industry we need to change. Very quickly, the board of directors, with my strong encouragement, cut off these donations and rewrote our gift acceptance policy.”</p> <p>In addition, McClendon has been funding an industry lobbying group, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, for a “Coal is Flithy” campaign to try and put the brakes on a Texas utility planning to build 11 new coal plants.</p> <p>There was a sizable contingent within the gas industry that was genuinely interested in working together with environmentalists for tough regulations, transparency and rigorous enforcement, understanding that natural gas needed to get public confidence and not a black eye. That window only stayed open for a short time.</p> <p>“Aubrey is a charming, affable, brilliant and powerful figure who had the capacity to lead his industry to do great things for our country and humanity. It’s a tragedy that all of his extraordinary potential seems to have been squandered due to poor judgement and the seduction of greed and personal ambition,” said Kennedy.</p> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-bio field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter-->Stefanie Penn Spear, founder and executive director of EcoWatch (<a href="http://www.ecowatch.org">www.ecowatch.org</a>) and president of Expedite Renewable Energy (<a href="http://www.expediterenewableenergy.com">www.expediterenewableenergy.com</a>), has been working on environmental issues for more than 20 years. EcoWatch is a nonprofit organization that works to encourage individuals, businesses and governments to adopt sustainable lifestyles, business practices and policies. Publishers of the EcoWatch Journal newspaper, which is distributed for free throughout Ohio with a readership of more than 100,000, EcoWatch provides a venue for Ohio's environmental organizations and activists to get their news out to a broad audience. </div></div></div> Wed, 02 May 2012 06:00:01 -0700 Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch 670593 at https://www.alternet.org Fracking Fracking oil gas water drilling fracking chesapeake Vision: 2011 Must Be the Year Where We Get Serious About Wind and Solar Power https://www.alternet.org/story/149389/vision%3A_2011_must_be_the_year_where_we_get_serious_about_wind_and_solar_power <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '664815'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=664815" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Even without federal policies to catapult the U.S. to the world&#039;s leader in renewable energy, solar and wind energy has the potential to significantly increase its capacity.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/default.jpg?itok=wQcwl0WS" alt="" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>What resources are used to power the electricity grid will certainly continue to be debated throughout 2011. And what actions will be taken in the 112th Congress on electric power generation is yet to be seen, but passing a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) or any form of carbon cap and trade bill seems highly unlikely. Even without the necessary federal policies to catapult the U.S. to the world's leader in renewable energy installations and manufacturing, solar and wind energy has the potential to significantly increase its capacity in 2011.</p> <p>The one-year renewal of the U.S. Treasury 1603 grant program, allowing investors to receive a 30 percent grant in lieu of a tax credit on renewable energy projects, and accelerated depreciation benefits passed in the lame duck session, will greatly benefit distributed generation and utility scale projects in 2011. The number of distributed generation or behind the meter on-site projects installed in 2011 will be directly related to incentives available in each state.</p> <p>For example, in Ohio, the failure to renew the Advanced Energy Fund, a grant program providing up to $200,000 for renewable energy projects, will greatly decrease investment in on-site projects unless developers and advocates are able to get another incentive passed in the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly and governor's office. However, states like Pennsylvania, whose grant incentives remain strong, will continue to reap the economic growth and job creation from investment in renewable energy projects. Investment in utility scale projects will also be impacted by state incentives typically focusing more on a state's tax structure than grant programs. With more than 29 states having passed an RES you would assume these states would keep the necessary incentives strong to ensure the RES goals are obtainable, but with new political leaders in many of these states it is hard to tell how hard they will work to base a significant percentage of their electricity usage on renewable energy generation.</p> <p>The value of renewable energy credits (RECs)--tradable, non-tangible energy commodities in the U.S. that represent proof that one megawatt-hour of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource--will also play a role in the amount of installed capacity in 2011. In states where grant incentives are drying up, RECs play an enormous role in making projects financially viable. In addition to the issues associated with the fluctuating market of RECs, many states might start seeing a flooding of the REC market as large megawatt projects are installed in their state. If these large projects are eligible for the respective states REC program, it could significantly decrease the amount of distributed generation projects since these projects would not be economically viable without the revenue generated by selling RECs. However, some states, like New Jersey, Massachusetts and Delaware, have passed policies to ensure this does not happen. Hopefully states like Ohio will follow the lead put forth by other states to encourage the installation of on-site renewable energy projects.</p> <p>Another potential delay to increased distributed generation wind capacity in 2011 is the lack of a streamlined process for environmental regulation and siting of projects. The impacts to Bald Eagles, Indiana Bats and other wildlife from single turbine projects is not well documented and therefore projects are delayed or withdrawn after being denied federal funding from agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development if they did not receive a green light from governmental agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Department of Natural Resources. The contradiction here, of course, is that reliance on renewable energy generation actually improves the health of wildlife by reducing mercury pollution in the air and water. There is no question that proper siting of renewable energy projects is critical to the success of this industry, but when viable projects are derailed due to a lack of well-defined regulations by agencies it reduces installed capacity.</p> <p>Monitoring what the U.S. decides to do in 2011 is only half the battle, especially when you contemplate that half of the 6 billion tons of coal burned globally each year is burned in China with many other countries like India significantly increasing their daily appetite for electricity. In addition, U.S. coal exports are on the rise. China is now importing higher-grade, low-sulfur coal from places like the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana and this year's Energy Information Administration, the official energy statistics from the U.S. government, projects China's coal consumption doubling by 2035.</p> <p>What will happen to the price of coal-fired electricity as we increase its export and continue to heavily rely on this non-renewable source of fuel is yet to been seen. Since we have truly never paid the true cost for coal power and the industry continues to be greatly subsidized by the government, one would assume that sooner than later the price for electricity will skyrocket. Hopefully by then we will have the right policies in place on the state and federal level that will encourage investment in renewable energy projects, level the playing field between renewable and non-renewable energy generation, ignite the U.S. as a leader in the manufacturing of renewable energy equipment and rebuild our economy by putting people back to work by relying on cleaner sources of fuel.</p> <p>There is a lot of work to be done in 2011. It is a time when renewable energy developers, advocates, governmental agencies and political leaders will need to work together to encourage the adoption of policies that reduce our dependency on coal and strengthen our economy.</p> <p> </p> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-bio field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter-->Stefanie Penn Spear, founder and executive director of <a href="http://www.ecowatch.org">EcoWatch</a> and president of <a href="http://www.expediterenewableenergy.com">Expedite Renewable Energy</a>, has been working on environmental issues for more than 20 years. Follow Spear on Twitter at twitter.com/StefanieSpear. </div></div></div><!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2011 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '664815'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=664815" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 03 Jan 2011 07:00:01 -0800 Stefanie Spear, AlterNet 664815 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment energy renewable energy coal wind solar Lame Duck Session Controls Momentum of Renewable Energy Industry https://www.alternet.org/story/149180/lame_duck_session_controls_momentum_of_renewable_energy_industry <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '664519'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=664519" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Since the fossil fuel industry is so highly subsidized by the federal government, it is impossible for solar, wind and other renewable industries to compete without incentives.</div></div></div><!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/default.jpg?itok=wQcwl0WS" alt="" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Renewable Energy installers in the U.S. and Ohio are holding their breath as the U.S. and Ohio Senate consider incentives that will greatly impact the renewable energy industry. On the federal level, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) unveiled a bipartisan tax package bill Thursday evening that includes an extension of the Section 1603 cash grant giving renewable energy investors a 30 percent investment tax credit on qualified project costs.</p> <p>In Ohio, the House passed Rep. Mike Foley's (D-Cleve.) sponsored bill HB 301, that extends the Advanced Energy Fund for three years, a grant program that is vital to the future of distributed generation projects in the state.</p> <p>The 1603 Treasury Grant Program is necessary to help level the playing field between the fossil fuel industry and renewables. Since the fossil fuel industry is so highly subsidized by the federal government, it is impossible for solar, wind and other renewable industries to compete without incentives. If Section 1603, found in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is not renewed it will greatly reduce the number of renewable energy projects installed in the U.S. and put us further behind other nations in the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies and commitment to reducing carbon emissions. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), failure to extend the 1603 program could cost the U.S. 15,000 renewable energy jobs.</p> <p>There is no doubt the investment tax credit has been a vital part to boosting the renewable energy industry in the U.S. According to SolarNation, Section 1603 has allowed the solar industry to grow by more than 100 percent in 2010, created enough solar capacity to power 200,000 homes and doubled domestic solar employment to more than 93,000 Americans. AWEA says that the grant program enabled the construction of 10,000 MW of new wind capacity in 2009--more than double the 4,000 MW that would have been installed without the program, and saved 40,000 jobs in construction, manufacturing, and research and development.</p> <p>Ohio's Advanced Energy Fund has invested more than $50 million in some 620 advanced energy projects across Ohio, including the installation of Cleveland's first business-owned wind turbine which was the impetus for the passage of wind turbine zoning legislation in the city. This grant gets its funding through a uniform fee of .09¢ per month on electric bills of customers of the state's four investor-owned utilities--American Electric Power, Dayton Power &amp; Light, Duke Energy and FirstEnergy. Now, the future of this incentive is in the hands of the Ohio senate with an unlikely chance of passing. The week ahead will dictate the fate of this grant and the future of Ohio's renewable energy industry.</p> <p>The passage of Gov. Ted Strickland's energy bill in April 2008 ignited the renewable energy industry in Ohio. Included in this bipartisan legislation was a Renewable Portfolio Standard mandating that 25 percent of electricity generated in Ohio come from advanced energy sources by 2025 with 12.5 percent from renewables including hydro and 50 percent of that power generation coming from Ohio projects. This lame duck session will give Ohioans an idea of what to expect in the year's to come with a republican majority in the house and senate. Hopefully Ohio's Republican Governor-elect John Kasich will continue the leadership necessary to make Ohio a world-class leader in green energy jobs and manufacturing, and promote a sustainable energy economy.</p> <p>Deployment of renewable energy projects is uncertain. If Section 1603 and Ohio's Advanced Energy Fund get renewed, at least we will know our country is headed in the right direction. Success of these measures will take a lot of effort over the next two weeks. Calls and emails are needed to the U.S. and Ohio senate encouraging passage of these incentives to support the transition to cleaner sources of power and strengthening of our green economy. Contact your <a href="http://www.senate.gov">U.S. senators</a> and <a href="http://www.ohiosenate.gov">Ohio senators</a>. Your voice makes a difference. </p> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-bio field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter-->Stefanie Penn Spear, founder and executive director of EcoWatch (<a href="http://www.ecowatch.org">www.ecowatch.org</a>) and president of Expedite Renewable Energy (<a href="http://www.expediterenewableenergy.com">www.expediterenewableenergy.com</a>), has been working on environmental issues for more than 20 years. EcoWatch is a nonprofit organization that works to encourage individuals, businesses and governments to adopt sustainable lifestyles, business practices and policies. Publishers of the EcoWatch Journal newspaper, which is distributed for free throughout Ohio with a readership of more than 100,000, EcoWatch provides a venue for Ohio's environmental organizations and activists to get their news out to a broad audience. </div></div></div><!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2010 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '664519'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=664519" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 13 Dec 2010 11:00:01 -0800 Stefanie Spear, AlterNet 664519 at https://www.alternet.org Environment Environment Economy News & Politics renewable energy wind solar