On the Right Side of History with a Commonsense Veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

By John Noel, National Oil and Gas Campaign Coordinator – Follow John on Twitter (@Noel_Johnny)

Today we are thrilled to hear the President vetoed S.1, a bill which would approve the Keystone Pipeline and put millions at risk of groundwater contamination while significantly increasing carbon pollution from the dirtiest oil on the planet.

The risk of spills from the pipeline are  put squarely on the backs of landowners, farmers and Native American communities in the pipelines path, while the benefits of the project are concentrated to a few in the fossil fuel industry. Clean Water Action applauds this great news and commends the prolonged grassroots movement that led the call to deny the pipeline and instead chart a course for a truly clean energy future.

Posted on February 24, 2015  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Leave a Comment

Hit ‘em where it hurts…The Bottom Dollar

By Will Fadely, Baltimore Program Organizer – Follow Will on Twitter (@TrillChillWill )

MD Will fadely blog postSince Energy Answer’s entrance into Baltimore in 2008, we have been organizing with numerous groups like Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), Sierra Club, Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), Community Research, Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and others in order to fight the proposed Energy Answers Incinerator. Especially instrumental was Free Your Voice a group of local students assisted by United Workers.

The campaign has focused on encouraging groups contracted to receive energy from the monstrosity known as Energy Answers to divest from dirty Waste-To-Energy (WTE) that pollutes our communities and invest into truly green energy.

With a stroke of Friday the 13th luck, we had some success!

The Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC) and its members voted to terminate their contract to buy energy from the Energy Answers Incinerator proposed for Baltimore City.

This is a big step toward stopping the incinerator! Some members of BRCPC include Baltimore County Public Schools, MD Department of General Services, and the City of Annapolis, to name a few.

It shows that after five years those originally supporting the nation’s largest waste-to-energy incinerator being built within one mile of schools, playgrounds and communities recognize it is a poorly conceived and unjust project.

The time has come for our community to take a stand for what we want and deserve. We deserve clean air, we deserve a say in what happens in our community and this decision has given us a step towards that right.

“This community has been dumped on for years; it’s time for a positive change,” Meleny exclaimed, a Brooklyn Park resident.

Now that BRCPC has opted out of receiving dirty energy from Energy Answers, LLC, it opens the door for truly green alternatives, such as a Curtis Bay resident’s proposed plan for a solar farm, and other zero waste options.

These alternatives have shown to create more jobs, clean and fair development for Curtis Bay and Baltimore City.

This should urge the other contractees with Energy Answers to terminate their agreements, as well as elected officials to pull their support, and give city residents the opportunity to invest in zero waste alternatives, while preventing further environmental injustice.

Posted on February 20, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities | 2 Comments

California’s Oil and Gas Injection Mess

By Andrew Grinberg, California Oil and Gas Program Manager – Follow Andrew on Twitter (@AndrewBGrinberg)

AG Blog post imageThis is one of the most outrageous things we’ve heard in a long time. As California faces one of the worst droughts in recorded history, State officials have disclosed that California has allowed the injection of oil and gas wastewater and other contaminated fluids into aquifers that are suitable to be used as drinking water. Oil and gas wastewater is nasty stuff, high in salinity, toxic chemicals and sometimes containing radioactive material. New data just revealed that the wastewater from fracking in California contains cancer-causing benzene and other toxic chemicals hundreds of times the legal limit for drinking water.

The last thing we want is for these chemicals to end up in our drinking water, but as of now oil companies are continuing to inject even more waste into the aquifers. Outrageously, the state agency in charge of overseeing these operations (the Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources or “DOGGR”), has continued to allow these waste injection activities, despite identifying more than 2,000 wells that are actively injecting into federally protected sources of drinking water. Read more…

Posted on February 17, 2015  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | 2 Comments

What’s in your couch?

By Susan Eastwood – Follow Susan on Twitter (@SCEastwood)

Credit: Arlen, PhotoPin

Credit: Arlen, PhotoPin

Most of our home furniture is padded with foam to make it comfortable. In the past, high levels of flame retardant chemicals were added to the foam in furniture and baby products to meet the outdated furniture flammability standard known as Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117). These chemicals do not provide a significant fire safety benefit and they are associated with serious health issues, including cancer, hormone disruption, and learning disorders[1]. Babies and young children are most vulnerable to the toxic effects of these chemicals since their bodies and brains are still developing.

One of the main sources of flame retardants in your home is the couch. Flame retardants escape and end up in the dust and air, increasing as the foam gets older and starts to break down. Toddlers have the highest levels of exposure because of their hand-to-mouth behavior and proximity to the floor where dusts settles. Biomonitoring studies on children have shown extremely high levels of flame retardants in their blood[2]. The chemicals are washed into the water supply and cause damage to wildlife and water quality[3]. Read more…

Posted on February 16, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work | Comments Off

Colorado Needs Clean Water – Testimony at Wednesday’s Bicameral Hearing

By Sara Lu, Colorado Director – Follow our Colorado Team on Twitter (@CleanWaterCO1)

Wednesday, the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a joint Congressional hearing on EPA’s proposal to close loopholes in Clean Water Act protections for small streams and wetlands. I was proud to hear Clear Creek County Commissioner Tim Mauck make a compelling case for this overdue proposal to protect clean water. Tim pushed back on many of the myths opponents of this common sense rule have trotted out since it was proposed in March 2014.

Commissioner Mauck, a second-term member of the Clear Creek County Commission in Colorado gave persuasive testimony about the importance of healthy streams and wetlands to Colorado, our businesses and our natural resources.  Protecting these vital water bodies has been a priority for Clean Water Action for over decade. Thank you Tim for your powerful testimony!

You can read Tim’s statement here and learn more about yesterday’s hearing and our campaign to protect all of our water here.

Posted on February 5, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off

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