Archive for the 'Global Warming and a New Energy Economy' Category

Supercharged Streets in New York

By Melissa Everett, Connecticut Clean Energy Program Manager

The streets of New York were supercharged yesterday at the People’s Climate March, not only by the sheer numbers but with the inventiveness of the communication that came up from the throng of well over 300,000. Posters, shirts, large puppets, and larger pop-up sunbursts – all the handmade expressions that citizens without advertising budgets can muster when they are highly motivated. And this was a highly motivated group indeed. Popular around me was the call-and-response chant:

Tell me what democracy looks like.

This is what democracy looks like.

Sponsored by over 1200 organizations including Clean Water Action, the march was timed to set the stage for the UN working meetings beginning Tuesday, which formulate the agenda for the Paris meetings a few months ahead. Participants were organized in waves to represent all the constituencies whose voices must be heard, from indigenous communities and vulnerable populations to solution-generators like the clean energy and clean water economic sectors. Bringing those voices together to call for decisive international agreements and national policy shifts — that is democracy at its best. Read the rest of this entry »

Americans Speak on Clean Water (Part 2)

By Phil Dimotsis, Organizer. Follow Phil on Twitter (@PhiluptuousD)

Yesterday I shared with you just a few of the passionate words that people from across the nation had to say about the fight to protect clean water. There were too many, and too many good letters, not to share more. Read the rest of this entry »

Finally Managing Groundwater

By Jennifer Clary, California Program Manager

The California Legislature ended its 2014 session on Friday evening by adopting the first comprehensive groundwater regulation in the state’s 164-year history.  SB 1168 (Pavley) and AB 1739 (Dickinson) provide a framework for managing the state’s groundwater basins that will require management plans and potentially pumping limits in the state’s most heavily used basins.

There’s an old adage that says “water flows to money.” That is definitely the case with groundwater, as large cities, irrigation districts and corporate agriculture can afford to drill wells ever deeper to capture dwindling groundwater supplies.  The current drought, now in its third year, has brought this inequity to the forefront as groundwater levels have dropped precipitously in some parts of the state, causing groundwater-fed streams and small domestic wells to go dry. This means small farmers are losing their water supply to neighbors with a deeper well and more powerful pump.  Read the rest of this entry »

Where will you be on September 21st?

By Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director – Follow Lynn on Twitter

alt with dates bigger-01Climate change is impacting us. And it’s not good. Pollution from power plants and other sources is affecting our food…our air…our water. It’s super-sizing things like hurricanes and droughts. If we don’t take action, it’s only going to get worse. So, don’t you think it’s time we did something about it?

On September 21st, you’ll have your chance to demand action.

Tens of thousands of people and more than 750 organizations are going to New York City on 9/21 for the People’s Climate March. Leaders from all over the world are going to be at the United Nations’ Summit on Climate Change to chart a course of action to address the global warming crisis and we think they should hear from us. If you can make it to NYC, visit this page to RSVP.

We’re joining the People’s March because everything we’re fighting for is impacted by a changing climate, especially when it comes to our water. Just this month, we saw how the algae blooms in Lake Erie, which get worse when temperatures rise, can lead to public health threats in drinking water. Climate change is water change and if we want to protect clean water, we have to take action now. Read the rest of this entry »

Organizing for Clean Water

By Paula Weiner, Pittsburgh Phone Organizer
Legacy. That’s what first attracted me me to apply for a job with Clean Water Action.  While aiding others in the choice between a blue scarf and a purple one is important in its own way, I am finding that the ability to leave a lasting difference on our beleaguered planet is more rewarding than I could ever have imagined.  Being a canvasser is not an easy job,  especially when you consider what Clean Water Action is up against.
The people and companies responsible some of the most horrendous acts damaging the earth are well funded and deeply connected, so when I pick up the phone at Clean Water Action, one of my goals is to broaden the base of Earth’s stewards.
Our members run the gamut from school teachers and scientists, to students and nuclear-power-plant employees and everything in between. The most important thing is the care we all have for our solitary planet. Water is the most basic, fundamental necessity we have and I don’t know why it is so scary for the companies that wage war against us. No wait, I do know why: GREED.  That’s the bottom line sometimes, greed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Add Shallow Drinking Water to Fracker’s List of Favorite Things

By John Noël, National Oil and Gas Program Coordinator – follow John on Twitter

On the heels of a groundbreaking report on the oil and gas industry’s continued use of diesel fuel in its fracture fluid, comes another bombshell from two Stanford researchers in Wyoming. An LA Times exclusive indicates the researchers are completing a study in two geologic formations in the much heralded, Pavilion gas field. The results reveal that drillers were fracking IN formations containing underground sources of drinking water. IN being the key word.

Ever since the fracking saga broke into the mainstream, industry has continuously dismissed the public’s concern about the actual fracturing process on our sources of drinking water. They claimed that it is happening far below the surface with no chance of harming the pristine aquifers above. While lots of fracking does occur thousands of feet below the surface and under low permeability capstone rocks, this new research confirms that there are cases of fracking happening at incredible shallow depths of as little as 700-750ft. Which is far shallower than the “…four Empire State buildings stacked on top of each other (“approximately 6000 ft”) claimed by API – and wouldn’t even get you to the observation deck of the actual Empire State Building. Read the rest of this entry »

Still Fracking with Diesel After All These Years

By John Noël, National Oil and Gas Program Coordinator – follow John on Twitter

Today our allies at the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) released a groundbreaking report on the oil and gas industry’s use of diesel fuels in fracture fluids. As we’ve written before, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempted hydraulic fracturing from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), except when diesel fuels are used. Even under intense industry pressure, Congress recognized the potentially toxic impacts from injecting diesel fuels underground. This process is alarming because of the toxic chemicals contained in diesel fuels, especially the “BTEX” compounds. “BTEX” compounds – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene – are highly mobile in ground water and present an elevated threat when injected underground at high pressures. Health impacts associated with these chemicals include cancer, nervous system problems, kidney and liver problems and anemia.

The report appropriately sums it up, “To put this in perspective, a quarter teaspoon of benzene is enough to make an average swimming pool exceed the benzene MCL [Maximum Contaminant Level].” Not something you want anywhere near your drinking water. Read the rest of this entry »

Abbott’s Saber Rattling Prattle Against Protecting Our Water

By David Foster, Texas Director – Follow Clean Water’s Texas Campaign on Twitter

Sadly, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s August 11th letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threatening to sue if it does not retreat from its plan to strengthen protections for the sources of our drinking water is more about politics and ideology than public health. For Abbott, it does not matter that EPA simply wants to return protections back to where they were during the Clinton and Reagan administrations. It does not matter that its proposal is based on peer-reviewed scientific studies. It does not matter that the proposal would restore protections to headwater streams and wetlands that connect with the drinking water supply of 117 million Americans, including 11.5 million in Texas. It does not matter that 75% of stream miles dry up part of the year in our drought-prone state, and hence could lose protections if Abbott has his way. It does not even matter that EPA will not issue a final rule before 2015, at which time Abbott will no longer be in a direct position to sue, since he is resigning as AG to run for governor. Read the rest of this entry »

ReThinking Disposables

By Madison Davis, California Waste Program Intern

Since starting my summer internship at Clean Water Action in Oakland, I’ve discovered how little I really knew about how disposable containers’ impact our environment. Of course as a life long environmentalist, I’ve always tried to do what I could to limit my impact on our precious resources. Using reusable bottles over disposable ones has always been a given for me, but other disposable containers weren’t completely out of the question before I started working at Clean Water Action. For some reason our society has yet to recognize that single use products, such as fro-yo cups, to go containers or disposables offered at restaurants for dinning in, are just as bad for the environment as coffee cups. Read the rest of this entry »

DC Imposes a Citywide Ban on Polystyrene Foam

by Lily Biggar, Communications Intern

For folks like me living in the nation’s capitol, this summer has brought unbearable humidity, another so-so season for the Washington Nationals, and continued congressional frustrations. However, DC has finally given us a reason to smile.

On July 14th, the City Council voted to place a ban on polystyrene foam, the harmful petroleum-based material used in everything from packaging to takeout containers.

While the ban may go unnoticed by consumers using polystyrene only to hold their morning coffee, it will certainly be noticed by our environment. Read the rest of this entry »

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