Activists Follow Obama and White House Press Corps to Martha’s Vineyard

Obama Martha's vinyard tar sandsAs I sit on the ferry from Oaks Bluff, Martha’s Vineyard back to the mainland it is hard not to think of the people who are currently sacrificing their body and individual rights outside the White House at this very moment. We traveled out to the Vineyard to follow our President Barack Obama and hand-deliver press packets for the Tar Sands Action to the White House Press Corps that surround him in order to remind them the key role that the President can play in future of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Stopping the construction of this pipeline will halt a cascade of environmental impacts (“sure”?  sounds a bit awkward) and begin to fulfill the campaign promises that engaged so many in 2008.  Our mission to the Vineyard today was a simple but impacting way to support this growing movement to inspire the President to do the right thing.  I encourage you to find your way to contribute.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is Obama’s chance to turn tides and start to regain support from the many that voted him into office. The same people that slept on the floors of churches taking workshops on grassroots political campaigning are now using the same trainings to prepare to be arrested outside his front door in D.C. Continue reading ‘Activists Follow Obama and White House Press Corps to Martha’s Vineyard’

Students Stand Up and Say “No More Coal”!

Yesterday more progress was made in the effort to move the state of Massachusetts beyond coal and towards a clean energy revolution. The Utility and Telecommunications Committee had open public hearings for several proposed bills which call for an end to fossil fuel dependence in the state, one of which was written by students from Students for a Just and Stable Future ( The hearing started with an introduction of the bills by Rep. Eherlich from the 8th Essex District, who continued to explain how organizing around the coal power plant in her community is what drove her to first become civically engaged.The hearing was well attended by concerned community members, public health advocate groups as well as students from across the state.

After Representative Eherlich spoke, members from Environmental League Massachusetts and the Sierra Club outlined the health risks posed by coal power plants. The Sierra Club also offered reference to their recent publication on how renewable energy sources can replace the base load power for the grid which is presently generated by fossil fuels and nuclear power. Four members from Students for a Just and Stable Future then spoke on behalf of their drafted legislation, house docket #2625, which is entitled “An Act to Phase Out Coal Burning and Use”. Unlike other bills in front of the committee that ask for this to be done by the year 2020, Students for a Just and Stable Future believe that the issue demands more urgency and should be accomplished by 2015. The students who spoke addressed the many externalities pushed onto local communities and the environment throughout the coal commodity chain covering everything from the devastation due to mountain top removal to the effects emissions are having in the form of acid rain and global climate change.

Continue reading ‘Students Stand Up and Say “No More Coal”!’