Archive for the 'EPA' Category

President Obama Abandons Clean Air: Picks Polluters Over Sick and Dying American Kids.

Sierra Club Coal Ad - MiaIn a sickening (literally) move, President Obama has told the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon their plans to protect kids from toxic air pollution, siding with big polluters like Exxon, Koch Industries, and their sock-puppet the US Chamber of Commerce over the health and safety of America’s youth.

The EPA did their job, following scientific advice, hearing from impacted communities, environmental justice, and health organizations. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson worked to set new standards for communities, which would have helped protect kids and keep people working instead of out of work sick or in the ER taking care of their kids and likely spurred investments in scrubbers and pollution control equipment manufactured here in the United States.

Instead, the President sided with the US Chamber of Commerce, echoing the very language they used in their letter scrambling to find justifications for why these polluting corporations wanted to put off essential protections for the lives and health of kids and seniors exposed to toxic air pollutants. The Chamber of Commerce, reveling in the power they are exercising in a post-Citizens United world of unlimited corporate cash in US elections, said:

U.S. Chamber Praises White House Decision to Withdraw Potentially Disastrous Ozone Standards
Donohue Calls Move a ‘Big First Step in What Needs to be a Broader Regulatory Reform Effort’. Source

This is after over a thousand people have been arrested in front of the White House, desperately trying to get President Obama to halt the Keystone XL pipeline that the nation’s top climate scientist said would be ‘game over’ for the climate, if built. A White House conspicuously without solar panels, that the Administration had promised to install by this spring. Another in a string of promises broken and priorities downgraded on the environmental front. As the protestors outside the White House have been singing, “Pick a side Obama”, and it appears that he has.

Massachusetts Residents Call Out Scott Brown, Rally Strong for Clean Air

Crossposted from

Today I got to stand next to more than 50 Massachusetts mothers, children, workers, community leaders, and people of faith to kick off something truly unique – a “crowd-funded” citizen’s campaign to hold Senator Scott Brown accountable for voting to gut the Clean Air Act. At 12:00pm on the sidewalk in front of the JFK Federal Building in Boston, also known as Scott Brown’s district office, we held banners and puppets of Scott Brown and his fat cat supporters “Coal” and “Oil, signs, and a blow-up of the new ad our friends and neighbors funded.

The text of the ad read: “Senator Brown: On April 6th you voted to gut the Clean Air Act. Was it because dirty energy companies and their corporate front groups poured more than $1.9 million into your campaign last year? Are you working for people or Big Polluters?” Interested in joining us in funding the ad? Check it out here.

Continue reading ‘Massachusetts Residents Call Out Scott Brown, Rally Strong for Clean Air’

Reclaim Power in Washington D.C.! A Call to Action on April 18th at the End of Powershift

Rising Tide North America invites all residents, students and youth to join the Reclaim Power.

WHAT: Reclaim Power March & Creative Direct Actions

WHERE: Lafayette Square (H St NW & Jackson Pl NW); Washington D.C.

WHEN: April 18th at the end of the Powershift rally (scheduled from 10am-1pm)


From April 15th through the 18th, thousands of students and youth will be attending Powershift 2011. This conference has been billed as another opportunity to do something about climate change. Throughout the conference, Democratic politicians from Al Gore to Lisa Jackson will tell us the solution is to lobby, vote and work within the corporate-owned political system to stop climate change. They will tell us that supporting the existing leadership’s policies and the creation of carbon markets will stem the rising tide of carbon emissions slowly destroying our planet.

Do we really believe the answers lie in supporting a broken democracy and a carbon trading market that only makes bankers and oil men richer?

Despite Obama’s promises on the climate and the environment, things are only getting worse. Continue reading ‘Reclaim Power in Washington D.C.! A Call to Action on April 18th at the End of Powershift’

Things are Heating Up in Michigan

Things have been heating up in Michigan over the past few months, especially here in the Sixth Congressional District. Michiganders are tired of the status quo in Michigan, everything from runaway dirty energy politicians to constant attacks on education funding. Students and communities are not taking it lightly and have been coordinating a fight for our own rights to breath clean air, drink clean water, and to live in healthy, vibrant communities. If you haven’t heard, Congressman Fred Upton, Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee has proposed massive attacks on the EPA, including budget cuts and limitations of their authority to regulate carbon emissions and clean air.

Congressman Upton hasn’t always been this way; historically a moderate and supporter of nuclear energy, elected to represent Michigan’s Sixth District since 1987. Any reputation as a moderate quickly vanished during the 2010 elections when he accepted campaign contributions from Koch Industries and more dirty energy companies than ever. Upton’s constituents are not necessarily going along with this change in views, recent polls of his district by NRDC show nearly 62% of them disagree with his dismantling of the EPA by reducing their enforcement on carbon dioxide and other pollutants. The survey also found 67% of his constituents agree that “Congress should let the EPA do its job”. We won’t stand for it.

Continue reading ‘Things are Heating Up in Michigan’

Lisa Jackson answers your questions on Mercury and Air Toxics

Originally posted on the Power Shift 2011 blog.

Live Chat with Lisa JacksonThis morning, EPA Administrator (and Power Shift 2011 speaker!) Lisa P. Jackson sat down and took questions about the Mercury and Air Toxics Proposal from citizens, including some Green Corps and Power Shift organizers. [Watch the full-length video or read our highlights from the chat.]

Yesterday, the EPA released a Mercury and Air Toxics Standards proposal – the first to recommend national limits on mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and acid gasses emitted from coal and oil-powered plants.

By enacting this plan and regulating these toxics, the EPA estimates the plan will will prevent as many as 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks a year, as well as prevent 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and about 11,000 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year. It’s one of the largest steps forward in protecting kids from toxic air pollution in a generation. Continue reading ‘Lisa Jackson answers your questions on Mercury and Air Toxics’

2011 Resolution – Call It “Pollution”

If you’re like me and are already:

  • tired of reading articles like this about what’s going to be hot in 2011 (here’s hoping “the planet” doesn’t make the list)
  • busy breaking those New Year’s resolutions you made

I hope we can all resolve (and actually do it) to make one thing hot in 2011 – calling that icky stuff pouring out of our economy “pollution” instead of “emissions”.

Like “greenhouse gas pollution” instead of “greenhouse gas emissions”, “carbon pollution” instead of “carbon emissions”, etc.

Without making this a big post about messaging and why it matters, I think it’s pretty easy to get that “emissions” sounds neutral or at worst just a little bad, like politely talking about someone’s fart, and “pollution”, well, tells it like it is.

Unfortunately, as the charts below show (make them yourself at Google Fight. Other variations, such as “GHG pollution”, look similarly lopsided.), most people haven’t gotten the message. IGHIH isn’t even doing as well as it could (see for yourself).

Climate terms that use "emissions" are way more common than terms using "pollution", and that's a problem for communicating how serious climate change is. Images courtesty

Climate terms that use "emissions" are way more common than terms using "pollution", and that's a problem for communicating how serious climate change is. Images courtesy

Continue reading ’2011 Resolution – Call It “Pollution”’

New York State Bans most gas Fracking for 7 Months

Both houses of the New York State legislature recently passed a bill for a 6 month moratorium on methane (natural) gas fracking.  Citizen concerns about pollution, trampling of land rights, and a groundbreaking new film Gasland have fueled a massive grassroots backlash against companies like Haliburton diving headfirst into the gas rush.

Image via the Working Families Party

The fracking moratorium bill was vetoed, but Governor David Patterson issued an executive order in its place that does a more limited version of the same thing.  The bill would have banned all wells, but the executive order only bans ‘horizontal wells’ – the kind where a drill rig drills sideways to get gas below other people’s property (and drinking water).

The plus : most wells are horizontal, so the order has a big impact.  The minus: polluted groundwater flows, so it doesn’t really matter where its contaminated.  And the fact that the legislature could send such a clear message on a moratorium and that Patterson still felt the need to ‘bend to industry pressure’ is worrisome.

This issue is far from going away anywhere, and New York is likely to continue to be a central piece of the Haliburton/gas industry strategy to open up every bit of gas to extraction.  The EPA is also conducting a 2 year study (2010-2012) on the safety of gas fracking.  Residents of New York hope that Lisa Jackson spends more time in impacted communities listening to stories of residents and less time listening to the oil companies.

GOP leadership stacks Energy & Commerce with climate zombies

By RL_Miller, cross-posted from Daily Kos

Rep. Rob Bishop (AP Photo)

Republican leadership is stacking the Energy & Commerce committee with known climate zombies — elected officials who question the reality of human-caused climate change, thus proving that stupid goes viral.

The strategy is part and parcel with Rand Paul (“abolish the Fed!”) chairing a banking committee with jurisdiction over the Fed, Joe Pitts (Stupak-Pitts, attacker of women’s health) chairing a health committee, and Rob Bishop (probably the worst member of Congress for national park issues) overseeing a national parks subcommittee.  Here, loading the dice is a particularly reprehensible strategy when gambling with humanity’s future.

Continue reading ‘GOP leadership stacks Energy & Commerce with climate zombies’

Who’s Cleaning Up in DC? (hint: young people and Lisa Jackson!)


EPA SSC Demonstration

Pinwheels and signs set up at the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Right now hundreds of young people from all over the world are in Cancun, Mexico fighting for an international climate treaty.  And today, we’re taking over Washington, D.C. as well.


Over the past month students across the country held actions on their campuses to show our demand for the clean energy solutions we need and today those voices are reverberating throughout our nation’s capital. We’ve set up displays at the Environmental Protection Agency and near Capitol Hill showing off the bright, colorful pinwheels handmade by students from across the country.

Join the effort by posting your own messages to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Facebook and Twitter today.

This week the EPA celebrates their 40th anniversary, just in time for us to celebrate their awesome recent work to protect public health and stand up to Big Coal.  Their actions to implement new rules for polluting energy sources will help safeguard our communities by reducing pollution in our air and water.

At the same time, we’re working on our campuses to retire the fleet of more than 60 campus-based coal plants and move all our schools off coal to 100 percent clean energy solutions.  We’ve come to D.C. to show that we’re leading the way and ask our nation’s leaders to follow.

SSC Union Station Demonstration

SSC Students put up pinwheels and signs on the pathway to Capitol Hill

Already schools like the University of North Carolina, University of Illinois and Western Kentucky University have committed to stop burning coal on campus. We’re on the way, but still have a lot of work to do and need our leaders in Washington to join us in creating a cleaner, safer, healthier energy future.

So let Lisa Jackson know you’ve got her back when she steps up to the plate to take on Big Coal.

Our generation was lucky enough to grow up with the EPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental policies and we must ensure we maintain these critical protections for the health and prosperity of our and future generations.