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Currents newsletter

June 23, 2009: Volume VII, #24

"The loophole would swallow not only standards governing mining activities, but also standards for dozens of other categories of regulated point sources."

-- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the dissent in yesterday's Supreme Court decision allowing a mining company to dump waste into a nearby lake.

In this issue

1) Take Action: Protect Additional Waterways from Destruction
2) Take Action: Pass a Strong Clean Energy and Climate Bill
3) Tar Sands: Sierra Club Launches New Campaign
4) Big Picture: Pieces Falling Into Place

1) Take Action:
Protect Additional Waterways from Destruction
wetlandsYesterday the Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Water Act permits a mining company to pump hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic wastewater slurry per day into an Alaskan lake, killing its fish and aquatic life. The ruling has dire implications for other waterways across the country, especially in places like Appalachia where devastating mining has already buried close to 2,000 miles of streams.

But Congress can ensure lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands are not destroyed by industrial waste dumping by passing the Clean Water Protection Act, H.R. 1310.

Currents action alert arrowTell Congress to act promptly to fix our clean water protections before more waters are lost!

2) Take Action: Pass a Strong Clean Energy and Climate Bill 
CongressThe U.S. needs comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation to jumpstart our economy, create millions of new, good-paying clean energy jobs, make us more energy independent, and put us on the path to slashing global warming pollution 80 percent by 2050.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act will set us on that path. Congress is scrambling to bring the bill to a vote before they go home on June 26th for Independence Day recess. Now is the time to make yourself heard!

Currents action alert arrowTake action today to ensure the House passes a strong clean energy and climate bill!

3) Tar Sands: Sierra Club Launches New Campaign 
Tailings pond north of Syncrude processing facility and upgraderThe Sierra Club today launched a new campaign urging Hillary Clinton to say no to dirty tar sands oil. Extracting tar sands takes a huge toll on our forests, waters and wildlife; and producing one barrel of oil from the tar sands creates more than three times the global warming pollution of conventional oil.

In the coming weeks as the rest of the country works to move to a clean energy economy, a major piece of the tar sands project -- the Alberta Clipper pipeline -- is up for approval by the U.S. State Department. The Sierra Club will be working hard to make sure that dirty tar sands oil has no place in America's clean energy economy.

Stay up to date and talk to others about the world's most destructive oil project: Join our Tar Sands group on Climate Crossroads

Photo credit: David Dodge, The Pembina Institute

4) Big Picture: Pieces Falling Into Place
As the Environmental Protection Agency's comment period comes to a close, almost 42,000 comments supporting strong action on global warming were submitted through the Sierra Club's Big Picture campaign. Thank you to everyone who submitted comments online, held house parties, and attended the hearings! Together we've put another piece of the big picture solution into place. Other pieces of the big picture, including efforts to make big polluters, like coal plants, report their global warming emissions, implement renewable fuel standards, and make our cars and trucks go farther on a gallon of gas are already in the works, but there is still more to do before we can reap the full benefits of a clean energy economy.

See how you can plug-in.

Currents is the Sierra Club's weekly e-mail update providing you with facts, stories, quotes, and "take action" features.

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