On May 24, hundreds of citizens jammed EPA hearings in Chicago and Washington, D.C., to support the agency's proposed regulations on carbon pollution emissions. While the proceedings were happening, the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago learned that a pro-coal group had posted an online ad offering $50 (and lunch!) to anyone who would wear an "Count on Coal" t-shirt to the Chicago hearing. The ad was quickly yanked once the Tweets began ricocheting around cyberspace.
Tell the EPA that you want strong carbon-pollution protections.
Solar Hat Trick
The Sierra Club is partnering with Sungevity, one of the country's leading residential solar providers, to help homeowners go solar easily and affordably. The new partnership will help families save money on electricity, reduce pollution, and support the Sierra Club.
Each person who goes solar with Sungevity and the Sierra Club will receive a $750 cash gift card, plus Sungevity will contribute $750 to the Club. The partnership is available to new residential solar customers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. You can get a free iQuote here. Leases for rooftop solar systems are available for as little as $0 down.
Say No to Diesel in Fracking Fluids (We're Just Funny That Way)
In 2011, the natural gas industry was caught red-handed, secretly pumping over 32 million gallons of diesel fuel and diesel fuel by-products into the ground and threatening our drinking water -- after the industry denied using diesel in their fracking fluids!
In response, the EPA has proposed draft regulations for the use of diesel in fracking. But we need the agency to take it a step further and ban the use of diesel and diesel by-products in fracking fluids. Help us get 25,000 letters to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson by May 31 to show widespread support for a ban on diesel.
Climb Every Mountain
She was the first African American woman to climb El Capitan, but Chelsea Griffie insists the feat was no big deal. What is important to the rock climber and backpacker? Inspiring kids to get outdoors and empowering women of color to follow her lead: "I see my role as much like the Wizard of Oz," says Griffie. "I might teach a bit, but I'm also there to remind folks of what they had all along; they just didn't see it."
Read our interview to learn how Griffie became fascinated with mountains and which peak she plans to tackle next.
Photo by Greg Epperson
Bag Ban Is in the Bag
The last state to enter the union became the first to ban plastic bags after Honolulu County joined Hawaii's other three counties in banning non-biodegradable plastic bags and paper bags that are not at least 40 percent recycled.
And it couldn't have happened without a coalition of groups and activists leaning on local governments to tackle the bag problem. Earlier this month, Sierra Club Conservation Director Sarah Hodgdon witnessed how this historic victory unfolded. "I was struck by the clout the Club's Hawaii Chapter wields in state politics," she writes. "They are a force to be reckoned with."
Land of the Free
On May 15, the White House announced that members of the U.S. military and their families are now eligible for free annual passes to national parks and monuments. The Sierra Club applauds this move in support of our nation's men and women in uniform and their families.
For the past six years, the Club has been helping connect veterans, service members, and their families with the great outdoors by offering a 10 percent discount on all National Sierra Club Outings and stays at our lodges and huts. The discount is open to active duty military personnel and their accompanying family members, as well as to National Guard/reservists, honorably discharged veterans, and retirees.
A Flyover for Coal
Sierra Club Oklahoma took to the streets and skies on May 17 to call on Oklahoma Gas & Electric to use less coal and more renewable energy.
Clean-energy lovers rallied outside the OG&E shareholders' meeting and hired a plane to fly over with a banner reading "OG&E Move Beyond Coal." They made the news and turned a lot of heads!
Sierra Club Board of Directors Announces New Officers
The Sierra Club's all-volunteer national board of directors has elected new officers, and Allison Chin of Virginia was named president. Chin is a lifetime member of the Sierra Club and a longtime environmental activist who most recently served as Sierra Club treasurer and served as president from 2008-2010.
The other newly announced officers are David Scott of Ohio (returning vice president), Lane Boldman of Kentucky (returning secretary), Donna Buell of Iowa (treasurer), and Jessica Helm of New York (fifth officer).