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Currents - Get the Latest Environmental Buzz

Sierra Club Currents - Farming Corporations Seek Pollution Loophole
Volume VI, #81
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quote of Note:

"You only have two choices; you either have advanced technologies and get them into the marketplace, or you shut down your economies and put people out of work."

- Professor John Marburger, White House science advisor on the options available for addressing global warming

(1) New Cartoon: Farming Corporations Seek Pollution Loophole
(2) Take Action: Protect Our Streams!
(3) Take Action: Flip the Switch!
(4) Global Warming: Rising Temperatures Raise Financial Concerns

(1) New Cartoon: Farming Corporations Seek Pollution Loophole
Large factory farms generate over 500 million tons of waste annually- more than three times the amount that the U.S. human population produces. When this waste contaminates our drinking water with phosphorous, arsenic and other trace metals, farming corporations should be held responsible for cleaning it up. But despite making billions in profits each year, these corporations want to stick ratepayers with the bill for cleaning up their mess. Giant agriculture corporations have spent millions lobbying Congress for a special loophole which would allow big corporations, like Tyson Foods to avoid paying cleanup costs when they pollute our waters.

Watch our animation and send a message to your Senators to hold factory farms accountable for damaging our waters!

(2) Take Action Protect Our Streams!
A new rule proposed by the Office of Surface Mining would repeal the "stream buffer zone rule" rather than enforce its protections. The proposal would remove one of the few remaining protections for streams, opening the way for Big Coal companies to mine next to or through streams, despite the serious risks mining poses to stream health and drinking water sources.

This rule would expressly allow and encourage the most dangerous and destructive mountaintop removal mining activities.

Tell the Office of Surface Mining to protect our streams by enforcing the stream buffer zone rule, not repealing it!

(3) Take Action: Flip the Switch!
This fall Congress has the opportunity to finalize a comprehensive energy bill that establishes a national renewable electricity standard of 15% and increases fuel economy standards to 35 mpg. The House and Senate have each approved a necessary step to curb global warming. Now it’s time to combine their efforts and pass a joint energy bill that includes both increased fuel economy standards and a renewable electricity standard to begin to save consumers money, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Call your representative today and tell them that it is important to you and your district that Congress includes both CAFE and RES in the energy bill this fall!

Photo courtesy NREL

(4) Global Warming: Rising Temperatures Raise Financial Concerns
With carbon regulations on the horizon, carbon intensive industries, like coal are likely to see costs jump dramatically- creating potentially serious financial risks for investors. Across the country there is a growing recognition that global warming poses serious business risks.

Late last week in NY, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo opened an investigation into five energy companies, questioning whether investors received adequate information about the potential financial liabilities of building new coal plants. And just yesterday a group of pension fund managers, state officials and environmental groups petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to require companies to disclose the risks of global warming to investors.

Learn more about coal and its impact on the economy, communities and the environment.

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