Help Rein in Big Polluters' Political Spending
Our government should respond to the needs of the people, not just wealthy donors. When big polluters and their super PAC money speak, they drown out the voices of people who suffer because of dirty air, contaminated water, and a warming, unstable climate. When the Senate comes back to Washington, D.C., next week, it will vote on a constitutional amendment sponsored by environmental champion Tom Udall to regulate unlimited money in elections.
Tell your senator to support this effort so big polluters can't dominate our government.
Clearing the Air in Indy
The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, Hoosier Chapter activists, and the Power Indy Forward Coalition celebrated on August 15 when Indianapolis Power & Light announced that it would stop burning coal at its Harding Street plant by 2016 and close the plant's coal ash lagoons. The announcement came just two days before the City-County Council was set to vote on a resolution urging the utility to stop burning coal at Harding Street, which is responsible for nearly 90 percent of the industrial toxic emissions in Marion County.
Find out more about the Club's two-year campaign to power Indianapolis beyond coal.
Snakes in a Substation
Last year, squirrels in Nashville, Tennessee, caused more power outages than did bad weather. But that's not the craziest critter catastrophe we found. Read Sierra magazine's latest Woe Is Us column to find out how animals have managed to turn off the lights at a baseball game, hobble an airport, and even shut down the cooling system at a nuclear power plant.
Should we be worried?
Protect Your Community From Flammable Oil Trains
Oil trains carry millions of barrels of highly explosive crude oil through our communities every day, and some 25 million Americans live in the "blast zone" without even knowing it. After a record-breaking year of oil train derailments, spills, and explosions, the U.S. Department of Transportation has called these oil trains an "imminent hazard" to the public and proposed new standards to make these shipments safer.
Tell the Department of Transportation that you support its new safety standards for transporting oil by rail.
The Sierra Club Brings Clean Energy to Mississippi
For a half dozen years, the Sierra Club has been fighting flawed permits for a new coal plant in Kemper County, Mississippi, and to protect Mississippi Power customers from rate hikes associated with the ballooning construction cost. A landmark settlement between the Club and Mississippi Power didn't derail the Kemper plant, but it will require two existing coal plants to stop burning coal over the next 20 months, bring $15 million in energy efficiency and clean energy investments, and help Magnolia State homeowners install solar power.
Read about how the Sierra Club is helping build a clean energy future in Mississippi.
Coal Export Terminal Denied
Last week saw the first-ever official government rejection of coal exports when the Oregon Department of State Lands denied a permit for a proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River. A broad coalition of families, doctors, tribal and faith leaders, businesses, and political leaders from across Oregon and the Pacific Northwest came together to drive home the point that coal exports are a bad idea and that there is no way to transport coal along rail lines and rivers that will do no harm to communities, natural resources, and public health.
Learn more about how citizens prevailed over Big Coal in this landmark decision.
Kittens and Cantastoria
The People's Climate March is coming up on September 21, and New Jersey Sierra Clubbers are preparing to turn out in force. Nearly 100 activists gathered on the Princeton University campus recently for a training session to help mobilize 10,000 New Jerseyans to participate in the march. "We have a great group of volunteers that continues to grow every day," says Sierra Club organizer Nicole Dallara, who helped put the training together. Hoisted high at the session were handmade "cantastoria" that will be carried at the march.
Find out more about cantastoria -- and check out this video if you like kittens.
Don't Let Big Coal Destroy America's History
Ninety-three years ago, coal miners protested their dangerous working conditions and battled coal-company-hired federal troops along West Virginia's Blair Mountain ridgeline. Although they lost the battle, these miners helped usher in the golden age of union organizing in the United States. Now Big Coal wants to blow the top off Blair Mountain, conduct strip-mining on the battlefield area, and leave nothing but a plaque to commemorate this important historic site.
Tell the Army Corps of Engineers that Blair Mountain should be off-limits to mountaintop-removal mining.
How Jack Goes on the Road With Jack
He surfs, he sings, and he protects the planet by donating 100 percent of his touring profits to environmental nonprofits. Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson gave Sierra magazine the scoop on his youthful adventures in Hawaii, how paddling can inspire lyrics, and what makes his copy of On the Road so unique.
Read the interview.
Photo by Kim Johnson/courtesy of Jack Johnson
Repower Los Angeles
The Sierra Club celebrated with its coalition partners from RePower LA after a monumental decision to increase energy efficiency by 50 percent for one of the nation's largest utilities, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. This new plan will save the utility 2 percent of its energy use annual and has sparked a donation pledge of up to a billion dollars toward energy efficiency programs.
Learn more about how the nation's second-largest city has become an efficiency leader.
2015 Sierra Club Calendars
The 2015 Sierra Club Calendars are here! Available in both weekly engagement-book and monthly wall-hanging formats, they're filled with breathtaking images of wild places all across the country. Hey, we've sold more than 10 million of these for a good reason!
Order your 2015 Engagement and Wilderness calendars here.