Sierra Club

Currents newsletter

Volume VII, #12
March 24, 2009

"If I find anything frustrating it's that governments for 15 to 20 years have been telling us what a crisis climate change is. When the financial crisis comes along, they discover trillions of dollars to invest in the banks. If climate change is a crisis, government should be investing a fraction of that in climate change, and maybe if we had a fraction of the money we have today to spend then on climate change we wouldn't have a climate change problem."

-- World Coal Institute CEO Milton Catelin

In this issue

1) Exxon Valdez Disaster: Help Avoid a Repeat
2) Take Action: Support the FLAME Act
3) Green Jobs: Going Strong
4) Liquid Coal: World Conference Comes to D.C.

1) Exxon Valdez Disaster: Help Avoid a Repeat!
Oil SpillTwenty years ago today, the Exxon Valdez oil spill damaged some of our nation's most valuable coastline and destroyed the livelihoods of many fishermen and native Alaskans. The disaster serves as a reminder of the threat oil poses to our oceans and coasts. As a nation we are far too dependent on oil and other fossil fuels. New off shore drilling will only continue this dependence and put us as at further risk from Exxon-style environmental disasters.

Currents action alert arrowTell Secretary Salazar to oppose new off shore oil and gas drilling, and to instead support the clean energy solutions that will take us into a better future!

2) Take Action: Support the FLAME Act
WildfireFor years the Forest Service has transferred money out of vital agency programs and services in order to fund the increasing cost of fighting catastrophic wildfires. H.R. 1404, the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement (FLAME) Act would help address this problem by creating a separate fund for suppressing large-scale wildfires. The FLAME Act also requires agencies to provide a report to Congress containing a cohesive wildland fire management strategy and science-based budget predictions.

Currents action alert arrow Please contact your member of Congress and urge him or her to vote "YES" on the FLAME Act.


3) Green Jobs: Going Strong
Green JobsWhile many sectors of our economy are feeling the pinch, green jobs are providing new opportunities for job hunters. Wind giant Vesta just announced 400 job openings at its new wind turbine-tower factory and plans for a second factory, employing 1,000 people by solar start-up Solyndra will now become reality as a result of President Obama's economic recovery package.

But it doesn't stop there, in a meeting with clean energy entrepreneurs President Obama yesterday laid out his budget plan, which builds on the success of the earlier recovery package and clearly emphasizes the need for continued investment in green jobs.

4) Liquid Coal: World Conference Comes to D.C.
Industry executives and advocates from around the world are gathering in Washington D.C. this week for the World Coal-to-Liquids Conference. Despite liquid coal's obvious environmental and economic downsides, including twice the global warming emissions of regular gasoline, the industry is still pushing the "great opportunities" for liquid coal as a solution to our energy problems. Among those opportunities are special government contracts to help jumpstart this costly and massively polluting industry.

Learn more here. (pdf)


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