Beyond Coal Update
Cobb EMC members may get to vote on their board members by the end of the year. The Cobb EMC board will go before Judge Schuster Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. at the Cobb County Courthouse. We expect a members meeting to take place in mid-September and have three rounds of elections starting in late 2011 and finishing early 2012. Some issues that have yet to be resloved include where the elections will take place as well as if members in the Pataula District, located in South Georgia, will need to vote in person.
On August 18th at 6:30 p.m. at the Oconee Fall Line Technical College in Sandersville, Georgia EPD will hold a public hearing on air permits issued to the proposed Plant Washington coal plant. Sierra Club and our coalition partners continue to believe that Georgia is not setting strong enough limits for mercury. Georgia needs smart, clean energy solutions to power our future and you can help! We need plant opponents to outnumber supporters to show decision-makers and the media that Georgians don't want dirty, expensive, and unnecessary coal plants.
In other power plant news, Georgia Power filed an updated integrated resource plan (IRP) last week that calls for retirement of its older coal-fired units and better pollution controls on other units. This includes retiring one unit at Plant Mitchell near Albany and two units at Plant Branch in Milledgeville. Georgia Power is asking the PSC to let them delay deciding whether to retire or install pollution controls at a number of other plants, including Kraft and McIntosh on the coast, Yates near Newnan, and the other two units at Branch. The really exciting news is that Georgia Power plans to get 2,600 MW out of energy efficiency, which is about the amount they are thinking about retiring. Make way for clean energy, we say!
New from Sierra Club, a report: "Giant Fish Blenders: How Power Plants Kill Fish and Damage Our Waterways (And What Can Be Done to Stop Them)". This report details the billions of fish and other aquatic life that are killed each year because of old power plants. The cooling pipes sit below the water's surface and suck in not just water but fish and other animal and plant life. This process is illustrated in a cartoon by Mark Fiore. The EPA is responsible for section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act, which requires the use of the best technology to decrease damage to the environment. However, due to pressure from electric utilities, EPA has decided not to require the best available technology to be used in power plants. This means that there will be no further protection at this time for our waterways, animal life, and plant life.
Transit Funding for Metro Atlanta? Not from GDOT!
Maria Saporta's blog today discusses the proposed project lists for the Atlanta area, which are the talk of the town. What about the role that the State of Georgia is playing in helping fund the transit systems? Well, the truth is that the State of Georgia isn't playing any role. It will not invest in sustaining and expanding the transit systems. If the proposed transportation tax goes through, metro Atlantans will be contributing to their own growth and future. However, the State does not want to fund the future even though Metro Atlanta contributes billions of dollars to the State through the 4-cent sales tax and 7.5-cent motor fuel tax. The task of creating those project lists for transportation is difficult because there is not enough money to help create a sustainable transit system -- the State could help fuel the growth and provide help for the future of metro Atlanta. Read more here.
Sierra Club Meetings
Wildlands and Wildlife Committee Meeting, Tuesday, August 16th, 7:00 p.m., Mike Murdock - Chair, email@example.com
RAIL Committee Meeting, Monday, August 22nd, 7:00 p.m., David Emory - Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlanta Inner City Outings (ICO), Tuesday, August 23rd, 7:30 p.m., contact Allison Williams, email@example.com
Fundraising Committee, Wednesday, August 24th, 7:00 p.m., Erin Wetty - Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Smart Energy Team Meeting, Monday, September 12, 6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7p.m. start, Mike Walls - Chair, email@example.com
Beyond Factory Farming, Monday, September 19, 7:30 p.m., Leah Garces - Chair, Leah.Garces@ciwf.org.uk
Georgia Chapter Retreat - September 30th-October 2nd
Sierra Club Executive Director Mike Brune is coming to Georgia! The Georgia Chapter Retreat will be September 30th-October 2nd on Jekyll Island and will include dolphin watching, riding bikes, fishing, kayaking, and learning more about how you can help the Georgia Chapter enjoy, explore, and protect the planet. Click here for more information and registration.
We are looking for items for our Silent Auction! Anything handmade, a weekend at your cabin, a home energy audit, Falcons tickets, etc., would be most appreciated! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to donate.
Great Outdoors week - August 20-28th
To celebrate our outdoor heritage, conservation, recreation, and sportsmen groups from around the country will be leading activities in national forests during the entire Great Outdoors Week. As part of the celebration, Georgia's Great Outdoors Week will recognize the true value of natural forests and the Bureau of Land Management roadless areas and wilderness. Get involved with activities listed here.
Sierra Club 101 - September 10th
You got on our mailing list because you care about the environment and want help -- now what? Sierra Club 101! Come learn about the Sierra Club and how to get involved in our local efforts. Open to members and non-members alike -- bring a friend! Breakfast and coffee provided. September 10th, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Register online by clicking here.
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