Tuesday, June 18, 2013 (12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern)
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Saturday, July 20, 2013
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- Celebrating 20 years
- Daily Green's lifetime achievement award
- Identifying habitat-compatible sites
- Green Week reaches extensive fanbase
- Populations important to ecology, tourism
- Coal mines must clean up act
- Opportunity and Risk for U.S. Climate Policy
- First of its kind in the nation
- Rocky Mountains update
- Members go to state house
- Screening of first ocean acidification documentary
- Northern California focus meetings
||On the way to meet Nancy Sutley (from left): E2 member Joel Serface; NRDC Affiliate Advocacy Coordinator Richie Ackerman; E2 members John Cheney, Barry Dicker, John Harper; E2 Climate Campaign Director Diane Doucette; and E2 member Berl Hartman. (Click on photo for larger version.)
We have witnessed a true sea change in the nation’s capital. President Obama is committed to moving the country toward a clean energy future as one of his top three priorities, and the No. 1 agenda item in Congress is to reverse the economic crisis that erupted last fall. In this context, the 2009 E2 delegation of 18 members from around the country went to Washington on April 21 and 22 prepared to promote a federal cap on carbon emissions and complementary energy and transportation polices as drivers of economic growth and job creation. Our message - that a new, robust, low-carbon energy economy will emerge with the right policies in place - was highly relevant to this Congress, which is urgently committed to finding solutions to the recession and putting Americans back to work. While many legislators are now more open than...read more >
On April 23 the California Air Resources Board (CARB) overwhelmingly approved the nation’s first Low Carbon Fuel Standard that will reduce carbon pollution and provide cleaner air for Californians (see E2’s support letter
). The new standard will cover emissions from “well to wheels," meaning pollution must be accounted for at all stages of fuel production – extracting, growing or refining. It is expected to give Californians new choices for low carbon fuels, such as advanced biofuels and electricity for plug-in hybrids. Already 14 other states are poised to follow California’s lead, representing roughly 40 percent of the U.S.
E2 Rocky Mountains sent two action alerts this month asking members to call Colorado State House Representatives to urge the passing of two bills:
- HB 1126 (Encourage Solar Thermal Installations) allows local governments to provide the same incentives for solar thermal installations as may now be provided for solar electric installations. The bill adds a corresponding exemption from state sales and use tax. As of the writing of this newsletter, the bill has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee for review.
- HB 1323 (Coop Electric Association Energy Efficiency Program) directs cooperative electric associations serving 100,000 or more customers to engage in conservation and energy efficiency programs and to save an amount of electricity equal to 2% of 2008 sales by 2012, 5% of 2008 sales by 2015, and 10% of 2008 sales by 2020, which savings are a result of conservation and energy efficiency programs implemented starting in 2009. The bill requires periodic reports from the utilities to the governor’s energy office. The bill also specifies that the act does not extend the authority of the public utilities commission. As of the writing of this newsletter...read more >
According to the Boston Globe
, an internal transit authority budget document predicted that the “MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) would halt all evening and weekend commuter rail service, eliminate six Green Line stops, discontinue lightly used bus routes, and lay off 805 employees if the agency does not get legislative help with its $160 million deficit.” On March 26, against this backdrop, E2 members Chris Kaneb, Tedd Saunders, Jonathan Meltzer and Berl Hartman met with Senator Anthony Petruccelli, Chair of the Massachusetts Senate Environment Committee, and Maggie Atanasov, Legislative Assistant to Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo...read more >
On April 16, NRDC and E2 members in New York City attended a special screening of “A Sea Change: Imagine a World Without Fish,” the first documentary about ocean acidification, one of the most devastating, yet often hidden, impacts of global climate change. Director Barbara Ettinger, along with her husband and the film’s co-producer and protagonist Sven Huseby, were on hand to share their experience and answer questions. NRDC’s Sarah Chasis, Ocean Initiative Director, and Lisa Suratoni, Senior Scientist, discussed how combating acidification requires reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improving the health of the oceans. The same strategies needed to fight global warming on land can also help in the seas. Creating marine protected areas and stopping destructive fishing practices would increase the resiliency of marine ecosystems and help them withstand acidification. Ultimately, though, they said reducing the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed into the oceans may be the only way to halt acidification. NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner also briefed guests on the status of the hotly debated climate legislation in Congress, on which NRDC experts testified before Congress the week of...read more >
On April 10, E2 Norcal members gathered in Palo Alto and San Francisco for focus meetings to discuss "Making Carbon Policy a Reality - Challenges to Overcome on the Path to Carbon Trading." NRDC’s Felicia Marcus, Western Regional Director, and Kristin Grenfell, Legal Director for Western Energy and Climate Projects, laid out the political landscape in both California and Washington, DC, set the context for how environmental policy will play out, and fielded questions about the nuances of cap-and-trade and the carbon tax debate.
Felicia addressed the practical and political challenges of getting a robust energy policy in place, referencing the political "ego-system" that E2 and NRDC have to work around. She also described the debate around allocations, auctions vs. free market, the complexity of the energy issues rolling through Congress, and what current economic uncertainty and fear means for carbon policy. "The U.S. public doesn’t trust ’trading’ or ’traders’ right now and this is a key issue that we will have to address.
" However, Felicia also felt the recent McKinsey Report findings...read more >
||From left : NRDC Southern California Trustees Robert Redford, Laurie David, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jill Tate Higgins, Peter Morton, Elizabeth Wiatt and Alan Horn. Photo credit: Alex Berliner © Berliner Studio/BEImages
On April 25, NRDC celebrated its 20th anniversary in Southern California with a star-studded celebration at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. NRDC supporters from the business, entertainment, and philanthropic community attended, helping us raise over $2 million. Chaired by Colleen and Bradley Bell, Dayna and Steven Bochco, and Kelly and Ron Meyer the evening was a fun-filled celebration honoring NRDC’s Southern California Trustees: Laurie David, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jill Tate Higgins, Alan Horn, Peter Morton, Robert Redford and Elizabeth Wiatt.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was emcee and highlighted NRDC’s many accomplishments in Southern California over the last 20 years. The evening included a special performance by Grammy Award-winning band...read more >
NRDC President Frances Beinecke was the recipient this month of The Daily Green’s “Heart of Green Lifetime Achievement Award” for 2009, an honor recognizing her three successful decades at NRDC working to protect the planet. The announcement
from the popular digital publication includes a profile of Frances’ career, starting with her first internship with NRDC in the Catskill Mountains, and her pioneering innovation in helping NRDC, and the environmental movement as a whole, reach the levels it has today. Congratulations, Frances!
A new online mapping tool created jointly by NRDC and The National Audubon Society will provide industry, conservationists and policy-makers a much-needed guide in the effort to move forward with innovative renewable energy development while protecting the environment. With support from Google.org’s Geo Challenge Grants, new maps in Google Earth of 13 Western states can help identify land that is both legally open to development and optimal to utilize from an environmental standpoint. It takes into consideration critical habitat that might be adversely affected by the building and presence of infrastructure for energy development, such as wind turbines. As the U.S. seeks to tap into the immense potential for domestic green energy, these new tools will greatly help streamline the siting process. Learn more about this project
In partnership with NRDC, the National Basketball Association (NBA) celebrated its first-ever Green Week 2009 from April 2 through April 10, spreading awareness and generating funding for environmental protection through special on-court apparel, community service projects, the launch of a new webpage
and many more initiatives across the country. The highly-publicized event was kicked off with the launch of a PSA
featuring NRDC Trustee Robert Redford and helped highlight ways the league is committed to reducing its energy use and waste production, and the ease and importance of incorporating green habits in daily life. NRDC’s Allen Hershkowitz, Darby Hoover, Coretta Anderson and Jessica Esposito spearheaded this exciting partnership.
This month NRDC and a coalition of conservation groups announced a legal challenge to the recent delisting of wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains from the Endangered Species list. The Department of the Interior will now have to defend its decision to allow killings of wolves in Montana and Idaho, despite science that shows the need for a national wolf recovery plan recognizing the need for large populations of wolves capable of moving across state borders. The ecological benefits of improved wolf populations, plus the economic benefits of the related increase in tourism, have been highly evident in the region since the wolves first starting making a comeback, but the renewed vulnerability due to proposed hunts threatens to undo the hard-fought achievements (see more information
). NRDC’s Louisa Wilcox, Andrew Wetzler and Sylvia Fallon have all been instrumental on this issue.
A federal court decided March 31 to stop the dumping of surface coal mining waste into U.S. waters, following a lawsuit brought by NRDC, Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment, and Public Justice. The Army Corps of Engineers had been allowing waste material from surface coal mining, including mountaintop removal, to be dumped into streams and other bodies of water. The court found that the Corps violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by deciding not to prepare environmental impact statements for the discarding of waste. Furthermore, the Corps assumed - without justification - that the detrimental effects of the waste were adequately offset through "mitigation" measures, such as building man-made drainage channels to replace the destroyed natural streams. John Devine, Senior Attorney for NRDC, was instrumental in this victory.