Tag Archives: michael brune

Best Internship in Texas!

Apply to the best internship around!   Apply by Friday, December 3rd, 5pm.

Sierra Club Internship! Dates:  Spring 2011

Location:  Texas – city flexible

Campaign Background: The Sierra club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the country. Currently, the Sierra Club is working on moving beyond coal in Texas, promoting energy efficiency, conserving our water, and ensuring that we have clean air to breathe through political and grassroots action. We’re also promoting a strong federal climate bill that will create thousands of new, green jobs, and stimulate the economy.

Opportunities: Interns with the Sierra Club will work with a professional staff-person to learn many of the skills used in grassroots and advocacy organizing.  The internship will provide the opportunity to participate with all elements of the campaign or to focus on one main aspect, depending on the intern’s interest.  Depending on progress and commitment shown, there is also an opportunity for the internship to continue past set end date with remote supervision from the Austin Sierra Club office.

Interns will learn the ins and outs of grassroots organizing. Interns will learn how to organize a grassroots campaign, including the media, messaging, and money that goes into it. Interns will learn real skills through professional trainings and will apply their new expertise to the many different campaigns the Sierra Club is currently conducting.

Interns will work closely with local and national Sierra Club leaders. Interns will be expected to work a flexible 10-15 hour week, with the potential for financial incentives in the future. Interns will have the opportunity to work in communications, fundraising, policy research, among other things.

Media Aspect: Interns will learn how to develop media strategies that promote Sierra Club, educate the public about the campaign, and use the media as an advocacy tool.  Activities include developing relations with the local media, organizing press conferences, writing news releases, and building visibility for events.  There will also be a focus on generating letters to the editor.

Outreach Aspect: Interns will learn how to strategize and implement a plan for entering the community and involving local citizens in the campaign.  Focus will be on contacting and gaining the support of local environmental groups, student groups, community members, businesses, and scientists.  There is also an opportunity to set up slide-show events and give educational presentations to interested citizens and organizations.

Supervision: You have a weekly call with the Sierra Club Staff to develop message and strategy, along with holding regular office hours and maintaining progress on a semester plan.  This internship requires a commitment of at least 10-15 hours per week.

Skills Required: Commitment to environmental issues and social change, strong communication skills, desire to develop campaign organizing skills, and commitment to grassroots organizing; no previous experience required.

Expectations: Once accepted, all interns are expected to complete the semester of the internship program they have committed to in order to receive credit.

Contact: Candidates should send their resume and cover letter to Sierra Club internship coordinator, Jackie Verdin at jacklyn.lynn.verdin@gmail.com.

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Big Oil Bad News: Six Months and $68 Million Later…

On 6 Month Anniversary of BP Disaster,  Big Oil spends $68.5 million on Campaigns to block solutions


Today, Wednesday, October 20 marks six months since BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded, killing eleven workers and sending millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Following the disaster, the Sierra Club reached out to hundreds of thousands of citizens, who called on our leaders to prevent future oil disasters by moving American beyond oil dependence. Since then Big Oil has poured tens of millions of dollars into lobbying and political campaigns to fight any reform or accountability for their industry.

As the anniversary approaches, the Sierra Club is calling attention Big Oil’s campaign spending and efforts to block clean energy at a new site: www.paidforbybigoil.org. A new Center for American Progress report released today details how groups with ties to Big Oil have spent nearly $70 million so far on political campaigning.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

After the BP disaster, hundreds of thousands of Americans called on our leaders to prevent future tragedies by moving America beyond oil dependence. Six Months and $68 Million later, we’ve been disappointed to see the oil industry stand in the way of clean energy solutions that would help end our oil dependence. Thanks to Big Oil’s influence on Congress and elections, we still haven’t seen the measures we need to help the Gulf Coast recover. We still haven’t seen real action to prevent future oil disasters and create clean energy jobs. Voters must not let our elections be Paid for By Big Oil.

According to a report released today by Center for American Progress Action Fund, the oil industry and special interests have already poured $68.5 million into campaigns this election season.

The dirty energy industry has poured millions into backing candidates who, if we let them get to Washington, will be sure to stand in the way of clean energy innovation and jobs. They spread oil all over our beaches, and now they’re spreading money all over our elections. By voting for clean energy advocates, we can send a clear message to corporate polluters that they need to step aside and let us get to work creating a clean energy economy.

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Texas featured in NYT Green Column

The New York Times’ Green Column wrote this article about Texas’ leadership in renewable energy.

A couple key passages:

“If Texas were its own country, it would generate more wind power than all but five nations — the United States, China, Germany, Spain and India.”

If only! Just kidding. Sort of.

“In Texas, wind accounts for 6 percent of the electricity on the grid. But after a decade of rampant growth, wind is running into a significant constraint: There are too few transmission lines to carry the power.”

“Wind advocates, stung by assertions that their industry depends on federal largesse, point out that fossil fuels and nuclear power receive subsidies and tax breaks as well”

“Texas seems likely to remain the leader in U.S. wind power for a long time. A big reason is that it is simply easier to erect turbines there than in other states. With its oil and natural-gas history, Texas is less concerned about environmental effects of the big machines than states like California.”

“More than 90 percent of Texas is private land, and the state imposes virtually no permit requirements on that land. Randy Sowell, a 10-year veteran of the Texas wind industry, puts it this way: “In Texas, you can put anything you want on your own private land and nobody can say a thing about it.””

Weigh in on the future of wind in our comments section.

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What the Frack?

Michael Brune
Image by The Sierra Club via Flickr

Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club, talks about fracking…

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Live from the EPA Hearing in Dallas

We’ve got pictures at the bottom of the post!

9:20 Good morning everybody! We’ve been up for a while preparing… our executive director Michael Brune is here, ready to rumble, along with the mighty delegations from Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and of course from all around the great state of Texas.

9:30 Brief interview with a concerned Louisianan. Yet another quick interview, with some even more awesome folks from Louisiana! Are they the greatest team of coalfighters you’ve ever met? We report, you decide. Seriously.

9:45 Best poster of the day! Kiss her Coal Ash!

11:00 Press conference with Executive Director Mike Brune, pediatrician Karen Lewis, Director of Public Citizen Texas Tom “Smitty” Smith, State Representative Jessica Farrar (Houston) and others… pictures on the Twitter feed!

11:10 Some early footage of the press conference (a little fuzzy, apologies!)

11:20 Karen Lewis, MD talks about the health effects of coal ash.

11:15 State Representative Jessica Farrar of Houston explains why she supports strong coal ash regulation.

12:00 Lunch panel starting in 15 minutes, the best Q and A on coal ash you’ve ever heard!

1:00 We’ve got pictures of the panel at the bottom of the post, and folks enjoying the Sierra Club snack room as well.

1:30 Corpus Christi legend Hal Suter prepares for his testimony.  Listen to his fantastic comments on the TCEQ’s willingness (or unwillingness) to regulate the coal industry here.

2:00 Ladies lay down the coal ash law!  Check out what they’ve got to say in this clip right here.

2:10 Another Texan here to regulate coal ash. Heck yes.

2:30 Pick up your coal ash mess, gosh darn it!

2:49 Katie from Dallas reppin’ Texas Campaign for the Environment.  She is not a fan of coal ash.

3:09 Updated pictures of all the action. Check out our gallery, it’s almost like you’re there, isn’t it?

3:32 ED Mike Brune: “It’s been an inspiring day, seeing so many people from the region taking action to protect their air, their water, their health.”

3:49 Susan from Oklahoma City came all the way to Dallas to tell the EPA what’s what with coal ash regulation.

4:05 Smitty from Public Citizen, to the rescue!

4:21 A student from Louisiana, representing all the people who couldn’t be here today.

4:32 This guy rode 1800 miles from Arkansas to Dallas- just to give his testimony at the coal ash hearing!

5:15 Shondra from Houston and her thoughts on coal ash. In her spare time, she’s shutting down the White Stallion coal plant in Bay City.

5:30 We are tired. We are hungry. But we are still cranking out the Strong Rule testimony!

5:48 Doctor Randy Smith, President of Texas Impact, talks about being a good steward of the land, and respecting the earth that God has entrusted to us.

6:13 Bokoshe, Oklahoma residents talk about how the hearing is going. We’re screening the Bokoshe film in fifteen minutes.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you should.

7:57 Just finished some powerful closing events.  We watched “In the Air we Breathe”, about Bokoshe, Oklahoma, and the stars of the film were there to take questions.  Check out the pictures to get a sense of what went on…

8:00 We’ve still got people filtering in to give their testimony!  It’s not over yet!

8:15 Louisiana delegation relaxing with some interesting techniques.  Check out pictures of them playing “ninja” and working out a human knot (it’s been a long day).

8:52 Alright, we are shutting down the shop! It’s time for a hurricane party at the Hyatt Regency… good luck to the folks at the rest of the hearings!

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