Tag Archives: sierra club

Meeting With Decision Makers Workshop Event

Looking for something to do this weekend? Join us for lunch and a workshop to learn how to effectively speak with decision makers to drive your cause forward!

 

The workshop is open to all who are interested in learning how to create change in their communities. It’s a great way to get involved in the Houston area.
There will be opportunities in the week following the workshop to meet with actual Houston decision makers and implement what you learn.

To RSVP, please click here

Join the event on Facebook!

Map of St.Stephen’s Church and School

We hope to see you there!

Keep fracking out of our trade agreements!

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement is a threat to those of us concerned about fracking in Texas and across the country. The Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas Campaign and Labor & Trade program have partnered to call attention to portions of the TPP that will pave the way for more fracking in Texas.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk refuses to acknowledge the concerns of more than 28,000 Americans who signed our petition to call for more environmental and worker protections in the TPP. Tell Ron Kirk that we want responsible, fair trade that doesn’t sacrifice our air and water quality in order to ship natural gas to Pacific Rim nations.

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This factsheet provides a good overview of why trade matters to those of us primarily concerned about the environment. Please take a moment to sign and share our petition against expedited fracking and LNG exports.

Feel free to share this link to your anti-fracking networks and to your friends on Facebook: 
http://action.sierraclub.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=248399.0

For more information on the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade program, visit http://www.sierraclub.org/trade/

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— 
Dave Cortez
Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter
David.Cortez (at) SierraClub.org

Burnet Beyond Coal

The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal team put together a small town hall event in Burnet County.  We talked about the importance of the energy-water nexus, and how important it is for us to use less water-intensive energy sources in this time of drought and inclement climate changes. We had a member of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative Board, a local city council member, and a local reporter among those in attendance. Check out the pictures and let us know if you want to get involved!

PEC Board Member Cristi Clement talks about her work on moving Pedernales towards more renewables while balancing immediate needs.

Kaiba from Public Citizen talks about what PEC could be doing to reach its renewable goals.

Colin Clark, Lauren Ross, and Lydia Avila.

Lydia discusses next steps. Flavia observes.

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Drought Drought Go Away

The Mayor’s Water Conservation Task Force, a coalition of water conservation experts, industry representatives and engineering experts, had its first meeting on July 13th in the city of Houston. Armed for the purpose of planning for future population development, Houston’s mayor Annise Parker instructed the attendees to elaborate a plan that would prevent future water availability from diminishing and causing the city to enter a state of drought.

Daniel Krueger, the city of Houston’s director of Public Works, spoke of the importance of maintaining a perspective on planning for the next 100 years, as well as focusing intently on the next 50 years. According to Mr. Krueger, we need to maintain our water supply’s availability and wide use for future generations.

Galveston Bay, the bay connecting the metropolitan areas of Houston, Sugarland, and Bayton Texas.

Mayor Parker then spoke of the city’s history and culture for the purpose of setting the context in which experts would develop their recommendation. Given Houston’s ample water supply, there has been a  lack of  water conservation planning in the past. The Mayor indicated that last year’s drought conditions served as a wake up call to the city. With the intent to propose legislation, the Mayor urged the experts to ideate a plausible plan of action.

Carol Haddock, who serves as the senior assistant director at the city of Houston, noted that the city has a daily water supply of 1.1 billion of gallons with half going to consumers and half reaching the bay. Of that 50% reaching consumers, two-thirds is not regulated by building code. The remaining third, which is composed of retail customers, would be evaluated for the possible implementation of water conservation practices.

The city of Houston is scheduled to host its second meeting on July 27, with the purpose of  discussing the Chapter 47 ordinance.

-Hector Varela, Water Policy Intern

Special thanks to Jennifer Walker

SAVE THE DATE: September 29th-30th The 12th Annual Renewable Roundup is Back!

Renewable Roundup 2012!

At a Glance…

WHAT?!?!: The 12th Annual Renewable Roundup is a sustainability symposium centered around green living, alternative energy education, family festivities, and sustainable lifestyle practices for our future. This event wouldn’t be complete without it’s A-list of Guest Speakers, Hands-on Workshops, Eco-friendly Vendors, Progressive Exhibitors, Tasty Food Demonstrators, and Supportive Sponsors.

WHERE?!?!: Fredricksburg, Texas

WHEN?!?!: The last weekend in September. Saturday September 29th 9:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday September 30th 9:00am- 5:00pm

HOW?!?!: For more information on how to get involved with the Roundup as a either a participant or patron, visit http://theroundup.org/.

WHO?!?!: Everyone and anyone is invited! We encourage all individuals and families to come out to this great event looking to learn about sustainable living practices. This event is proudly brought to you by a joint effort from TREIA, Texas Center for Policy Studies, and The Texas Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter.

Learn How, Here!

In Depth…

DETAILS/ARTICLE: 

Great News!  The annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair will be taking place again this year in the beautiful and historical town Fredericksburg, Texas! Organized by the Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association, in collaboration with the Texas Center for Policy Studies and the Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club, Renewable Roundup is a collaborative event centered around individuals, organizations, and companies passionate about sustainable living.  The event planning committee is working hard on making this year’s show the best ever. The underlining theme of this weekend event strives to promote cleaner and smarter ways of using our resources while educating the public about “Greener” lifestyles and options. This event serves as both a conference and festival, as it enlightens, entertains, and publicizes those interested in a brighter greener future. We would love to have you at this extraordinary event the 4th weekend in September (Sept. 29 &30). Please check out our website http://www.theroundup.org/ to find out more or contact Event Coordinator Laura Rice at info@theroundup.org.

INVOLVEMENT:

  • Attend!
  • Apply to be a Guest Speaker
  • Host a workshop the Friday before the gates open on Saturday morning
  • Reserve a booth or exhibit space to advertise and or promote a sustainable idea or product
  • Advertise
  • Sponsor the event
  • Volunteer at the event
  • Come to the VIP kick-off party Friday evening

Can’t Wait to See Everyone There! 🙂

-Danya Gorel Sierra Club Intern

~Special Thanks to Mentor and Conservation Director Cyrus Reed~

Let’s talk about water!

The Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter proudly co-sponsored the Brazos Valley Water Conservation Symposium on June 20th. The event was co-sponsored with the City of Waco, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the Texas Water Foundation, the Brazos River Authority, and the National Wildlife Federation. Organized with the intent of educating individuals ranging from policy makers to water utility professionals, the meeting focused on the importance and benefits of practicing viable water conservation planning methods in the state of Texas.  The symposium, entitled “The Business Case for Water Conservation,” presented ways in which the region may meet its water needs through enhanced water conservation.

Ken Kramer kicking off the Brazos Valley Water Conservation Symposium

Toby Baker, the commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), addressed the immediate need to secure a reliable water supply for Texas stating that it cannot have growth without water availability. He talked about the potential for water conservation as a way to extend our water supply and then explained some of the issues surrounding water conservation. While TCEQ requires water providers to submit drought contingency plans, their capacity to enforce them is very limited. It is critical for water providers and state agencies to work together on conserving water as a way to extend our current water supply and better prepare for future droughts.

The Commissioner was then followed by Comer Tuck, director of the conservation division of the Texas Water Development Board. Mr. Tuck started by communicating to the audience that the year 2011 was the driest and hottest recoded in the history of Texas. Following a talk on the projected population increase, he spoke of the importance of funding the 2012 state water plan, a set of strategies that would help us meet the water demands of future Texans.

Carole Baker (Alliance for Water Efficiency and Texas Water Foundation) focused on myths related to the feasibility of performing water conservation. Common beliefs, such as water shortages being temporary problems that will disappear with time, do not reflect  their real nature. Instead, they are ongoing issues.  She then disproved the notion of current development being efficient by explaining that new properties use 20-60% more water. Ms. Baker concluded by clarifying that “wasting water is not economically feasible.”

Mark Peterson, coordinator for outdoor programs at the San Antonio Water System, spoke of the successful implementation of water conservation strategies in the City of San Antonio.  So what does it mean when it is said that the city is “on board” with conservation? It translates to meeting the water demands of a population 60% larger with the same amount of water supplied by the city during the 1980s.

Mr. Peterson explained that adopting the perspective of ongoing water conservation as being “a source of water” is crucial and that regulations are by no means a form of public punishment during dry times.  Another unique approach was perceiving customers as being part of San Antonio’s “conservation team“.  The reader should keep in mind that while water conservation practices in San Antonio are credited as being successful, the variability of the water sources and infrastructure of every water utility is different. That said, San Antonio can serve as a great model for other cities.

Lorrie Reeves, a representative of the Water Efficiency Network of North Texas, then talked about the benefits of creating local networks of water utility professionals and water conservation experts.  These networks consist of municipalities, water providers, and water conservation advocates that meet on a regular basis throughout the year. The purpose of these coalitions is to regionally reduce water use by working together to promote water efficiency education, programs, legislation and technologies and openly and actively share information and best practices. Through the networks, entities are able to efficiently share knowledge and exchange information. For example, by sharing strategies and goals with one another, the North Texas network  pooled their resources to educate the general public about irrigation strategies for clay soil (specific to the region).

Jennifer Walker leading the panel on the implementation of water conservation strategies in different Texas municipalities

While the success of water conservation programs and progress being made in numerous parts of the state of Texas  was apparent through the conference, the importance of coupling these programs and any restrictions with stronger education programs was a consistent theme that should be given future consideration.  Most water consumers do not understand the amount of water that is needed to keep a lawn healthy and often use too much, making it important to educate the public about the lack of need to irrigate extensively (Toby Baker).

-Hector Varela, Water Policy Intern

Special thanks to Jennifer Walker and Joanna Wolaver

Texas Sierrans join with hundreds of activists to stop a “NAFTA of the Pacific”

Sierra Club, Texas AFLCIO, Texas Fair Trade Coalition, CWA, and Occupy Gather at Trade Rally

(Rally in Addison, Texas)

This past weekend in Addison, Texas, a north Dallas suburb, more than 300 environmental activists, labor unionists, public health advocates, human rights supporters and members of the Occupy movement joined together to prevent a  “NAFTA of the Pacific”. The rally demanded the release of the draft text of the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

The American people have been denied the right to see the text of the TPP that could weaken environmental rules, increase fracking and exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), lower labor standards and wages, outsource more jobs, increase medicine prices, throw out food safety policies, ban Buy American rules, and allow multinational corporations to challenge and overturn U.S. federal and state laws in private trade tribunals that operate entirely outside of  U.S. court system.

(Sierra Club’s Ilana Solomon gets crowd to shout “hell yeah” to supporting American-made solar & wind products)

A very big “thank you” to the Dallas and Ft. Worth Sierra Clubs for taking time to learn about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and for attending our events. Another shout out to the Lone Star Chapter interns who helped make over 300 calls to Texas Sierrans about the threats TPP could pose to environmental, labor, health, and consumer regulations in the U.S.

Trade is an issue that crosses all political and issue campaign boundaries. Whether you care about clean air, saving American jobs, fair access to medicine, or holding Wall Street accountable, the fight for fair trade is a much-needed unifying battle that can help us build coalitions that can win the change we want to see.

Thanks again for all your support and hard work, and stay tuned for some next steps as we prepare to mobilize solidarity actions during the next round of negotiations in early July in sunny San Diego, California.

In solidarity,

Dave Cortez
Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter
TX BlueGreen Apollo Alliance
 
Ilana Solomon
Sierra Club Labor & Trade Program
 
Bob Cash
Texas Fair Trade Coalition
 

(Dallas and Ft. Worth Sierrans stand with officers and staff from CWA District 6 and Local 6215. Credit: Herb Keener)

Gala, Rally and March Videos:

The Yes Men honor US Trade Rep. Ron Kirk
with the “2012 Corporate Power Tool” award:
http://www.yeslab.org/tpp
Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzbYwDx1cqU&feature=relmfu 
Becky Moeller, Texas AFLCIO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwv4iGQ2iYs&feature=relmfu
Brent Taylor, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNuLlQ7IfZQ&feature=relmfu
Claude Cummings, Jr. and Nancy Hall, Communication Workers of America
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCVsE-KLOBo&feature=relmfu  
Sanya Reid Smith, Third World Network
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AsohjpdMEQ&feature=player_embedded
Judy Lerma, National Nurses United
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIUNY17A0os&feature=relmfu
Parks Stearns, Occupy Dallas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btLWzLn47eA&feature=relmfu
Lori Wallach, Public Citizen/Global Trade Watch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCAOPhTs-MU&feature=relmfu
Arthur Stamoulis, Citizens Trade Campaign
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af0cwrchN2I
Thanks to all our rally sponsors who worked so hard to make this a successful event: Austin Central Labor Council, Citizens Trade Campaign, Code Pink, Communications Workers of America District 6 and Local 6215, Dallas AFL-CIO Council, Dallas Peace Center, Friends of the Earth, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and IBEW Local 20, Elevator Constructors Local 21 International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Local 745, MoveOn.org Dallas, National Family Farm Coalition, National Nurses United -Texas,  North Texas Jobs with Justice, Occupy Austin, Occupy Dallas, Occupy Texas, OPEIU,  Public Citizen, Lone Star and National Sierra Club, Texas AFL-CIO, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Texas State Building Trades Council, United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers,  United Students Against Sweatshops, Welcoming Immigrants Network and many others.


Dave Cortez
Coordinator
Texas BlueGreen Apollo Alliance
512-477-6195 (office)
Twitter: @TXBlueGreen
www.texasbluegreenapollo.org
David.Cortez (at) SierraClub.org
Check out our green jobs plan for Texas: The Texas BlueGreen Apollo Program
And a National, 21st Century jobs plan: 
Jobs21! – Good Jobs for the 21st Century