Tag Archives: Texas Sierra Club

My Birthday Earth Day Wish

Today is several things to many people, National Jelly Bean Day, Bettie Page’s birthday, and 31 years ago at 8:26 p.m. in a military hospital in Myrtle Beach, SC I came kicking and screaming into this world. But more important than any present I could ask for or any bottle I can open to celebrate, it is Earth Day. Founded in 1970 as an environmental teach-in with a few thousand participating; it has become the largest secular holiday in the world, with more than 1 billion people in 192 countries expected to celebrate and participate.

So when I close my eyes and blow out the bonfire of candles on my birthday cake to make a wish, it will involve consumers making more conscious decisions and policy makers protecting our one and only home for generations to come and not to continuing to support dirty energy that has led us to our current climate crisis. This is more than a day to acknowledge our beautiful Mother Earth, more than planting a tree, picking up litter, recycling a beer can or bottle from my birthday celebration. This is a day to change our minds and lifestyles, to think outside the barrel, to punish those who profit from pollution. It should be so much more than a day, a week, or month. Considering the Earth, respecting her, not taking resources for granted to make it easy on ourselves, taking a hike without seeing litter, not being crowded out by gas guzzling behemoths on the roadway, or larger than necessary houses built on top of each other filled to the brim with things we don’t need, powered by dirty energy which irritates my allergies and asthma, giving back to our Mother Earth; this is my wish. Please make my wish come true.

Thank you and Happy Earth Day

-Mike R.

-Sierra Club Intern

 

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Want to Spend the Summer in Austin Fighting Climate Change?

Are you looking for a meaningful, professional internship in Austin this summer? Great! We’re looking for Summer interns!

Austin, TX

Austin, TX

As you may know, The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the country. The Texas chapter focuses on many environmental issues including but not limited to energy efficiency, fossil fuel dependency, endangered species, and water conservation. Interns will have the opportunity to help organize a grassroots campaign, work in communications, and conduct policy research. Interns will also learn real skills through professional training workshops and work with a professional staffer as a mentor and resource.

Qualifications: A passion for environmental issues and social change, strong communication and people skills, and a desire to develop campaign organizing skills. No previous experience required.

Interns and Volunteers Making a Difference

Interns and Volunteers Making a Difference

Check out our Craigslist post!

To apply: Please send your resume and cover letter to Student Outreach Coordinator Tansy Stobart at tansystobartsc@gmail.com and CC Internship Manager Lydia Avila at lydia.avila@sierraclub.org. Applications are due Wednesday, May 8th at 12:00 PM.

We hope to hear from you soon!

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 

We Want You! Port Aransas…Fans Us!

Port A Meeting This Weekend

One of my favorite things about the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club is how we set priorities and make our decisions.  Ken Kramer, the Director of the Chapter for some thirty years is great at maintaining a democratic process.    He herds the cats in our ‘Excom’. 

Our Excom, or Executive Committee of representatives from around the state gets together 4 times a year to set our priorities.  They make decisions and move forward on Action Items. 

If you’re interested in getting more deeply involved in fighting for clean air and water for people and the environment, wild lands conservation, climate recovery and clean energy solutions — join the Sierra Club!  And set your sights on becoming a member of the Lone Star Chapter Excom!

Wanna know more?  Check out the website of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club — www.texas.sierrraclub.org or the blog of the Chapter and National Sierra Club in Texas —  http://www.texasgreenreport.org

Thank you Cake

The Chapter Excom is made of representatives from the local Sierra Club Groups around the Stateand some at-large volunteers.  Thanks to these folks from the Austin, Alamo, Beaumont, Big Bend, Coastal Bend, Dallas, Fort Worth, Golden Triangle, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Pineywoods, and Red River groups — we are paddling along, FIGHTING BACK against ye olde polluters and wanna be polluters, championing state and national parks protections, pointing the way to our clean energy future.

For a taste from our table, here’s what was on the Lone Star Chapter Excom’s Agenda today.  Any of these campaigns tickle your tummy?  Want to bring your dish to the table?

  • Clean Water Act enforcement
  • Texas Living Waters project
  • Tax Breaks for Water Stewards Land Management (on Texas ballots, November 8th)
  • Getting off fossil fuels by 2050
  • Public participation in Gas Fracking rule-making comments
  • Resolution asking National Sierra Club to increase funding and staffing of Beyond Oil campaign
  • Fighting uranium mining in our aquifers
  • Wind siting comments
  • Clean energy solutions
  • Texas Apollo Alliance-Blue Green Alliance merger
  • Stopping the Tar Sands pipeline
  • Appealing Radioactive Waste licenses
  • Grand Parkway & FEMA Lawsuits
  • Big Bend National Park Multi-Use Trail
  • Texas Parks & Wildlife Department outcomes from Legislative session
  • Roll Beyond Coal this Fall
  • Endangered Species Act and Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (Commissioner Jerry Patterson’s reptile dysfunction)
  • Protecting What We Love photo exhibit
  • Plus, other conservation items!

Want to volunteer and get involved in any of these campaign areas?  Email lonestar.chapter@sierraclub.org or phone our Austin-based conservation office, 512-477-1729.  We need:  graphics artists, phone bankers, data entry, letter writers, blog contributors, ad copy writers, tablers, meeting and press conference participants, fundraisers, computer experts, sign-makers, researchers, website creators, outings online promoters, and other volunteer participation to make these campaigns successful!  Come, join our Team and have fun protecting the environment with Sierra Club.

Go, Fight, Spin! 

Explore, Enjoy, Protect, and…Win!

#   #   #

Posted by Donna Hoffman

Judges Find That Tenaska Fails to Meet “burden of proof”

The Administrative Law Judges (The Judges) who heard the case against the proposed Tenaska Coal Fired Power plant ruled Friday that Tenaska’s air permit should not be granted as it stands!

“The Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) have concluded, based on their review of the evidence and applicable law, that Tenaska failed to meet its burden of proof to demonstrate that the emissions limits proposed in its Draft Permit will meet the requirements for Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT).  The ALJs recommend that the Commission adopt more stringent emissions limits as indicated below.  Alternatively, the ALJs recommend that the Commission deny the Application or remand the matter for further evidence regarding BACT and MACT.”

While we all know there is no such thing as “clean coal” Tenaska claims that they would be one of the cleanest around, yet the judges recommended lower limits for almost every pollutant that Tenaska would emit.

The proposed Tenaska coal plant, if built, would be a 900 MW coal plant that would emit:

Citizens pack a town hall in Abilene - the majority are against the proposed plant.

Sulfur Dioxide: 2,183 tons/year; Nitrogen Oxide (forms Ozone): 1,819 tons/year; Particulate Matter: 1,092 tons/year; Mercury: 124 lbs/year.

This is one step in holding Tenaska accountable for the pollution they want to spew into the atmosphere.   The important thing to remember, folks, is that this is a “recommendation” to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), not a binding ruling.  So when the TCEQ commissioners make the decision on the Tenaska air permit they will have the opportunity to do the right thing for the health of Texans and deny the air permit!

We don’t need another coal plant in Texas.  Instead we should be investing in renewable energy technology like wind and solar which Texas is so ripe for!

Perry’s TCEQ Commissioners Fail Yet Again to Protect Public Health

Governor Rick Perry's TCEQ Loves Coal Plants. Ignores Pleas of People for Healthy Clean Air.

Despite the wisdom of the Matagorda County medical community’s pleas in a letter signed by 30 doctors, despite its own Administrative Law Judges’ recommendations, despite the wishes of the residents of Matagorda County in the No Coal Coalition, Governor Perry’s Commissioners at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) today granted the White Stallion coal plant permit to pollute.   

This morning,  while citizens from Matagorda County including a class of  school children watched, Chairman Shaw and Commissioners Garcia and Rubio, criticized the recommendations from the state’s administrative law judges and decided to grant the permit with special conditions.  Sierra Club once again calls on the state legislature to reform the TCEQ so that it cannot continue to ignore federal and state air quality standards during the permitting process.  

Air polution from Coal Plants is Linked to Asthma, other Respiratory Ailments, Heart Disease, Neurological Disorders, and Early Mortality.

 “Once again, the Commissioners are doing the work for the applicant and using this failed system to avoid public input.”  said Jen Powis Senior Regional Representative for Sierra Club.  “Today’s decision is another pitiful example of how Governor Perry and his political cronies ignore federal and state law and reward companies to pollute in Texas.”  

The Cronies — Perry’s TCEQ Commissioners Shaw, Garcia, and Rubinstein

  

“TCEQ is a failed agency and has failed the citizens of Texas again.”  said Allison Sliva with the No Coal Coalition of Matagorda County.   “The administrative law judges didn’t like this permit, elected officials in Matagorda County and Houston have raised serious questions about it, and the citizens don’t like it.  But rather than consider these criticisms, the Commissioners ignored these concerns and simply granted it.”    
Read more about what happenedMourn…then, organize!