Michigan’s Energy Future
Michigan’s energy future is in jeopardy. The onset of the Federal Clean Power Plan means Gov. Snyder and the legislature will soon be forced to decide on how the state will reduce energy-related pollution.
The Clean Power Plan limits carbon emissions from existing and new coal and natural gas power plants.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designed these regulations to protect our air, water, and public health while attempting to mitigate climate change. Michigan is tasked with reducing carbon emissions by more than 48 million tons by 2030, or roughly 39 percent. This can be accomplished by eliminating or reducing carbon intensive energy production, such as coal, and replacing it with carbon neutral or renewable production like wind and solar.
Protecting the Great Lakes State
On Earth Day, Clean Water Action partnered with State Representatives Sarah Roberts, Jeff Irwin, Gretchen Driskell and Tom Cochran to introduce a package of bills calling for more state protections from oil and gas pipelines throughout Michigan.
Enbridge’s 62 year-old Line 5 pipelines run under the Straits of Mackinac, carrying nearly 23 million gallons of crude oil every day through the middle of the Great Lakes. Built during the Eisenhower administration, the aging infrastructure poses a significant threat to the Great Lakes. Read more.
On the Environment: Snyder Fails
Clean Water Action’s scorecard for Gov. Rick Snyder’s first term highlights his failure to safeguard Michigan’s environment. “As someone who just wants to have their water and drink it too,” says Clean Water Action’s Denny Green, “the Governor couldn’t have done much worse on the environment if he’d tried.”
Gov. Snyder received a failing grade based on actions he took (or failed to take) on fourteen different bills, coming up on the wrong side twelve times. “This subpar performance, nearly a 90% rate of failure, is shameful for the governor of a state literally defined by its Great Lakes,” Green says. Read more
In 2014, Michigan’s legislature actively sought to dismantle existing clean water and other environmental protections. Often these actions were taken under the banner of job creation and natural resources protection, but the voting record tells the real story. This session has shown that Michigan’s elected officials are more committed to representing well-funded polluters than standing up for the Michiganders who elected them. In the past year the legislature has rolled back years of progress in protecting Michigan’s water and natural resources, while encouraging the outsized influence of big money in Michigan politics.
The 2014 election season is underway. This year Governor Snyder will run for a second term as Governor of our great state. In the past four years, Governor Snyder has made promises about protecting Michigan’s energy, communities, and environment, especially the Great Lakes. The disconnect between Governor Snyder’s words and his actions tell the real story: he is not a true guardian of our environment or our communities.
NJ Legislature Still Flunking on the Environment
By David Pringle, Campaign Director
Clean Water Action’s 2014-15 NJ Legislative Scorecard found a majority of state legislators failed on the environment, much as they did 2 years ago.
There were fourteen notable exceptions. These legislators, whom Clean Water Action called ‘heroes’, joined the call for immediate corrective action by the legislature. Click here to see what the heroes are saying.
Overall the Legislature took pro-environment positions less than half (47%) of the time. On every legislative initiative the anti-environment position succeeded or the pro-environment position was watered down because:
2015 State Legislative Round-Up
2015 was a mixed bag for the environment in the California Legislature. Clean Water Action achieved a number of big water and climate wins, but defeats at the hands of the oil industry were a jolting wake-up call about polluters’ power in the state.
First the good news: California continues to lead the nation in protecting communities from climate change impacts. SB 350, authored by Senate Pro Tem De Leon, passed on the last day of the session, mandating that 50% of California’s energy come from renewable sources and that the state double buildings’ energy efficiency by 2030. Clean Water Action also helped pass AB 888 (Bloom), banning the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products. The budget, which passed in July was also a step toward a new era of transparency on water well information so the state can better manage groundwater, and increasing water regulators’ oversight and scrutiny of oil and gas disposal and injection well permitting.
Environmental Rights at Stake in Pennsylvania Supreme Court Election November 3
The outcome of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court election may be the most important of the election season. The Supreme Court has made decisions in many cases critical to health, communities and the environment in the past decade. It will likely play a role in redistricting after the 2020 census and may hear cases related to local governments’ attempts to restrict fracking. The judges on the court matter.
In 2013 Pennsylvania passed Act 13, which stripped local municipalities of the ability to use zoning to protect communities from the dangers associated with natural gas drilling. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down this provision. The Court ruled Act 13 was unconstitutional because it violated the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Environmental Rights Amendment which states “the people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come.” The three vacancies on the court are judges who ruled with the majority in this landmark case.
Clean Water Action has endorsed the following candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court because they have demonstrated a commitment in their personal and judicial philosophy to protecting public health and our environmental rights: David Wecht, Kevin Dougherty, and Christine Donahue.
North Texas Water Plan Heavy on Reservoirs, Light on Conservation
State law divides Texas into 16 water planning regions. Each region must present an updated plan for meeting future needs every five years. Region C covers the 16-county Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and includes some of the nation’s fastest growing suburbs. Region C’s proposed update was recently open for public comment.
In August, Clean Water Fund submitted comments on the Water Plan which faulted it for prioritizing expensive new reservoirs over conservation.
Dallas and Fort Worth have made progress in lowering per capita gallons of consumption (GPCD) through toilet rebate programs and the “Lawn Whisperer” campaign, which offers tips on more efficient lawn watering. However, the GPCD for most cities in Region C remains well above the state average, and few cities have programs in place to lower consumption. Fewer than half of Region C communities limit lawn watering, even during drought. Less than 40% have tiered rate structures to promote conservation and only 25% punish water waste. Read more
Clean Up On All Aisles! Mind the Store Campaigns Mounting Victories
Clean Water Action and Mind the Store campaign partners are celebrating some big victories made possible in part by Clean Water Action members — thank you!
The campaign was launched to secure commitments from the nation’s largest retailers to replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives in every day products such as couch cushions, cosmetics and children’s toys. The targets include the top 10 largest retailers in the country like Walmart, CVS, Home Depot, Target and Walgreens — all companies whose decisions can lead product manufacturers and the chemical industry to shift to safer chemicals.
Throughout New England, Clean Water Action hosted events with local volunteers, delivered letters to store managers, organized call-in days, and conducted in-store research on toxic chemicals in products on store shelves. Read more
Featuring an hors d’oeuvres reception, an awards ceremony, silent auction and celebration of victories and progress towards a healthy and sustainable world!
For more information and tickets visit this page