Thursday, July 21, 2016

Want to Pay for Cuomo's $8 Billion Nuclear Bailout? Comment Today!

It's Time to Hit the Brakes on Governor Cuomo's Extravagant 12-Year Nuclear Bailout

The push for a massive nuclear power bailout in New York just got a lot worse -- and the state agency pushing it doesn't want to consider other options or give the public any time to make our voices heard.

After saying for months that the proposed nuclear subsides would cost only $270 million over 12 years, a new proposal released just a few days ago raised the projected price to almost $8 billion. Yes, you read that right, Governor Cuomo and the New York Public Service Commission now want to spend $8 billion of New Yorkers’ money on bailing out the nuclear industry, and in particular, one company: Exelon. The cost will be paid by every electricity consumer in New York -- residents, businesses, and municipalities -- with higher energy bills.

This may be the largest corporate bailout or subsidy to one company in New York history. And the public has been given only 10 business days to comment on this new expensive plan. They are rushing to try to make a decision by August 1.

IMPORTANT: If we want to stop this, we need thousands of people to comment by Friday, July 22. So I am writing to ask you to please raise your voice.

Click here to comment today.  It's Easy! Just send a form email message or personalize it.


This plan is so much worse than even the original plan to bail out most of New York's nuclear power plants. If it goes through, New York will end up spending two times more money on bailing out dirty, old, dangerous reactors than on building safe, clean, affordable renewable energy. And we would be locked into paying this nuclear tax for over 12 years, until 2029.

The PSC hasn’t even considered other options. They have done no analysis to see what it would look like if we replaced nuclear power in New York with efficiency or renewables. 

The plan is outrageous and dangerous:
  • It risks nuclear meltdowns on the shore of Lake Ontario, drinking water for 9 million people, just miles from Syracuse and Rochester.
  • It steals billions of dollars from building the clean-energy economy New York needs and deserves.
  • And it blocks real climate solutions for over a decade, just to make more and more radioactive waste.

Please send a message to the Public Service Commission and Governor Cuomo now.


Thank you for raising your voice!

Jessica Azulay
Alliance for a Green Economy

Job Opportunity: Clean Air Coalition is Hiring!

 

WE'RE HIRING CANVASSERS!

Interested in working on the front lines of the struggle for environmental justice? Clean Air is looking for inspiring individuals ready to work for the movement for social change. 
Description:  
Develop grassroots support for and activate citizen participation in our issue based campaigns through intensive door knocking, and site based voter registration.
The canvasser will be the primary point of entry into Clean Air. The canvassers' responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Identifying and/ or reporting on issues residents are passionate or concerned about
  • Registering new voters and/or updating voter files
  • Coordinating site based voter registration activities
  • Leading and supporting teams of volunteer canvassers
  • Recruiting new members and building an active volunteer base for canvassing
  • Keeping solid records on campaign activities
  • Updating the Voter Activation Network
Qualifications:
Applicants would preferably have a strong interest in social/ environmental justice, strong communication skills, willingness to learn new skills and ideas, be self motivated, and have access to reliable transportation.  This is a part time, temporary position that pays $15/ hour. Applicants should submit a resume and 3 references by August 1st to Rebecca Newberry via email; rebecca@cacwny.org or by postal mail; Clean Air 52 Linwood Ave. Buffalo, NY 14209.

Monday, July 18, 2016

RALLY: Stop a Fracked Gas Pipeline - Preserve Waterways and Wetlands

Stop the Northern Access 2016 Pipeline

 
WHAT: Rally at National Fuel Headquarters

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27, 3pm - 6pm

WHERE: 6363 Main St., Williamsville

The Pendleton Action Team and the Sierra Club Niagara Group are joining up to fight the building of a 96 mile fracked gas pipeline, compressor and dehydration stations proposed by National Fuel for Western NY.

Earlier this year, NYS DEC officials rejected the Constitution Pipeline Project, citing damage that it would do to water supplies along the pipeline route.

On that basis alone, the proposed Northern Access Project should not be permitted since it would cross 180 streams, 270 wetlands and 7 ponds in Cattaraugus, Allegany, and Erie Counties.

To add insult to potential injury, the gas would not only cross the Niagara River, it will be exported to Canada.

Furthermore, we need to incentivize infrastructure for Clean, Renewable Energy, not for dirty fossil fuels that cause carbon pollution and global warming.

Check out the Pendleton Action Team on Facebook for more information.
Visit  niagarasierrraclub.com for info on our next meeting in August.
Information on the proposed pipeline and associated infrastructure can be found at National Fuel

Sunday, July 17, 2016

CANALSIDE FESTIVAL & WALK: Peace, Justice & Non-Violence


WNY COALITION OF PEACE,
JUSTICE & NONVIOLENCE ADVOCATES

3rd Annual
Festival and Walk for 
Peace, Justice and Non-Violence


Sunday, September 11, 2016
2:30pm to dusk

Joining together for all our
Brothers, Sisters and Mother Earth

CANALSIDE

Music, tabling, children’s activities & more

If you or your organization would like to be
part of our event please contact one of us:

Vicki Ross           931-3520  victoryross9@gmail.com
Tom Casey          491-9172  caseytpc@aol.com
Paul McQuillen  997-8659  paulmcqesq@nyagv.org


Let’s Create a Culture of Peace, Justice & Nonviolence for Our Generation

and Leave a Better World for Our Children and Their Children

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

CLEAN ENERGY: Economy & Jobs - Human Health - 100% Renewable is Doable - Goodbye Fossil Fuels

'Clean Energy 4 All' - Buffalo Rally, Sept. 2015     Photo: Nathan MacFarlane
Excerpts from News Reports:

Clean Energy Driving Economic Growth in States - Forbes 
Great news for good-paying jobs and for reducing carbon pollution that causes climate change

A growing number of states are embracing the promise of a low-carbon economy, both by setting ambitious renewable energy goals and expanding programs that encourage energy efficiency. In the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii and Minnesota, the largest utilities are sourcing 20 to 35 percent of their electricity from carbon-free wind, solar and other renewable sources.

This is obviously good news for reducing the carbon pollution that is causing climate change. But there’s another big plus stemming from state-driven efforts: tailwinds for their economies through good-paying jobs, stable energy costs and attracting new businesses.

Click Here to read more at Forbes.
A detailed report documenting clean energy jobs in New York is Here.



Energy and Human Health
Even Small Investments In Clean Energy Could Save Millions Of Lives

A new report from the International Energy Agency paints both a dreary and optimistic picture of the dangers of air pollution. On the one hand, air pollution is linked to an estimated 6.5 million deaths per year — a number that is expected to rise in coming decades. On the other hand, even small investments in technology could help curb the number of annual deaths attributed to air pollution.

The report states that reducing air pollution would help spur the transformation of the energy sector mandated by the Paris climate agreement, which requires countries to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Industrial and power sector emissions standards, for instance, could help curb both particulate pollution and greenhouse gas pollution. Policies that support renewable forms of energy also help avoid both air pollution and greenhouse gas pollution — and this could be applied to both outdoor pollution, with solar electricity, and indoor pollution, with things like solar stoves. 

Click Here to read more at ThinkProgress.


Integration of 100% Renewable Energy into the Power Grid is Possible Without Natural Gas, Biofuels, Nuclear Power, or Stationary Batteries, Study Finds

This study addresses the greatest concern facing the large-scale conversion to 100% wind, water, and solar (WWS) power for all purposes (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry). This conversion is currently inhibited by a fear of grid instability and high cost due to the variability and uncertainty of wind and solar.

The study uses a new grid integration model and finds low-cost, no-load-loss, non-unique solutions to this problem on electrification of all U.S. energy sectors. Solutions are obtained by prioritizing storage for heat (in soil and water); cold (in ice and water); and electricity (in phase-change materials, pumped hydro, hydropower, and hydrogen), and using demand response.

Click Here to read more at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Additional Information: Studies on Grid Reliability With High Penetrations of Wind, Water, and Sunlight (WWS) - Click Here


The World Is Nearing Peak Fossil Fuels (Especially The Developed World)
Oil, coal, and gas aren't running out. But they are going out of style as renewables get cheaper.

Worldwide use of fossil fuels will peak in 2025. Solar will be the least expensive form of electricity by 2030. And, by 2040, zero-emission forms of power will represent 60% of the global mix. Solar will account for 43% of all new generating capacity by 2040. These are some of the predictions of a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

 By 2040, BNEF expects EVs to make up a quarter of the global car fleet and to add a total of 8% to total electricity demand as a result. Better batteries for cars will in turn lead to better batteries for grid and household power storage, thus allowing us to use more of power generated by solar and wind.
One surprise is that natural gas plays a relatively small part of the picture. Despite the fracking boom, and talk of gas being a "bridge fuel," it makes up little more of the mix than it does now.

The report is good news for renewables, but not necessarily for climate change. It predicts a staggering $7.8 trillion of investment in clean energy by 2040. But it says another $5.3 trillion would be needed if the world is to stay within the two degree global warming limit deemed relatively safe by climate scientists.

Read more at FastCoExist.com
Click Here to read a press release on the new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

CLIMATE & ENERGY POLITICS - U.S., Canada, Mexico Pledge - Clinton Pushes Solar - Fossil Fuel Subsidies



Excerpts from News Reports

North America Will Draw Half Its Electricity from Carbon-Free Sources by 2025
37 percent already comes from non-carbon power plants, mostly nuclear and hydro

The United States, Mexico and Canada recently made a joint pledge to draw half the continent’s power from non-emitting sources by 2025. White House climate adviser Brian Deese described the pact as a sign of the growing bonds between the nations on climate and energy policies. He told reporters that the trio are cooperating more on those issues now than at any time in recent history.

The agreement calls for the continent’s power grid to draw 50 percent of its generation by 2025 from renewable energy, efficiency, nuclear power and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage technology. It would require a steep increase in clean power and efficiency over the next nine years.

Renewables are projected to increase to 23 percent by 2025, while nuclear power is expected to decrease to 18 percent as some units are decommissioned. Those figures don’t include state and regional action to de-carbonize the power grid.

The Clean Power Plan will be the “central component” to meeting the goals, but other policies—including federal tax incentives for renewables—will help. The Clean Power Plan faces litigation and is stalled under a Supreme Court stay.

Nuclear power is also a big part of the existing 'carbon-free' electricity in the United States—representing about 19 percent of the power mix. [Editors note: nuclear power doesn't emit carbon, and so it is referred to in the article as 'carbon-free'. However, the life-cycle of nuclear is definitely not carbon-free. It's also not environmentally 'clean' since it generates radioactive nuclear waste].

Deese added that the three countries will focus on the transmission lines needed to pave the way for rapid clean energy development.

Mexico will join the United States and Canada in committing to reduce methane emissions by between 40 and 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025 from the oil and gas sector. This will immediate impact on climate change since methane has a strong, short-term impact on global warming.

Click here to read the full report at Scientific American.


Hillary Clinton has promised to have a half-billion solar panels installed by 2020

Hillary Clinton, courting young voters and the broader Democratic base, has promised to one-up President Obama on climate change, vowing to produce a third of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2027 while spending billions of dollars to transform the energy economy. 

Under the Paris Agreement, an accord committing nearly 200 countries to lowering carbon emissions, Mr. Obama pledged to reduce the United States’ emissions 25 percent to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050.

A half-billion solar panels will be installed by 2020, she has promised, seven times the number today, and $60 billion will go to states and cities to develop more climate-friendly infrastructure, such as public transportation and energy-efficient buildings.

She would put the United States on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. And, she says, she could achieve all that without new legislation from Congress.
But Mrs. Clinton has avoided mention of the one policy that economists widely see as the most effective way to tackle climate change — and one that would need Congress’s assent: putting a price or tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

Conservative campaign operatives agree that they would immediately pounce on any mention by Mrs. Clinton of a carbon price.

Absent a carbon price, Mrs. Clinton plans to use a mix of new regulations, grant programs and spending on new infrastructure to achieve her targets. She would also spend $30 billion on a plan to help redevelop coal mining communities that are suffering economically in the wake of climate change policies.

And Mrs. Clinton would need at least some action by Congress to meet her goals — legislators would need to appropriate the $60 billion she intends to spend on clean infrastructure grants to states, and the $30 billion to help coal communities.

Among environmental groups and the renewable energy industry there is support for Mrs. Clinton’s proposals, however difficult they might be, compared with those of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who denies the established science of human-caused climate change.

Click here to read the full report at the New York Times.
 

Richest nations fail to agree on deadline to phase out fossil fuel subsidies

Energy ministers from the world’s major economies have failed to reach agreement on a deadline to phase out hundreds of billions of dollars in government subsidies for fossil fuels — subsidies that campaigners say are helping to propel the globe toward potentially devastating climate change.

Ministers from the Group of 20 major economies met in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday but failed to reach agreement on a deadline, despite Chinese and American efforts and a joint appeal from 200 nongovernmental organizations.

The Group of Seven richest economies last month urged all countries to eliminate “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. At a separate annual meeting in June, the United States and China agreed to push for a firm target date to be set at a summit of G-20 leaders in Hangzhou in September.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the G-20 had not agreed on a specific timeline to eliminate subsidies but said the United States believed that by 2025 or 2030, “we’d like to see very substantial progress.”

A 2015 report by the British think tank Overseas Development Institute, along with Oil Change International, calculated that the G-20 major economies subsidize fossil fuel production to the tune of $444 billion a year, marrying “bad economics with potentially disastrous effects on the environment.”

Russia spends some $23 billion in annual subsidies, and the United States $20 billion — despite President Obama’s calls to end tax breaks on the fossil fuel industry, the report said. China spends $3 billion, while Britain is one of the few G-20 countries increasing fossil fuel subsidies and cutting back on investment in renewable energy. Total G-20 subsidies for fossil fuels was four times the total global investment in renewable energy, it estimated.

“It is tantamount to G-20 governments allowing fossil fuel producers to undermine national climate commitments, while paying them for the privilege,” the report said.

 Click here to read the full report at The Washington Post 

Conservationist of the Year - Lynda Schneekloth

By David Kowalski
Conservation Committee Member
Adirondack Mountain Club - Niagara Frontier Chapter (ADK-NFC)

The ADK-NFC Conservation Committee honored Lynda Schneekloth with the “Conservationist of the Year” award at the Chapter's Annual Meeting and Picnic on Saturday, June 11, 2016.

Lynda Schneekloth was a founder of the Friends of the Buffalo River, which later became Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. She continues to serve as a Board member to this day.  She also serves as Advocacy Chair of the Western New York Environmental Alliance, and is Professor Emerita of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo. Lynda recently completed two terms as chairwoman of the Sierra Club Niagara Group. In her various leadership roles, she is frequently sought out by news media to comment on environmental issues.

In 2015, Lynda Schneekloth took the local lead in the global fight against climate change, initially enlisting help of Sierra Club members. It was a seminal year for climate action. In June, Pope Francis published an Encyclical letter addressed to all people about climate change and the injustices it creates. In December, the U.N. International Conference on Climate Change was slated to take place in Paris.

Building on the Pope's powerful messages, and in preparation for the Paris talks, Lynda wanted to raise awareness about the urgency to address global warming pollution and climate change, and the need for a justice-based transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.

Lynda Schneekloth led the effort to create a Western NY campaign called Rise Up for Climate Justice. What was new and different about the campaign was that it was not targeted exclusively to environmentalists. It was for everyone, since climate affects everybody and everything. The campaign successfully engaged not only environmentalists, but also faith groups, indigenous peoples, students, unions, artists, social/economic justice groups and politicians.

Representatives of all of these diverse groups spoke at, and participated in, a Rally for Climate Justice held in Niagara Square. About 400 people attended the rally. 60 organizations, unions and churches as well as over 2300 people signed a Climate Justice Pledge calling for bold climate action by elected officials and all people.

Lynda wanted to send the pledges to the U.N. Climate Conference in Paris. She arranged to have the names of signatories printed on a continuous paper roll. With the help of a shortened curtain rod, Lynda made and attractive metal scroll. When unwound, the paper was 42 feet long!

So how would the scroll get to Paris, get inside the high-security Climate Conference, and into the hands of someone who mattered? Well, Lynda is a professional planner. At a ceremonial Gathering of 200 people, Lynda presented the scroll to UB Law students who happened to be going to the Paris Climate Conference with their professor. They brought the scroll into the Conference, and somehow connected with the Executive Director of the National Sierra Club. The students told him about the significance of the scroll and the diversity of pledge signers. The Executive Director accepted the scroll and said, "This is how we will win."

Minutes after receiving the scroll from the representatives of Buffalo, the Sierra Club Executive Director was slated to meet with John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State and top climate conference negotiator, to convey to the U.S. Delegation the hopes of the American people. And because of Lynda's scroll and her leadership, the voices of Western New Yorkers were heard in Paris!

The Paris talks were successful in that over 190 nations agreed that it was time to take action in order cut global warming pollution. The Rise Up for Climate Justice campaign ended in 2015, but much more work needed to be done to fight climate change. The campaign evolved into a coalition, which includes members of the diverse groups cited above. In 2016, Lynda took on the leadership of the new coalition, the Climate Justice Coalition of WNY.

The 2016 Conservationist of the Year Award was presented to Lynda Schneekloth on behalf of the Adirondack Mountain Club - Niagara Frontier Chapter for:
"Conceiving and executing a successful campaign that inspired diverse groups of people to call for action on climate change and for a just transition to renewable energy, and her ongoing leadership of the Climate Justice Coalition of Western New York."
About the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK-NFC): ADK-NFC, with some 1000 local members, subscribes to and supports the mission of The ADK, both in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and in Western New York including Allegany State Park. Components of the mission include conservation, advocacy, recreation, education and stewardship. Join us to support this mission and to share our joy and knowledge of outdoor activities. Visit our website at ADK-NFC.org

Saturday, July 2, 2016

EVENTS: Vigil for Explosion Victims - Gas Pipeline Meeting - New Yorkers for Clean Power

Climate Justice Coalition of WNY
  3 Opportunities to be Engaged

 

Vigil to Remember Victims of Lac Magantic

When: Wednesday, July 6 from 5 PM to 6:30 PM

Where: People's Park on Main St, near Jewett Pkwy. (next to railroad tracks and near the Tri-Main Building). People's Park is adjacent to the railroad tracks that course through Buffalo's Parkside Community. Those tracks carry manifest trains that sometimes have 20+ DOT-111 tanker cars carrying explosive Bakken crude oil.

Why: On July 6, 2013, an unattended bomb train rolled down a 7 mile long hill and derailed at 60 MPH in downtown Lac Megantic Quebec, killing 47 people, and two others, who committed suicide at a later date -- one was a first responder who had pulled the body of his ex-girl friend from the ashes.

Explosive Bakken crude oil is carried daily through Buffalo by rail.

Names of the victims of Lac Megantic will be read to remind people that it's not a matter of if a similar accident will happen again, but when.

Sponsors: WNY Drilling Defense, Environmental Justice Task Force of WNY Peace Center and Sierra Club Niagara Group.






 
facebook.com/RiseUpforClimateJustice

Twitter.com/RU4CJBuffalo
 niagarasierraclub.com

Funded in part by grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Sierra Club Niagara Group

 Our mailing address is:
niagarasierra@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

URGENT: Support NYS Senate Passage of Important Climate Bill



IMPORTANT - TAKE ACTION TODAY!


The NY State Climate and Community Protection Act [1] passed the State Assembly, and it now has Bipartisan support of a Majority in the State Senate. 

We need to move this important bill to the floor for a vote [2] 

ACT NOW to show your support!  It's Easy! 

To send a form letter to your Senator or write your own, CLICK HERE.

New Yorkers deserve good jobs and healthy communities powered by clean, renewable energy!

  1. NY State Climate and Community Protection Act(A.10342/S.8005
  2. EDITORIAL: Senate Must Act on Climate - Albany TimesUnion - June 15, 2016
 Sponsors: Climate Justice Coalition of WNY, Sierra Club Niagara Group, and NY Renews