by Emma Newman, Former Co-Director, Cascade Climate Network
As coal plants in the United States continue to close, local organizations around the country appear to have struck a blow to the industry. But in reality, as coal consumption decreases in our country, global demand continues to rise. A result of this shift in demand can be found in recent proposals to ship Powder River Basin coal from Montana and Wyoming through several Northwest ports. One of these proposals would bring coal right through the city of Eugene, to the Port of Coos Bay.
Bank of America got punk'd bad today in a hilarious mock site called YourBofA. On the site, BofA CEO Brian Moynihan, "publically admits" that Bank of America had cheated the nation out of bililons of dollars, engaged in predatory lending practices, executed aggressive and discriminatory foreclosure campaigns, and made the disastrous choice of investing in coal and moutain top removal.
Tomorrow is Tax Day -- many of us are anxiously awaiting out tax returns or getting ready to write a big fat check to the government.
Due to corporate tax breaks many large US companies are not required to pay income taxes to the federal government. In fact, 2009 and 2010, Great Plains (KCP&L's Parent Company) also avoided all state income taxes and received refunds totaling more than $5 million.
Meanwhile, KCPL is raining rates left and right. Ratepayers in Missouri will pay a 15% increase in the coming year.
Ithaca is not known for its abundant sunshine. Situated in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York, Ithaca’s typical weather is usually summed up by fellow Cornell students as very rarely nice. Coupled with the large coal plant that supplies much of the area’s energy, Ithaca hardly seems like a renewable energy hub. However, despite our seeming lack of natural capital, Ithaca is proving that even we can go green.
KyotoNOW! co-sponsored a screening of Empowered: Power from the People, locally produced and directed by Cornell alumna Shira Evergreen. The documentary explores the efforts of individuals in the energy independence revolution. From wind and solar to biodiesel and geothermal, Tompkins County residents are using it all and proving that it is possible to produce our own renewable energy and get ourselves off of fossil fuels. They are proving that the most important source of power doesn’t just come from coal and oil, it comes from people and their desire for a just and sustainable future.
Written by University of Mary Washington Student, Abbie Rogers.
I stand in solidarity with students at Michigan State University because I believe there is no room for corporate-induced environmental determinism in on college campuses.
Hailing from a quaint but growing apple-producing town nestled into the Shenandoah Valley, I was treated to the childhood we all deserve: finding deer tracks in the snow each winter and crushing up wild berries for makeshift ink in the spring. I had clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and countless natural havens like those Muir once wrote about: “places to play in, and places to pray in.” Without even having to earn it, I was given a clean and untainted slate with which to map my future.
Peaks away, my brothers and sisters in Appalachia had a very different upbringing. Insatiable corporate greed and its obsession with cheap energy quite literally bombed their mountain homes to claw at the coal underneath. Rivers ran red, from cadmium, arsenic and mercury leaching while entire species disappeared, including (but not limited to) the humans who lived there--for if the blasting, poisoned water and legal debt didn’t kill them, the doubled risk of cancer sure would. The environment for my neighbors was nothing short of inhibiting, a Jacob Marley-like chain they didn’t even begin to deserve.
by Whit Jones, Campaign Director, Energy Action Coalition
When I pulled into East Lansing yesterday the first thing I saw was the two looming towers of the Michigan State University campus coal plant. MSU's T.B. Simon coal plant is the largest campus coal plant in the country. And this week we need all hands on deck to build momentum to shut it down.
This Friday April 13, MSU's Board of Trustees will vote on an "Energy Transition Plan." The plan while seeming strong at face value, is missing critical elements. Most notably it lacks: 1) a date to retire the coal plant and 2) a full-scale plan to rapidly scale up efficiency and renewables.
As a result of student pressure, the plan does state the ultimate goal is to power MSU with 100% clean energy. This is a testament to the power of student organizing, and demonstrates that the university understands it’s important to transition to clean energy. However, without an actual plan to retire the coal plant, it’s a hollow promise and we need to change that.
On Monday, April 9, three Maryland students were arrested in front of the Annapolis State House in support of offshore wind. (There will be a post with more about the whole campaign coming later). They agreed to share their stories about their decision to risk arrest, the consequences of civil disobedience, and how civil disobedience as a tactic fits into campaigns as a whole. Below are excerpts from our interview, for which they graciously took time out of their crazy schedules.
I’ve included everything in order so that readers can see the trajectory of the conversation, but the best parts of the interview are at the end and if you don’t have much time I encourage you to check out the last few sections first.
April 6, 2012 -- Today Swarthmore's Mountain Justice sent a student delegation with an elaborate formal invitation to President Chopp to join them in their fight to divest Swarthmore College's money from the "Sordid Sixteen," the 16 dirtiest domestic fossil fuel companies. About 20 people, including members of Mountain Justice and the wider campus community, visited her office at 12:30PM to deliver the invitation, which requests the president's support at an upcoming Board of Managers meeting at which Mountain Justice will be presenting their divestment proposal.