Environment / Climate Change RRT

Action Alert week of July 24, 2017

Quote of the week: Rep. Greg Vitali, a Delaware County Democrat, comments on Gov. Wolf’s approval through inaction of SB 624 Exempt the coal industry from the PA Clean Streams Law:

This is a triumph of special-interest group influence over good environmental policy,

The law is also unconstitutional.

S.B. 624 violates Article III, Section 32 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which prohibits special legislation.

Senate Bill 624 is directed at one particular coal company, Consol Energy, in one particular location, RyersonStationState Park

The law also violates Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution (the Environmental Rights Amendment), as recently interpreted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Longwall mining activity by Consol Energy under Ryerson Station State Park has already caused permanent damage to the park. In 2005, mining by Consol permanently damaged Duke Lake in the park.

In addition to Ryerson Station State Park, the new law reduces protections afforded to other streams where coal companies seek to conduct longwall mining operations underneath them.

From WILK Newsradio Facebook page

Next meeting Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m. LCDC Headquarters, 53 N. Duke St., Lancaster, enter via back parking lot.

Agenda includes discussion with Greg Paulson, Mike Sturla’s chief of staff, on most effective ways to communicate with leaders in Harrisburg. 

Please come to this meeting if you have signed up as a topic co-leader!

Please come to this meeting if you are interested in keeping this group going … we need to brainstorm about aligning with other groups and to develop ways to move forward.

Join this group through lancasterdems.com (click on Rapid Response Teams on homepage).

Coming to the meeting? Take a look at the Indivisible August Recess Toolkit.

NOT GOOD NEWS
Toomey/Casey get good press for trying to establish the Susquehanna National Heritage Center through Congressional action. Unfortunately, this effort is included on page 670 of the 892-page S1460 Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017. See Priority Action on this bill below with new talking points this week.

SIGNATURES STILL NEEDED on this petition to be hand delivered to Gov. Wolf’s office: Tell Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania must join the U.S. Climate Alliance

HEARING ON BRUNNER ISLAND water permit tonight!

Please join us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/812039932280303/

Send a list of your calls and mail to legislators to Jim Sandoe each week. He is maintaining a record of calls for this group. cjsandoe@yahoo.com.

Please continue to send me your suggestions for this action alert, dianadelucca@verizon.net.

FEDERAL ACTION LIST: Calvin’s List for late July.

PRIORITY ACTION

A bill is being fast-tracked through the Senate that will only serve to increase U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.  It’s on the floor and could go for a vote at any time–please call your two senators and ask them to OPPOSE S1460. Many thanks to the reader who let me know this bill had hit the floor!

Suggested phone script: Hi, I’m [name] calling from [zip]  and I’m very concerned about S1460, the massive energy bill being rushed through the Senate. It’s opposed by conservation, water, farming, and even industry groups because it will only increase our country’s dependence on fossil fuels and further endanger the environment. This is a backward-looking bill and I want to see [Senator] instead focus on our country’s future in clean, renewable energy.  How does [Senator] intend to vote?

TALKING POINTS ON S1460:

Murkowski’s Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 (S.1460) is an environmentally devastating gift to fossil fuel that will accelerate the release of CO2 and create a future even hotter and sadder than the one we currently face.

If enacted, S.1460 will speed up approval of Liquid Natural Gas export terminals, providing only 45 days for the public to provide responses on community and ecosystem impacts after environmental reviews. The outcome will be more pipelines and fracking, and more climate pollution.

S.1460 will force federal and state agencies to defer to FERC in review processes. FERC is an industry rubber stamp. Communities will lose avenues of appeal and appeal windows will be drastically shortened.

S.1460 resurrects a massive “clean coal” initiative, even as this destructive industry is gearing down.

This bill also provides funding for the development of astronomically expensive methane hydrate extraction, a fossil fuel that will exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.

Offering no support for solar and wind technologies, this bill is a regressive train wreck supported by a Congress willfully taking us on a collision course with climate disaster.

We need to scale up clean energy sources and scale down consumption. Tell Toomey, Casey, and Smucker that incentivizing still more fossil fuel development is 100% wrong: vote no on S.1460.

STATE ACTION LIST
PA Together Weekly Call to Action Plan (note SB624 coal / clean stream bill still listed here)

RESOURCES

PA Environment Daily Blog

Columbia Law Center Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Climate Deregulation Tracker

http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/climatechange/

NEW! A comprehensive listing of pending environmental lawsuits

U.S. Climate Change Litigation

http://www.sierraclub.org/pennsylvania/legislative-tracker

Lancaster Against Pipelines

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/subjects/environmental_protection/6038

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/subjects/energy/6021

https://www.desmogblog.com/