View here to read about what happened at our March 25 meeting.
Thanks to Jim Sandoe for adapting advice from Gregory Paulson on preparing to meet with State Representatives for this Environment RRT (also applicable to other elected officials). View here.
NEXT MEETING: Monday, May 8, 7:30. The Underground is a busy place with upcoming primaries so we have changed the location to: Kauffman Physical Therapy office, 804 New Holland Ave. (behind the Turkey Hill at New Holland Ave. and Ross St.)
MEETING WITH SMUCKER’S STAFF Pat Johnson is scheduling another meeting in Lancaster with Smucker’s staff in April. Please contact Pat (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to attend this meeting.
Please join us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/812039932280303/
News to share in this Action Alert? Please send to email@example.com
CONTACTING YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS Scroll down for contact information
Great tips from the PA Together Coalition (Advice from someone who’s answered those phones.):
State the issue, state your position.
“I am opposed to the proposed EPA budget cuts; Pennsylvania needs EPA funding to implement DEP programs.” “It’s crucial that methane emission restrictions remain in place on Federal land, Do not vote in favor of S.J. Res. 11.” That’s it. That’s all we write down so we can get a tally of who is in favor, who is against. It doesn’t matter WHY you hold that opinion. The more people calling, the less detail they write down. Help them out by being simple and direct.
Please be nice!
The people answering the phones on Capitol Hill already have the hardest job in DC and some of the lowest pay as well, and for a while now their jobs have become absolute murder, with nonstop calls for 9 hours every day. Thank them for their hard work answering the phones, because without them our Senators could not represent us.
Pick one issue each day, use this format (I am in favor of _____ or I oppose ______), and call your 2 Senators and 1 Representative on their DC and State Office lines, and you’ll be on your way to being heard.
Please send a list of your contact efforts to Jim Sandoe each week. He is maintaining a record of calls for this group. firstname.lastname@example.org
The People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., on April 29, 2017. The Sierra Club has set up a bus registration at rallybus.net/peoples-climate-march. Four seats @ $60 available as of 4.2.
New bus to Climate March! School bus leaving early morning April 29, from Church of the Brethren parking lot, 777 S. Mt. Joy St., Elizabethtown PA. $25. Contact Patrick Gerlach at email@example.com 717.875.5280.
SIGN UP WITH THE AMERICAN SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS NETWORK!
Seeking to pass legislation to put a price on carbon.
ATLANTIC SUNRISE PIPELINE
Connect with Lancaster Against Pipelines http://www.wearelancastercounty.org/
Volunteers and donations needed and signup pages for both are on the website.
Want to become more informed on pipeline issues?
Check out the 2017 Pipeline Webinar Series: Defeating Shale Gas Infrastructure
10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE CLEAN POWER PLAN from the Environmental Defense Fund
Indepth report: OUR AIR: HEALTH AND EQUITY IMPACTS OF PENNSYLVANIA POWER PLANTS
From PA Environmental News: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Sunday defended massive 31 percent budget cuts at EPA, including funding for states to carry out federal programs saying, “We have state departments of environmental quality that have the resources and the expertise to deal with clean water and clean air issues,” on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.
On March 16 the Environmental Council of the States, which represents the state environmental agencies of all 50 states, said the “dramatic cuts” proposed by President Trump will adversely affect every state.
Clearly, Pennsylvania does not now and has not had the resources to carry out its mission for some time. Pennsylvania has seen the General Assembly and Democratic and Republican governors cut the Department of Environmental Protection’s General Fund budget by 40 percent and its staff by 25 percent over the last 14 years.
The DEP grapples with administering complex programs that deal with methane emissions for the oil and gas industry, pipeline permitting, storm water management, sewage, hazardous site cleanups, and old mine sites. It also is part of a six-state, multi-organization effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
The state has already been warned by the federal EPA — under the Obama administration — that its staffing is insufficient to meet requirements for inspecting public water systems under federal safe drinking water standards. Nationally, each inspector is responsible for 67 water systems on average, according to Patrick McDonnell, the DEP’s acting secretary. Pennsylvania’s average is 149.
DEP has had no choice but to raise permit review fees to make up for lost state revenue in the past. It may not have any choice but to further increase fees on local governments and businesses to make up for this new loss of federal revenue if these programs are to survive.
Contact Toomey about every assault on the EPA/Clean Power Plan; he supports Pruitt and he’s an active participant in this – see S.J.Res.21 below.
Message Scott Pruitt on Facebook; phone him: 202-564-4700; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FEDERAL HOUSE/SENATE/RULE ROLLBACKS
FUEL EFFICIENCY ROLLBACK FOLLOWUP
45 publicly announced in early March he would cancel Obama’s executive order on fuel efficiency mandates. EXCELLENT article about stupidity of this rollback. Message Scott Pruitt on Facebook; phone him: 202-564-4700; email: email@example.com
S.J.Res.21 Cross State Air Pollution Rule under attack in bill sponsored by Toomey, no cosponsors; now in Environment and Public Works Committee. Starting in May 2017, this final rule will further reduce ozone season emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) from power plants in 22 states in the eastern United States, providing up to $880 million in benefits and reducing ground-level ozone exposure for millions of Americans. Contact Toomey and ask for an explanation; contact Casey. See here for a or more in-depth explanation of rule benefits.
J. Res. 11 The CRA to Disapprove the Bureau of Land Management Methane Rule has is still in Committee in the Senate. Contact Lisa Murkowski, chair of Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and committee member Independent Angus King. Excellent arguments for defending this rule are presented here. And here “Methane Emissions Increasing in Big US Shale Play (PA).”
Waters of the U.S. rule 2.28.17 Executive Order. National Law Review update: The timeline for the revised rulemaking is uncertain, but it will likely be at least early 2018 before EPA and the Corps would issue a final revised rule, which is sure to be judicially challenged. Industry and agricultural stakeholders should review and submit comments on the future proposal, which may be published as early as summer 2017. The pending Supreme Court review and decision on the appropriate venue for such a challenge could expedite the litigation of the future rule. Barring any interim guidance, EPA and the Corps are continuing to follow concepts in the 2008 guidance document interpreting Rapanos, which also incorporates Kennedy’s “significant nexus” test. Although the agencies are expected to curtail enforcement of all environmental statutes, environmental groups are expected to push back with increased litigation to enforce the CWA. Message Scott Pruitt on Facebook; phone him: 202-564-4700; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
H.J. Res. 69 nullifies the rule issued by the Department of the Interior on August 5, 2016, amending regulations for National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska that govern predator control and public participation and closure procedures.
Both the House and Senate have voted to nullify this rule. Read the Humane Society President’s statement here and contact 45 to stop the elimination of this rule.
H. R. 1431 “The Science Advisory Board bill is a transparent attempt to slow down the regulatory process and stack science review boards with industry representatives.” Passed House 3.30; goes to Senate.
H. R. 1430, named the “Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017” or HONEST act. Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) bill, is designed to “undermine the science that EPA can use in their work, and ultimately, make it easier to pollute in our country.” Passed House 3.30; goes to Senate.
Related to S. J. Res. 11 above is Pennsylvania’s SB175 below.
SB175 is still in committee. Contact members of the Environmental Resources and Energy committee. Member voting info is available here. This bill would prohibit the state from passing any regulation of methane emissions that are more stringent than federal regulations set by the EPA. Good background info here and Drexel study here.
Maryland Senate passes fracking ban, governor says he’ll sign it.
Call and/or email Rep. Smucker and Senator Toomey to demand a face-to-face town hall with constituents from the 16th congressional district.
U.S. SENATOR PATRICK TOOMEY
EMAIL FORM ON WEBSITE/SCROLL DOWN FOR PHONE NUMBERS/ADDRESSES
FAX HIM HERE
U.S. SENATOR BOB CASEY
EMAIL FORM ON WEBSITE/SCROLL DOWN FOR PHONE NUMBERS/ADDRESSES
FAX HIM HERE
or personal fax 202-228-0604
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE LLOYD SMUCKER
51 South Duke St
Lancaster, PA 17602
PA SENATOR SCOTT MARTIN
48-50 W. Chestnut Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
PA SENATOR RYAN AUMENT
301 East Main Street
Lititz, PA 17543
EMAIL FORM ON WEBSITE