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Tell Congress to support energy efficiency now!

Senators Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Rob Portman (OH) joined with representatives Peter Welch (VT) and David McKinley (W.VA) introduced bipartisan energy efficiency bills that congress must pass now. Their bill sets out to save us energy by using low-cost technologies that are widely available today and can be adopted quickly. It reduces barriers to the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. (act now!)

Black Warrior Riverkeeper Files Lawsuit Over Shannon Mine’s 758 Water Pollution Violations

Birmingham, Ala. – April 24, Black Warrior Riverkeeper filed a citizen lawsuit under the Clean Water Act and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act in U.S. District Court for 758 water pollution violations at the Shannon Mine.  The surface coal mine, run by Shannon, LLC, operates in Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties within the Upper Black Warrior River watershed.  The lawsuit addresses the company’s self-reported violations of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES) No. AL0076597 dating back to February 2010. (read the full release here)

Don't Frack with California

(in light of the recent discussions on fracking in Alabama's National Forests, this story seems to hold additional interest) The Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity won a landmark victory on April 8 when a federal judge ruled that federal authorities broke the law when they failed to consider the environmental impacts of fracking before they leased 2,700 acres of public land in Monterey and Fresno counties to oil and gas drillers. "The court recognized that fracking is different from the oil and gas development that California has known thus far," said Sierra Club attorney Nathan Matthews. "Fracking and modern unconventional production have changed the game." Send a letter to President Obama here.

Rolling Stone Tips Hat to Brune

Rolling Stone magazine has named Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune as one of its New Green Heroes, characterizing him as a "sober, strategic environmentalist" who has made his mark mixing antagonistic direct action and good faith negotiation. "Confrontation combined with a commitment to find solutions can be transformative," Brune told the magazine after zip-tying himself to the White House gates to provoke President Obama to aggressively confront the climate crisis. "People can take action as consumers and voters. They can take action through civil disobedience. What we want is for people to be a part of this movement and do something."


May 2013

Bird-watching with the West Alabama Sierra Club

Sat. 5/4. Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and Bald Eagles. Yes you can! Not far from Tuscaloosa you can see the rare Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and Bald Eagles within the same national forest area. We will travel to the Oakmulgee Division of the Talladega National Forest, where there is a very viewable colony of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in an old growth stand of Longleaf Pine. Then we will go to a local restaurant for a very reasonable and tasty lunch. After lunch we will drive to the area where the eagles are nesting and will only need to step out of our cars to view them! Meet at Books-a-Million at 9:00am. For more information call Dexter Duren at (205) 393-0927.

Find about additional Sierra Club Outings and Events all across the state here: more>>>

Fracking Meeting in Montgomery Held Last Month

April 25, 2013. A meeting was held concerning possible oil and gas exploration rights for the Talladega National Forest. As expected, there were very few definitive answers and more questions remain. While many are concerned with the overall possibility of ANY form of gas or oil extraction from our National Forest lands, the possibility of fracking has many people even more afraid. Find more information on the meeting and general information on fracking here: Channel 42's CBS News team; and here: Thanks to Amanda L Pence Melton for sharing photos of the meeting.


TO:  Members of the Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy

This letter and the enclosed materials are provided to you on behalf of the thousands of members and supporters of the Sierra Club in Alabama.

In the last couple of years, we've had drought in the South, tornadoes in the South and Midwest, floods in the Mississippi River basin, hurricanes Irene and Sandy in the East, wildfires in the West, and thousands of high temperature daily records across the U.S.  Munich Re, the largest reinsurance company, stated North America has experienced almost a five-fold increase in weather disasters over the past three decades, and such events will continue--which means higher insurance rates, poorer health, more wildfires, droughts, floods, and higher food prices.

Several states and other jurisdictions have enacted measures designed to create a better future, in which more jobs are created, public health is improved, and security is enhanced.

To do this here, we suggest there is a need for effective education concerning climate change and what to do about it.  To those ends, our members and supporters offer the  enclosed copy of the National Research Council's Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices and also their brief DVD titled Climate Change: Lines of Evidence.  These should be useful in your interactions with colleagues and constituents.  (Recall that the NRC is the research arm of the National Academies of Sciences, a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress.  The NRC utilizes volunteer talent from academia, industry, and government to address pressing challenges confronting the nation and the world.)

Regarding climate change, positive steps recommended by the NRC include increased emphasis on:  1) energy conservation; 2) energy efficiency; 3) alternative energy sources, e.g., solar and wind.

On behalf of all Alabamians, we urge you to take constructive actions concerning alternative energy and climate change.

Thank you for your service to the people of Alabama.

(You may download a copy of the booklet here)

(provided by David Newton)

Mobile Earth Day a Success!

see more photos here | read a write-up on about the event here

Help Save the Black Warrior River!

Please take 30 seconds to Tell The University of Alabama, the major owner of land and mineral rights at the proposed Shepherd Bend Mine site, to protect the river and Birmingham's drinking water: You can also read Nelson Brooke's guest blog post on American Rivers website, here.

Coosa Valley's Earth Day a Big Success

see a photo page for the 2013 Earth Day here! 

Tell President Obama: No more toxic sludge

Coal-fired power plants produce more toxic waste than any other industry in the United States, including the chemical, plastic, and paint manufacturing industries. They spew millions of pounds of pollutants into our waters every year -- toxins that are dangerous even in very low concentrations.

And the problem's only getting worse. The EPA estimates that the amount of toxic wastewater from these plants is going to increase 28% over the next 15 years. That means more heavy metals and more toxic sludge in more streams and rivers -- more contaminated rivers, more unhealthy streams, more poisoned wildlife.

Tell President Obama and the EPA that now is the time to give us strong and sensible safeguards against toxic wastewater. (ACT NOW!)

Citizens Canoe to the Statehouse on Rivers of Alabama Day, Legislators Listen

Last month, dozens of concerned citizens set out across the Alabama River in a bright flotilla of kayaks and canoes, compliments of CoosaOutdoor Center, en route to talk to their state legislators about protecting our water resources. 

After paddling directly up to the river front in downtown Montgomery, citizens participated in a lobby briefing and lunch at the Railyard Brewery before heading to the statehouse to talk to legislators.

The event, organized by the Alabama Rivers Alliance, was designed to celebrate the state designated Rivers of Alabama Day* by highlighting the recreational value of our rivers while simultaneously recognizing the integral role state policy makers have in keeping our rivers clean and healthy. (read the full press release here)

No More Deepwater Horizons

Three years ago last month, one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation's history occurred when an explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 people and gushed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. But despite numerous recent disasters -- from Shell's rig running ashore in Alaska to ExxonMobil's pipeline spill in Arkansas last month -- Big Oil wants to double down on more dangerous drilling in the Arctic and off our coasts, as well as build the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Take Action NOW!

Club Is on White House Radar

The Sierra Club made its presence known at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last week. Second Lady Jill Biden promoted the Month of the Military Child on the White House blog, citing the Sierra Club's role in sponsoring the Celebration of the Military Child Outdoors and linking (twice) to our website. Three days later, New Jersey Chapter volunteer leader Gregory Auriemma was honored by the White House as a "Champion of Change," prompting a shout-out from fellow Jersey Shore native Michael Brune.

Sierra Club Outings

Spring is here!! It may be cold; it may be warm. It's time to get out! Take a great hike. Or just enjoy gathering with friends to discuss environmental issues! Come join us on the trail or just out for a stroll down the mountain! more>>>