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From the Green Party of the United States:
WASHINGTON, DC — Six Green mayors have signed on to a joint letter to President Obama from more than 100 mayors expressing grave concerns about the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
The mayors, representing communities across the US, voiced relief at President Obama’s decision to postpone the decision, as well as hope that the permit for the pipeline will be rejected when it comes up for review after the presidential election.
A summary of the letter, a link to the text, and a list of the mayors can be found online here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sclefkowitz/over_100_mayors_voice_concern.html
The Green mayors who signed the letter are Larry Bragman (Fairfax, Calif.), Bruce Delgado (Marina, Calif.), David Doonan (Greenwich, NY), Gayle McLaughlin (Richmond, Calif.), Jim Sullivan (Victory, NY), and Jason West (New Paltz, NY). (Mayor Bragman signed after the web site was published.) Read the rest of this entry →
September 30, 2011 in Ecological Wisdom & the Environment
Hot Indie News reports:
Green Parties in several states are co-sponsoring and hosting a ‘No Nukes Tour’ of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida from Monday, October 3, to Saturday, October 8.The No Nukes Tour, with the slogan “Organize the South!”, will feature Green activist and candidate Howie Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins has been an organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, the environment, and independent politics and against nuclear power since the late 1960s.
The tour will kick off with a press conference at 10 am at the Raleigh Old State House in North Carolina.
August 24, 2011 in Ecological Wisdom & the Environment
“This event affirms that reactors located outside active earthquake zones are also at risk and that increased steps to protect against earthquakes must be implemented at all sites. It is time to push aside industry and NRC foot-dragging and strengthen nuclear reactor safety regulations.”
July 19, 2011 in Ecological Wisdom & the Environment
From the NBC affiliate WREX:
ROCKFORD (WREX) -The Illinois Green Party wants people to be more aware of the dangers of nuclear energy.
Director of Nuclear Energy Information Service Chicago Dave Kraft says residents and lawmakers should be concerned because Illinois has four reactors the same type and vintage as the ones in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Kraft said today was a chance to raise awareness in political circles about the state of nuclear energy in Illinois and hopefully inspire legislators to take a hard look at safety at our nuclear reactors.
He said it’s also time to consider alternative sources of energy and cut our dependence on nuclear energy.
The UK Huffington Post has this piece about popular Green Party Member of Parliament Caroline Lucas in the United Kingdom. Lucas is the first Green to get elected to Parliament in the UK.
Shortly after making history, Caroline Lucas gave a speech on Glastonbury’s pyramid stage, called for drugs to be decriminalised and won the Spectator’s much-coveted parliamentarian of the year award.
It’s been a busy year for Britain’s first Green MP – and she’s not planning to slow down. Her next project is shaking up the green movement, who she admits have “failed a little bit” to engage the public.
“Until recently I think the wider green movement and the green party included in it were too much focused, understandably, to waking people up to the climate crisis that would be rather than attracting people by painting a positive picture of what a zero carbon economy could look like. And I think fear isn’t a great motivating influence.”
For her, the green movement is about improving people’s lives – tackling the problem of fuel poverty, creating jobs and growth.
“Instead of just saying ‘we’ve got to act because climate change could be dreadful’, we’ve got to act because this could be a way of creating lots of jobs and also insulating lots of people’s homes and reducing their fuel bills so they’re not living in poverty and dying prematurely.
“I think we’ll have a much better job of doing it if we don’t always talk about the doom and gloom and hairshirts. The sense that the climate change agenda is one about doing without and giving things up is a very negative agenda. It turns people off.”
Sitting at a desk crowded with annotated print outs from bill sub-committees she speaks quickly, offering to help clarify quotes if my dictaphone can’t pick up it all up.
The sense of urgency is understandable. For Lucas, climate change has been relegated down the political agenda – and it’s up to her to tackle that within parliament as the most powerful representative of the green movement in the country.
“It’s just crazy”, Lucas says, that the Government aren’t instigating a 1930s style New Deal for green energy.
“We know climate change is happening, we know what is causing it, we know what we need to do to address it. What’s lacking isn’t the technical knowledge, it’s not even the money actually it just comes down to the political will to say ‘this is a priority’.”
She believe it comes down a Catch 22. Lucas thinks the politicians are waiting for the public pressure to act, whilst the public assume if it were serious the politicians would be acting already.
“That’s such a dangerous conclusion to draw because it is that serious and politicians aren’t doing something about it and they’re not doing anything about it because they don’t feel under the pressure from the public.”
Read the entire article here.
A press release from the Green Party of the United States:
Puerto Rico’s colonial status must be replaced with self-determination and independence, say Greens
Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on ecological sustainability and global warming:http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-ecological.php
WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party has joined Puerto Ricans protesting a proposal by Gov. Luis Fortuño to construct a huge natural gas pipeline that would endanger Puerto Rico’s communities and ecosystems. Green Party leaders said that the problem of Puerto Rico’s high electric bills and dirty air from burning oil must be resolved through alternative energy instead of burning another fossil fuel.
“Everything about the project is wrong, beginning with Gov. Fortuño’s Orwellian name for the pipeline — the ‘Green Way’ [Via Verde]. A pipeline that threatens people living nearby and damages green mountains is not green, by any stretch. The top contract for the $450 million pipeline has been awarded to a company with no experience constructing pipelines. It’s a corrupt deal to benefit a favored corporation,” said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 nominee for Vice President. Ms. Clemente is Puerto Rican.
The contractor, Gas Natural de Puerto Rico, is also seeking tax exemption, while the bill for the pipeline will be covered by Puerto Rican taxpayers (“Pide exención contributiva al Gobierno,” Perla del Sur, http://www.periodicolaperla.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2585:pide-exencion-contributiva-futuro-usuario-del-gasoducto-del-norte&catid=81:locales&Itemid=198).
For more information on the serious risks of the pipeline, see “Casa Pueblo: scientific paper on the pipeline,” RedBetances.com (in Spanish) (http://www.redbetances.com/component/content/article/51-en-portada/390-casa-pueblo-html).
“Puerto Rico’s colonial status makes it especially vulnerable to the kind of corporate influence, official corruption, and disregard for the well-being of residents and the environment in evidence now with the pipeline proposal. Puerto Ricans were also forced to accept weapons testing by the US Navy on the island of Vieques, until widespread protests shut down the firing range in 2003. The Green Party supports the efforts of Puerto Ricans to stop this misnamed gas pipeline, and we support self-determination, independence, and democratic sovereignty for the people of Puerto Rico,” said Michael Canney, Florida Green and member of the Green Party’s International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).
Green Party leaders said that the Puerto Rico’s energy problems must be solved by diversifying energy sources (excluding nuclear power), aggressive energy conservation and efficiency, and finding ways to reduce the island’s reliance on expensive fossil fuels. The top priority, in Puerto Rico and throughout the world, must be protection of the health of humans, other living beings, and ecosystems and action to curb the advance of global warming.
On May 9, the Jacksonville office of the US Army Corps of Engineers, in an unprecedented move, removed all documents related to the permitting process for the Via Verde pipeline from the Corps’ San Juan office and transferred jurisdiction to Florida. (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&¬e_id=118899578193054&id=109915969091415) This decision leaves the San Juan Office, which has spent six months evaluating the project, without jurisdiction. It also distances the people of Puerto Rico from the permitting process. Greens urge the US Army Corps of Engineers to return jurisdiction to its Puerto Rico office, and to decline approval for the project.
“While Gov. Fortuño is promoting Via Verde, President Obama is calling for expanded domestic drilling for oil, with more drilling in Alaska, Atlantic coastal areas, and the Gulf of Mexico. The problem isn’t just dependence on foreign oil, as the President seems to think. The problem is the US’s addiction to fossil fuels regardless of their source, with a US energy policy driven by corporate greed rather than the public interest. Increased drilling and new pipelines are insane in the context of climate change and last year’s BP oil spill disaster,” said Hector Lopez, Connecticut Green and member of the International Committee.
Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
A press release from the Green Party of Pennsylvania (the resolution is included below, as well):
Friday April 22 marks the 41st anniversary of Earth Day. The seventies brought promise with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. That promise fades with the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the damaged nuclear complex in Japan and the threat to Pennsylvania’s water, land and air from drilling for natural gas.
The Green Party of Pennsylvania calls upon Governor Corbett to fulfill his oath of office and the DEP to follow it’s mission and protect our environment. “Natural gas drilling will consume the equivalent of Harvey’s Lake, the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania, in less than 2 years time.” states Green Party activist Jay Sweeney. “The dumping of ‘treated’ wastewater into our rivers and streams is a public health threat as noted by Dr. Conrad Volz in his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works last week.”
The Green Party of Pennsylvania has endorsed a resolution calling for a ban of the hydrofracking process. See below.
“The Corbett administration reminds us, day after day, of who helped get them get into office and who is really pulling their strings,” remarks I.K. Samways, Chair of the Green Party of Pennsylvania. ”To treat a severance tax as a third rail while insisting on a political seal of approval for DEP inspection reports is irresponsible in the extreme. Hydrofracking remains a volatile and poorly regulated process, where the very health of our citizens has become little more than a political trading horse. A ban on the process, as called for in the Green Party’s resolution, will put an end to this blatant misuse of our natural resources and keep us on the road to a much more responsible and sustainable energy policy.”
“For years, we’ve been told that natural gas is cleaner than traditional gasoline, and so despite the concerns about water, it was still the more environmental thing to do.” adds former Chair, Hillary Kane. “We now know that fracking releases so much methane into the air at the time of extraction that the carbon footprint of natural gas is actually worse than coal. There is no reason to be doing this.”
The Green Party of Pennsylvania is also sponsoring Earth Day rallies outside DEP Regional offices on Thursday April 21. On Thursday from 11 am to 2 pm, there will be a rally outside the DEP Northeast Regional office on 2 Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. Also on Thursday from 4 to 6 pm, there will be a rally outside the DEP Southeast Regional Office on 2 E. Main St. in Norristown. The Green Party would like to thank it’s Earth Day Coalition partners Citizens for Clean Water, NEPAGasAction.org, End Gasocracy Now!, Protecting Our Waters, Brandywine Peace Community, Buxmont Coalition for Peace Action and Saint Vincent’s Peace and Justice Ministry.
New Green Party of PA Statement on Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale
Green Party of Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Statement
Whereas Marcellus shale natural gas is not a transitional fuel, but an impediment to a clean energy policy that conserves energy and develops solar, wind, geothermal, micro hydro and other renewable technologies, and
Whereas methane (CH4) a greenhouse gas and the principal component of natural gas is more harmful than carbon dioxide (CO2), and
Whereas the Energy Act of 2005 exempted the oil & gas industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act, and
Whereas natural gas fracking results in a level of devastation on the scale of the previous oil, timber and coal exploitation of our natural heritage, and
Whereas the byproducts of the hydrofracking process include the release of radioactive materials into the environment, and
Whereas hydraulic fracturing squanders our precious water resources and poisons drinking water, private wells and public supplies, and
Whereas natural gas extraction poses dangers, including explosions, threatening those employed by the industry as well as the general public, and
Whereas Article 1, Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania states, “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people,” and
Whereas there is a total failure to regulate extractive industries including the failure to prevent illegal water withdrawals by the oil & gas industry in Western Pennsylvania, and
Whereas Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have passed ordinances calling for a ban and a moratorium, respectively,
Be it resolved that, we, citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and members of the Green Party of Pennsylvania, call for the termination and prohibition of all natural gas extraction involving the use of our Commonwealth’s water resources. We call for a ban immediately stopping all high volume, slick water, horizontal fracturing of deep shale, including exploration, in Pennsylvania and worldwide.
Be it further resolved that the Green Party of Pennsylvania believes the short term economic benefits will be dwarfed by the long term economic and environmental consequences of natural gas extraction. Any and all political and legal means must be employed to protect our environment.
In the interim, the right of local communities to protect themselves and assert their rights through local ordinance is supported by the Green Party of Pennsylvania.
The Green Party of Philadelphia has three events in the next two weeks. First, they will be demonstrating against fracking on Earth Day. Next, they will be holding a monthly meeting. Finally, on May Day they will be having a community celebration. More details below.
From the Daily Loaf:
In Florida, there are currently five nuclear reactors in operation in Florida, with two at Turkey Point on Biscayne Bay, two in Port St. Lucie, and one at Crystal River. The Crystal River reactor (CR-3) has been shut down for repairs since September 2009, when a large crack was discovered in the concrete and steel containment vessel. In recent weeks, just as the plant was being prepared to go back online, new cracks were discovered.
Now the Green Party of Florida says after Japan, no more.
“Floridians must tell President Obama and Governor Scott, as well as our elected representatives in Tallahassee, that we oppose any further public subsidies for the nuclear industry,” said Jayne King, co-chair of the Green Party of Florida. “The public and the government should not be guaranteeing profits for the companies building more nuclear reactors in the state,” King added, “because there are plenty of safer and less expensive options for meeting the state’s energy needs.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists released a damning report on the nuclear power plant operated in Darlington, SC by Progress Energy, known as HB Robinson. The same company operates the Southport plant near Wilmington, NC.
The entire report is worth reading as it reveals the plethora of problems which exists in operational plants. None of the problems were disastrous. However, they manner in which the plant operators and regulators handled these issues does indicate how well they might respond to a serious event.
Progress Energy’s H.B. Robinson Plant sits in Darlington, SC, north of the fault zone responsible for the 1886 Charleston Earthquake. While the likelihood of such an earthquake is unknown, there is ample geologic evidence of strong quakes occurring along the Charleston fault. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division maintains an earthquake awareness site here, which links to a 609 page report on the Comprehensive Seismic Risk and Vulnerability Study for the State of South Carolina. Given the demonstrated ineffectiveness of NRC oversight of the Robinson plant under ordinary conditions, we have to seriously question whether Progress Energy, the NRC or the SC government is equipped to cope with a earthquake.
By Ralph Nader at Nader.org:
The unfolding multiple nuclear reactor catastrophe in Japan is prompting overdue attention to the 104 nuclear plants in the United States—many of them aging, many of them near earthquake faults, some on the west coast exposed to potential tsunamis.
Nuclear power plants boil water to produce steam to turn turbines that generate electricity. Nuclear power’s overly complex fuel cycle begins with uranium mines and ends with deadly radioactive wastes for which there still are no permanent storage facilities to contain them for tens of thousands of years.
Atomic power plants generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. Over forty years ago, the industry’s promoter and regulator, the Atomic Energy Commission estimated that a full nuclear meltdown could contaminate an area “the size of Pennsylvania” and cause massive casualties. You, the taxpayers, have heavily subsidized nuclear power research, development, and promotion from day one with tens of billions of dollars.
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March 17, 2011 in Ecological Wisdom & the Environment
The national party issued the following press release. It addresses the situation in Japan from the perspective of someone with family there. It’s by Wes Rolley, former co-chair of the Eco-Action Committee, and writer at California Greening
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Contact: Laura Wells 510.504.4254 email@example.com
Derek Iversen 323.481.8984 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cres Vellucci 916.996.9170 email@example.com
Environmental watchdog, with family in Japan, says U.S. must ‘examine’ posture toward nuclear power; insists alternatives safer and more economically viable
SACRAMENTO – A Green Party environmental watchdog – whose wife’s entire family resides in Japan – said today that it is “inevitable that the United States must re-examine its own posture regarding not only the future of nuclear power, but also the management of the 104 nuclear power plants already operating” in the U.S.
“The Green Party, and especially the Green Party of California has always taken an anti-nuclear stance…based on a sober risk assessment and the knowledge that there are better alternatives which can meet our energy needs. (The) onetime cost advantage for nuclear is no longer true,” writes Wes Rolley, former co-chair of EcoAction Committee of Green Party of the U.S.
California Greening: Finding the energy to do it right
Noting that four of the 104 nuclear power plants in the US are located in California, including two reactors at Diablo Canyon constructed with full knowledge that they are close to three active faults including the San Andreas fault, Rolley said a 4th fault has been discovered under the ocean just off the Diablo Canyon site.
“There is risk,” said Rolley. “The lesson that I take from (Japan) is that we are not really good at quantifying risk. There is too much pressure to down play risk so as to not panic (the) public. If you listen to those who talk about Diablo Canyon site…they make the point that it was over designed to withstand the largest possible quake on the nearby faults. The same was said about (the nuclear plants in Japan.)
Rolley also said no one’s talking about the risk in putting “emphasis on large scale, single site capabilities. Yes, it may be economic when all is well, but the economic consequences are very bad when all is not well.
“The argument for a distributed system with multiple generation technologies: solar, wind, wave, co-generation, etc. makes the system much less prone to the effects of the loss of a single site. This would make the United State more secure. It would make the US economy more robust and better able to absorb shocks, whether from single site failure or from conflict fed spikes in the (oil) prices.”
Rolley concludes: “Follow the science for the entire process system. That is what the science of ecology tells us to do. Follow the economics that the science says is true. I don’t think that you will end up supporting nuclear or coal or any other fossil fuel.”
US & world Greens urge leaders at Cancun meeting on global warming to ‘reverse the failure of Copenhagen’
WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders from the US have joined Green elected officials and leaders from countries throughout Latin America and Europe in Cancun, Mexico, to participate in the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (http://www.cc2010.mx/en/index.php).
Greens are calling on the world’s leaders attending COP16 to “to reverse the failure of Copenhagen and create the conditions for a strong legally binding global climate agreement” on steps to avert catastrophic climate change in the next century, according to a statement issued by the Global Greens Coordination. The statement is appended below.
The Global Greens Coordination is a committee established to oversee Global Greens affairs, including issuing Global Greens statements and organizing Global Greens congresses.
“In the US, Greens are challenging the White House, Congress, and state and municipal governments to take action, by conversion to safe and clean energy, drastic reduction of fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, more public transportation and less car traffic, carbon taxes, creation of millions of living-wage green jobs in conservation and retrofitting of homes and buildings, protection for publicly-owned fresh water resources, and by leading the world in forums like COP16 in calling for expansion of the Kyoto Protocols,” said Sanda Everette, former co-chair of the Green Party of the United States, who is attending COP16.
“Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has caved in to the demands of polluting industries, with the President’s authorization of offshore drilling in US coastal waters even after the BP disaster, endorsement of the ‘clean coal’ myth, refusal to act against mountaintop removal mining, approval for new taxpayer-funded nuclear plants, promotion of emissions trading schemes, which give polluters a license to continue polluting, and other retreats. In this century of global warming, the Green Party has become an imperative in the US and abroad,” Ms. Everette added.
Along with Ms. Everette, other US Greens in Cancun for COP16 are current Green Party co-chair Mike Feinstein and Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party member Maggie Zhou. Green Party members are present as delegates from NGOs or have press credentials, since conference rules bar political parties from any official status.
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