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[1THING] Blog: Archive for October, 2016

[ Good Jobs in the Climate-Friendly Economy ]

Good Jobs in the Climate-Friendly Economy

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PEO ACWA / Flickr

 Adapted from the Labor Network for Sustainability Report “Just Transition” – Just What Is It?

We are well into the greatest economic transition ever experienced — one that will dwarf all that came before. Creating a carbon-neutral economy will require us to retool all sectors of our economy, from manufacturing, transportation, and health care to waste management, communications, energy, and more.

Frontline communities — including workers and all those threatened or already devastated by climate change and the fossil fuel economy — must be leaders in this fight. A “just transition” is one that protects and prioritizes communities and workers’ livelihoods as we build this climate-friendly economy together.

We know that coal power is a significant driver of climate change, for instance. How can we ensure that the people who work for coal companies have good jobs in the clean economy of the future?

The Eastern Kentucky Clean Energy Collaborative has created an innovative and inspiring model.

A significant portion of electricity in eastern Kentucky is provided by the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), a rural electric co-op serving eighty-seven counties. In 2005, EKPC got the go-ahead to build a coal plant in Clark County.

In 2009, a public interest coalition, including the Sierra Club, contested the decision. They argued that changes in energy demand and the availability of renewables made the plant unnecessary.

The coalition also knew that the issue of jobs and economic impacts would be crucial in impoverished eastern Kentucky. So they commissioned a study showing that far more jobs would be created and electric rates would be lower if EKPC invested instead in energy efficiency, weatherization, hydropower, and wind power.

The report spawned lots of positive public discussion. Community leaders shared educational materials, held meetings and hearings, and met with EKPC board members to encourage them to support the alternative to the coal plant.

About a year later, in November 2010, EKPC agreed to immediately halt plans to build the coal plant.

Even more remarkably, EKPC committed $125,000 toward a collaboration between its member co-ops and public interest groups to evaluate and recommend new energy-efficiency programs and renewable energy options in Kentucky. The Clean Energy Collaborative meets quarterly and comprises a wide range of partners, including the EKPC and its member co-ops, the public interest coalition members, and housing and economic development groups.

In late 2016, Kentuckians reached another milestone with the launch of the Empower Kentucky Summit. The event brought together renewable energy and energy efficiency professionals, faith leaders, environmentalists, social justice advocates, electric cooperatives, and many more. Here was a roadmap for the future, from the very heart of coal country.

We can build an economy that saves the climate, creates good jobs, and contributes to community well-being. Labor and justice advocates, environmental organizations and others can come together for a common vision. A just transition is within reach if we work together.

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[ Obama administration to decide fate of Arctic Ocean oil leasing soon ]

The Obama administration will soon finalize its five-year program for offshore oil and gas leasing on the U.S. outer continental shelf.

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[ What happened at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge must never happen again, anywhere in America ]

Michael Reinemer

“What happened at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge must never happen again, anywhere in America,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. “The Bundys and their allies are out of step with the overwhelming majority of Americans who value ou

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[ 2 ways to help us meet the Paris climate goals ]

With the right policies and partnerships in place we may even cut emissions ahead of schedule.

     
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[ Colorado vineyard country threatened by oil and gas drilling plans ]

Full of pastoral valleys, high mountain peaks and rugged canyons, the Uncompahgre region includes the idyllic vineyard and farm-rich lands of the North Fork Valley, nestled on the western side of the Rocky Mountains, between Grand Junction and Montrose.

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[ New poll shows strong support for Northwest Forest Plan: Voters prioritize water protection and recreation for public lands in the Pacific Northwest ]

Michael Reinemer

new poll reveals voters’ priorities for the management of a 25-million-acre network of America’s public lands, forests and rivers in Northern

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[ Poll: Pacific Northwest voters value clean water and protecting old-growth forests ]

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[ If you live in these western states, you could be breathing in dangerous pollution from oil and gas wells ]

Thanks to the leasing of our public lands for energy development, you may be living closer to an oil or gas well than you may realize. Even more alarming if that’s the case, you’re probably exposed to toxic air pollution on a regular basis.

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[ Map and Infographic for Pacific NW Forestry Plan ]

Oct 25, 2016

Map and infographics showing the region of the plan, what matters in the Pacific Northwestt (1), what people want in a Northwest Forest Plan (2) and what most voters support in a revised Northwest Forest plan (3). A two page summary of the polls results is below the map and infographics.

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[ November is American Farmland Trust Month! ]

No farms, no food. That’s the message of an organization called the American Farmland Trust.

35 years ago, visionary farmland conservationists founded American Farmland Trust.  It’s now part of a national movement to save the land, soil, water and people needed to feed America, and the world.

According to the organization, it’s an uphill battle. Every hour, more than 40 acres of farm or ranch land is lost to urban sprawl or development. Every year, 1.7 billion tons of topsoil is lost to erosion each year in the U.S. That’s enough to fill 1,200 Empire State buildings.

From the halls of Congress to local councils, the American Farmland Trust fights for programs and policies that protect farmland, food and the environment. By mobilizing partners and engaging citizens, they advocate for the changes needed to sustain America’s farmland and the farmers who grow our food.

Since AFT’s founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, the organization has helped save millions of acres of farmland, and led the way for establishing sound environmental practices on millions more.

Want to help? Find out more here. https://www.farmland.org/

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