Elected Officials to Protect America embrace President Biden’s bold executive orders to fight the climate crisis — urge climate declaration

By Ramona du Houx

The Earth is careening toward a man-made climate catastrophe unless we transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. Thankfully, President Joseph R. Biden recognizes the climate emergency we are living in. His executive actions (EOs) and directives to combat climate change, on January 27, brings a whole-of-government approach to the crisis. All of his climate-focused policies aimed at ending carbon pollution from power plants by 2035, reaching a national net-zero economy by 2050 and empowering communities that have been disproportionately affected by emissions have been enthusiastically embraced by the Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA).

“Many climate and health calamities are colliding all at once. It’s not just the pandemic that keeps people inside; it’s poor air quality. Multiple studies have shown that air pollution is associated with an increased risk of death from COVID-19. And just like we need a unified national response to COVID-19, we desperately need a unified national response to the climate crisis because there is a climate crisis,” said the President, during the EO announcement. More.

Elected Officials to Protect America hopes former President Trump no longer wields climate influence

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Former Maine State Representative Alex Cornell du Houx led a press conference with veterans combating climate change at the White House in 2009. Photo by Ramona du Houx

DES MOINES, Iowa – As calls grow for President Donald Trump’s removal from office over the Capitol riot, other groups say his environmental policies have put the country in peril in a different way.

The current urgency from House Democrats is focused on the 25th Amendment or a second impeachment, but groups that want action on climate change feel the Trump administration has long been unresponsive on environmental issues.

Alex Cornell du Houx, who heads the group Elected Officials to Protect America, said impeachment would prevent Trump from seeking office again and from having influence on protecting air and water quality.

“These policies have everyday, real consequences for people,” he said, “and our elected officials see that happening every day in their constituencies.” More.

Congressman Carbajal’s bills in Congress to restrict oil and gas developments on CA central coast could boost offshore wind projects

By Ramona du Houx

February 4, 2021

Two bills introduced in the last week of January by U.S. Representative Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) would restrict oil and gas developments on the Central Coast if passed, which the congressman believes will pave the way for local renewables and offshore wind projects.

On January 28, Carbajal reintroduced the California Clean Coast Act, which was his first bill that he introduced as a Member of Congress, determined to protect the coast from offshore drilling. More.

CA public and environmental health threatened by lack of proper waste management, no setbacks, and permitting

Industry wells next to an irrigation canal used for almond farms in Kern County

By Ramona du Houx

January 26, 2021

new report released on January 26, 2021 by Earthworks, along with allies VISIÓN California and Center for Biological Diversity, shows that California is one of the worst states in the U.S. when it comes to regulating the oil and gas industry’s waste – from allowing crops to be irrigated with potentially toxic and radioactive wastewater to storing waste in unlined pits or injecting it into protected groundwater aquifers. These problems are just the latest in a legacy of regulatory failure in California, a history well documented within this report and elsewhere. More.

Economic report says Appalachia climate plan means PA jobs growth, works in tandem with Biden plan

Technician walks with workman and investor through field of solar panels


February 3, 2021

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – Fighting climate change could be key to rebuilding the Pennsylvania workforce that’s been devastated by the COVID pandemic, a new report says. The Keystone State has lost a half-million jobs in the past year.

According to the report from the Political Economy Research Institute, following the “ReImagine Appalachia Blueprint” would create thousands of jobs and make it possible to meet the goal of a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Report co-author Bob Pollin, the institute’s co-director, said the job creation would be driven by investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as rebuilding and repairing damage from the past. More.

New York City keeps promise — begins landmark fossil fuel divestment from city pension fund

By Ramona du Houx

February 2, 2021

New York City’s largest pension fund has sold off $4 billion in Exxon and other Oil and Gas corporations. The move is a historic win for climate action, and the planet.

New York City announced in January 2018 that the city will divest its pension funds entirely from fossil fuel funds by 2022. The city’s pension fund is valued at $239 billion— the largest municipal pension fund to divest globally.

“New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels. At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient,” said Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City. More.

Conservation in the West poll reveals policy opportunities for new administration and Congress on public land conservation

February 2, 2021

By Ramona du Houx

Colorado College’s 11th annual State of the Rockies Project Conservation in the West Poll released in February showed a marked increase in levels of support for conservation, with voters in the Mountain West calling for bold action to protect nature as a new administration and Congress consider their public lands agendas.

The poll, which surveyed the views of voters in eight Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming), found 61 percent of voters are concerned about the future of nature, meaning land, water, air, and wildlife. Despite trying economic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the level of concern for things like loss of habitat for fish and wildlife, inadequate water supplies, pollution in the air and water, the loss of pollinators, uncontrollable wildfires, and climate change outpaced the overall level of concern about unemployment. More.

University of Maine awarded $2.8 million to accelerate 3D printing in molds for windmill blade development

By Ramona du Houx

February 2, 2021 

The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center has been awarded $2.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to develop a rapid, low-cost additive manufacturing — 3D printing — solution for fabricating large, segmented windmill blade molds. 

Currently, innovation in large windmill blade technology is a very costly and time-intensive process. Traditional molds and tooling for large blades can cost upward of $10 million, and it can take 16–20 months to fabricate them, thereby stifling innovation in this growing market. More.

On the Front Lines & Fencelines: How Black communities have consistently confronted environmental injustice

This is part 1 of the series:

By Brianna Cunliffe – PEN Chief Investigative Reporter

February 2, 2021

Before environmental justice was a buzzword, it was the simple demand from members of a rural North Carolinian Black community who put themselves on the line to prevent toxins from being dumped in the midst of their homes. The events of 1982 in Warren County sparked a movement that continues to this day, and form just one part of the long legacy of Black leadership in defense of our planet. More.

New York Governor Cuomo’s Green Energy Program includes the largest comprehensive offshore wind program build-out in the nation

By Ramona du Houx

February 2, 2021

As part of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State address, he announced the largest comprehensive offshore wind program in the nation. He said that the overall Green Energy Program will create more than 50,000 jobs.

“We are proposing the largest wind programs in the nation and advancing our green manufacturing capacity and the jobs that go with it. Our new energy superhighway will be optimized by state-of-the-art battery storage facilities, so we can store renewable energy to be used when needed. These projects will not only create power but bring needed economic opportunity to struggling parts of our state, create green jobs, and make New York State a global wind energy manufacturing powerhouse,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. More.


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