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Elected Officials to Protect America embrace President Biden’s bold executive orders to fight the climate crisis — urge climate declaration January 28, 2021 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. […]

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

January 28, 2021

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.

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.

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

To listen to the story click HERE.

BY MIKE MOEN, PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE – IA

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.

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

NEW REPORT FINDS CALIFORNIA FAILS TO SAFELY MANAGE RADIOACTIVE AND TOXIC OIL AND GAS WASTE
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

By ANDREA SEARS, PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE – PA

February 3, 2021

To listen to the story click HERE.

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.

World’s leading Aquatic Scientific Societies urge immediate action to fight climate crisis for ocean ecosystem and human health

By Ramona du Houx

January 23, 2021

People naturally live and work around water—we’re drawn to it. Approximately 40 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 km (62 mi) of a coast.

Water is the most important natural resource on Earth as it is vital for life. Aquatic ecosystems, freshwater or marine, provide multiple benefits, such as provisioning of oxygen, food, drinking water, and genetic resources; regulation of atmospheric composition and climate; water purification; storm buffering; mitigation of floods/droughts; recreation areas; and other purposes. Humans depend on the health and well-functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Water is life.

But the world’s aquatic resources are currently under their greatest threat in human history from man made climate change. Freshwater ecosystems lost 83 percent of their biodiversity from 1970 to 2014. And coral reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate. 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.

Elected Officials to Protect America condemns the domestic terrorist attack on the United States Capitol and calls for Trump’s immediate removal

US. Capitol. Photo by Ramona du Houx

By Ramona du Houx

January 10, 2021

Elected Officials to Protect America condemns the domestic terrorist attack of January 6, 2021 on the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. during the official ceremonial process of tallying the votes from the 2020 Presidential Election. The process had already become a mockery by Sen. Ted Cruz and other Senate and House Republicans who disrupted the proceedings insisting on an investigation into voter fraud in an attempt to invalidate the election, even though over 60 courts and numerous officials have declared the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Although the process was delayed by the riot, a brave Congress reconvened the same day to do their Constitutional duty. Early in the morning of January 7, 2021 President elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris were officially declared by Congress as the next President and Vice President of the United States.

“Not only is our democracy built on a sacred covenant of the people’s trust, our Constitution ensures we act to uphold it. All elected officials are sworn in — pledging their allegiance to our Constitution — to the laws of our democracy. President Trump started the insurrection on January 6, 2021 that resulted in five deaths. In that domestic terrorist act, The United States Capitol, the people’s house, was violated, desecrated. He is unfit to serve as President and needs to be swiftly removed from office, and held accountable for his sedition. To allow him to remain is dangerous. It would signal to future generations, and the world, that something like this can occur with impunity,” said Elected Officials to Protect America President, former Marine combat veteran, and Maine State Legislator Alex Cornell du Houx. More

Organic farms on the rise in ME & CA  – Maine U.S. Rep. Pingree ‘s regenerative farm proposal will help famers combat climate change

By Ramon du Houx

January 2, 2020

While California is the state with the most organic fruit farms per capita, Maine has the most organic vegetable farms, according to a recent study published by Health-Ade. Per capita, Maine ranks second in the country in the availability of organic food. There are about 37 organic farms per 100,000 people.

Maine has the most organic options for farms producing vegetables, with nearly 1,000 farms, yet certified organic acreage makes up only 4 percent of states total farmland. MOFGA recently released an economic study which confirms organic farming is growing dramatically in Maine. According to the report organic producers generate at least $36.6 million in sales, support 1,600 jobs and keep 41,000 acres of farmland in organic production. More.

When states can only do so much, elected officials from across the nation urge President-elect Biden to enact National Climate Emergency Plan

January 2021

By Brianna Cunliffe – Chief Investigative Reporter

Disasters both man-made and natural have characterized the past year for elected officials representing constituencies from Culver City to the Jersey Shore. Atop the pandemic and subsequent economic tailspin, America’s coastal states endured an especially brutal hurricane season. Alongside the rest of the nation, they are also reckoning with pervasive racial injustice, brought into the light by peaceful Black Lives Matter protests and made evident by studies showing that communities of color have had the highest death rates from COVID, as well hospitalization rates that are four to six times worse than White communities. 

Driven by these dire circumstances, over 160 elected officials have signed a letter stating that urgent action combating climate change and systemic change that addresses racial inequalities has to happen now. Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA) is urging President-elect Biden to prioritize a National Climate Plan that will be just for all and employ hundreds of thousands transitioning America to a clean energy economy. More.

Legislation curbing plastic marine debris – unanimously passes Senate – President signs

By Ramona du Houx

Dec, 28, 2020


Oceana released a report – based on an analysis of e-commerce packaging data – that found Amazon generated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste last year. This is comprised of the air pillows, bubble wrap, and other plastic packaging items added to the approximately 7 billion Amazon packages delivered in 2019, according to news accounts. The report found that Amazon’s estimated plastic packaging waste, in the form of air pillows alone, would circle the Earth more than 500 times.

The study also, by combining the e-commerce packaging data with findings from a recent study published in Science, estimates that up to 22.44 million pounds of Amazon’s plastic packaging waste entered and polluted the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems in 2019, the equivalent of dumping a delivery van payload of plastic into the oceans every 70 minutes. More.

New York State’s $226 billion pension fund to divest from oil and gas companies

By Ramona du Houx

December 20, 2020

On December 9, 2020, the man, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who controls investments for the 226 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund announced that the fund is moving to divest from the riskiest oil and gas companies by 2025, and decarbonize by 2040. It creates the most comprehensive program of any large public fund worldwide to divest from fossil fuels, decarbonize across a massive portfolio, and put major financial pressure on public companies — from auto companies to utilities — to align their operations with the scale of climate action needed to stave off worldwide catastrophe.

After Superstorm Sandy devastated the Northeast in 2012, costing nearly $70 billion in damages, the #DivestNY campaign was born. The coalition, composed of over 40 groups, helped put pressure on Comptroller DiNapoli, while the State Assembly proposed divestment legislation. Governor Andrew Cuomo said in 2017 that he would push for divestment of the state pension. In New York, The Comptroller is responsible for the pension fund investments in order to have transparency. More

Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Rep. Castor, hosts town hall to discuss climate crisis and possible action

January 14, 2021

By Ramona du Houx

Florida Rep. Caster, hosted a virtual town hall with climate crisis advocates and elected officials  from across USA on January 13, 2021. Rep. Cater is Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The Congressional report, Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America calls on Congress to build a clean energy economy that values workers, centers environmental justice, and is prepared to meet the challenges of the climate crisis.  The full report is available HERE.

According to the committee’s press release the Climate Crisis Action Plan calls on Congress to: More

Maine and United Kingdom agree to advance partnership on University of ME’s unique floating offshore wind turbines

By Ramona du Houx

On December 10, 2020  

Governor Janet Mills of Maine and the United Kingdom’s Minister of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the RT Honorable Kwasi Kwarteng MP, announced the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation between the State of Maine and the UK to pursue ambitious advancement in clean energy technologies and mutually achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century or sooner.

“The UK has led the way globally in using offshore wind to reduce emissions and we are pleased to be working with Governor Mills and her team to share our experience,” said UK Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng. “This fantastic partnership with Maine will help both the United States and the UK take another step towards our critical climate change goals.” more

Over 500 groups urge President- elect Biden to order fossil fuel leasing ban

By Ramona du Houx

December, 2020

Hundreds of conservation, Native American, religious, elected officials and business groups today sent President-elect Joe Biden text for a proposed executive order to ban new fossil fuel leasing and permitting on federal public lands and waters.

Biden promised during the campaign that he would stop new leasing and permitting activities on his first day in office. The executive order highlighted in today’s letter from 574 organizations outlines the steps needed for the next Interior Secretary to implement the president’s directive. More.

New Jersey elected officials urge Gov. Murphy to sign finalized MOU for the Transportation and Climate Initiative

By Ramona du Houx

December 21, 2020

Twelve Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states along with the District of Columbia have been collaborating on the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), for years. On December 21, 2020 the Memorandum of Understanding became ready for the governors to sign.

New Jersey has the goal of an 80 percent carbon emission reduction by 2050, for the health and well-being of all citizens. TCI will help the state get there. TCI’s main tenant is to curb pollution from cars and trucks, the greatest source of human-made greenhouse gasses. Not only will the TCI program reduce pollution while improving public health, it will bring in revenue to New Jersey communities struggling to recover from the pandemic. TCI is projected to generate $750 million annually for New Jersey. More.

Over 32 states have roadmaps for climate action—Here’s Maine’s climate action plan that creates jobs

By Ramona du Houx

January 2, 2021

School protesters in Portland, Maine demand action.

Governor Janet Mills, on December 1, 2020 welcomed the release of Maine Won’t Wait, the new four-year climate action plan from the Maine Climate Council and announced actions her Administration will take to protect Maine people and communities and spur economic growth in the fight against climate change.

Governor Mills and the Legislature last year enacted bipartisan legislation that created the Maine Climate Council – an assembly of scientists, industry leaders, bipartisan local and state elected officials, and engaged citizens – to develop a plan to reduce carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality in Maine by 2045. Backed by the most comprehensive scientific and economic assessments about the effects of climate change in Maine in a decade, Maine Won’t Wait calls for decisive steps to achieve that goal, including bolstering the electric vehicle market in Maine, expanding the number of heat pumps installed in Maine homes, and transitioning to renewable energy to curb harmful greenhouse gas emissions. More.

135 ME farmers sign climate letter delivered to the House Select Committee because of 2020 Maine drought

By Ramona du Houx

November, 2020

Following two months of severe drought, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) deemed Aroostook County a drought disaster area in September. The designation means farmers in Aroostook and neighboring Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington counties became eligible to apply for emergency farm loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency over the next eight months.

Declining surface water levels parallel conditions Maine experienced during historic droughts in 2001-02 and 2006, as well as a drought in 1947 that led to the worst fires in Maine’s history. With the lack of rainfall, the streamflow and groundwater go down and wells dry up and crops suffer, unless irrigation equipment has been installed. But for the majority of farms in Maine, that’s a financial burden they can’t mount. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) provides a cost-share program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, that helps farmers invest in farm resources, equipment and technology that encourage sustainable practices, but more outreach needs to happen for farmers to take advantage of it. More

For holiday season lawmakers from coast to coast highlight the dangerous environmental effects and bad labor practices of fast fashion

By Ramona du Houx

December 17, 2020

Consumers buy 43 percent more clothing items this time of year. This holiday season, Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA), a group on non-partisan lawmakers from around the country, is encouraging the public to source the clothing they purchase, highlighting the environmental dangers and the unfair labor practices supported by fast fashion. EOPA hopes to discourage the purchase of fast fashion manufactured, all too often, in sweatshops, made of fabrics that shed microplastics when washed, polluting our land and waterways.  

The term fast fashion was first created in the 1990s in response to the opening of the store Zara in New York City. Whereas most stores up to that point had had four seasons of new clothing shipments, corresponding to the four seasons of weather, Zara is described as having “52 micro-seasons,” meaning the store receives shipments of new styles every single week. More

Maine US Senators pass legislation curbing plastic marine debris – now ready to be signed into law

 


THE SAVE OUR SEAS 2.0, WHICH ADDRESSES PLASTIC AND TRASH THAT POLLUTES OCEANS, HARMS MARINE LIFE, AND WASHES UP ON AMERICAN SHORES- PASSED SENATE UNANIMOUSLY

By Ramona du Houx

Dec, 3, 2020

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) applauded the passage of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act by the U.S. Senate. The bipartisan bill, introduced in June, seeks to tackle the problem of plastic waste on a global scale by spurring innovation and finding uses for the plastic waste that already exists to keep it from entering the oceans. The legislation builds on the initial progress made by the Save Our Seas Act, which was signed into law in October 2018. More.

 

 

For previous Featured Articles from November to August 2020 click: 

 

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