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The Fair Climate Connection 
June 23, 2011

We use this newsletter as a means to communicate news, best practices and upcoming opportunities related to fair climate solutions.
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In this issue...
Environmentalists, celebrities plan enormous White House protest against proposed Keystone XL tarsands pipeline
NAACP to focus on environment in wake of Republican attacks on EPA
USDA grants help farmers face climate change
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About Us

The goal of NWF's Fair Climate Project is to build and engage a national network of leaders representing underserved communities to advance equitable and just solutions to climate change. We work to forge connections between community leaders and decision makers to jumpstart local projects and national initiatives that promote green communities, clean energy, and green jobs.

Clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife sustain Americans from all walks of life. We all have a shared responsibility to protect these resources for our children's future.  At NWF, we are working to bring together diverse voices to affect decisions that will create safe and healthy communities for all.

Follow-up Links
Environmentalists, celebrities plan White House protest against proposed Keystone XL tarsands pipeline
from Politico, by Dan Berman

A group of environmentalists and liberal celebrities are organizing civil disobedience protests at the White House against a proposed oil pipeline - with the emphasis on "civil."
A before and after shot of a tarsands mining site in Alberta, Canada. The proposed pipeline would bring this dirty, destructive oil through America's heartland.

In an open letter, actor Danny Glover, climate scientist James Hansen, author and lecturer Naomi Klein, and activists Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, and others ask for volunteers willing to risk arrest at the White House from mid-August to Labor Day.

But they don't want downtown Washington to look like Vancouver after the Stanley Cup Finals.

"We will do it in dignified fashion, demonstrating that in this case we are the conservatives, and that our foes - who would change the composition of the atmosphere are dangerous radicals," the letter states. "Come dressed as if for a business meeting - this is, in fact, serious business."

At issue is the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline that would run from the Canadian oil - or tar - sands to the Gulf coast. Environmentalists have lobbyied against it because of concerns over the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions linked to the use of oil sands-based crude oil, as well as worries about potential spills and the impact on low-income and minority communities.

The decision currently rests with the State Department, which is reviewing the environmental impacts of the plan and is expected to make a call on the project by the end of the year.

"This is one issue where the president has total control - he has to grant or deny the necessary permits. Congress can't get in the way," said environmental activist Bill McKibben in a statement. "It's where Obama can get his environmental mojo back."

To that end, the organizers want the protesters to support the current White House occupant.

"And another sartorial tip," the letter states, "if you wore an Obama button during the 2008 campaign, why not wear it again?

"We very much still want to believe in the promise of that young senator who told us that with his election the 'rise of the oceans would begin to slow and the planet start to heal,'" it adds. "We don't understand what combination of bureaucratic obstinacy and insider dealing has derailed those efforts, but we remember his request that his supporters continue on after the election to pressure the government for change. We'll do what we can."

House Republicans have been pushing to get the pipeline approved; the Energy and Commerce Committee is set to vote Thursday on a bill (H.R. 1938) that would expedite the project's approval.

Read the letter here. Interested in coming to DC to protest? Let us know!


air pollution NAACP to focus on environment in wake of Republican attacks on EPA
from E&E news, by Emily Yehle, E&E reporter

Environmental issues will be more relevant in the 2012 presidential election than they have been in decades, thanks to Republican efforts to curb U.S. EPA's regulatory powers, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said today.

In a conversation with reporters, NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous laid out his organization's health and environmental goals, from addressing the spread of HIV in African-American populations to ensuring minority communities have access to emergency services after disasters.

But in recent months, the organization has focused more and more on threats to the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, moving into a "defensive" mode as the newly Republican House targets EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Such rules disproportionally affect minority communities, Jealous said.

"Our folks vote based on kitchen issues and the right has made clean air and clean water kitchen issues for the first time since the '70s," he said. "It's very pressing, urgent because they're talking about rolling back protections in ways" that threaten the health of disenfranchised communities.

It is "high time" for the civil rights community to start a conversation both about the immediate effects of air pollution and on the nation's long-term policies, he said.

"Poverty and risk go very hand in hand," Jealous said. "In these areas, quite frankly, politics is often lagging behind the nation and so helping people deal with that ... and talking to them about what's going on down the street, talking to them about what has to change in our national policy is really the only thing that makes sense for a volunteer organization at the present."

NAACP has now set its sights on coal-powered plants, visiting cities with plants that rank the worst in "environmental justice performance," which takes into consideration not just sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions but also the race and income of the communities that live near the plant. The resulting report, "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People," is due out in July.

Patterson said the group is using the report to not only educate communities but to also mobilize residents to send in comments on EPA's proposed rules on power plant emissions. About 68 percent of African-Americans live near plants, she said, compared to about 55 percent of the total population.

Take action against toxic coal plant pollution here: www.nwf.org/mercuryaction.


USDA grants to farmers
via Conservation Commission
USDA grants help farmers face climate change
by Amanda Stone, NWF

A recent Oxfam International report states that climate change is affecting the amount of crops farmers can harvest, causing food prices to soar, which could have devastating effects on the world's hungry populations. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization also stated that climate change will tighten water supplies for agriculture.


According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, sustaining a growing population in the face of climate change uncertainty means farmers worldwide need to increase the overall sustainability of food production. The United States Department of Agriculture is working to reduce carbon pollution while also generating new revenue streams for farmers. More than $7.4 million, funded in part by the department's Conservation Innovation Grants, will go to nine projects in 24 states that involve creating income opportunities through carbon markets.


Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency of the USDA awarded the Delta Institute and National Wildlife Federation a three-year Conservation Innovation Grant. The project team will use the $400,000 award to help farmers sell pollution reduction credits for implementing nutrient management practices in Illinois, Michigan, and Oklahoma. Nutrient management practices like improved fertilizer timing and cover cropping will not only credits by reducing harmful nitrous oxide emissions, but also enhance water quality and farmer profitability.


"We're excited to support farmers implementing practices that benefit wildlife, our global climate and farmers' bottom lines," said Eliav Bitan, agriculture advisor for NWF.


Funding Opportunities