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The Fair Climate Connection 
September 1, 2011

Happy Labor Day, all! 
 
In honor of Labor Day, this week's newsletter features what we see as formidable leadership in our collective labor of love: the fight for fair climate solutions and public health. 
  
Have any field strategies, stories, events or successes you'd like to share in an upcoming issue of this newsletter? Email Pelzerk@nwf.org so we can feature you!

THIS WEEK:
Featured Editorial: Telling the truth about the environment and our economy
Nebraska Governor Tells Feds Keystone XL Route Unsafe
Vermont Governor Bemoans Climate Inaction After Flood
Opinion: Support clean air and water standards as a matter of faith
Featured Funding Opportunity for Community-Based Projects
Funding Opportunities

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NWF is currently hiring for the following paid internships:
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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.

What do you think?
Featured Editorial: Telling the truth about the environment and our economy

by Lisa Jackson, Chief Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency 

 

Administrator Jackson and President Obama
Administrator Jackson and President Obama (Photo credit: Getty Images)

 

It's a certainty in Washington that lobbyist talking points and inside-the-beltway speeches are going to be overblown and exaggerated. But lately, misleading claims about EPA's work have been making their way into the mainstream debate.

 

Some in Washington are working to weaken safeguards and undermine laws that protect our families from pollution that causes asthma, cancer and other illnesses, especially in children. Big polluters are lobbying congress for loopholes to use our air and water as dumping grounds. The result won't be more jobs; it will be more mercury in our air and water and more health threats to our kids. As a senior official from Bush EPA recently wrote, "Abolishing the EPA will not cause a revival of America's economy, but it will certainly result in a major decline in public health and our quality of life."

 

It's time for a real conversation about protecting our health and the environment while growing our economy. EPA's forty years of environmental and health protection demonstrate our nation's ability to create jobs while we clean our air, water and land.

When big polluters distort EPA's proposals as a drag on our economy, they ignore the fact that clean air, clear water and healthy workers are all essential to American businesses.

Nebraska Governor Tells Feds Keystone XL Route Unsafe 

by Tony Iallonardo, Senior Communications Manager at NWF

 

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route is unsafe, and the federal government's environmental risk analysis is wrongly optimistic. That's the assessment of Nebraska Republican Governor Dave Heineman who today sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He was unusually blunt, having previously avoided taking a firm position. "I am opposed to the proposed route of this pipeline," he wrote.

Regarding the controversial State Department analysis that gave the environmental 'all clear,' the governor sided with conservation groups, saying he disagrees with the analysis and its contention that the pipeline poses little risk to the Ogallala Aquifer.

Read his letter here: NE GOV OPPOSES KXL ROUTE

Tar sands are a highly polluting and destructive fossil fuel mined in Alberta, Canada. The pipeline would route the fuels under 2,000 miles of the U.S. heartland, threatening drinking water and air quality for millions of Americans. 

 

Learn more about the impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline, and what people across the country are doing to fight it here

 

Vermont Governor Bemoans Climate Inaction After Flood
by Tony Iallonardo, Senior Communications Manager at NWF

The costs of climate change: more extreme flooding in places like Vermont.

 

Saying his state is under siege after Hurricane Irene swept through his state early this week, the governor of Vermont had some choice words about the failure of leaders at the national and international level to cut carbon pollution that is linked to extreme weather events.

 

"I find it extraordinary that so many political leaders won't actually talk about the relationship between climate change, fossil fuels, our continuing irrational exuberance about burning fossil fuels, in light of these storm patterns that we've been experiencing," Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said in an interview with "Democracy Now."

 

Flooding from the storm's torrential rainfall washed out roads and bridges, isolated around a dozen towns, left thousands of homes and businesses without power, and killed at least three people.

 

Since Shumlin took office seven months ago, there have been two major disasters as a result of storms. Climate scientists are warning there's even more on the way as we continue to belch heat-trapping pollution from burning fossil fuels that is saturating the air with moisture, leading to increased extreme weather events like hurricanes and floods.

 

""We in the colder states are going to see the results of climate change first," the governor also said. "Myself, Premier [Jean] Charest up in Quebec, Governor [Andrew] Cuomo over in New York, we understand that the flooding and the extraordinary weather patterns that we're seeing are a result of our burnings of fossil fuel. We've got to get off fossil fuels as quickly as we know how, to make this planet livable for our children and our grandchildren."

 

Amen, governor.

 

Read more here

 

Opinion: Support clean air and water standards as a matter of faith

by Gregory K. Moss, senior pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC

  
As a person of faith, I have found my calling ministering within our communities and aiding people less fortunate among us. Given our city's perennial spot on the list of cities with poor urban air quality, it is hardly surprising that my work brings me into direct contact with people suffering from asthma, bronchitis and other pollution-aggravated illnesses. It is, therefore, hard for me to believe that any elected leader entrusted with the public's welfare would knowingly make a choice that leads to more pollution and more illness within our communities. However, that's exactly what recent proposals in Congress have sought to do.

When elected leaders like Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Sue Myrick voted to permanently relax clean air standards that have protected public health from seen and unseen pollution for over 40 years, they stood with polluters instead of their neighbors and the residents of Charlotte. Each of the proposals they supported would have increased invisible but harmful types of pollution like carbon dioxide that is released by burning fossil fuels.

It is hard to conceive why legislators would want to roll back public health or environmental protections when we can see first-hand the impact that air and water pollution has on all residents of our state. We need elected leaders to start making better decisions about the long-term health of our communities and creation. We are called to seek justice for the vulnerable and serve as stewards for all creation. Each of us deserves to live in a world with clean air to breathe and clean water to drink and when we have the ability to protect the least among us from many forms of pollution, it is a moral duty to do well by doing good.

Read more here in the Charlotte Observer.  

 

Featured Funding Opportunity for Community-Based Projects  

The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) recently implemented its North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) program. The objective of the NAPECA program is to empower and build the capacity of local peoples and organizations to improve their health and environmental quality.
 

The NAPECA program seeks to support efforts at the grassroots level. NAPECA has put up $1.4 million to provide/fund grants over the next two years to support communities in their efforts to locally address environmental problems across North America. This work at the community level is an integral part of delivering on the CEC trilateral priorities and objectives.

 

Eligible applicants for this funding include nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), environmental groups, community-based associations, academic institutions, Tribal nations, and indigenous peoples and communities.

 

Grantees must be located in Canada, Mexico or the United States. NAPECA will not support businesses, private individuals, municipal, provincial/state, territorial and federal governments. However, proposals from qualified organizations partnering with the private sector or local government are eligible.

 

More information on this funding opportunity can be found here.

 

 

Funding Opportunities