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Sierra Club Statement On Senate Budget Proposal Introduced by Senator Patty Murray

The Sierra Club's Seattle-based Deputy National Organizing Director Bill Arthur released the following statement in response:

(Seattle, WA) - Today, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray released her FY2014 budget plan.

"At a time when too many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet while the climate crisis is raging around us, the last thing any budget should be doing is making things harder for our families and our planet. Budgets are statements about our priorities as a nation -- and Senator Murray's proposal has those priorities right.

Big oil and coal billionaires got their budget yesterday from Paul Ryan. But, today, Patty Murray and her Democratic colleagues in the Senate introduced a plan that reflects the needs of everyone else. This proposal demonstrates a strong commitment to the American clean energy economy, recognizing that investments in clean energy support three times as many jobs as oil and coal. At a time when extreme weather is rapidly becoming the new normal, this budget provides much-needed funding to help the Environmental Protection Agency mitigate climate disruption and keep our air and water clean. And - unlike the Ryan budget - Senator Murray's plan doesn't sacrifice our wild places to do it, providing for no new drilling while fully-funding programs to protect our lands and wildlife.

WA Climate Action Bill Passes State Senate

Governor-request and Environmental Priority legislation would convene state leaders to address climate change

OLYMPIA, Wash., March 13, 2013 - Governor Inslee's Climate Action bill (SB 5802) passed the State Senate today on a bipartisan 37 to 12 vote. The bill now heads to the State House, where a companion bill is also in play (HB 1915). The Senate bill is sponsored by Senator Kevin Ranker, the House bill by Representative Dave Upthegrove.

"The Governor's climate action bill is a critical first step towards growing our clean energy economy and reducing our climate pollution," said Joan Crooks, executive director of Washington Environmental Council and co-chair of the Environmental Priorities Coalition. "The environmental community will work with Governor Inslee and legislators to ensure a strong version of this bill gets to the Governor's desk to be signed." SB 5802 would evaluate the climate pollution reduction programs of other states and Canadian provinces, and analyze opportunities for new job-producing investments in Washington relating to cleaner energy and greater energy efficiency. It would convene the Governor and legislative leaders to develop policies to ensure we achieve our climate pollution limits for 2020 and beyond (set in statute in 2008 by Environmental Priority legislation).

Puget Sound Energy in Federal Court for Major Coal Pollution Violations

PSE and co-owners face hundreds of millions in potential fines and upgrades

SEATTLE, March 6, 2013 - Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Washington's largest utility, and its coal plant partners landed in federal court today for what the Sierra Club and the Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) call egregious violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

The Sierra Club and MEIC are seeking a court order requiring PSE and the other owners to install long-overdue modern pollution controls for its Colstrip coal plant in Montana and pay as much as $37,500 per day for their violations. The pollution control upgrades to meet modern standards can potentially cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Even with large investments in modern controls for traditional pollutants, the coal plant would still emit millions of tons of climate pollution, equivalent to three million cars a year.

Keep Shell Out of the Arctic - For Good!

First the good news: Shell Oil finally admitted that its drill ships are not up to the task of safely operating in the Polar Bear Seas this year, and they will be sending them to be repaired in Asia. This will make it very difficult (though not impossible) for Shell to drill this summer.

Donate today to keep Shell out of the Arctic permanently.

Now for the bad news: this is not the end of Shell's efforts to drill for oil in the Arctic.With your hundreds of thousands of voices, we've been able to hold them off for the last year. But we need your support to permanently put a stop to Shell's attempts to drill for oil in America's Arctic.

Help Us Honor the Colville Confederated Tribes at the Annual Winter Waters Celebration (Spokane)

Saturday, February 23rd, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm, Feb 23rd 2013

Please join the Sierra Club Washington State's Upper Columbia River Group in honoring the Colville Confederate Tribes with our 2013 Watershed Hero Award, and Patty Martin (former mayor of the Hispanic community of Quincy, WA) with our Environmental Justice Award. For information and tickets click here.

Where: Patsy Clark Mansion, 2208 W. 2nd Ave, Spokane WA

When: February 23 (Saturday evening) 6:30 - 9:30

An Evening in Seattle With Paul Gunter, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project

Wednesday, February 27th, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm, Feb 27th 2013
Paul Gunter, reknowned expert on nuclear issues, is currently focusing on the lessons learned from Fukushima including the safety risks of the Mark I and Mark II boiling reactors. In Washington State, we face a dilemma: Seattle City Light owns a portion of the Columbia Generating Station, a Mark II reactor. This nuclear power plant is located in the Hanford Reservation on the Columbia River. Paul will be detailing the consequences of continuing to operate this nuclear power plant that only generates 3.9% of our state's electricity. Join us for a discussion in Seattle of the facts concerning our region's only nuclear power plant. There will be time for questions. Learn more about the Sierra Club's Nuclear-Free Campaign


Tell Governor Inslee: We Need Your Voice in the Fight Against Coal Exports!

The climate crisis dominated much of Governor Jay Inslee's first press conference since taking office, leading him to call coal exports, "the largest decision we will be making as a state from a carbon pollution standpoint certainly during my lifetime and nothing comes even close to it."

And boy is he right! As proposed, coal exports terminals in the Pacific Northwest would burn 145 million tons of coal-- producing as much carbon pollution for 52 million cars every single year.

If built, these coal terminals will exacerbate climate disruption that already fuels massive wildfires, causes our oceans to be more acidic damaging our local shellfish industry and makes winters shorter and milder harming our local winter sports economy. But strong leadership against coal exports can curb climate disruption and protect our Northwestern way of life.

Join Us Feb. 17th for a No Fossil Fuel Export Rally in Seattle

From Washington State to Washington, D.C., join thousands across the nation in stopping the export of dirty and dangerous fossil fuels. Our own Washington State is currently under threat from proposals by Big Coal to ship over 100 million tons of coal through our communities, but there are dirty and dangerous export proposals across the US.

As thousands march in Washington, D.C. for the 350 Presidents Day Weekend Keystone XL March on the White House, show your support here in Seattle and join in on our first ever "Walking Train Against Coal Trains" march.

When: Sunday February 17th, Rally at 11:30, Picture at 12 and then the march begins

Make Calls for the Forward On Climate Rally: Feb 17 2013 in DC

Today President Obama delivered a powerful and visionary inaugural address that made fighting climate change a key focus of his next term: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations." We applaud the President for his bold words.

Last week, the Sierra Club launched our Obama Climate Legacy and Clean Energy Project. Only the president of the United States can lead a response to climate disruption on the scale we need. The president must fire up our clean-energy economy, challenge Big Oil, and stand up to the political and PR bullies who promote the industry and oil profits above all other American interests. 2013 must be the year of climate solutions, and the first step President Obama must take is to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Mark Your Calendar: Environmental Lobby Day (Olympia)

Tuesday, February 19th, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, Feb 19th 2013

This year, join 24 of the state's leading conservation groups and hundreds of citizen advocates to push for the passage of the Environmental Priorities Coalition's 2013 legislative agenda. We need you in Olympia on February 19, 2013, to garner the support of all three of your state legislators by using your power of persuasion as you meet face-to-face with them. Register Now!

NOTE: Pre-registration closes Friday, February 15th at 8pm. Any registration after February 15th, will be considered "Day of Event". If you have not registered by February 15th, we still welcome you to attend the event. The fee will be $20, which does not include a lunch option, and will be collected when you arrive in Olympia. Make sure you go to the "Day of Event" registration line when you get to the church.