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WA Climate Action Bill Passes State Legislature

Governor-request and Environmental Priority legislation would convene state leaders to address climate change; now heads to Governor's desk for signature

OLYMPIA, Wash., March 25, 2013 - Governor Inslee's Climate Action bill (SB 5802) passed the State House today on a bipartisan 61 to 32 vote. The bill previously passed the State Senate (37 to 12) and now heads to Governor Inslee's desk for signature. SB 5802 is sponsored by Senator Kevin Ranker.

"The Governor's climate action bill keeps our state in the game - requiring leaders to map out a strategy to grow our clean energy economy and reduce climate pollution," said Joan Crooks, executive director of Washington Environmental Council and co-chair of the Environmental Priorities Coalition. "By taking smart and responsible action now, we position Washington to be economically competitive in the 21st century."

A Victory for the San Juans: Join Us in Thanking President Obama

It's an exciting day for Washington. President Obama just designated the San Juan Islands one of five new National Monuments!

Spanning the nation, each of these beloved sites -- from the Rio Grande del Norte in NM, and the San Juan Islands in Washington state, to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland and the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio -- represent a unique part of the American story.

These new national monuments will protect a diverse set of culturally and historically significant sites for all Americans to explore and enjoy. They'll also generate significant economic opportunities for surrounding local communities.

Remembering Late Chapter Chair Andy Lewis

Friends, it is with great sadness that we report our beloved Washington State Sierra Club Chapter Chair, Andrew Lewis, passed away suddenly on February 23, 2013. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife of 21 years, Maaike Bakker, and their 18-year-old son, Peter. Please visit our page devoted to Andy to read about his extraordinary legacy of service to environmental causes in Washington State, leave your memories, and learn how to make a donation to the Sierra Club in his name.

Please click here to visit our Memorial page for Andy Lewis.

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.