Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

From the Desk of Art Kaufman: Send a Message to Governor Gregoire

From the Desk of Art Kaufman    Member, Activist and Donor

Several years ago I attended a luncheon where Governor Gregoire spoke to over 100 national and local members of the Sierra Club.  Without notes and for over 20 minutes, she delivered one of the most inspirational messages about concern for the environment that I had ever heard from a major political figure.  She pledged her commitment to flora, to fauna, to the land, and to water and clean air.  She received a well deserved, rousing ovation. Global warming and resultant climate changes are today’s real and imminent dangers.  The principle cause is the increasing emission of carbon dioxide gas, most of which comes from burning coal to generate electricity.  As a result, the Sierra Club has initiated a ‘Beyond Coal Campaign’.  Nationally, they have been active in preventing over 100 new coal burning electric generating plants from leaving the drawing boards.  Locally, they want Washington to be the first coal-free state:  free of coal burning in our state and free of importing coal generated electricity from out of state.

There is only one coal burning plant in Washington – the Canadian owned TransAlta plant in Centralia.  It generates approximately 8% of our electricity burning coal which is brought in from out of state.  The other carbon footprint in our state is Puget Sound Energy, importing 17% of our electricity from coal burned out of state.  We can make up this difference by calling for 15% of our electricity to be generated by renewable energies, such as wind and solar, by 2020. 

Governor Gregorie has taken a leading role in deciding whether or not the TransAlta coal burning plant will be allowed to continue generating earth warming carbon dioxide, thus spewing mercury as a by-product of burning coal and increased pollution over Mt. Rainier National Park.

In the past, Sierra Club volunteers have spent thousands of hours gathering signatures, phone banking, literature dropping and getting out the vote – working together to make the difference for all of us and for the Pacific Northwest.

In the months ahead, Sierra Club, Cascade Chapter volunteers will be circulating petitions to Governor Gregoire to shut down the TransAlta coal burning plant in Centralia.  Your signature on these petitions will remind her of the commitment she made to the earth, to the water, to clean air, and to our future generations.

When you meet these volunteers in movie lines, theater lobbies, shopping malls, or at your front door – please stand up!  Sign up and support the Sierra Club’s synergy with Seattle.                                                                                                                                         ~ Art Kaufman