OVEC Action Alert

Call Congress Today on Climate, Comment on MTR and Human Health, Upcoming Events

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Jun 9, 2017

Today, June 9: Call Congress on Climate
If you are discouraged by the thumbs-up West Virginia’s Congressional Delegation has given to Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, call them to let them know how you feel. 

To add more weight to your calls, call today in support of the non-partisan Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL). Folks active with CCL from West Virginia and across the nation are heading to Washington, D.C. for a conference and lobby day on June 11-13.

WV CCL folks say:

Do you know how discouraging it is to prepare for the trip to D.C. and then be told by staff or a Senator that they never hear from West Virginians about climate concerns? Like only 6 people in WV care?

Help make certain that the CCL crew is not told that people in our state don’t care about climate change!

Ahead of their arrival, on June 9, please make calls to your members of Congress (no matter what state you live in!) to ask that they act on climate change. 

Use this online tool to obtain the phone numbers you’ll need and an optional script. You will be able to provide feedback to CCL volunteers via the online tool.

CCL asks that you please take the time to really discuss your concerns. Tell personal stories about how extreme weather has impacted you, or share a few paragraphs from an important recent article on climate change.* You may want to voice your support of a carbon fee and dividend (a fee on greenhouse gas-emitting fuels, returning those revenues to all households in a monthly dividend check).

You could also talk about the costs of climate change. 

As a CCL member notes, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information website features a section devoted to Billion-Dollar Weather & Climate Disasters. A map in this section depicts 15 such events in the United States in 2016, including “West Virginia Flooding and Ohio Valley Tornadoes.” A recent Gazette-Mail article states that federal funds for flood recovery efforts from this devastating weather event have reached $107 million. Climate changes is making such extreme weather events far more common. 

Let WV politicians know that West Virginians care about climate change, that we know we are running out of coal, and that we demand energy sources that do not destroy the earth’s ability to support human life. 

*Here are just a handful of some recent articles:
Pulling out of climate deal likely wouldn’t add US jobs, analysts say
Notes: “Already, the United States employs more people in solar energy (nearly 374,000) than in coal (a little over 160,000), according to the U.S. Department of Energy.” 

Why the Us Leaving The Paris Agreement Isn’t the End Of The World 
Notes: “The earliest possible date for the US to truly withdraw is November 4, 2020. One day after the next presidential election. Interesting coincidence, no?”

U.S. Cities, States & Companies Plan Greenhouse Gas Reduction(s)

More Than 200 Mayors, 10 Governors Denounce Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

Coal to solar switch could save 52,000 US lives per year 

Despite Trump, cleaner energy growth expected to carry on

Policy, not politics, tackles climate change

Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord won’t revive coal jobs

Clean energy too big to be shut down by Trump

Coal-producing states need to adapt quickly

Trump Pulls Out of Paris: How Much Carbon Will His Policies Add to the Air?  

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June 20: OVEC Monthly Meeting/WV Birthday Bash
This month, our monthly meeting falls on West Virginia’s birthday, June 20. Join us  from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the OVEC office as we celebrate 154 years of statehood with a WV Birthday Bash!  We will have BBQ, wine and beer, and birthday cake

5:30- 6:15: Live music with an acoustic duo.

6:15:  Short presentation from our VISTA on our Project Plant

6:30: Since it can’t be a birthday party without the kids, we’ll screen the WV Public Broadcasting film, The First 1,000 Days: Investing In WV Children When It Counts.  As we celebrate the history of WV, we will be thinking about its posterity and looking at some great work being done around the state for our children.

Join the event on Facebook and do invite friends, or check our calendar page for updates.

OVEC staffer Dustin White will be your host for this event, because Keena Mullins, our outreach coordinator, is on maternity leave. Please join us in congratulating Keena and her family on the arrival of baby Denver, born June 1.

OVEC pledges to keep fighting so that Denver and other young West Virginians will have a bright future in the Mountain State, with a diverse economy, clean water, clean air, and healthy, sustainable communities.  

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Have Your Say to Nat’l Academy of Sciences on MTR and Human Health 
A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee still wants to hear from you on mountaintop removal coal mining and human health. NAS held one meeting in Logan, WV in May. 

The next NAS committee meeting takes place July 11 – 12 at The Keck Center of the National Academies, 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, DC, 20001.   

You can also send comments online, here. Please take the time to comment to the committee! If you live near mountaintop removal, or have been forced to move because of it, please comment! If you are someone who cares about the people of Appalachia who live near this egregious and dangerous form of mining, please comment! 

If you need visual evidence of the diesel emissions and the toxic- and silica- and heavy-metal-laden dust clouds associated with mountaintop removal, check out OVEC’s new drone footage, taken May 31 – June 2 here. Also see this MTR mine, where so-called reclamation is underway (drone footage from May 30). If you need reminders about MTR and human health, please take some time to explore the links and information at these pages:

Mountaintop Removal: In Our Own Words

Human Health Impacts

Health Studies on the Effects of MTR Coal Mining

The final committee meeting will take place August 21-23, location to be determined.

For background information, please see: Groups Urge Citizens to Speak Up on Mountaintop Removal’s Impacts on Human Health

Please address any questions about upcoming meetings to Remy Chappetta at rchappetta@nas.edu. Subscribe for study updates here. 

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Water Ceremony Today, and More Upcoming Events
Today, June 9: The Marshall University Native American Student Organization will lead a Water Ceremony (blessing of the Ohio River). Please join them, OVEC and others in a collaboration for this year’s Global Earth Exchange, a project of Radical Joy for Hard Times. Details here.

June 11: Take Me to the River: Help Maryland celebrate its fracking ban. Details here.

June 13: 2 – 4 p.m. WV DEP public meeting on water quality standards at DEP headquarters in Kanawha City at 601 57th Street, SE, Charleston, WV. 

DEP representatives will discuss the outcome of the 2017 Legislative session with respect to water quality standards, including statutory changes considered by Legislature involving harmonic mean and overlapping mixing zones. DEP invites members of the public to present information in regard to any desired changes to West Virginia’s water quality standards rule (47 CSR 2). Please contact Laura Cooper at (304) 926-0499 ext. 1110 in advance for placement on the agenda.

June 15: Solar co-op meeting in Huntington. Details here.

June 25: 9 p.m. From the Ashes, a film about the coal industry and communities, premieres on National Geographic TV.

Save the date: Our allies with the Keeper of the Mountains are hosting their 3rd annual Solar Powered Music Festival. The “Our Day in the Sun” festival takes place July 7-9, at Cantrell Ultimate Rafting in Fayetteville, WV.  Join the event on Facebook and check for updates here. get updates here, on Facebook. Stay tuned for more details and a lineup of talent!

Save the dates: July 28-28 Defend the Wayne Camp and July 30 Ohio River Rising March and Rally. Check the Ohio River Citizens’ Alliance’s Facebook page or OVEC’s calendar for updates. If you are unsure what’s happening in the Wayne National Forest and why you should come to the camp, check out:
Keep Wayne Wild
Stand Up to Fracking in the Wayne National Forest
Fracking in Wayne National Forest and Fracking under the Ohio River

October 7: Save the date for our annual picnic for members and supporters, this time at the Barboursville Park. We’ll continue celebrating our 30th anniversary with music, picnic fixin’s, and good company.

This year, tentative plans include a morning 5K run/walk and a bike ride, too. We’ll have more details later in the year, but for now, do save the date! 

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In This Alert

Today, June 9: Call
Congress on Climate 

June 20: OVEC Monthly Meeting/WV Birthday Bash

Have Your Say to Nat’l Academy of Sciences on MTR
and Human Health

Water Ceremony Today, and
More Upcoming Events

——Petition: Tell Gov. Justice
to Support the
Climate Accord

Petition: I want my state and city to join the Paris climate agreement

We, the people of the United States, sign on to the Paris Agreement
In Case You Missed It:

Op-ed by OVEC board member Pam Nixon:
Trump must not block efforts to prevent chemical disasters

Op-ed by OVEC staffers Robin Blakeman, Vivian Stockman: 
Gas storage hub
a field of nightmares
OVEC’s Vice Director appeared live on C SPAN’s Washington Journal on its May 9 program about coal. You can watch her segment here
Watch PBS documentary about Upper Big Branch mining disaster 

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