Issue # 22 of 350 Pittsburgh's biweekly digest
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In this issue of Climate Action News ...
  • Unite 100
  • Frontline report: Shell cracker plant in Beaver County
  • Solar Open House - Feb 25
  • Movies, movies, movies
  • Events and News
Climate Justice = Social Justice

Feeling a need to get out there and do something in response to the new administration? According to the New York Times, activist organizations around the country are working together in new ways to respond to the rapidly changing political atmosphere. The theme of our Unite100 campaign, “Climate Justice = Social Justice,” is more relevant every day. Unite100 is a vehicle for climate and social justice groups to come together and find common ground. The first 100 days are an opportunity to rise up and demonstrate that change starts at the grassroots level, and that we determine how our community responds.

Check out our campaign calendar at 100DaysofUs meetup. Upcoming events include three films shown by Marcellus Protest at Pittsburgh Mennonite Church, 2018 S Braddock Avenue in Swissvale. The first film, on February 24 at 7:00 PM, is THE WISDOM to SURVIVE: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community. This film explores how unlimited growth and greed are destroying the life support system of the planet, the social fabric of society, and the lives of billions of people. Be sure to stay for the post-film discussion lead by Terri Supowitz and Wanda Guthrie. (There is a small lot very close to the church as well as on-street parking, and public parking two blocks away. Optional registration here.)

Please email for more information. 

Volunteers Needed

April 29 will be a busy day, with a Climate March in Washington, D.C., and a local Climate Action March and Rally here in Pittsburgh in conjunction with Future Fest 2017--and we're involved in all of them! Help us plan for these events with buses, routes, permits, speakers, interactive educational activities, getting the word out, and organizing participants. Contact Pat Buddemeyer, volunteer coordinator, at to help make it all happen.
                   Photo: Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front
Shell Cracker Plant: Report from the Front Lines

As you're probably aware, Shell is planning to build a massive petrochemical plant on a 400 acre site in Beaver County--the infamous Shell Ethane Cracker Plant. The Potter Township board of supervisors voted on Jan 18 to approve the permit.

The facility will produce over one million metric tons of plastic a year. The plant is projected to emit well over two million tons of CO2 equivalents a year, roughly the same as putting an additional four million cars on the road in our region.

A 94 mile pipeline is in the works to feed the plant daily with about 100,000 barrels of ethane, a component of natural gas. Obviously this will mean a further increase of fracking in our region.

WORSE: Shell is trying to avoid environmental regulation in a variety of ways. They are asking the Pennsylvania DEP for permission to "trade" air pollution credits, buying more credits for another class of compounds—nitrogen oxides—in exchange for a smaller number of required VOC (volatile organic compound) credits.  Shell also wants to be grandfathered as an existing rather than a new plant. This would allow them to increase the amount of toxins they could release into the Ohio River. The air in Beaver County is already some of the dirtiest in the nation, the Ohio River already one of the most compromised.

The Shell cracker plant is being subsidized by the PA taxpayers to the tune of $1.65 billion. Please call or write the DEP asking them to hold Shell to the highest environmental standards. Also call your state senators, representatives, county executives, and governor and let them know how you feel about this proposed project.

WORST: This cracker plant is just the beginning.  Plans are underfoot to lure other plastic and chemical manufacturers in Texas and along the Gulf Coast to set up shop, establishing a regional petrochemical hub (here's an article in favor of it). The PA Department of Community and Economic Development wants to "help," saying that plastic manufacturing is a major priority.   Additional cracker plants could be built in nearby West Virginia or Ohio as well, with estimates of the number of cracker plants the area could sustain ranging from two to four.  But, hey, who's counting?

-- Stephanie Ulmer, Activist
Solarizing Ourselves
Our first Solar Workshop on Feb 2 was a hit. Fred Kraybill (350), Sharon Pillar (Solarize Allegheny) and Kathryn Fantauzzi (CCI) brought us up to speed on the need for solar and how it works. Then, installers were on hand to look at our rooftops using Google Earth and provide rough estimates of solar capacity.

Next, please come to our Solar Open House on Sat., Feb 25 at Fred Kraybill's place in Point Breeze. He's the homeowner and the man to talk with about the advantages of capturing your own solar energy: 7211 Thomas Blvd, Point Breeze, 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM. Fred's phone is 412-335-9449.

For more information, please visit or contact Sharon Pillar, Solarize Allegheny project manager, at or 412-215-5995. Eventbrite to register for the Open House.
Local Filmmaker Back from Standing Rock

Pittsburgh documentary filmmaker Tom Jefferson has just returned from Standing Rock. Come to the screening of his documentary The Way We Live on Monday, March 6, hosted by Sustainable Monroeville. Tom has been involved in filming and educating the world-wide community about climate change and social justice related to EcoWarriorship for a long time

At 6:00 PM there will be a whole food, plant-based potluck dinner. The film starts at 7:00 PM. Tom will join us for Q&A and discussion before and after the film. We'll also explore local action opportunities, so bring what you know about local actions to share! 

Monday, March 6, Monroeville Public Library. Potluck at 6:00 PM, film at 7:00. 
Wild & Scenic Film Festival

The largest environmental film festival in the nation is on tour and coming to Pittsburgh! Reserve yourself an evening of engaging and eye-opening films at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, addressing pressing global issues such as climate change, species extinction and environmental justice.

Thursday, March 9 at 6:00 PM in the Eddy Theater on Chatham University’s Shadyside campus; proceeds benefit the Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) and Allegheny CleanWays. Purchase tickets ($15/person) HERE or call PRC at 412-488-7490 x105. 
Upcoming Events

Feb 16: Holding Polluters and Regulators Accountable. A forum hosted by PennEnvironment to highlight strategies--including citizen lawsuits--for holding illegal polluters and inactive regulators accountable. The panel includes Eric Schaeffer from the Environmental Integrity Project, who was a whistleblower at the EPA under the Bush Administration. We also have one of NELC's lawyers who helped us win our GenOn lawsuit a few years ago and is working with us on the current suit against ArcelorMittal's coke plant in Monessen, as well as the director of Pitt's Environmental Law Clinic.  RSVP here.

Feb 22: 350 Pittsburgh Steering Committee meeting, Squirrel Hill Library, 5:30 - 7:00 PM. 
Feb 25:
Solarize Open House, 7211 Thomas Blvd, Point Breeze,10:30 AM - 2:00 PM.
Mar 6:
Thomas Jefferson's documentary screening (see above), Monroeville Public Library, 7:00 PM. 
Mar 9
: Wild & Scenic Film Festival (see above), Eddy Theater, Chatham, 6:00 PM.
Apr 29:
 Join the free public festivities on the Phipps front lawn for FutureFest and glimpse Pittsburgh's sustainable future through art, demonstrations, performances, science and hands-on activities for all ages — from scavenger hunts to craft stations. Communitopia is the lead organizer.  
Apr 29
: People's Climate Mobilization in Washington, D.C. We have two buses reserved.

Questions? Email us at 

Bill McKibben's New Battle PlanRolling Stone.

 A Rare Republican Call to Climate Action. The most important thing about a carbon tax plan proposed last week may be the people behind it: prominent Republicans like James Baker III, George Shultz and Henry Paulson Jr.  New York Times.

Former president Jimmy Carter has leased part of his farmland in his hometown for solar panels that can power more than half of Plains, the Georgia town that shaped his image. New York Times.

Antarctic sea ice is at its lowest point ever. The Guardian.

Message to Trump: 2016 was the hottest year on record.
Can You Donate to 350 Pittsburgh?

We've got a ton of activities going on now, and we need money for publicity, transportation (buses to D.C.!), printing, sign-making, etc. Please donate and help power us with clean energy--your dollars and your time.

Donate to 350 Pittsburgh
February 15, 2017
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