Issue # 8 of 350 Pittsburgh's biweekly digest
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In this issue of Climate Action News ...
  • Our Divest-Reinvest Campaign - can you help?
  • The True Cost of Coal
  • July Events
  • New Items on our Web Site

Hello to all friends of 350 Pittsburgh, 

You may have assumed that besides distributing our biweekly Digest and urging folk to join the Clean Energy March in Philly (this Saturday!), things have been fairly quiet here at 350 Pittsburgh.

In fact, we have been laying the foundation for a major campaign--the divestment of institutional endowments from fossil fuel shares.  What is unique about our campaign is that we’re calling for the divested funds to be reinvested in Pittsburgh’s people and communities.

With an initial stipend from 350 Pittsburgh and a grant from 350.org, steering committee member Elise Yoder has now completed a Divest/Reinvest campaign feasibility study.

With the involvement of Elise, Michael Goodhart, Warwick Powell, and Peter Wray, we are embarking on the next phase of our campaign. We need your help in researching local opportunities for green-economy reinvestment, writing, bookkeeping, recruiting volunteers, and organizing events.

If you believe that YOU can contribute to this Divest/Reinvest campaign in any way whatsoever, please contact Elise at eliseyoder@yahoo.com.

--Peter Wray

The True Cost of Coal
 
On June 28, 2016 there was a public hearing at the David L Lawrence Convention Center about leasing coal deposits on federal lands.  The Bureau of Land Management under the Department of the Interior is revamping its policies to allow for the costs of climate change to be factored into coal lease decisions.  Environmentalists have said for years the coal on federal lands is given away too cheaply and that the taxpayers should receive a better price for federal coal. My comments to the BLM are below. -- Fred Kraybill

My name is Fred Kraybill.  I live in Pittsburgh and work at the VA Medical Center.  I am very concerned about climate change and I dedicate much of my spare time to working on this issue. 

I want to thank President Obama, Secretary Sally Jewell, and the Dept of the Interior for this historic step to put a pause on coal leasing on federal lands.  It was very unfair that federal lands were leased to coal companies at rock bottom prices and allowed them to compete unfairly with other cleaner energy sources.  It was also unfair to the tax payers that shoulder a tax burden when highly profitable coal companies were not paying their fair share to lease federal lands for coal.  But ultimately the most important consideration to this issue is how much coal can still be burned in our remaining carbon budget.  How much must we reduce our carbon emissions to prevent a 2 degree C warming and to try to stay within a 1.5 degree C warming?

Most of the people I know will say that we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.  The BLM has many competing interests to think about but at the very least it seems to me that if the BLM continues to lease federal lands for coal then it must be at a price that accounts for the social cost of carbon and allows clean renewable energy to rapidly overtake fossil fuels in the energy marketplace.  Because the solution to pollution is renewable, it's doable!

Recently I have been watching the devastating weather events in both ends of the US.  Historic rainfall and flash floods in West Virginia and devastating and out of control wildfires in the Southwest.  We are witnessing exactly what climate scientists have predicted for years.  Record breaking heat waves, drought, forest fires, flash floods, and storms.  Record breaking sea level rise, glacier melt, and ocean acidification.

So I ask BLM and the DOI to make addressing climate change your most important priority when considering how to revamp the federal coal leasing program.  Thanks for your time.
JULY EVENTS
July 24: March for a Clean Energy Revolution, Philadelphia: Get on the bus! Buses will leave at 5:30 am and return around 10:45 pm. Tickets are $28 (scholarship tickets are also available).
Pittsburgh - Edgewood: http://bit.ly/MCERBusEdgewood
Pittsburgh - Oakland/East Liberty: http://bit.ly/MCERBusELiberty 

July 23: PRC’s Green Film Series, Films for a Better Planet, continues with "Plastic Paradise" on Saturday, July 23, at 7:00 pm at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel. Tickets are free, but advance registration is required. 
July 27: 350 Pittsburgh Steering Committee monthly meeting, 5:30 - 7:00 pm, Squirrel Hill Library. All are welcome.
July 28-29: EnergyPath 2016. Learn about all things sustainable at the EnergyPath2016 conference and expo in State College.  It has something for everyone: Learn about renewable technologies, energy efficiency techniques and start or expand your career in the energy industry with a crash course in sustainable energy.
NEW ITEMS on the 350 Pittsburgh web site:
 

Cheswick Power Plant: Hearing on Permit to Reduce Pollution, August 1. An opportunity to give voice to the need for healthy air in the Allegheny River valley and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Leaked document reveals dangers of the Trans-Atlantic Trade Agreement. Revelations that this trade agreement is as bad as the Trans-Pacific agreement. 

Unprecedented? Jet Stream Crosses Equator. The jet stream in the Northern Hemisphere has crossed the equator and joined up with the jet stream in the Southern Hemisphere. This seems like new behaviour, and indicates that climate system mayhem is ongoing.

July 20, 2016
Copyright © 2016 350 Pittsburgh, All rights reserved.


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