Sunday, February 2, 2014

Climate Deniers and Developers, Oh My!

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Virginia Chapter, Sierra Club

Dear Robert,

Elections have consequences, and the change in the leadership of the Virginia Senate this week as a result of two special elections is a positive sign for the environment. It's not all sunshine and roses by any stretch but we stand a better chance now of killing bad bills and even passing some good environmental legislation.

We are in the thick of the Session right now so everything is in a state of flux and your responses to our alerts are critical. More than 1,000 of you responded to our alert on a climate denier bill (SB 615) and that grassroots pressure made a difference. We now have an amended bill that we can live with. The Session runs through March 8, so please watch for our alerts and make those clicks, those phone calls and those visits to Richmond which do make a difference!








Glen Besa, Director

Virginia Chapter Sierra Club


P.S.  With your gift, you can advance solutions to protect our ocean, lakes and bays, our forests and the natural legacy throughout Virginia.  Best of all, 100% of your donation stays in Virginia and supports our work right here in the Commonwealth. Click here to donate today.



What's Up in Virginia's General Assembly?

EPA hearing on carbon pollution: Feb. 6 in DC

Films to Warm Up your Environmental Passion

Time to Build a Climate Movement



Click here to "Like" the VA Chapter.




Recent Clean Energy LTEs

Not buying it


Susan Stillman, Vienna


We must promote carbon-free energy

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Mary Ann Rudy, Alexandria


We must address climate change now

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Susan Stillman, Vienna


Make Dominion do it


Bill Johnson, Fredericksburg


Gifts illustrate need for reform

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Seth Heald, Rixeyville




Join the Sierra Club today




Ready to get to work on our Virginia Clean Energy Team? Click here to be guided to our volunteer form. Thanks!


Reduce your carbon footprint AND benefit the Sierra Club at the same time!


Does your electric water heater need to be smarter? A smart water heater means reducing carbon emissions by as much as 1.5 tons per year for EACH water heater! Smart water heaters also reward the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter with some real $ cash-ola!

Introducing the Mosaic Power – Sierra Club electric water heater program!

Click here for more info and SIGN UP TODAY!

Only available to Northern VA residents with electric hot water heaters.


Great News! Shell Oil has suspended plans to drill in Arctic Alaska throughout 2014 and perhaps indefinitely!

Read more here.

And stay tuned in our fight against drilling off the Atlantic and Virginia coast. The PEIS (preliminary environmental impact statement) for seismic activity is due to be released in late February.  We'll have a limited comment period in which to get very vocal and beat this extremely dangerous practice down.

Photo credit: Greenpeace

Take Action


What's New in Virginia's General Assembly?

EPA hearing on carbon pollution: Feb. 6 in DC

Films to Warm Up your Environmental Passion

Time to Build a Climate Movement


What's New in Virginia's General Assembly?

Now is the time to tell your legislators to support transportation choices in Northern Virginia. 

The General Assembly is considering two bills that would move the region backward in its efforts to create a more balanced transportation network. House Bill 1244 mandates a study of new Potomac River bridge crossings -- even though these crossings would fuel sprawl and divert investment from fixing priority commuter corridors. House Bill 2 would restrict the criteria for selecting transportation projects to narrow guidelines that favor new roads over transit, walking and bicycling. 

Contact your Senator and Delegate today. Let them know you oppose a new Potomac River crossing study and oppose legislation that would limit the criteria for selecting transportation projects.

Climate Denial in the Classroom? 

Should science teachers teach creationism and climate change denial alongside evolution and climate science? Some members of the Virginia House of Delegate think so! Contact your Delegate today– tell them that the dangers we face from a changing climate are real, not a controversy.

No Delay, No dilution, No exemptions: We’ve waited long enough for Stormwater Regulations 

This is the year to act on water pollution, not kick the can further down the road. But, that’s exactly what the Virginia General Assembly may do if any one of dozens of bills written to delay stormwater regulation pass this Session. Implementation has been postponed in 2006, 2009, 2010 and again in 2012. Enough is enough! Now, some want to postpone their responsibility yet again. What are they waiting for?

Tell your Virginia Senator and Delegate that stopping polluted runoff is important to you. Tell them: no delay, no dilution, no exemptions.


EPA hearing on carbon pollution: Feb. 6 in DC

carbonrules.jpgDespite superstorms, droughts, floods, and all of the other impacts of a changing climate, power plants can still spew unlimited amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere. Power plants account for 40% of the carbon pollution in the United States, and while we currently protect public health with limits on arsenic, lead, soot and other pollution from power plants, there are no existing federal limits on carbon pollution.

Thursday, February 6 in Washington, D.C., we have the opportunity to change all of that. The Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public hearing to gauge the public's support for limiting carbon pollution from new power plants.

RSVP today to show up and tell EPA you support strong action on climate.

Hearing details:

WHO: You, Sierra Club, and climate activists

WHAT: EPA Public Hearing on Limiting Carbon Pollution from New Power Plants

WHEN: Thursday, February 6, noon for our rally and press conference outside, 9:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m. for the hearing itself (You can let the EPA know what time of day works best for your schedule.) 

WHERE:  EPA Headquarters, William Jefferson Clinton East Building, 1201 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC (map)

Questions: Contact Kate Addleson at


Films to Warm Up your Environmental Passion


On February 5th - 9th, 2014, several local organizations will partner to present the Fourth Annual RVA Environmental Film Festival at Tuckahoe Library, VCU’s Grace Street Theater, the Visual Arts Center, the Byrd Theatre. The festival will showcase local and national films selected to raise awareness of environmental issues relevant to the Richmond region, our nation, and our planet. This event is free and open to the public.

Visit for more info.

Near Lynchburg:

Sweet Briar College will host Josh Fox, maker of the documentary films "Gasland" and "Gasland Part II," as the 2014 Julia B. Waxter Environmental Forum speaker. Fox will present "The Case for a Total Ban on Fracking" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Murchison Lane Auditorium. Admission is free and non-ticketed with open seating.

Sweet Briar College in on U.S. 29 12 miles north of Lynchburg and 45 miles south of Charlottesville. Click here for more info about the film. 


Time to Build a Climate Movement!

VAClimateAction.jpgScientists have issued increasingly urgent warnings about the pace and extent of climate disruption.   As the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, the Sierra Club needs to respond to these warnings by leading a stronger and bolder climate movement.

Input from all parts of Sierra Club is essential to build a climate movement strong enough to achieve a clean energy future.  Thus, the Club has initiated a national dialog process to get member input on how to frame and implement a new movement to address climate change. 

Over the next month or two, Chapter and Group leaders will be conducting Climate Movement dialog meetings throughout the country. Be on the lookout for a meeting and/or conference call near you!

At each of these meetings, we will discuss these 3 questions:

1. a) What could the SC do better as a whole to support chapters and groups to lead and/or engage members and partner organizations in innovative new local, regional or nationwide movement building activities?

   b) What kinds of activities/events would be most exciting and effective?

2. If the Sierra Club Board were to recommend unifying all the organization's climate work under a single bold frame, like calling for 100% clean energy, what types of support would help you to align your work more effectively with this vision?

3. What elements are most important to have in an overarching Sierra Club message on climate?

For further background, take a look at the brief videos and other resources by clicking here.  Questions? Contact Bill Penniman, Chapter Conservation Chair at   


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