Monday, February 28, 2011

Tell Senator Nelson: Protect Us from Toxic Algae!

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear Friend,

Tell Senator Nelson:
Protect Our Waters from Toxic Algae!

Sen. Nelson visits algae bloom on St. Lucie
Send Your Letter
Last November, the EPA announced promising new limits to reduce water contamination from sewage, animal manure, and fertilizer. The new limits cap the amount of nutrient pollution allowed in Florida's lakes, rivers, streams, and springs that feeds the toxic algae that threatens public health in every part of the state.

But last week the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a budget amendment that would put an end to these new water pollution standards. Our only hope now is the Senate. Florida's big polluters will get a free pass to continue polluting if Senator Bill Nelson does not fight to protect the new limits.

Send a message to Senator Nelson urging him to oppose the budget amendment that would kill the EPA's efforts to protect our water.

We know that Senator Nelson will support clean water for Florida's waterways if he hears from enough of us. As you can see from the photo at right, Senator Nelson has seen firsthand the devastation wreaked by nutrient pollution. He came to the Saint Lucie River in 2005 when it was overtaken by a toxic algae bloom, which killed fish and made our waters unswimmable.

We must make sure Senator Nelson puts the interests of our state’s environment and its people above the demands of dirty polluters! Please send him a message today to remind him of his responsibility to protect our health and our way of life.

Florida currently has more than 1,900 miles of rivers and streams, 375,000 acres of lakes, and 500 square miles of estuaries that are poisoned by nutrient pollution -- there is no time to lose. Click here to send Senator Nelson a message asking him to take action to stop the gutting of the EPA's ability to regulate corporate polluters!

Thanks again for taking action to protect Florida’s precious water resources.


P.S. After you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues! Join us on Facebook for updates on our campaigns.
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Photo courtesy of Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Facebook can't save the EPA

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear Friend,

Tell the EPA You Support
Its Plan to Curb Global
Warming Pollution!

EPA: Protecting Americans from Global Warming Pollution
Take Action Today!
It is completely ridiculous: right now, power plants and oil refineries are allowed to spew unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air. They heat our world and devastate our communities with abandon and expect taxpayers to shoulder the damages.

The good news is that the EPA is about to change that. It's moving ahead with carbon pollutions protections - also known as New Source Performance Standards, or NSPS - to limit the amount of carbon big polluters can emit. Supporting the EPA's standards is the most important thing you can do this year to slow climate change.

If approved, the EPA's plan will tackle the lion's share of dirty power plants and oil refineries and dramatically improve our health and our future as we transition to a clean energy economy.1

Dirty polluters and their pals - like the folks behind the government shutdown in Wisconsin2 - are doing everything they can to stop the EPA's efforts to protect our health.


Without accountability for these massive corporations, polluters have free rein to continue dumping pollution into our air and water -- and they know taxpayers, like us, will have to foot the bill for their disasters while they keep the profits.

We need the EPA to hold these corporate polluters accountable for their dirty and dangerous actions and make sure our kids have clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and healthy neighborhoods where they can grow and play.

Thanks for all that you do to protect our health and the environment.
Sarah Hodgdon
Sarah Hodgdon
Sierra Club Conservation Director

P.S. After you take action forward this message or spread the word with our handy share buttons below:

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[1] "US-GHG Inventory 2011.pdf," EPA.
[2] "Letter of Support from Americans for Prosperity (a Koch Brothers Organization)," Power Gen Worldwide: February 12, 2011.
 

Friday, February 25, 2011

BJ Gerald is winner of Lee County's Citizen of the Year Award












( BJ Gerald is third woman in from the right)

On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners awarded BJ Gerald the Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award for her outstanding service to the community. BJ devotes countless volunteer hours with Animal Services in Lee County and other animal rights programs. BJ, a Sierra Club member, has also dedicated numerous hours to the Florida Green Transportation Campaign and the Red Tide Campaign, the two campaigns that I am working on in Southwest Florida.

An avid bicyclist, BJ has been instrumental in promoting alternative forms of green transportation such as using public transit and riding bikes.  Often, BJ has commuted from her home in Alva to downtown Fort Myers via her bicycle.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Action Alert: Ask Senator Bill Nelson to support EPA's clean water rules for Florida

Ft. Pierce sewage spill 
Photo: St. Lucie Waterfront Council
On Friday (2/18) night, the Rooney rider to the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution - that would stop EPA from implementing the new freshwater numeric water quality standards - was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in a largely party-line vote, 237-189.  Only 17 Republicans voted against the rider but 16 Democrats voted for it – three of those Democrats being from Florida (Alcee Hastings, Corrine Brown and Ted Deutch). 


The Rooney rider was just one of many anti-EPA amendments adopted by the House last weekend and now the battle moves to the Senate.

Our goal now is get thousands of Floridians to call and email  Senator Nelson asking for his vote against the Rooney rider, or a similar rider, when it comes up in the Senate next week. 

Unfortunately, Senator Nelson endorsed a similar rider to stop the EPA numeric nutrient criteria last fall.  And since last summer he has refused to meet with us regarding this issue.

Please take the time to contact Senator Bill Nelson and ask him to oppose any rider that jeopardizes numeric nutrient criteria during the budget debate in the Senate.

You can contact him by phone (202-224-5274), fax (202-228-2183) or web mail:  http://billnelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm   Phone calls are most effective. 
The opposition is doing everything it can, with many more dollars to spend, to get rid of Florida’s new nutrient pollution limits.  Go to http://www.3-1-2011.org/ or click here to get a glimpse of the opposition’s maneuvers.

At this point it appears Florida's biggest polluters will stop at nothing to rid themselves of environmental public health protections. 

Please call Senator Nelson now.  For talking points 

New EPA Standard to Reduce Mercury, Arsenic and Acid Gas Emissions

Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2011


EPA Issues Final Standard to Protect Americans from Boilers’ Toxic Air Pollution

Health protections will modestly reduce dangerous emissions


Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final health standard that will limit emissions of mercury, lead, arsenic, acid gases and other toxic pollutants from industrial boilers. This commonsense air toxics safeguard, often called the “Boiler MACT (Maximum Available Control Technology),” will save thousands of lives, and prevent thousands of cases of asthma attacks, heart attacks and hospital visits. 

Industrial boilers are on-site power plants at places like universities and industrial facilities like chemical plants, refineries and paper mills.  By controlling these plants’ pollution, EPA’s air toxics safeguard will protect Americans from breathing some of the most dangerous and toxic pollutants known to us – arsenic, lead, acid gases and mercury.  Even in small amounts, these life-threatening air pollutants are linked to cancer, birth defects, brain damage and even early death. Without this critical protection, millions of tons of air toxics will continue to be released into our air each year.

“Corporate polluters are literally making us sick, and these long overdue protections from EPA will save lives and improve the health of millions of Americans,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. 

“Though the announcement today is modest by comparison to the proposals put forth by the EPA last June, we urge Administrator Lisa Jackson to forge ahead to protect our children and families’ health.”
Not content with having weakened important protections like the air toxics safeguard, polluting industries continue to push their agenda to roll back and even block public health protections and clean air standards.

“If the corporate lobbyists succeed in killing these health protections, Americans will pay the price with the lives and health of their family members,” said James Pew, staff attorney at Earthjustice. “Controlling the toxic pollution from industrial boilers will save lives, prevent billions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs, and put thousands of Americans to work.”

###

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sierra Club Florida Water Quality Alert

HB 457– Fertilizer
HB 13– Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems
S 168 – Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems

Please call members of both the House Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Senate Health Regulation committees this afternoon or early tomorrow morning and urge them to vote against these bad bills.  Committee contact information is below.  Telephone calls are best, but if you can’t call, please send an email.

HB 457 (Fertilizer) and HB 13 (Septic Tanks) will be heard in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.
SB 168 will be heard in Senate Health Regulation committee on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Fertilizer Preemption:
HB 457Fertilizer by Rep. Ingram

HB 457 is a complete preemption bill that guts water protection ordinances adopted by 40 local governments. 
HB 457:
  • Sets up a weak “model ordinance” as the most a local government can do even though it was written as a minimum standard.  Since the weak model ordinance would apply statewide and no stronger ordinances could be adopted, water quality will inevitably suffer and clean up costs will be shifted to taxpayers.
  • Preempts local ordinances retrospectively by giving the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) all authority over the sale, use, and application of urban turf fertilizer. All 40 local water quality ordinances adopted by officials closest to the people will be abolished.  (DEP, the agency responsible for water quality is cut out of the loop completely.)

Talking points
  • Localities have already adopted more stringent ordinances than the “model ordinance” and water quality has improved in those areas!
  • Lawns are not agriculture.  This is not about food production.  But lawns do contribute to nutrient run off.

Thank you, Mr. Stearns!

We all owe a big thanks to Congressional Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kathy Castor, Frederica Wilson and Cliff Stearns for voting on Friday night against the awful Rooney rider to the Continuing Resolution which would strip funding from EPA's budget for enforcement of its new clean water rules for Florida's rivers, lakes and springs.  These 4 heroes bucked the powerful alliance of big agriculture, big industry and municipal polluters that successfully pressured the other 21 members of the Florida congressional delegation (including Democrats Corrine Brown, Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings) to vote for the rider.

But it is Representative Cliff Stearns who we want to single out for special thanks this morning. As the sole Florida Republican voting against the amendment, he demonstrated significant courage, risking retaliation not only from the polluters' cabal and agricultural interests in his rural district in North Florida, but also from the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives which attached dozens of anti-environmental to the Continuing Resolution.  

Stearns clearly thinks that cleaning up Florida's polluted waterways rises above the high-stakes political games played in Washington and Tallahassee.  Here's what Stearns told a reporter at the Florida Times-Union on Saturday:

 "I am very concerned about preserving the Silver River in my hometown [Ocala] as well as the Ocklawaha and the St. Johns rivers in my district," he said by email.

"Although I don't want to see the EPA develop these burdensome and expensive regulations, I do want the EPA and the State of Florida to work together in developing an economical solution to protecting our waters."


We couldn't have said it any better!

Read the Florida Times-Union story on the House vote below.

Frank Jackalone
Senior Field Organizing Manager/ FL & PR



Florida Times-Union
February 19, 2011



The U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget bill early Saturday that would stop the federal government from enforcing new clean-water rules affecting the St. Johns River and other Florida rivers and lakes.

The restriction on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was a minor amendment written into a bill that would cut overall government spending by about $60 billion through the end of September.

Its implications for Florida could be dramatic, however.

Interests on opposing sides have painted EPA's efforts as either a key to reducing potentially toxic algae blooms that often cover the state's waterways or a mad rush to waste billions of dollars cleaning streams to impossibly high standards.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam are currently suing EPA over the rules.

The U.S. Senate has been expected to vote on its own version of a budget bill in the next two weeks. A stopgap spending agreement that's in effect now expires March 4.
Environmental groups will try to convince senators to let EPA enforce its rules.

"Right now, we've got to convince Bill Nelson," said St. Johns Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon, whose group was one of several that sued EPA to get it to adopt water standards written specifically for Florida.

Nelson, a Florida Democrat, endorsed a nearly identical restriction on EPA last year, although that died in committee.

The one-sentence amendment prohibiting EPA action, offered last week by U.S. Rep. Thomas Rooney, R-Fla., was added to the budget bill just before 10 p.m. Friday. The House passed the full bill, called a continuing resolution, just after 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
The vote to prevent EPA action was heavily partisan, with support by 221 Republicans and 16 Democrats. Voting no were 17 Republicans and 172 Democrats.

Twenty-one of Florida's 25 House members voted to prevent EPA action. Those included Democrat Corrine Brown and Republicans Ander Crenshaw and John Mica, who all represent parts of Northeast Florida.

U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, whose district reaches into Clay County and Jacksonville's Westside, was the onlyFlorida Republican voting against limiting EPA action. Three Democrats also opposed the measure.


Stearns said he hoped state and federal regulators would jointly develop new protections for waterways.
"I am very concerned about preserving the Silver River in my hometown [Ocala] as well as the Ocklawaha and the St. Johns rivers in my district," he said by email.

"Although I don't want to see the EPA develop these burdensome and expensive regulations, I do want the EPA and the State of Florida to work together in developing an economical solution to protecting our waters."

EPA finalized rules in November that would set measurable limits on the amount of nitrogen- and phosphorous-bearing chemical compounds allowed in waterways. They were scheduled to become effective in 2012 as a step to control algae blooms that feed on those chemicals.



Saturday, February 19, 2011

House Vote Approves Handouts to Polluters, Guts Air and Water Protections

Includes rider that would kill new EPA water quality rules for Florida

The Rooney rider which would stop EPA from implementing new numeric water quality standards was adopted as part of the Continuing Resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives last night in a largely party-line vote, 237-189.  Only 17 Republicans voted against the rider, while 16 Democrats voted for it.  We don't have the breakdown of how the Florida congressional delegation voted , but can report that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz made an outstanding, heroic speech on the House floor against the Rooney rider.  She is a true champion of clean water in Florida.

The Rooney rider was just one of scores of anti-environmental amendments adopted by the House yesterday.

The battle now moves to the Senate. Please contact Senator Bill Nelson at (202) 224-5274 and ask him to oppose any similar rider when the continuing resolution comes up in the Senate.

Here's a press release from the national Sierra Club on passage of the Continuing Resolution in the House.

Press Room:  For Immediate Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2011

  House Vote Kicks Americans While They’re Down

235-189 Vote Approves Handouts to Polluters, Guts Air and Water Protections

Washington, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives passed a funding bill, or Continuing Resolution, that rolls back bedrock government programs that protect Americans’ health and environment while doling out giveaways to corporate polluters.  The bill, H.R. 1, which passed by a vote of 235-189, will go to the Senate for approval.

In response, Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club released the following statement:

“Today’s House passage of the Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) kicks American families and workers while they’re down – this bill puts the health of millions of Americans at risk while doing nothing to create jobs or grow the economy.  Adding insult to injury, the House voted to continue government handouts to wealthy corporate polluters, a move that would cost American taxpayers billions of dollars. 

The bill also made drastic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, severely limiting the agency’s ability to protect the health and safety of Americans.  For example, H.R. 1 blocks EPA from protecting communities from mercury, lead, arsenic and other toxic air pollution from cement plants, leaving thousands of children exposed and at risk of slowed brain development and asthma. The EPA’s blocked safeguard would have reduced mercury pollution by more than 90 percent, and would have saved 2,500 people each year.

We urge the Senate to reject the House’s short-sighted Continuing Resolution, which jeopardizes our health, our clean air and water, and our nation’s economic growth.”

###

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tamiami Trail Bridges Ok'd, plan heads to Congress

A one-mile bridge rises over Tamiami Trail.
5.5 more miles are hopefully on the way
It’s official! The National Park Service (NPS) on February 14, Valentine's Day, gave the final go ahead on a plan to build 5 1/2 miles of bridges over Tamiami Trail to restore fresh water flow into Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. The larger project expands on the one-mile bridge now under construction providing “more than five times the connectivity between marshes” and “unconstrained flow patterns.” Moreover, 10 of the historical sloughs that once flowed unobstructed would be reconnected.

Miami Businessman Frank Jaudon built his road across the Everglades in 1928, in large part to drain land and provide access for development. The Depression, the following year, scuttled his plans; however the road continues to cut off water flow to the great wetland. Sierra Club, which has long advocated for the bridging of Tamiami Trail, applauded the Park’s bridge plan and looked forward to starting construction.

The Record of Decision (ROD), signed by NPS’s Southeast Regional Director David Vela, means that Congress can now review the plan for authorization and funding. The ROD caps an approximately 18-month review process requested by Congress in 2009. The project is strongly backed by the Everglades Skyway Coalition whose members include municipalities, business and civic groups and environmental organizations. Bridge construction will generate more than 7,100 jobs.

Earlier this year, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced his commitment to the 5.5 mile bridge plan saying: “It will be one of my highest priorities as Secretary, and I intend to work with the new Congress until it is done.”


Read the Tamiami Trail Next Steps Final Environmental Impact Statement at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?parkID=374&projectID=26159

-- Jonathan Ullman, South Florida/Everglades Senior Organizer, Sierra Club

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guest Column


                                                                                                                                                                        David Guest
Rep. Rooney seeks to block EPA's water pollution limits
Florida's infamous, choking, toxic green algae
From the Now We’ve Seen Everything Department (A large and busy department here in the Sunshine State):
Florida Republican Congressman Tom Rooney has introduced language into the federal budget bill to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing important new public health protections for Florida.

As you’ve read in this space before, the EPA’s new water pollution limits are designed to control the public health threat posed by the green slime that continually breaks out on Florida waterways. This horrid slime is fed by partially treated sewage, animal waste and fertilizer pollution. (Pictures here. ) Florida health authorities have had to close swimming areas and drinking water plants because of this toxic algae. The algae outbreaks can cause breathing problems, sores, rashes, illness, and even death.
 
The EPA’s new limits for the pollutants phosphorus and nitrogen (which come from sewage, animal waste and fertilizer) finally address a health threat that has gone on too long. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection first sounded the alarm about the dangers of toxic algae outbreaks in a 2000 scientific report – 11 years ago!

It is hard to believe Rooney would try to block this pollution cleanup when we look at what happened in the Southeast Florida district he represents. In 2005, one of the worst toxic algae outbreaks ever recorded happened on the coastal St. Lucie River and estuary. The entire river was covered with bright green slime and it wasn’t safe to even touch the water. Waterfront property values in the area suffered a permanent decline of a whopping $500 million after the outbreak.

Last summer, Floridians endured the worst algae outbreak in years – a 100-mile long toxic algae slime covered the St. Johns River, fouling the water for boating and swimming and piling up dead fish along the riverbanks.

Congressman Rooney is clearly at odds with the public. When the EPA asked the public to comment on the new water pollution limits, the agency received 22,000 comments, and 20,000 were in support of the new limits.
The new limits were developed jointly by the EPA and Florida’s DEP after scientists at the two agencies reviewed 13,000 water samples at 2,200 sites around the state.

Florida is ready and willing to start this cleanup. Two years ago, then-Florida DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole acknowledged the state’s serious problem with the so-called “nutrients” phosphorus and nitrogen. He issued this statement in January 2009:
 
The State of Florida recognizes that more needs to be done to address nutrient pollution in our rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries … Excess nitrogen and phosphorus levels (nutrient pollution) in water bodies can cause harm to aquatic ecosystems and threaten public health.

Nutrient pollution can lead to water quality problems such as harmful algal blooms, low-oxygen “dead zones” in water bodies and declines in wildlife habitat. These effects also disrupt recreational activities and pose threats to public health.

Not a good scenario for a state that depends on tourism to run its economy. Rooney and the other members of the Florida congressional delegation should be standing up for clean water – not standing in the way of cleanup.
 
------
David Guest is the managing attorney of Earthjustice's Tallahassee office. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Chicago Law School where he was a member of the law review. He has a B.Sc. in Government and Economics from Florida State University. In his spare time, he takes friends out on his 1968 hand-built pontoon boat to watch birds, manatees and other wildlife. 

Statement of Sierra Club Florida: Gov. Scott's Decision on High Speed Rail is a Tragedy for Florida's Economy and Environment

Statement of Sierra Club Florida: Governor Scott’s Decision on High Speed Rail Is a Tragedy for Florida’s Economy and Environment
 Keeps State Addicted to Oil, Stuck with Transportation System of the Past

Governor Rick Scott’s rejection today of federal high speed rail funding is a tragic loss for our state’s economy, especially our tourism industry, and our environment, but a win for Big Oil. 

Sierra Club Florida regrets that Governor Scott has said "no" to bringing 21st century transportation alternatives to our state.  This decision maintains Florida’s addiction to oil and sends jobs to other states that will gladly accept our share of high speed rail funds.

Floridians lack transportation choices leaving us to drive our cars and burn oil and pollute our air.  Currently we have congested highways, dirty air and a need to protect our coasts from oil drilling.  Sierra Club Florida believes that now is the time to invest in and build the foundation for a transportation system that helps move us beyond oil. High Speed Rail would have created jobs and provided Florida with an oil free transportation option.  Governor Scott’s “NO” today means no jobs, no growth, and no movement away from our state’s addiction to oil.

Moreover, Florida has lost credibility as a business-friendly state. Florida’s High Speed Rail is a shovel ready project with people invested in laying the rail, businesses and labor alike ready to go to work who have suddenly had the rug pulled out from underneath them. This action sends a message that Florida is not a safe place to make plans to do business in.

Governor Scott today demonstrates he is not looking to the future, but rather intends to maintain a continued reliance on oil. While Governor Scott expresses a concern for the operating expenses of High Speed Rail, this decision ignores the on-going boondoggle of spending billions of our tax dollars on ever-expanding roads. In some parts of our state, roads cannot be expanded any further to accommodate growth and seasonal tourism traffic.

Our state’s loss - the jobs, economic development, increased tourism that we would have had - are other states' gains. As we saw recently with Wisconsin’s rejection of high speed rail funds, other states, including California, Illinois, North Carolina and others, will gladly accept the funds and benefits of expanding passenger train service. Those states see themselves as winners in transportation technology and planning for the future. Florida will become even less competitive with such states than it is today in drawing the economic investment it needs to grow its economy with high paying employers.

Despite this tremendous disappointment, Sierra Club Florida will continue the fight for the clean transportation choices that our state needs. Whether it's to reduce our addiction to oil, clean up our air to reduce the harmful levels of ozone that result in asthma attacks in our children, or to avoid the dangerous driving conditions on I-4, Floridians need cleaner and safer transportation choices. Governor Scott has just done all in his power to take away an important choice that would have put FL in the lead.  It’s now up to Floridians to work together at the local and regional level to rise to this challenge.

Phil Compton, Regional Representative
Linda Bremer, Sierra Club Florida Transportation Chair

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Urgent Action Alert - Numeric Nutrient Criteria THREATENED

Under the Clear Water Act, in 1998, it was determined that numeric limits for “nutrients” - sewage, fertilizer and animal manure pollution - were needed in Florida but the state dragged its feet for over a decade.

Over the past year EPA has finally developed and finalized quantifiable nutrient limits for our Florida’s freshwater bodies and is in the process of developing them for our coastal waters.

At the behest of the state’s biggest polluters, Congressman Tom Rooney wants to stop EPA involvement in numeric nutrient criteria (quantifiable limits on sewage, manure and fertilizer pollution).

Rooney has filed a rider to the current appropriations bill (Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution) that would de-fund the implementation of those new pollution limits; Rooney, whose district encompasses one of the state’s most nutrient pollution-threatened water bodies – the St. Lucie River.

Please call Congressman Tom Rooney today and ask him to withdraw his rider.  
His office numbers:

Washington DC          202-225-5792
Stuart Office               772-288-4668
Punta Gorda Office     941-575-9101
St. Lucie Office          772-461-3933

We also need to produce calls to Rep. Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Alcee Hastings, Corinne Brown and Frederica Wilson to urge them to oppose the rider offered by Rep. Tom Rooney and speak up against the rider when it is brought to the House floor.

Rep. Alcee Hastings:  (202) 225-1313; (954) 733-2800; (561) 881-9618

Rep. Ted Deutch:  (202) 225-3001; (561) 988-6302

Rep. Corrine Brown:  (202) 225-0123; (904) 354-1652; (407) 872-0656

Rep. Frederica Wilson:  (202) 225-4506

Rep. Kathy Castor (202) 225-4506 (202) 225-4506:  (202) 225-3376; (813) 871-2817

Please contact me with any questions and PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO YOUR FRIENDS.

Read more for talking points... 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2011

Contact: Maggie Kao, 202-675-2384

Sierra Club Statement on Presidential and House Budget Proposals
Washington, D.C. – Today President Obama released his budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year.  Late last week, House Republicans released their budget proposal or 2011 Continuing Resolution on funding for vital government programs.

In response, Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club released the following statement:

“The President's proposed budget makes long-overdue cuts to subsidies for corporate polluters, while investing in the clean energy industries and smart transportation choices that will create the American jobs of the future in a clean energy economy. 

In contrast, the budget currently being considered by the House of Representatives is simply inconsistent with American values, calling for more handouts to big polluters and corporations while proposing potentially disastrous cuts to bedrock government programs that protect public health and the environment. 

The current House bill includes the largest percentage cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget in 30 years, an agency whose primary responsibility is to protect the health and safety of Americans.  For example, the bill would prevent the EPA from enforcing Clean Water Act protections against oil spills and waste dumping into drinking water sources of more than 117 million Americans. 

Congress has a choice to stand for more government handouts for corporate polluters or to move us forward, creating jobs and the clean energy economy we desperately need.  The current proposal does none of the latter and will endanger the lives and safety of millions of Americans.”

###

Everglades logo could be worth a whole lot of green


The Everglades Foundation is seeking a logo for a new grassroots campaign and, instead of hiring a designer, it’s holding a contest.

The Foundation will award $15,000 to the person who draws the winning logo for its new “Everglades Nation” campaign. The logo should “communicate enthusiasm for environmental preservation and for restoring Florida's fragile Everglades ecosystem…”  The design must appeal to a wide cross-section of Everglades supporters and use the words, and only the words, “Everglades Nation.”

Richard Gibbs, Senior Director of Communications at the Foundation, says one of the campaign’s goals is to inject “youthful energy and enthusiasm into Everglades restoration, education and outreach activities.”

The runner-up will receive a MacBook or Ipad. The winning design will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

Full rules and logo specifications are on their website: http://evergladeslogocontest.org/

-- Jon Ullman, South Florida/Everglades Senior Organizer, Sierra Club